School Counselor Office

 
Greetings From School Counseling,
 
Welcome to Jacques! My name is Sue Burns and I am the School Counselor. 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 Sue.burns@milfordk12.org or at 603-673-4434, ext. 4006.
 
Ways that I can help?
As a Support for Teachers:
  • As a Unified Arts teacher, I provide SEL (social emotional learning) in all classrooms that focus on and reinforce character traits that enable children to make positive choices in school and in life.
  • Consult with other staff for special services/needs.
  • Listen and consult about social/emotional concerns 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 to concerns and helping to work toward mutual solutions to problems.
  • 504 Coordinator for students with diagnoses that need support to access curriculum.

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.
  • Participate in service teams and SST ( student support teams) as needed for the needs of the student.
  • Providing crisis intervention for 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 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:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • 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:
 
  • Cooperation
  • Communication
  • Self Control
  • Manners
  • Respect
  • 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 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. Covid has caused many students to have an anxiety about many areas in their lives. 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
  • Perfectionism
  • 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, discussion can happen to 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!

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:
 
  • Lunch Room
  • Recess
  • Classroom
  • Individual Time
 
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 on a regular basis to talk with students about various Character Education traits and Conflict Management skills. My program is called Building Blocks. This year our school district will be using Choose Love for our Social Emotional Curriculum. All staff will be embracing and using the tenets of the program which include Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion. Please look at the program for lots of important information. It can be found at www.chooselovemovement.org