Counseling Program Overview
Irvine Unified School District and Northwood Elementary support the social-emotional development of your child. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, establish and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, CASEL) We understand the foundation SEL provides for safe and positive learning, which enhances student’s ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.
Second Step Program
The Elementary Guidance Assistant Program is designed to offer social-emotional learning to students during their school day using an evidence based social-emotional classroom curriculum called Second Step. Second Step is designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others’ feelings, and have the skills to problem solve and make responsible decisions. These lessons will increase students learning-readiness and help them to move ahead successfully in school. Guidance Assistants are trained para-professional staff and are assigned at each of IUSD’s K-6 school sites to teach Second Step in the classroom and provide small group workshops for children who would benefit from additional support. Students with parent permission may participate in “TOOLBOX” groups, the small group workshops, which are a series of once-a-week, 30-45 minute small group lessons during the school day. Groups usually last for 10-12 weeks.
Individual & Small Group Counseling
The elementary resource counseling program is designed to provide opportunities for students to participate in individual and small group counseling experiences that provide support and skill building for coping with family stressors, academic struggles, and personal issues. It is not unusual for students to need focused help to strengthen their social- emotional skills in order to be more learning ready during different times in their childhood. Many children struggle from time to time with a range of family and life circumstances (divorce, loss, moves, stress) that make coming to school more difficult and we are here to offer tools and support. Small group and individual counseling can be an excellent way for students to learn new skills, develop self- confidence, adjust behaviors, and learn to deal with challenges in healthy ways.
Services are provided during the school day, once a week for approximately 30 minutes. These services are free of charge and voluntary. Every effort will be made to minimize the loss of important instructional time. Please note: information shared by your child in counseling sessions will be kept confidential unless there is an indication that your child is in danger of hurting himself/herself or others, that someone may be hurting your child, or if there is intent to cause significant property damage.