Gateway School Counseling

August/September 2021 Family Newsletter

Welcome!

Hello from your Gateway School Counselors, Kelsey Buglewicz-Miller and Alison McGovern! We are so excited that you are checking out our new monthly newsletter. This will be 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 via email.

What is School Counseling?

A Quick Summary of School Counseling

School Counselors operate from a model from the American School Counselors Association (ASCA). Our ASCA model is broken into four different parts; define, manage, deliver, assess. Within these four components lie different tasks including teaching classroom lessons, running small groups, meeting individually with students, creating lesson plans, presenting at staff meetings, building community relationships, and collecting data.

Our program is a needs-based program. This means that we tailor our lessons, small groups, and other projects to the current needs of our school population and the surrounding community. Kelsey and Ali will be sending out various surveys to teachers, families, students, and administrators in order to gather current insights into the needs of our Gateway community! We will continue to inform families and staff about our program throughout the year.

If you have any questions about the role of a School Counselor, please reach out!

Confidentiality

As School Counselors, Kelsey and Ali frequently meet individually with students. These meetings could be about anything from students struggling to focus in class, to peer conflict issues, to self esteem building, to feelings of grief and loss, and so much more. Students can request to meet with a School Counselor using our QR code form, telling their teacher that they would like to meet, requesting to meet with us in person, or through requests from administration and families.

We deeply appreciate and understand the value of family and teacher support for our students' well being. We frequently encourage our students to involve other adults in their problem solving strategies. However, we are bound to confidentiality ethical guidelines, similar to those of a clinical therapist so we cannot always be fully transparent about the things that students share with us. Our guidelines are as follows, "what you say here, stays here unless someone is hurting you, you want to hurt someone else, you want to hurt yourself, or you give us permission to share with a trusted adult." These guidelines are presented to our students at the beginning of the school year during our guidance lessons, as well as at the beginning of our individual sessions. Kelsey and Ali also have these guidelines posted in their offices.

We understand that this is a tricky element of our role to navigate. Kelsey and Ali welcome any and all questions about our confidentiality guidelines. We are here to be a safe space for not only our students, but also the whole of our Gateway community!

This Month at Gateway

Size of the Problem Weather Scale

This year, Kelsey and Ali have decided to implement a new tool into our counseling program. During the first week of school, we introduced this tool to our students and teachers during our "Meet the Counselors" lessons. Often, our students come to us with a variety of concerns from stress related to class, to friendship conflicts, to issues with siblings. Sometimes our students have trouble deciding what problems can be solved using their own problem solving skills, with the help of a family member or teacher, or need extra help from a School Counselor. This tool helps students figure that out!

On the scale below, a sunny day means the student has no problems. There are clear skies! Once more clouds appear there may be a problem or stressor approaching such as being cold in the classroom or not getting the flavor of milk they wanted for breakfast. These problems are frustrating, but can be solved alone by most of our students. Once it starts to rain, students may need assistance solving the problem. This could be something like another student gave them a mean look or they forgot their lunch on the bus. Stormy problems are those that definitely need adult assistance. This could be peer conflict, cyber bullying, or failing a math test. Finally, there are tornado problems. These problems are emergencies. Students should only say something is a tornado problem if someone is in danger.

This year, when students write in to meet with a School Counselor, they are asked about the size of their problem. This helps us navigate our schedules and see each student in an appropriate time frame. This also helps the students decide what their next steps should be for solving their problem!

Minute Meetings

This year, all of the School Counselors in Omaha Public Schools are doing something new! We are meeting with every single student in our building for at least one minute. This new initiative helps students get to know their School Counselors and helps us become more accessible to those students who may not go out of their way to initiate a meeting. This also helps us get to know the students in our building even better! We created a short series of questions to ask each student during these meetings.

The questions on our short survey are:


  1. Do you like school?
  2. Do you feel safe at school?
  3. Do you have friends?
  4. Do you feel safe on your way to & from school?
  5. Do you like yourself?
  6. Can you think of anything that would make school better for you?
  7. Is there anything else you would like to share with me today?

All of our minute meetings will be complete before the second week of September! It has been wonderful getting some one on one time with every student to start the school year.

Panera Bread Program

Gateway is starting 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 will be available on Wednesdays during dismissal on a table near the main 'Exit' doors of the building. Please feel free to park and visit the table to take home items if you need! Donation amounts may vary each week and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. If you are in need of food assistance throughout the school year, please call Gateway and ask to speak with a school counselor.

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!


https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=tm3mWBshN0q36A72lnQgwXjQzrwBtz9Lp8yUFdaYqqRUMjZXRVdBMjhNV0NHSTlYSlIzMjlZMEVNRy4u