Counseling Corner

  • CLASSROOM GUIDANCE LESSONS

    CHARACTER TRAIT OF THE MONTH

    Throughout the school year Ms. Sierra will be teaching classroom guidance lessons that focus on character education and emotional intelligence. Each guidance lesson will have an interactive slide show, multiple video clips to reinforce the character theme and a physical activity. Students will learn how the character theme can be applied within the classroom, at school, at home and within our community. Lessons will happen in every classroom, for 30-40 minutes, once a month. A reinforcement worksheet/activity is given to teachers to further support the character theme. Please encourage your child to share with you what they learned in their guidance lessons to further strengthen their understanding and practice of the topics we discuss. Be sure to check out the Counselor’s Corner in the OPE Parent Newsletter to see how you can reinforce character trait of the month learning at home.

    September Lesson: Zones of Regulation & Positive Attitude

    October Lesson: Kelso’s Choices & Responsibility

    November Lesson: Integrity

    December Lesson: Diligence

    January Lesson: Empathy

    February Lesson: Compassion & Rachel’s Challenge - Kindness Chain Reaction

    March Lesson: Acceptance

    April Lesson: Respect

    May Lesson: Dignity

    June Lesson: College/Career Readiness

     


    SMALL GROUP COUNSELING

    Small groups meet once per a week, for 10-weeks, during school hours (Lunch/Recess), for about 30 minutes. There will be three, ten-week sessions throughout the school year:  October through December, January through March, April through June. You may refer your student to small group counseling by contacting Ms. Sierra. Should your student be referred to a group by a staff member, parents/guardians and student(s) will receive a Invitation to Group, Letter of Intent and Parent Permission to Participate form.

    Calm Down Crew (4th, 5th & 6th)

    This small group is for students who need extra support handling their anger in various situations. Students will learn to identify what triggers their anger, how their body responds when they are angry, and strategies to help calm themselves down. Students will participate in fun activities, worksheets and games. By the end of group, they will have their own Anger Management Toolkit.

    Courage Through Change (4th, 5th & 6th)

    The purpose of this group is to build coping skills to deal with worry, navigate big feelings and build self confidence while changes are happening at home. Students will create their own Courage Lap-Book to take home at the end of group as a tool to support them through their life transition.

    Girl C.O.D.E. (4th & 5th Grade Girls)

    The purpose of this group is to address friendship and relationship issues amongst female students. The goal of this group is to create strong bonds between female participants to encourage compassion, community, optimism, respect for diversity, empathy and empowerment to reduce instances of relational aggression. Girls will have their own Girl CODE Journal to take home to remember the strategies they have worked on during group.

    Guys With Ties (4th & 5th)

    This group focuses on topics such as finding their positive traits, standing up to peer pressure, and identifying traits that make young men good leaders. The boys will participate in fun activities, complete entertaining worksheets and will be able to wear their tie every day group meets! *Ties provided to those who need one.

    Guys Group (6th Grade Boys)

    This group will consist of boys who are working on building skills for success in school, with friends, and at home. Some skills that will be targeted include: building self-confidence, setting measurable goals, managing emotions and attitudes, strengthening relationships with others, developing positive study habits and empowering themselves and others to be positive influences.

    Lunch Bunch (4th, 5th & 6th)

    Lunch Bunch is a great way for students to connect with their School Counselor in a small-group setting. Topics covered during lunch bunch includes: self-esteem, making and maintaining friendships, healthy coping skills, problem solving, mindfulness and productive study habits. Students will watch fun video clips, participate in entertaining activities and engage in thoughtful conversations.

    Worry Warriors (4th & 5th Grade)

    A feelings management group - The purpose of this group is to build coping skills to deal with worry and big feelings. Students will learn about deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and more! They will complete fun worksheets, create art, and participate in silly games.

    ZEN (6th Grade)

    The purpose of this group is to build mindfulness in student participants to promote positive emotions and self-acceptance, improve emotional and cognitive awareness and to increase focus on present situations. Students will have a ZEN Journal, participate in ZEN Games and complete ZEN Activities.  

    Should you have any questions or comments about small groups, you may contact Ms. Sierra at (971) 200-8003 x3159 or SPreston@scappoose.k12.or.us

     


    INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING SESSIONS

    Ms. Sierra offers individual counseling sessions to students who need additional social/emotional support. Some students will benefit from weekly sessions, while others may need to be seen only once to help resolve an issue or big feelings. Ms. Sierra uses Growth Mindset, Art Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy within her counseling practice. Sessions typically run for 15-minutes within the school day. Should a student need to be seen individually, they (or a staff member) may fill out a Request to See the School Counselor form found within their classroom or at the front desk. Parents/Guardians may request school counseling services with a Parent/Guardian Counseling Referral found at the Front Office, or may contact Ms. Sierra at (971) 200-8003 x3159 or SPreston@scappoose.k12.or.us.  

     


    KC CLUB

    What Is The KC Club?  The Kindness & Compassion Club provides 4th & 5th GRADE STUDENTS with experiences that • build character • boost kindness •  promote a sense of purposefulness. The KC Club will help organize or participate in the following events: Food & Clothing Drives, Promote Rachel’s Challenge, Holiday Drives, Mentoring New Students and more! There may be opportunities for Field Trips and Guest Speakers.


    KC Club Expectations:  
    • Regular attendance is expected. More than three unexcused absences will be cause for

    dismissal.
    • Students are expected to maintain satisfactory conduct and grades in their regular class.
    • Students will actively participate while meetings are taking place.
    • Meetings will usually consist of a short lesson and then students have the chance to play         for the remaining time. If students come late, they will miss out on instruction.

    In order to provide a more meaningful experience, the club will be LIMITED TO 12 FOURTH & 12 FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS every trimester, two Student Ambassadors from each classroom. First trimester will be October-December, second trimester January-March, the third trimester will be April to June.  Applications will be accepted on a FIRST COME/FIRST SERVE basis. They can be found on the community bookshelf at the front office and turned into Ms. Sierra anytime. Your child will be notified and given a KC Club Pass once they are accepted.

    Websites:                                                                                                                                                           Rachel’s Challenge (KC Club’s Roots) - https://rachelschallenge.org/about-us/mission                


    STUDENT LEADERSHIP

    What Is Student Leadership?  Student Leadership provides 6th GRADE STUDENTS with experiences that • build character • boost resiliency • promote a sense of purposefulness. Student Leadership will help organize or participate in the following events: Monday Announcements, Spirit Days, Assemblies, 6th Grade Dance, Field Day and more! There may be opportunities for field trips and guest speakers.

    Student Leadership Expectations:  

    • Regular attendance is expected. More than three unexcused absences will be cause for dismissal.
    • Students are expected to maintain satisfactory conduct and grades in their regular class.
    • Students will actively participate while meetings are taking place.
    • Meetings will usually consist of a short lesson and then students have the chance to play for the remaining time. If students come late, they will miss out on instruction.


    In order to provide a more meaningful experience, the club will be LIMITED TO 12 SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS every trimester. First trimester will be October-December, second trimester January-March, the third trimester will be April to June.  Applications will be accepted on a FIRST COME/FIRST SERVE basis. They can be found on the community bookshelf at the front office and turned into Ms. Sierra anytime. Your child will be notified and given a Student Leadership Pass once they are accepted.


    HELLO - UPDATE - GOODBYE (HUG) PROGRAM

     

    WHAT IS THE HUG PROGRAM?

    The H.U.G. Program is a means to respond positively to students who need extra support  with their behavior and self-esteem. It is different from Check In Check Out (CICO) in that there is no formal sheet or day tracker - just a simple, daily Hi/Update/Goodbye. The H.U.G. Program provides for reinforcement and positive attention from  adults. The H.U.G. Program also provides for daily communication between a student and his/her counselor and between the school and parents. Additionally, data is collected to determine whether the program is successful or whether changes need to be made. The H.U.G. check­in creates a  safe space for these students; they come to trust and respect the adults who are consistently there for them. The program does not include negative consequences or punishment, just encouragement and positive attention.

    HELLO

    • All H.U.G. students will be seen in their classroom within the first 20 minutes of class by Ms. Sierra.
    • At that time they will receive the following:
    • A positive, sincere greeting
    • A check to see if they are prepared for the day (lunch ticket, materials, etc.)
    • A check to learn how they are feeling (any morning conflicts?)
    • Validation to help them get through the day
       

    UPDATE: At one point during the day, Ms. Sierra may randomly stop by to check in with the student.     

    GOODBYE: Ms. Sierra will check out with the students within the last hour of the school day. At that time the following will occur:                                  

    • The students will again receive a positive, sincere greeting                                                            
    • If not, the student will  receive encouragement to try again tomorrow along  with a problem­ solving discussion of what they might do differently.
    • For more information, feel welcome to contact Sierra Preston at spreston@scappoose.k12.r.us or x3159.

    SSC LIFESKILLS COOKING CLASSES

    The Structured Skills Center (SSC) at Otto Petersen Elementary is Scappoose School District’s 4th through 8th grade trauma-informed, self-contained Special Education classroom focusing on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for students with social-emotional and behavioral support needs. For students with severe special needs, life skills are a tremendous part of their curriculum; the goal is to equip them for independent living. Cooking is an exciting way to introduce a wide variety of skills to our SSC students.  The SSC Cooking class takes place on Monday afternoons from 1:40pm to 2:20pm with 13 students and 2-3 para-educators. Ms. Sierra incorporates math, reading, sequencing, teamwork, and following directions while cooking nutritious snacks and meals within her lessons. Additionally, SSC Students are able to put on the chef’s hat and teach their own recipe to the class.

    https://sites.google.com/a/scappoose.k12.or.us/meet-the-team/

    SSC LIFESKILLS COURSE: MIND MATTERS

    Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience supports the healing process in young people who have experienced trauma. This research-based curriculum offers strategies to help teens and young adults understand the effects of adversity and toxic stress, and teaches them skills to soothe and calm their mental and physical stress responses. The course builds students’ resiliency by healing their brains, their health, and their lives.

    Each lesson in the curriculum includes activities that build resilience and increase hope. These practical, hands-on activities and techniques can be implemented immediately, giving students tools to improve their lives starting with the very first lesson. The program also centers on practice. Students learn that “practice makes progress, not perfection,” and are given the space to progress at their own pace.

    Mind Matters focuses on six major goals: Utilize Self-Soothing Skills - Develop an Observing Self - Strengthen Relationships - Compassion for the Hijacked Brain - Practice Self-Care - Live Intentionally.

    Self-regulation is the foundation of the program. As participants learn to pair existing negative thoughts with self-soothing skills, they begin to take charge of their lives and improve their states of mind. Through Mind Matters, students learn to address physical, relational, mental, and spiritual needs that are essential to increase their quality of life. They see that they are already the hero in their own life’s story.

     More about Mind Matters: http://www.safeofcolumbiacounty.org/prevention/


    HIGH-5 CHOICES

    Nearly every week Ms. Sierra dresses up in a random costume/onesie, on a random day, and conduct an experiment called High-5 Choices. As the students come to school, they give her a high five on my left or right hand, where they choose what they like best... cats or dogs? pirates or mermaids? High-5 Choices empower students with choice. And... it’s fun offering 500+ High-5’s within 20 minutes!



    TALENTED AND GIFTED (TAG)

    As the TAG Coordinator at Otto Petersen Elementary, Sierra Preston coordinates with Otto Petersen Staff to identify students who are potentially Talented and Gifted (TAG). Based on recent STAR test results and on high classroom achievement, students are invited to take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). The CogAT is the final test required to determine if a student is eligible to receive TAG services. Scores must be at 97% or above, at a nationwide level. The CogAT is a 3-hour test that will be split into three, one hour chunks. Ms. Sierra facilitates the CogAT between late February and mid-March . Results should be available soon after spring break. Please be advised that the CogAT can only be taken once every two years, only should the student score close to the 97th percentile. TAG services include differentiation, extension projects, accelerated curriculum, compacted curriculum, independent study, tiered-lessons and clustered grouping.

    TAG FORMS: District TAG Brochure, TAG Identification/Consent to Test Letter, TAG Notification, TAG Plan.  

     

    TAG Websites

    Oregon Department of Education TAG FAQ’s: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/learning-options/TAG/Pages/TAG-FAQ.aspx

    Scappoose TAG Manuel: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzjKVw8CCtVEaV9oQ2dTeEp3Q0k/view

    Oregon Association of Talented and Gifted:

    https://www.oatag.org/

     


    504 ACCOMMODATION PLAN

    The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment. Ms. Sierra is the 504 Coordinator at OPE. Parents/Guardians of students with a 504 Plan will meet each year with Ms. Sierra, the classroom Teacher, the School Nurse, an Administrator and other persons/staff (if needed) to collaborate on 504 accommodations to best support the student.    

    504 Forms: Notice and Consent to Evaluate for 504, Request for Health Form, Authorization to Use & Share Health Form, Parent Rights, Section 504 Eligibility Determination, Manifestation Determination,  504 Accommodation Plan, 504 Termination Form.

    504 Websites:

    Difference Between a 504 & IEP - https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/section-504-2/

    Oregon Department of Education  504 Accommodation Plan - https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/equity/civilrights/Pages/Section504.aspx