Greetings From School Counseling!
Welcome to Jacques! Whether you are a new parent bringing your child to Kindergarten this year or a returning parent with a first grader, I hope you had a fun and relaxing summer! My name is Sue Burns and I am the School Counselor at Jacques Memorial. I am here to work with students to help them grow academically, personally, socially, and to support staff and parents. My goal is to help our young friends at Jacques develop the skills necessary to help them focus on the important work they’re here to do. At the elementary level, the School Counselor is available to help children whether they are having a problem with a friend, learning how to make new friends, learning how to deal with feelings or tough situations, or they are confused about changes going on at home in addition to a myriad of other concerns. I am here to make sure the student and I come up with the best solution to fix and/or deal with the problem. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 603-673-4434, ext. 4035.
Empathy: NEW! This year I am trying to incorporate EMPATHY in our school behavior skill program. Empathy is the ability to try to understand how others feel in situations when something happens to someone else. This skill is very important for students to begin to work on at a young age as they start to interact with students in the classroom and at recess, etc. I have new curriculum to begin to explore this concept with a new frog friend, Emma Empathy. Please ask your children things like ” How would you feel if that happen to you?” or ” How do you think he/ she feels when you do that to him?” Explaining the concept as Walking in someone else’s shoes is a common example of practicing Empathy. More info to come on this soon.
Ways that I can help?
As a Support for Teachers:
Providing classroom counseling lessons that focus on and reinforce character traits that enable children to make positive choices in school and in life.
Providing consultation concerning the welfare of our students at Jacques.
Making appropriate referrals for special services.
Listening and consult about concerns about social/emotional and developmental issues.
As a Resource for Parents:
Interpreting the school experience for a better understanding about what a student at Jacques experiences.
Providing resources for coping, self-esteem, and stress so parents can be full partners in their children’s educational effort.
Listening and interpreting concerns and helping to work toward mutual solutions to problems.
As Advocates for Students:
Providing groups for development of social skills and relationships. Providing one-on-one counseling to better able students to fully participate in their classrooms.
Participating in the creation of educational plans that incorporate all aspects of a student’s social, emotional and intellectual well-being.
Providing crisis intervention for any number unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
Providing a safe place to go and be when the day seems overwhelming.
Other ways I can help:
Throughout the year, I run various groups for students depending on the needs of the students. Teachers refer students to me and parents discuss concerns with me to determine what types of groups I may run. The following groups are just some of the groups that I may invite a student to be a part of.
Changing Family Group: This group is a support group for students who have experienced a family change such as:
- Illness/death of a family member
- Military families
- living with grandparents, uncles, aunts
This group is a great opportunity for students to share their experiences with others, explore feelings, and be supported by their peers.
Friendship Group: Social Skills are an important part of a child’s development. Many children at the elementary level have a hard time making and keeping friends. Children with strong social skills experience fewer adjustment problems as students and adults. This group is a good opportunity for students to learn about:
- Self Control
- Friend making skills
These strategies are addressed through fun learning activities like board games, role plays, books, and other creative activities.
Anxiety support group: Over the years, I have noticed that more and more students have been dealing with anxiety in school. Challenging academics, changes at home, and pressure to do well in sports and other areas are just a few of the reasons. When students are anxious they have a hard time focusing at school and it impacts their academics. I work with students in this group to help deal with:
- Separation Anxiety
- Selective Mutism or being shy
- General anxiety
Through a variety of strategies this group helps students understand their worries and provides them with strategies to help reduce their anxiety. If a student needs more intense intervention, I would consider an outside agency for ongoing support.
LUNCH BUNCH: This is a fun opportunity for me to have lunch with students in my office and get to know students in small informal groups. Lunch bunches run all year and teachers and parents can refer any student. I try to see each student in a group of 4 three times each for lunch. These lunch bunches are a more informal way for students to work on things like making friends, learning manners, keeping their body still, and being respectful. Students love them! Lunch bunches for the the 2017-2018 school year will began in October. Please keep an eye out for permission slips that will be coming home throughout the year.
Parent walk in hours with the Counselor I am going to again be offering parents walk in hours throughout the school year to stop in and discuss with me any concerns you may have regarding your child at Jacques. I am hoping these hours will allow for some flexibility and parents can drop in when they need to. More info to come on this once schedules and routines are in place. Please give me a quick call or email a day or so ahead of time if you plan to stop by! You can reach me at 673-4434, ext. 4035 or email@example.com
GREAT KINDNESS CHALLENGE:
Dear Jacques Memorial School Families,
Jacques Memorial School will join thousands of schools across the country this year for the 2017 Great Kindness Challenge (GKC). This will allow our students to be part of a powerful and positive bullying prevention initiative that will lead to more kindness, unity, and respect.
The Great Kindness Challenge is a movement from the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, based in Carlsbad, CA, that promotes anti-bullying efforts on school campuses through the idea that kindness matters and happiness leads to positive academic outcomes. From January 23rd-27th, JMS staff and students will devote ourselves to performing as many acts of kindness as possible.
The GKC began in 2012 with three schools and 1,614 students. In the 2015-2016 school year, 8000 schools participated and 5 million students committed to the challenge! This is our third year participating! Throughout the entire week of January 23rd-27thth, we will have school activities promoting kindness, friendship, gratitude, and other positive characteristics. Each student will also be provided a checklist of kind acts and we encourage them to take the challenge and prove that bullying is weak and kindness is strength. The kind acts list is on reverse side.
On Friday, January 27th, Color Our World with Kindness Day, students and staff are encouraged to wear red or pink and bring in a donation for the Nashua Humane Society as a school wide act of kindness. Donations can be brought in throughout the week. Here is a link for acceptable donations. http://www.hsfn.org/get-involved/shelter-wish-list/.
Bullying prevention is a constant and a community effort. With our students help, we can make a lasting change in children’s lives, making it safe to learn and thrive at school and beyond.
To learn more about The Great Kindness Challenge, please visit:
Thank you in advance for helping us strengthen a culture of kindness.
With Great Gratitude (and kindness),
Mrs. Burns, School Counselor
Jacques Memorial School Character Education:
Jacques works with students on a daily basis to help educate children learn to be good citizens.
There are teachable moments throughout the day where staff has these opportunities:
The idea behind these teachings is to be kind, courteous, and respectful to all students and teachers.
As the School counselor, I teach Character Education and conflict resolution to instill these values. I visit each Kindergarten and First Grade class each month to talk with students about various Character Education traits and Conflict Management skills. In Kindergarten, each month we focus on a particular character trait. We use the Kelso’s Choice Character Education program. In October and November, we will be learning about being Respectful. In first grade we use a conflict resolution program called Kelso’s Choice. This is a curriculum that is used to help students develop and sustain the belief that they are strong enough and smart enough to resolve their own minor problems. Kelso is a frog that I talk with the students about each month. Please engage your child by asking about Kelso and about making good choices. You can find more information on both of these programs at www.kelsoschoice.com. School Counseling visits will begin this year in September.
Here are some other resources available for you to explore.
- Wadleigh Library
- Gateway Community Services
- NH Department of Education
- Author Jan Brett’s website
- Family Education Site
- Parent Information Center
- Greater Milford Outreach
- SHARE Outreach
- Bridges: Domestic & Sexual Violence Support
- Children & Families First
Learning Disabilities/ADHD Resources: