Gateway School Counseling

April 2022 Family Newsletter


Hello from your Gateway School Counselors, Kelsey Buglewicz-Miller and Alison McGovern! We are so excited that you are checking out our monthly newsletter. This is a space for us to share fun activities for you to do with your family, updates to our program, resources you may be interested in, and other information related to school counseling. If you have any questions about the items posted, please feel free to reach out to a Gateway School Counselor via email.

Everything You Need to Know About Middle School Registration

Middle School Selection

Students and their families received a letter the week of March 7th stating the middle school they are enrolled in for next year. If you have families requesting a different middle school, let them know that the STR (Student Transfer Request) forms become available at Gateway April 16th. Students can get a form from the office on that day and then they will turn them into the office as well.

If you have any questions about middle school or school selection, please let us know! Our contact information is located at the bottom of this newsletter.

This Month at Gateway

Emotion Regulation Lessons

This unit will help students identify various emotions by assessing how they feel in their bodies and minds. After practicing identifying emotions, we will work one developing a tool box of emotional regulation strategies that students can use when they are having uncomfortable feelings like anger, sadness, and worry. Ask your students about the tools they are learning to use this month!

Help at Home

National Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month! Autism Awareness Month is put in place to celebrate the things that make people with autism so special. This month also helps educate people on what Autism Spectrum Disorder is. Autism is complex because there is not one clear way to identify if someone has autism. A beautiful quote about the disorder reads "If you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism". Autism is usually associated with difficulty in social and communication skills, repetitive behaviors, and adherence to routine. It also can be accompanied by sensory sensitivities and challenges with paying attention. If you would like to learn more about autism or teach your student(s) more about the condition, please check out the videos below!

Professor Puppet teaches about Autism (2 min) (3rd-6th grade)

Sesame Street: Autism Highlights (3 min) (Pre-k-3rd grade)

Sesame Street: Meet Julia (10 minutes)

What is Autism? (2:50 minutes) (5th-6th grade)

Understanding Autism (8:40) (3rd-6th grade)

If you think your child may be experiencing symptoms of ASD, feel free to reach out using the contact information below!

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month focuses on raising awareness about the risk factors and warning signs of child abuse. During this month, supporters of this initiative also educate stakeholders (community members, educators, families, etc.) on the prevention efforts and guides that are currently accepted and implemented across the nation.

Child abuse is an important topic to bring awareness to because its effects last a lifetime. Many adults who previously experienced child abuse go on to abuse substances, experience mental health disorders like depression & anxiety, and even attempt or complete suicide. In 2020 there were approximately 618,000 victims of child abuse or neglect nationally. This statistic equates to 8.4 children being abused out of every 1,000 children.

Protective Factors:

Protective factors are conditions or attributes that, when present in families and communities, increase the well-being of children and families and reduce the likelihood of maltreatment. Identifying protective factors helps parents find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively—even under stress. There are 6 protective factors:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete supports for parents
  • Social and emotional competence of children

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs):

ACEs are traumatic events that occur before a child reaches the age of 18.

ACEs include:

  • All types of abuse and neglect
  • Parental substance use or mental illness
  • Parental incarceration
  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce

A landmark study in the 1990s found a significant relationship between the number of ACEs a person experienced and a variety of negative outcomes in adulthood, including poor physical and mental health, substance use, and risky behaviors1. The more ACEs experienced, the greater the risk for these outcomes. By definition, children involved with the child welfare system have suffered at least one ACE.

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent child abuse in your community, please reach out to Kelsey or Ali. If you know of child abuse or maltreatment occurring, please contact the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at: (800) 652-1999

Earth Day - April 22, 2022

Since 1970, Earth Day has been an annual global celebration with an environmental focus. Earth Day is centered around celebrating our beautiful planet and learning ways to be active in taking care of it. This an excellent opportunity to participate in environmentally-focused activities as a family.

Below you will find various activities do participate it to celebrate Earth Day and beyond.

1. Pick up litter.
Help clean up the planet this Earth Day by spending time picking up litter around your neighborhood, school or local park. Better yet, encourage your friends to pick their own areas to clean so you can spread the Earth Day goodness around. Remember to wear proper protective gear!

2. Plant a tree.

Trees can help with soil erosion and contribute to dealing with carbon emissions, so make your mark—and give the next generation a greener future, too—by planting a few trees this Earth Day. The best part is, you can do this just about anywhere!

3. Make a call-to-action to share on social media.

Get your environmentally-conscious message out there and show your support for Earth Day by posting an educational video on your social media feed. Give your friends an #EarthDayChallenge to try, like picking up 15 pieces of litter, or simply share a few facts about global warming or rainforest preservation to help spread awareness.

4. Plan your own Earth Day science experiment.

This Earth Day, try out a cool science experiment to show how different disasters can affect our planet. For example, pour oil into a tub of water to see how difficult it is to clean up and why it’s so important that we keep oil spills from ruining our planet’s oceans.

5. Build a birdhouse or bird feeder.

Share your home with all of the Earth’s creatures by building a birdhouse or bird feeder out of recycled materials, such as an old cardboard box or milk jug, to help out your local avian population.

6. Build a terrarium.

Building a terrarium is a neat project to try any time of year, but especially on Earth Day! Not only is it a great way to bring a little bit of nature indoors, it makes for some cool bedroom decor, too.

7. Build a bug hotel.

Every animal on Earth has a special role to play in keeping our environment healthy—even the little critters! A bug hotel attracts beneficial insects that help control pests and gives them a place to nest during colder months, so they’ll stay close to your garden year-round. Make one by filling a small wood box with dried grasses, bark and pinecones.

8. Brainstorm energy-friendly ideas for around the house.

Cut back on energy waste and come up with a list of ideas that will make your home save energy this Earth Day, such as switching to LED bulbs, turning off the AC when you’re not home and other simple, energy-efficient ideas.

9. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.

Learn about local flora and fauna this Earth Day by searching for flowers, plants and trees native to your region around your neighborhood. Look for a regionalist list of native plants online to help guide your search!

10. Start a compost bin in your backyard.

Start a composting bin for your home this Earth Day. This eco-friendly way of disposing of veggie scraps and other bio-degradable waste products not only cuts back on the amount of trash you produce and send to landfills, but it creates a nutrient-rich compost mixture that can give your garden a boost!

11. Craft a nature collage.

Celebrate Earth Day this year by making an all-natural art collage with things you’ve founding in nature, like leaves, pressed flowers, pieces of bark and other small items. Collect items while you’re out for a hike or exploring your local nature trail.

12. Check out Earth Day’s official website for events happening near you.

Earth Day is celebrated across the world and many cities and schools put on official events in celebration. Visit Earth Day network to find an event near you!

Counseling Awareness Month

Counseling Awareness Month brings attention to the counseling profession. Many people access therapy services globally. In America, over 20% of adults received mental health support via therapy, medication, or a combination of the two in 2020. This rate increased significantly following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as stress levels increased and social support decreased for many. Therapy has many benefits including support with grief, developing coping skills, questioning thought processes, and identifying the root of our behaviors. Many students and staff here at Gateway Elementary access therapy through outside resources. One that Kelsey and Ali frequently promote is the Connections program, ran by Project Harmony. This program essentially subcontracts therapists in order to provide 16 free counseling sessions to students in districts across the metro area.

If you or your student would like to try therapy or have questions about what a session may look like, please contact either Kelsey or Ali using the information below!

Winter Clothing Support

Winter is here which means cold weather is on the way! If your family needs support with winter clothing and gear, such as coats, gloves, scarves, hats, or socks, please let us know and we can help!

Panera Bread Program Update

This year, Gateway started a new partnership with a local Panera Bread location by receiving weekly donations from them containing freshly baked breads, bagels, and other baked goods.

These donations were available on Wednesdays during dismissal on a table near the main 'Exit' doors of the building.

This semester, we will be distributing donations differently and will no longer have a table outside on Wednesday afternoons. Instead, each classroom will receive Panera coupons that teachers can give out to students either based on need or achievement. Donation amounts may vary each week. Some weeks only one student per class will get to pick from the table. This will give more students an opportunity to take home Panera for themselves and their family members.

If you are in need of food assistance throughout the school year, please call Gateway and ask to speak with a school counselor.

General Resources

Contact Us

Ms. Ali McGovern

If you have a question about a resource, please feel free to reach out via email or by calling our offices. If you would like to refer your student for a meeting, please utilize our QR code!

Mrs. Kelsey Buglewicz-Miller

If you have a question about a resource, please feel free to reach out via email or by calling our offices. If you would like to refer your student for a meeting, please utilize our QR code!

Student Referral Form

Please utilize this QR code or the link attached if you would like your student to meet with a School Counselor!