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Counselor Welcome

 

Dear CAM Families,

Welcome to another school year! We have some exciting news: CAM School District has expanded the Counseling department!! We will now have two full-time counselors, one at the elementary level, and one at the middle/high school level. With two counselors, we will be able to provide even more support and resources to CAM students and families.

Please welcome Mrs. Beth Rondeau as CAM’s new K-5th counselor! Mrs. Rondeau will split her time and work at both North and South Elementary buildings. Mrs. Blair will continue to be a resource as well for our K-5th students, but will work primarily with CAM 6th-12th graders and split her time between Middle and High School. We counselors are both very excited to work with your child(ren) and look forward to a year of fun and growth. We have prepared the following information to help explain what our role is as CAM’s School Counselors. If you have any questions, would like to schedule a time to meet with either of us, or if you need more information, please do not hesitate to reach out. You may call us at school, or you may reach us by email:

Sheri Blair: sblair@cam.k12.ia.us

Beth Rondeau: brondeau@cam.k12.ia.us               

Sincerely,   

Mrs. Sheri Blair, CAM 6-12 School Counselor          

Mrs. Beth Rondeau, CAM K-5 School Counselor                                                                                                              
 

 

How Can the School Counselor Help?

*Adapted from, and expanded for CAM School District, information by Kayla Marston

This form is intended to present information to staff and parents about what the School Counseling Program provides to help assist in meeting student needs. This form is by no means comprehensive of every service provided at CAM Schools.

Overview of the CAM K-12 School Counseling Program

  • ★  The School Counseling Program is comprehensive in nature - striving to meet the needs of ALL students through their academic, personal/social, and career development.

  • ★  The School Counseling Program is proactive and preventative - helping students develop critical skills to achieve academic, social, and behavioral success.

  • ★  The School Counseling Program assists and supports students in becoming “life-long learners and honorable leaders.”

What services does a School Counselor provide?

  • ★  Individual Counseling: We provide individual counseling for students who are having difficulties dealing with emotions, relationships (both at home and at school), and who may be struggling with academic and/or developmental tasks.

    • ○  Counseling is intended to be short-term to help the student identify problems and feelings. We can help them understand the cause, develop coping skills, and take appropriate action. We strive to meet with individual students on a weekly basis at the same time for consistency.

    • ○  We do NOT provide clinical counseling services.

  • ★  Small Group Counseling: School counselors provide small group counseling for students who are having difficulties dealing with emotions/divorce/grief and loss, need to develop stronger friendship and social skills, etc. and need the support of a group or need to learn how to work better in a group.

○ Group Counseling is intended to be short-term as well. Small groups will last around 6-8 sessions. Counseling will build a support/friendship group for the students, as well as help them identify problems/feelings, causes, and coping skills.

★ Classroom Counseling Lessons: We will provide education to ALL students in the school through bi-weekly whole group guidance lessons for K-8th grade, and bi-weekly for 9th-12th grades during seminar. Small group guidance lessons are conducted K-5th grade opposite whole classroom guidance. Kindergarten-8th grade guidance lessons use the Second Step Curriculum. These lessons are featured around the Mindsets and Behaviors of the American School Counselor Association. However, if a teacher feels their class needs more education or help with a specific topic, we can conduct a lesson built to a specific need.

○ Examples of lesson topics for our K-12 students are: emotions, coping skills, communication skills, bullying, friendships, kindness, conflict resolution, teamwork, diversity, problem-solving/decision-making, self-esteem, personal safety, respect, responsibility, career interests, empathy, goal-setting, following directions, choices/consequences, drugs/alcohol, internet safety, harassment and trafficking, suicide prevention.

  • ★  Consultations: We consult with teachers, administration, mental health team, staff, parents/guardians, and community agencies regarding strategies to better help students achieve success in their academic, personal/social, and career development. Our role is to serve as an advocate for the student in all consultation situations.

  • ★  Crisis Counseling: We provide prevention, intervention, and follow-up. We work with Psychologists, Social Workers, and administrators on how to best help the student and keep them safe.

  • ★  Resource/Referral: We provide resources to students, teachers, and parents/guardians on how to better help their student with various situations and emotions. We also act as a referral because we provide referral sources to students and parents/guardians on dealing with suicidal ideations, violence, abuse, mental health issues, drug/alcohol use/abuse, trafficking and family difficulties. We may invite community agencies to our schools to provide education on topics such as drugs/alcohol, safe choices, trafficking, and STD prevention.

    • --Referral sources can be to mental health agencies and community services.   --We are mandated reporters and will report any suspicion of child abuse and neglect cases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     --We are trained in School Suicide Prevention and can administer risk assessments to students in crisis.

What else does a School Counselor do?

  • ★  Professional Development: We are always striving to improve. We stay informed of counseling initiatives through active involvement in professional associations such as: The Iowa School Counseling Association, and The American School Counseling Association. We keep up-to-date on any changes in education by attending conferences, in-service trainings, and meetings.

  • ★  Collaboration on Teams: We are available to be a contributing member to many teams, such as:

    • ○  Suicide Risk Assessment Teams                                                                               ○  PBIS Tier II Committee    ○  Crisis Response Team

  • ★  Program Management: We plan and manage activities conducted by the school and School Counseling program that help support students’ education.

 

How do students see the School counselor?

★ Students can see the School Counselor in any of the following ways:

  • Teacher/Staff Referral

  • Parent Referral

  • Student Self-Referral

  • Administrative Referral

  • Request by the School Counselor

  • Referral by a friend

    •  

Confidentiality

  • ★  School counselors develop confidential relationships with students. This means that information gathered through meetings with students and parents/guardians will be shared on a “need-to-know” basis only.

  • ★  We work to maintain the privacy of students and their families. When information needs to be shared, we will assess who needs to know and what information needs to be known to best help students and their families.

  • ★  We tell students that, “What you say in here, stays in here. Except if...someone is hurting you, you want to hurt someone, or you want to hurt yourself.”

 

Information Regarding K-8 Guidance Lessons

We want your child to be as successful as possible at school. Success in school is not just about academics, it is also about knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. We will be using the Second Step program in your child’s classroom to teach these critical social skills.

The K-5th Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:

  1. Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.

  2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.

  3. Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.

  4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.

Your K-5th grade child will be learning a lot this year—and he or she will need your help! Throughout the year your child will be bringing home Home Links that go with several of the Second Step lessons. Home Links are simple, fun activities for you and your child to complete together. They are a great way for you to understand what your child is learning and for your child to show you what he or she knows. We may also teach additional topics (described above under Services) outside of this specified curriculum.

The 6th-8th grade Second Step program teaches skills in the following areas:

  • Empathy & Communication

  • Bullying Prevention (Including Sexual Harassment)

  • Emotion Management

  • Problem Solving

  • Substance Abuse Prevention

  • Goal Setting

**We may also teach additional topics (described above under Services) outside of this specified curriculum.

If you have any questions about the Second Step program, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills that lead to success in school and in life.

 

Information Regarding High School Advisory Lessons

High School lessons with be delivered primarily during seminar and be designed to have an advisory approach. The counselor and seminar teachers will provide information on a wide range of topics (described above under Services). Lessons will be created by the School Counselor. Guest speakers will also be brought in to help deliver educational information and resources to students.

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CAM Community Schools1000 Victory Park RoadAnita, IA  50020

PH: 712-762-3238

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