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RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

"Restorative practices in schools are based on restorative justice principles instead of punishment. Restorative circles/Morning Circles cultivate a culture in which everyone feels like they belong. They build a particular sense of community in which every member--students, teacher, parent volunteers, aides--feel that they are seen, heard, and respected. Lastly, in addition to serving the cause of fairness and justice, restorative approaches make safer schools and contribute to social and emotional learning." -Center for Restorative Process

School Counselor

Counseling Mission Statement

VUSD elementary school counselors cultivate a strength based culture that empowers all students to be independent learners. Our purpose is to educate, collaborate, advocate, and nurture the whole child, through academic goal-setting, building social/emotional skills, and awareness of college & career pathways.

 

As school counselors, WE:

  • Educate: Teach evidence based, social/emotional classroom lessons/curriculum and provide academic support to ALL students. We help strengthen the foundation that builds upon positive self concepts to instill; character, confidence, resilience, and positive relationships with self and others.

  • Collaborate: Work in a collective partnership with clear two-way dialogue that builds relationships among home, school, and the community.

  • Advocate: We are agents of change and systematically help students overcome challenges to success. We uphold our purpose to protect, defend, and promote the safety of ALL students by helping remove barriers that impede with their healthy personal/social and academic growth.

  • Nurture: Provide student centered support by helping students discover their unique talents, interests, and abilities. We build excellence through strengths.

Your Elementary School Counselor

What does an elementary school counselor do?

• Counsels individual students in brief sessions to facilitate transition from home to school, to build positive attitudes, self-understanding, and self-reliance.  *Refers to EPSDT/outside counseling as needed

• Teaches Character Education guidance lessons 

• Conducts small group counseling sessions 

• Consults with parents and families regarding concerns

• Consults with teachers

• Provides information on community resources for families.

• Organizes and implements parent and teacher training or in-service activities. 

• Provides support during personal crisis

• Promotes a positive and safe school climate

• Is a Visible, Proactive, Positive, Support for ALL Staff and Students 

Parent Resources

  • PARENT TOOLKIT: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/
  • ATTENDANCE: Attendance Matters http://www.attendanceworks.org/
  • COLLEGE & CAREER California Career Zone: Fun site for kids and teens to learn about different career fields, take career inventories, and learn about what kind of careers can support their financial aspirations.
    • Know How 2 Go: Information for middle schoolers about what to do now to prepare for college.
    • Planning for Parents: How to help your elementary or middle schooler prepare for college.
    • A-G Requirements: The A-G requirements are the classes a student needs to take in their secondary career to be eligible to attend a UC or CSU. Click the link for a description of the required classes and information on grade-point average.  Virtual College Campus tours: http://www.campustours.com/ 
  • BULLYING: Pacer Kids: A child-friendly site with games, videos and information to help them prevent and intervene in bullying situations.
    • Stop Bullying: A site for older children with facts about bullying, what they can do about it, and games and videos with antibullying messages.
    • For Parents: Information for parents about a variety of bullying topics and what they can do about them.
  • Academics: Fun Brain: Fun and educational (math and reading!) online games for children. Study Skills: Study tips, organization, test taking and more information for kids. For Parents: Tips for helping your student with homework and organization.
  • INTERNET SAFETYNet Smartz Parents: Information for parents regarding blogs, social media, cell phone use, cyberbullying and more. Kid Safe Seal: Look here for a list of kid-safe websites and apps.

Why Contact the Counselor?

• Academic Achievement Concerns 

• Family Transitions (e.g., divorce, death, re-marriage, new sibling,)

• Behavioral & Emotional Concerns

• Home Stressors

• Peer Relations

• Assistance in transitioning to a new school. 

 

 
 

Small Group Counseling

Small Group counseling offers the opportunity for students with similar concerns to learn and talk with each other in a safe and fun environment. 

Possible Group Topics:

• Changing Families/Divorce

• Social Skills/Behavior management

• Anger Management

• Restorative Mediations/Circles

• Stress Busters

• The Friendship Club

• Grief/Death

• Self-Advocacy

• Conflict Resolution/Problem Solving

• Self-Esteem & Confidence

• New Student Orientation

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is available to all students to discuss academic, personal, and social issues. School counseling is not therapy but rather brief, short-term support for a student during a crisis situation, immediate personal concern, or problem that may be affecting their achievement and focus in school.

 

Meet the Counselor

Kerry Herington

kerryherington@vistausd.org

ext. 48004

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How Does a Child See the Counselor?

 

♥ Teacher Referral

♥ Parent Referral 

♥ Administrative Referral

♥ Student Success Team Referral

♥ Counselor Observation

♥ Self-referral by the student

The American School Association (ASCA) Mindsets Behaviors Domains:

■ Academic Development: Standards that guide school counseling programs to implement strategies and activities to support and maximize each student’s ability to learn.

■ Career Development: Standards that guide school counseling programs to help students 1) understand the connection between school and the world of work and 2) plan for and make a successful transition from school to post-secondary education and/or the world of work and from job to job across the life span. 

■ Social/Emotional Development: Standards that guide school counseling programs to help students manage emotions and learn and apply interpersonal skills.