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Counseling

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Counseling Services

Elementary School Counselors provide a comprehensive curriculum that is delivered school-wide. The School Counseling Program at North Star is designed to meet the needs of all students. The counselors deliver curriculum in all classrooms addressing academic, personal/social, and career development. Topics may include: friendship skills, listening, recognizing & responding to bullying, emotion management, conflict resolution, and test-taking. North Star Counselors use curriculum from the following programs:

  • Cerebellum (Kinder -5th) Kelso’s Choice - series of lessons to help build skills so kids can distinguish minor versus serious problems and skills for dealing with these conflicts.
  • Second Step - (Kinder & 1st) - Child Protection Unit - these lessons build social-emotional and assertiveness skills to help kids recognize safe versus unsafe situations and learn personal safety skills.
  • Steps to Respect (3rd-5th)- a bullying prevention program that helps students practice friendship-making skills as well as learn how to recognize & respond to bullying.
  • Connected and Respected (K-5th)- provides skill-building lessons and activities that help students develop social and emotional literacy by learning to manage conflicts and respect one another.

Small group (informal) sessions are often held at lunchtime and referred to as "lunch bunch". This is a time for the school Counselors to interact with the students on a more personal level, build relationships, help students get to know each other better, and build friendship skills.

Small group (formal) counseling sessions are offered as needed to address specific identified concerns of students which may include: divorce, friendship, grief, and study skills. Groups typically will include 5-7 students gathering for 4+ sessions in the Counseling office at a time that is agreed upon with the classroom teachers. The group session format utilizes a variety of modalities which can include play, books, art, videos, discussion, and experiential education. Small group settings are designed to help students overcome issues impeding achievement or success.

School Counselors meet with individual students on a short-term basis, when necessary, to respond to events and conditions in student's lives. Responsive services consist of activities designed to meet students' immediate needs and concerns. School counselors make referrals to appropriate community resources for students who require therapy or long-term counseling services.

School Counselors also provide indirect services as a means to support student achievement. North Star Counselors interact with parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, and community stakeholders to create a safe, caring environment and promote student success. Indirect services are delivered through referrals, consultation, and collaboration.

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Conflict Resolution Curriculum

North Star utilizes a school-wide conflict resolution curriculum know as Kelso’s or KC's Choice. Through this program kids learn to “size up” problems so they can get help right away when things are dangerous, serious or scary while empowering them to try two ways to solve minor conflicts themselves before turning to an adult for help. Learning to differentiate the size of a problem can help with emotional regulation. When we realize a situation is a minor or small problem we can work to stay calm and not have a “big” reactions which can create new problems including more stress, anxiety, heightened emotions and overreactions.

Some choices to consider to solve small or minor problems are:

  1. Tell them to stop and be specific
  2. Ignore it
  3. Go to another game
  4. Share and take turns
  5. Talk it out ( use “I” messages - state how you feel)
  6. Walk away
  7. Make a deal
  8. Apologize
  9. Wait and cool off

This program takes time and practice. We hope we are sowing the seeds for our students to understand that all problems are not huge and that they have the power to handle minor issues on their own.

Kathie Hager

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Contact Information

Redirector

North Star is very fortunate to have a Behavior Redirector position at our school on a full-time basis. Our Redirector, Mrs. Jen Pecasting, helps students to refocus their behavior so that they can be more productive in the classroom. This program assists students in making good choices and reinforces appropriate behavior.

She has a great website with fun resources to help with behavioral regulation.

Mrs. Pecasting's Room

Our Mission

The mission of North Star Elementary's Counseling Program is to provide all students with a comprehensive counseling program. This program is centered around an engaging curriculum that encourages the highest level of student achievement through their growth in 3 primary areas: academic, personal/social, and career. Your school counselor, in partnership with teachers, administrators, parents, and a caring community, will help all students to be successful lifelong learners and problem solvers.