Counselor's Corner

Hillside Elementary

September 2020

Dear Families,

Welcome back! It is wonderful to have children in the building and in their virtual classrooms learning again. Our social-emotional learning program, Second Step, is now incorporated into your child's daily schedule. These teacher-led lessons promote emotional development and academic skills. Please click here for more information on this program. Additionally, teachers have an SEL check-in daily with their students to see how they feel every day.

During the students’ September counseling lessons, Mrs. Snyder met with students to review a school counselor's role and ways the school counselor can help. Her lessons also included an SEL check-in with students to see how they were feeling about returning to school and if they needed her support this school year. Her lesson focused on welcoming students back to Hillside Elementary. During her lesson, she read the book All Are Welcomed by Alexandra Penfold. In this read-aloud, students follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. The book's vividly detailed illustrations and gently reassuring text celebrates kindness, inclusivity, and diversity. This story helped students to think about what kind of school they wanted to come back to. She discussed that students at Hillside decide what type of school they have and how our school treats people. Students learned that when we welcome others into our school, we make our school feel safe, inclusive of everyone, and kind and welcoming. Students' independent practice included writing how they can make sure “All Are Welcomed” at Hillside. These ideas will be displayed on our SEL bulletin board. Students' ideas included asking questions and learning about classmates, helping, including all, showing empathy, standing up for themselves and others, encouraging others, appreciating differences, and having conversations with others to better understand how they are feeling.

Additionally, our counseling team met with all of our new students this past month. These small group counseling sessions aimed to welcome and introduce students to important people and places at Hillside. Mrs. Cazes and Mr. Dekams met the new students for lunch as well. New students were paired with an experienced peer mentor to “show them the ropes.”

Please note our small group counseling program will begin mid-October. If you believe your child could benefit from small group support, please reach out to your student's teacher. Please click here for a description of small group/individual counseling services. For more information on our counseling services, please make sure to join us at Back to School Night.

Our Counseling Team has found that collaboration between school professionals and families is crucial to student progress and success. If any questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Dr. Bloom, School Psychologist

Mr. Forcinito, School Psychologist

Mrs. Snyder, School Counselor

Back to School Resources:


Great book for kids about COVID-19 (very kid-friendly way to explain the virus and available in many languages!!)

The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn & Ruth E. Harper

Don't Go to School, by Maire Zepf

All Are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold

First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg

School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex

This School Year Will Be the Best!, by Kay Winters


Tips for talking to your child about Coronavirus, please click here.

How to Cope with After-School Meltdowns,

please click here.

Tips to Help Your Child Overcome School Anxiety, please click here.

8 Ways to Help Kids with Separation Anxiety, please click here.

Website: For additional information on the School Counseling and Second Step Programs, parent resources, and much more please click here.