School Counselor

Is there one at my school?

by mary karen marek

Families with school age children are in the midst of preparing for that ‘first day of school’. New clothes, new teacher, possibly a new school, changing schedules and new routines...the list is unending. School District employees have been busy cleaning and readying the buildings for eager children. Teachers are writing lesson plans and looking forward to their new class. Fall is always an exhilarating time of year full of anticipation and in some cases, anxiety for children and parents alike. Parents want to ensure that all the bases are covered prior to the start of a new school year.

School District #2 counselors are also readying themselves for the year ahead. All Billings Elementary Schools have school counselors in their buildings during the week.

How does the school counselor support the children, parents and staff at your child’s school?

The school counselor is an integral part of the total school program and complements learning in the classroom. Counselors help students solve problems in the areas of academics, peer relations, attendance/tardiness, general anxiety, and family stressors. Elementary school counselors work closely with parents, teachers, school administrators and other professionals in the community to provide the best possible resources and services for your children and their families.

Do the elementary school counselors work with all the students in the school?

BPS counselors are very fortunate people. They are called to serve the needs of all the students in our schools. Elementary school counselor’s tasks are as varied as the students they serve. Approaches differ with each student and situation. All students benefit from classroom presentations on varied topics including, but not limited to, bullying and personal safety. Counselors also work with students individually and in small groups.

Children often struggle with social situations and feelings of inadequacy. For various reasons some children don’t communicate these difficulties to their parents. They may not want to add stress to the family dynamic so problems at school are hidden or minimized. If your child has a change in behavior or is struggling academically, listen to what he/she may not be saying.

The bottom line...

Get to know your school counselor!

You don’t need to have a problem or special reason to meet your school’s counselor. Together you can make your child’s school years a rewarding experience. SFM

Some reasons your child might want to talk to their school counselor:

” I’m getting picked on at the bus stop and I don’t know what to do about it.”

”My best friend isn’t talking to me and it’s making me really sad.”

”I just want to talk to someone who won’t laugh at me.”

”Tim, Cassie and I had a problem at recess. Can you help us work it out?”

”I’m new at this school and I’m really scared.”

Some reasons you, the parent, might want to talk to your child’s school counselor:

”Sarah doesn’t want to go to school in the mornings.”

”My son doesn’t have any friends. Would a friendship group help?”

”We recently had a death in our family and I’m not sure how to help my child deal with grief.”

”Kevin has difficulty going to sleep at night and often has nightmares.”

”My wife and I have been divorced for two years. We think our kids could benefit from talking about it with other kids who are going through the same thing.”

School District #2 Counselors 2009-2010

Alkali Creek Counselor to be announced 281-6854

Arrowhead Steve Carter 281-6401

Beartooth Lisa Meyer 281-6340

Bench Joe Walsh 281-6321

Big Sky Joan Micheletti 281-6770

Bitterroot Shawn Ashcraft 281-6989

Boulder Penny McSweyn 281-6622

Broadwater Maureen Klaboe 281-6426

Burlington Roxanne Rowe 281-6649

Central Heights Lance Dandliker 281-6750

Eagle Cliffs Crystal Knutson 281-6251

Highland Tanya Kirschman 281-6278

McKinley Carolyn Yegen 281-6468

Meadowlark Bob Besel 281-6881

Miles Avenue Noreen Burris 281-6961

Newman Chad Kinnett 281-6551

Orchard Robin Cormier & Amber Ault 281-6658

Poly Drive Jan Kvilhaug 281-6558

Ponderosa Mary Karen Marek 281-6505

Rose Park Mr. Ashcraft, Mr. Carter & Ms. McSweyn 281-6802

Sandstone Diana Hilden 281-6916

Washington Debra Neese 281-6712