Counseling & Mental Health
WHO is the School Counselor?
My name is Nicole White and this will be my 10th year as the school counselor for Sacajawea Elementary students, staff & families. I obtained my Master’s Degree in School Counseling & Bachelors of Applied Developmental Psychology from Eastern Washington University. When I am not being “Ms. White,” I am the lucky mom of two little girls –a 1st grader and a 2 year old who keep me laughing, crying and everywhere in between. J I can sincerely state without a doubt that I am lucky to work with THE MOST dedicated, hard-working, and loving group of educators there ever were; and I am proud to work alongside them in helping our students achieve their highest potential.
WHAT Does the School Counselor Do at Sacajawea?
Direct student services including:
- Facilitate school-wide programs/activities/assemblies promoting academic & social-emotional development.
- Monthly classroom SEL (social-emotional-learning) lessons
- Small-group & 1:1 social skills instruction based on needs assessment.
- Responsive service – Provide behavior support / de-escalation strategies as needed.
- Individual student planning – Assist students in evaluating interests, abilities, skills, goal setting based on academic & social-emotional data.
- Individual or small group counseling – short-term & solution/goal-focused counseling. *School counselors do NOT provide therapy or long-term counseling; however are trained to recognize & respond to mental health needs making outside referrals when necessary.
Indirect student services including:
- Student Teacher Assistance Team (STAT) member- Provide consultation/share strategies supporting student achievement with teachers, other educators & parents.
- Designing behavior support plans in collaboration with teachers, students, & parents when needed.
- Guidance for students and families to school or community resources for additional assistance and information.
- 504 Plan Coordinator – Facilitate the referral process for students who may require an accommodation plan for academic and/or behavioral success.
Tips for Parents
The American School Counselors Associations (ASCA) offers the following tips for making a connection with your child’s school counselor:
- Discuss your child’s challenges and concerns. As a parent, you know your child best. However, a school counselor can help you better understand your child as a student. It’s important to encourage your child’s expression of needs, hopes and frustrations. School counselors are trained to help children navigate some of these issues.
- Learn about your child’s school and social connections. When you need information or assistance, your child’s school counselor can help you get in touch with the appropriate school officials; learn about school policies on behavior, attendance and dress, navigate the school calendar, and stay connected with the school in many other ways. School counselors also can help you locate resources in the community when you need them.
- Work with the school counselor to identify resources and find solutions to problems. If your child is having a problem at school, it’s important to problem solve with his or her school counselor. You can discuss resources available both within and outside of the school and get information on how such programs can benefit your child. Your school counselor can be a valuable partner in your child"s education and preparation for life beyond school.
If you would like to consult with me or seek my help for your child and/or your family you can do so in the following ways:
- Call me @ 967-6328. My schedule is very unpredictable and the likelihood of me sitting at my desk for longer than 15-minute periods is rare. HOWEVER, the best possible times will be between 9:00-9:45 and 3:20-3:45. If you do not reach me, please leave a message and I assure you I will return your call as soon as possible.
- Email me – This is the most effective way of communication for me. I check my emails frequently, including after school and in the evenings and will return your message as soon as possible.
- Arrange an appointment – If you have a concern that requires more focused attention, scheduling a time to meet with me is the best way to assure your needs get the attention they deserve.
I am looking forward to this 2019-20 school year and cannot wait to continuing searching for all the talents, skills, and intelligence that exist in all of our Sacajawea students!
Nicole White, Sacajawea School Counselor