Back to School 2019-2020


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Happy New School Year!

Welcome to the 2019-20 school-year! It is amazing how fast the time goes when you are having fun! I am excited about the new year and the possibilities it brings for our students and staff. I know that it is going to be the BEST YEAR YET at Hartville & Grovespring Elementary! I consider myself fortunate to work with each of you to serve our amazing students! Scroll through the newsletter to learn about beginning of the year info/happenings and updates in the Counseling Dept.

I have student handbooks, parent survey forms, and a 2019-2020 folder of information for each of you in my office. I am in the process of also placing these documents in the HES/GES drives. Please keep this folder handy, as you will need to refer to it throughout this school year. If you haven't already picked those up, please stop by before Open House.

Peek at the Week

  • Aug 12-13 Teacher Work Days
  • Aug 12 - Open House
  • Aug 15 - First Day!

School Supplies

Many students will not be prepared for a new school year. Through donations and kind individuals in the community I have collected a nice assortment of basic school supplies. If you need anything for a student or for your class, please stop by and help yourself or send them my way. I will keep these all out for the first few weeks for easy access. Throughout the year, they will be stored in my back office cabinet.

I have most of the basic necessities as well as backpacks, a few binders, and paper. Also, we have a few hygiene kits donated by Seymour Nazarene Church. Thank you Mrs. Ballard!

We are always in need of binders, crayola crayons, markers, colored pencils, PE shoes, and composition notebooks if anyone inquires about donating. I am happy to provide a receipt for any donation as well!

Time to Plan!

As our returning staff knows, I use google docs to utilize schedule planning for group visits, meetings, etc. For all of our new teachers, please take a minute to familiarize yourself with the scheduling process and please ask myself or a neighbor if you have any questions when using the doc. To access my calendar please click HERE or on the link below.

I encourage all faculty/staff to also complete our yearly needs assessment. Please CLICK HERE for that google form and complete before Sept. 1.


1. Group visits are scheduled for 2 x a month (September - March). August, April, and May are primarily devoted to meeting with students individually, testing, and end of year activities.

2. I would like 4-6th grades to have priority scheduling for Tuesdays, so that we can use the library classroom. 4-6th can also schedule before noon on Mon, Thu, Fri.

3. You will notice in August that I have blocked off days for Minute meetings and Dyslexia

screenings (K-3). Please schedule a day/time for these two activities that works best in your routine. For both Minute meetings and Dyslexia screenings I will be seeing one student at a time and "hopefully" will be able to see everyone in one class in 30 min. We can adjust as needed.

4. I will be at Grovespring on Wednesdays primarily. I also will be there other days and times as needed.

5. Due to afternoon supervision duties 2:30 is my last available opening for Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri and 2:00 for Wednesdays.

6. I try to avoid cancelling a visit at all costs. However, if there is a conflict with day/time of the visit we can reschedule!

7. Everyone will have access to edit the schedule. I will also send a separate link to each email - please add it to your google drive.

Referring students for counseling

We are fortunate to work in a small school that allows for informal collaboration and networking. Please continue to communicate, email, and call me regularly about any issues or concerns you are seeing with students. If an issue or concerns become more concerning, I would like to follow a simple protocol for referral. This will ensure 1. I act in a timely manner to address the student need/s 2. I will have a record/timeline and 3. Data will be readily available to compile a plan.

Protocol for official counseling referrals can be either turned in paper format or by the online form. It is your preference on the method that is easiest for you. If you choose to fill out a paper form, please remember student confidentiality and only place in my box if it is sealed. Extra forms are in your resource folder as well as in google docs.

Weekend Food Delivery Updates

We have received the grant for another year of food deliveries from the Food Harvest. YAY!

To recommend a student/family for weekend food, please access the form below and turn in to me. Remember this is a confidential form and should not be put in my box unless sealed. I am meeting with the director Monday, and will know more then on the official first Friday of deliveries. It will be noted in my calendar.

Friday food deliveries will come to your classrooms sometime during the day. NHS students deliver the bags to each classroom and place them inside the door, unless you specify with me a specific location. They will not be marked but each classroom teacher will know who receives a bag. It is important to remind subs of this process as well.

We also have a local school budget for food thanks to our awesome community donations. Mrs. Palmer and myself utilize these funds for extended times away from school such as Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

A copy of the OFH handbook and extra forms are in your Back to School folder.

Preschool & Parents As Teachers

The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is an early childhood parent education program. The program focuses on positive child development by providing monthly home visits and group meetings. Services are free and customized by parents needs/preferences.

Exciting things are happening in our Early Childhood Education programs! Grovespring Headstart, Preschool, Mrs. Horn, Mrs. Nelson and myself are planning many activities and initiatives throughout the year. I am always accepting new children into our PAT program. Children ages (pregnant women and birth-K entry) are eligible. I placed information in you resource folders to share with interested families.

Also, families can pick up extra enrollment and information forms in the HES & GES office, Preschool, Grovespring Headstart, and Mrs. Nelson's room.

Care To Learn

Our school is an operating Care To Learn organization. We will continue to provide for the needs of students in the areas of HEALTH, HUNGER, and HYGIENE. In the past four years hundreds of students have benefited from our program including: clothing, shoes, glasses, doctor appointments, mental health, toiletries, food, electricity, heat, bedding, and the list goes on. If you know of a student in need of any item in these 3 categories, please let me know by either sending an email with the specific information or filling out a referral form.

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About Me

This is my 11th year as a school counselor and psychological examiner. I have worked both as an elementary and secondary school counselor and previously 5 years as a 6-12 science teacher. My husband, Adam, is the principal at Grovespring and we have three children Eli, Emma, and Emry. It is a rare gift to come to school/work with your whole family everyday. I LOVE my job, this school, and this community. #goeagles

Natalie Cook, EdD

Counselor & Psych Examiner

Parents As Teachers Coordinator

Cell 417-683-0822

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Thank you for reading to the end of this newsletter!

While I do not necessarily endorse EVERY idea, professional development, or newest craze, I do believe it is very important to be informed on current research in our field.

The following links are a few of the valuable tools I use, have viewed often, and recommend. I plan my curriculum each year based on current research, current needs of our students, and this year will have a specific emphasis on building leadership qualities.

InBrief: Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning
Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach
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