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Welcome to Guidance Services for Grades K-3. Mrs. Gagne visits classrooms on a continual rotation basis in each grade. Lessons using literature, media, and interactive activities followed by discussion are provided on the following topics: anger management, bullying prevention, conflict resolution, decision-making, tolerance of diversity, personal safety, and career planning. Guidance classes span grades K-6; given this, students learn the same basic information and skills for social interaction, regardless of grade. However, instruction and activities are tailored for specific developmental stages and are grade appropriate. Students are provided with information they can utilize in their social interactions with adults and peers in family, community, and school environments. The upcoming topic for monthly Guidance lessons is published regularly in The Benton Bugle. I am always looking for ways to expand topics or address social concerns that arise with our children; if you have ideas or thoughts for new programming, please let me know !!!
I also meet with students in small groups, developed via referrals from teachers and parents, that last for 8 weeks in duration. Small groups are NEVER larger than 6 students per group. These are not therapeutic; usually, groups focus on friendship/social skill development or, are of a “support group” nature. For example, they are formed to assist students with life changes (e.g., death, divorce, relocation) on an as-needed basis. If your child is invited to join a LUNCH BUNCH, these groups meet for 6 weeks, at the request of teachers or students. It is a purely social time, to get to know peers in a smaller lunchtime setting. If recess is called for weather, students are welcome to stay for a mutually agreed upon activity or game.
I am available to meet with students individually upon request by teachers, parents, or a student. Each teacher has a supply of referral forms that students can complete and drop off at my office. Often, students ask to see me to discuss a conflict or problem they have self identified. If, for any reason, a student needs to see a counselor on a regular, scheduled basis, I will assist their family with a referral for “therapeutic counseling”, here at Benton or, to a provider in the community. MSAD 49 contracts with Community Health and Counseling Services, providing office space to MSW Licensed Clinicians, to work with our students during the school day. These counselors work closely with family members and, coordinate times with teachers so students are not taken from academic work time.
Guidance services in the form of consultation with parents and teachers is available via email, phone, and in person appointments. Prescheduled appointments are available throughout the school day and I am available between 3:00-3:30 p.m. daily. I provide Classroom Guidance at Fairfield Primary on Monday mornings; otherwise I am at Benton from noon on Mondays and, all other school days. I will make arrangements to meet with Fairfield Primary parents or students whenever the need arises at times other than Monday mornings.
School Counselors also serve as Site Coordinators for the Colby Cares About Kids Program (CCAK). We work with Colby College to match their college students with Benton students as mentors who provide tutorial assistance and serve as “Big Buddies”. Each Colby Mentor makes a 4 year commitment to an individual student; and, visit Benton at least 1 hour/week. Matches in the upper grades often result in the mentor being with a Benton student as they transition to junior high. We currently have almost 100 Colby Mentors working with Benton Students.
Lawrence High School students who find they have an open block during any given semester and, have an interest in a career in education, are also be placed in tutorial roles at Benton, via Guidance Services at LHS and Benton. The high school counselors let us know who is available, at what time, and Mrs. Martin or I coordinate this availability with Benton teachers, to identify students who could use a little individualized academic support.
Working with your children is not only my job - it is a real pleasure! If you have any concerns or questions that I could help with, please do not hesitate to contact me: phone: 453-4240 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org