Walworth School Counseling Program

 

Mrs. Jennifer Ott-Wilson               Mr. Lee Knoble-Janney

(262) 275-6896 ext. 212                   (262) 275-6896 ext. 244

 

 

 

        At Walworth Elementary and Middle School, your counselors are dedicated to provide a learning community for the success of all children.  We strive to make a difference by determining the needs of all students and their families by designing and coordinating learning experiences to meet those needs.  We incorporate the working relationship of students, teachers, parents, administrators and the community.

 

        The Wisconsin Developmental Guidance Model services as the foundation for the Walworth Elementary and Middle School Counseling Program.  The State model systematically addresses the learning, personal/social, and career development needs of all students.  At Walworth Grade School all students receive guidance and counseling services.

 

·       School counselors help to provide a safe, nurturing environment as your child develops.

·       Counselors believe schools, parents, and communities need to collaborate with each other to provide the most effective support for our youth as they mature.

·       Counselors focus on assisting children to develop their personal/social, academic, and career skills.  They do this by providing many services to children as they progress through school.

 

The Walworth School Counseling Program is created, organized, managed, and evaluated based on the developmentally appropriate goals for our students.  Walworth’s counseling program consists of five core elements.

 

1.               Individual Counseling

2.               Small Counseling Groups

3.               Classroom Guidance

4.               Student/Parent/Community Prevention Programs

5.               Referral/Consultation

 

 

Individual Counseling

        There are times when it is necessary for the counselor to meet individually with a student involving academic, personal, social, or career issues.  School counselors focus on brief therapy and short-term interventions and strategies.  The total number of sessions may be limited, but if there is a need for additional support the counselor will provide community counseling resources.  Students, parents, or teachers can initiate individual counseling services for a student.  Confidentiality for students, parents and staff is respected, but will be compromised if there is any concern regarding a student’s possible harm to self or others.  Some examples of what counselors may discuss with students include a death in the family, changing families, friendship concerns, academic struggles, bullying, etc.

 

 

Small Counseling Groups

        Some students are invited to participate in small group counseling sessions.  Children who share a common concern meet together with the counselor to receive support through talking, learning, and sharing.  Group topics will vary depending on student needs, but some examples might include friendship skills, social skills, anger management, changing families, grief/loss, etc. Small counseling groups are offered periodically during the year and meet for approximately 4-6 sessions.  Participation is voluntary and group information is confidential.  Students themselves, teachers, or parents may recommend a student to participate in a small group.

 

 

Classroom Guidance

        Walworth Elementary and Middle School is dedicated to providing the opportunity for every child to receive a quality education.  We offer a developmental guidance curriculum to ALL students, JK-8th grade, which involves interactive activities to help students learn more about themselves and the world around them.  This curriculum promotes and educates students on topics such as protective behaviors, bullying, self-esteem, friendship skills, study skills and organization, cooperative group work, manners, diversity, stress management, alcohol/drug education, and careers.

 

 

 

STUDENT PREVENTION PROGRAMS

 

 

RAK  (Random Acts of Kindness)

This program involves selected grades 5 & 6 students who focus on carrying out random acts of kindness and teach others about how they can complete random acts of kindness.  Members target students who can benefit from having friends eat lunch with them, call them at home in the evening, and include them in out-of-school activities.  Members also visit K-5 classrooms to conduct self-esteem and “kind to others” activities.  This program has allowed the participants to develop an improved awareness of others.  Also targeted students feel more connected to school in a positive and meaningful way with an increased sense of belonging. 

 

 

Teacher Assistant Program (TA’s)

This is a leadership program for middle school students (grades 6-8). Students, who are eligible, sign up to be a teacher’s assistant one day a week during the student’s study hall, 10th hour, or lunch recess. TA’s will help teachers with a variety of activities such as reading with a student, working with a small Math group, putting up bulletin boards, running errands, etc.  This program is designed not only to help teach leadership skills to middle school students, but is also allows them to be a positive role model and promote school-wide connections.  Parental permission is required for students who wish to participate in the program.

 

Red Ribbon Week

This is a week long, school-wide celebration held during the month of October.  This program promotes a commitment by students to remain drug free and to lead healthy lifestyles.  During this special week-long promotion, the Walworth Police Department collaborates with school personnel to provide special presentations on how to stay drug-free.  Also classrooms participate in door decorating contests and special “theme” days. 

 

March is Manners Month Promotion

This special month-long, school-wide promotion encourages all students to learn about manners and then practice them in hands-on activities and projects.  School-wide announcements led by middle school leadership students are provided daily to highlight the many benefits of using good manners. 

 

Counter Act Program

All 5th grade students participate in the Counter Act Program, which is organized by the 5th grade teachers, Principal, and Officer Long.  This is a great way to connect students to the local police.  Students learn about alcohol/drugs, assertiveness, conflict resolution, violence, and other life skills.  Children are involved with all kinds of interactive projects, group work, and role-playing.

 

Survival Kit

The Walworth School Survival Kit is given to all new students that enter Walworth Elementary and Middle School.  The kit includes inspirational messages and treats to help make the children feel welcome.  Some examples:

·       Smiley Face, No matter what happens, SMILE!

·       Lunch Ticket, all new students get to eat lunch with the counselor.

·       Eraser, don’t forget that we all make mistakes! Mistakes can be “fixed.”

 

PARENT PREVENTION PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES

 

Parent/Student/Staff Resource Center

Walworth’s Resource Center contains important parent resources such as books, videos, games, brochures, etc. that parents, student, and teachers can check out to use in their homes as they deal with specific student issues such as divorce, death, self-esteem, academic and/or behavioral concerns, social skills, etc.  This center contains many community/agency referral resources.

 

Counselors’ Corner

Walworth’s Guidance Department provides key information to all parents via the District Newsletter.  This information includes topics such as building your child’s self-esteem, helping your child with homework, and updates on current program offerings and resources, etc.

 

Family Connections

This specialized eight-week family program is designed to strengthen family systems and relations. Approximately eight families are involved in this highly interactive and hands-on program.  The parent education component of the program focuses on three main topics including discipline, communication at home, and helping children succeed in school. The child component of the program focuses on children learning about their emotions, handling one’s anger, getting along with family members, and learning about the importance of school.  All families begin each evening’s session with a meal prepared by staff.  Following the meal, a family activity focusing on family interactions is completed.

 

Responsive Services

This program component involves one-on-one consultations with parents regarding strategies to help their child(ren) be successful. When a child is not functioning at optimal capacity in personal/social, academic, or educational development, it is essential that counselors and parents work together to explore these issues.  Oftentimes, networking with outside agencies becomes a necessity when working with these specialized issues identified by the parent. 

 

Conference Resource Areas

During the evening of school conferences, the counselors organize parenting resources that are available to both middle school and elementary age students.  These resources are available at no charge and include a wide variety of parenting topics.

 

Guidance Homework Hotline/Classroom Newsletters

The school counselors actively update their homework hotline in hopes of working with parents in communicating classroom guidance topics at all grade levels.  Classroom newsletters are also sent home at different grade levels during various times of the year to strengthen parent understanding of the school counseling program.

 

COMMUNITY PREVENTION PROGRAMS

Service Learning Projects

This program involves the participation of certain guidance classes by allowing them to plan and carry out special community-based outreach programs.  Some examples of past projects include:

1.               Made gift baskets for Golden Years

2.               Had a carnival for younger students to teach them certain skills

3.               Organized a supply drive for Valley of the Kings Sanctuary

4.               Made bird feeders with younger students

5.               Painted a mural on a school wall

6.               Held a student vs. teachers basketball game to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation

7.               Picked up litter around the community

8.               Students offered to help teachers during their free time

9.               Held a penny drive for Lakeland Animal Shelter

10.         Raised money for Twin Oaks homeless shelter

 

Through all of these projects, students learned about the importance of cooperating within a group and contributing to their community!!

 

Safety Programs

All Kindergarten students will participate in 911 training, pedestrian safety, traffic safety, and poison safety presentations contributed by State Farm Insurance. These students will also be making “ID Badges” that can be used if they are ever lost. The Walworth Police Department works in conjunction with the school counselors to make safety programs a priority.

 

Gateway Technical College Tour

All 7th grade students are invited to tour and learn about Gateway Technical College in Elkhorn.  Students participate in hands-on activities as they learn about a variety of future careers.  Students are able to meet various community leaders at this technical college.

 

Beloit College Tour

All 8th grade students are invited to tour and learn about a university.  This allows students insight to a higher educational experience that in turn will motivate many students to strive for academic success at the high school level.  Students have a “day in the life of a college student” experience that includes a tour, attending a college level class, meeting a professor, learning about majors/minors, touring a dorm room, and even eating lunch with college students.

 

Networking with the Walworth Police Department

Throughout the school year, the Walworth Police Department works hand-in-hand with the school to provide a variety of educational student programs. Some of those programs include drug/alcohol discussions, home alone safety, harassment, violence, gangs, and vandalism.

 

Community Career Guest Speakers

Community members and parents are asked to describe their career and discuss relevant information.  Students are given an opportunity to expand their knowledge about a variety of careers.

 

Christmas Adoption

The guidance department works hand-in-hand with several community services, such as the police department, fire department, local churches, and rescue squad to raise money for families who are struggling at this time of the year.  Teachers and some community families also help by “adopting” children for Christmas by providing them with presents, clothes, and food.

 

 

 

REFERRAL/CONSULTATION

 

        Communication between the school counselor, teachers, administration, parents, and community helping professionals, through a team approach is necessary so we meet the needs of our students.  We have a Parent, Teacher, and Student Resource Center available that provides a wealth of information on a variety of topics.  We also have a wide variety of community resources available to help families with a variety of needs.

 

 

 

Website Resources

 

www.positivediscipline.com  - positive solutions to challenging behavior

www.disciplinehelp.com – strategies for over 117 misbehaviors

www.chartjungle.com – behavior & chore charts

www.parentsplace.com – developmental issues with children

www.connectforkids.org – building safe communities

www.freevibe.com – drug and alcohol information for teens

www.review.com/career/templates - career information

http://.stats.bls.gov:80/ocohome.htm - career descriptions

www.divorcecare.com – dealing with divorce issues (adults)

www.outproud.com – national coalition for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth

www.aamft.org – family therapy organization

www.co.walworth.wi.us – Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services

 

Student Resources

www.wiscareers.wisc.edu