RVE School Counselor Corner

September 2019

Hello and Welcome Back!!

Greetings and welcome to the 2019-2020 school year from your school counselors, Mrs Alladin and Mrs. Felipe! We are both so excited to be back at Riverview Elementary for another year to continue to work with the students, parents, and community members of Farmington!


As the school counselors at Riverview Elementary School, we help ALL students with social/emotional development, self-management, social skills, maintaining friendships, and we also provide support during various transitions in a student's life (e.g. family change, moving, grief, etc.). This is done through the implementation of direct and indirect student services, including Individual Counseling, Small Group Counseling, and Classroom Lessons.


Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is available to students to address your child's needs, concerns and other barriers to learning (e.g. anxiety, difficulty with peers, family change, etc.). These sessions are conducted one-on-one with the school counselor, typically once per week. These sessions are short-term in nature and are utilized to address any immediate needs and subsequently monitor student progress. Should a student need on-going therapy, a referral can be made to an outside mental health provider. Individual referrals for students can be made through the request of a student, parent, or teacher.


Small Group Counseling

Small group counseling is offered to students throughout the school year and is based on student need. Group sessions will typically last eight weeks and take place for 25-30 minutes during your child's school day. Students are invited to join a group based on parent or teacher referral. Note that small group permission slips will be made available during Fall Conferences. It is our hope that these small groups can provide students additional support socially/emotionally, allowing them to succeed academically. A few of our small groups include:


  • "Circle of Friends" Friendship Group
  • "Space Camp" Social Skills Group
  • "Worry Busters" Anxiety Group
  • "Brave Hearts" Military Family Group
  • "Banana Splits" Family Change Group
  • "Lost and Found" Grief Support Group


Classroom Lessons

There is a strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning. As such, our comprehensive school counseling program incorporates classroom lessons on five core social-emotional competencies - Cooperation, Assertiveness, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-control (CARES). We meet with each classroom individually in all grades (K-5) on a monthly basis. During each lesson, we discuss the competency using various activities and books. We strive to make these sessions as interactive as possible to allow students to stay engaged and empower them to become motivated learners, active team members, creative problem solvers, and kind and responsible citizens.

Big picture

WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH AT RIVERVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Meet the School Counselor Lessons

For students at Riverview, September is a month of getting to know your classroom, classmates, and teachers. It's learning expectations, daily routines, and getting back into the swing of things. The first few weeks of school can be very overwhelming for students!


We use the month of September as an opportunity to teach students (and remind staff) what a School Counselor does. Visibility is very important not just during the first few weeks of school but year-round. We make sure that students know who we are, what we do here, and how they can access us. During our classroom lessons, we use a variety of methods to reach and engage our students. From dressing like Superheroes to using a "surfing" theme, we are constantly changing things up to provide a fun, positive, and engaging environment. Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, and promotes meaningful learning experiences.

Meet the Counseling Team!

Mrs. Alladin

Hello! My name is Jessica Alladin, and I am excited to be starting my third year at Riverview Elementary! I graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a Master's in Professional School Counseling (K-12). Previously, I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. I live in Le Center with my husband, and I have a step-son, Calvin, who is an aspiring entrepreneur. In my free time, I enjoy sewing, baking, going on outdoor adventures (biking, paddle boarding, or snowboarding), and spending time with my family.



Mrs. Alladin will be doing classroom lessons with Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 5th Grade, and Multiage 1st and 2nd Grade Students.

Mrs. Felipe

Hello! My name is Nicole Felipe, and I am excited to be starting my second year at Riverview Elementary! I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls with a Master's in Education. Previously, I completed my undergraduate degree at Winona State University. I live in Woodbury with my husband and two kiddos - my son Emilio (age 7) is in 1st Grade this year, and my daughter Adelina (age 5) will be starting Kindergarten. In my free time, I enjoy any outdoor activity, gardening, reading, and spending time with my family and our two big dogs.



Mrs. Felipe will be doing classroom lessons with Kindergarten, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Multiage 3rd and 4th Grade, and Multiage 5th Grade Students.

If you need to reach either of us and we are not available, please call the school office at (651)460-1600, and they will have someone get back to you.


Farmington's K-12 School Counseling philosophy is to "inspire academic, personal, and future success in every student."


As School Counselors we:

  • Organize and implement character education programs (CARES)
  • Facilitate support groups (friendship, family changes, anxiety, military family, grief and loss)
  • Provide short-term solution focused one-on-one support
  • Co-Chair academic/behavioral intervention teams processes (I-Team)
  • Facilitate communication between staff and families
  • Offer crisis prevention and intervention support
  • Refer students and families to outside agencies as needed
  • Are members of the district-wide crisis support team

Nine Tips to Overcome School Anxiety

1. Goodbye Routine

Develop a quick goodbye routine and do it the same way every time. Don't drag out the goodbye process... it makes leaving even more difficult.

2. Be Consistent

When your kids are used to running around outside until dark each night, shifting to the early morning school bust rush can be a real shock to the system. To ease the transition, move up their bedtime a few minutes each night to get them back on track. Keeping a consistent routine helps kids know what to expect. It's tempting to give up or give in when things are difficult. It's important to remember that what feels easier in the short run usually makes things more difficult in the long run.

3. Keep Things Light

Kids are good at picking up on emotions. Appear relaxed and upbeat even if you don't feel that way. It tugs at the heartstrings when your child is anxious. Keep conversations positive but to the point and detached of emotion.

4. Talk to Someone

Teachers and School Counselors are great resources! Open communication helps increase success. Your child's teacher may have tips or ideas to share in dealing with school anxiety.

5. Have Child Bring One Small Item From Home

Send a small reminder of home with your child. Items such as a handwritten note, a family picture, or a small keepsake that when looked at brings a happy thought.

6. Teach Problem Solving

Learning to handle problems effectively is a valuable life skill. When problems arise, don't rush to solve your child's problem for them. Encourage them to come to us with their own ideas of solutions to their problems.

7. Be Prepared for Setbacks

Don't get discouraged with regression. Going back to school after a long weekend, holiday break, or illness can cause anxiety to flare up again. Be prepared for this and remember consistency is the key.

8. Don't Give Up

The best gift you can give your child is to not give up even when you feel like it. There's no "quick fix" in overcoming school anxiety. The best lesson your child can learn is they CAN do hard things and be successful.

9. Teach Calming Strategies

Teaching your child calming strategies is a great way for them to take an active role in overcoming school anxiety. Some coping strategy examples are:

  • Deep Breathing Exercise - inhale through nose. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale through mouth.
  • Do 25 of Something Active - jumping jacks, shooting hoops, jump rope.
  • Focus on positive thoughts
  • Bring a note from home to read at recess or hang in your locker
  • Countdown from 10 backwards

Reducing Anxiety Resources

Books

What to Do When You Worry Too Much - A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner


Freeing Your Child From Anxiety by Tamar Chansky


Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine by Julia Cook


Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes


Don't Panic Annicka by Juliet Clare Bell

Because we all could use a little pep talk...

Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!
CLICK HERE to Access the Google Form

By filling out this quick form, your child(ren) can have a chance to win game time with Mrs. Alladin and Mrs. Felipe!!