MELISA VINES - School Counselor

 

Melisa Vines

Melisa Vines

                                                                                                                                                                8/7/2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and provide you information on what the West End Elementary School (WEE) Counseling program provides.  First and foremost, please know that I am very happy and excited to be here and be a part of such a wonderful school and community.  I have spent the past couple of weeks meeting all of the students and they truly are incredible!

As the WEE School Counselor, it is my privilege to work with every single student in this school.  My primary responsibility is to promote their academic success through developing intrapersonal awareness.This will be accomplished by working with students at the classroom and small group levels, as well as at the short-term individual counseling level. 

At the classroom level, I will be presenting guidance lessons and activities that:

  • Enhance self-awareness
  • Identify and build upon personal strengths
  • Explore learning personalities, styles, careers and career goals
  • Provide an understanding of stress and stressors, self-regulation, and self-control
  • Encourage cooperation, teamwork, mutual respect and common courtesy (citizenship)
  • Provide problem-solving, conflict resolution, friendship and listening skills
  • Promote bullying awareness, positive attitudes and mindsets, and other focus areas

Small group counseling is provided for students experiencing similar concerns. These may include self-awareness, mindfulness, making and keeping friends, anger management (dealing with big feelings), coping with family changes, grief, incarceration, organization, and improving self-esteem. The groups generally range from 4 to 6 students and last for 6 to 8 sessions and the sessions are usually held during lunchtime so not to disrupt classroom learning. The students for these groups can be recommended by parents/guardians, staff members or self-referred.  All students will need to receive written parental/guardian permission before participating in small group counseling. 

Short term one-on-one counseling support is available to all students in grades K to 6. Students may self-refer or be referred to the counselors by teachers/staff and/or parents and guardians.  No student is seen on a long-term individual basis.  I will contact parents/guardians if a student requests frequent appointments, or if their concerns warrant your immediate attention.  I provide a safe and confidential environment for students and give them a safe space to work through concerns that are impacting their learning because they feel overwhelmed by a problem.  I keep student confidentiality when possible.  However, I am a mandated reporter, and if I suspect child abuse or neglect, I must report. Additionally, if a child threatens themselves or others, you will be contacted because we need to ensure all students are safe.    

Lastly, I’ll be collaborating with parents/guardians, teachers, staff, and consulting with community organizations to benefit and meet the needs of all WEE students.  I am available to have meetings with teachers, administrators and/or parents to discuss the needs of individual students by appointment only.   

I am here for all students and want to ensure that your child has a productive and positive school year.  I would like the students to think of my office as a warm and friendly place, where they are always welcome. My office is a safe haven – a place where they can get confidential help if they feel confused, worried or are dealing with overwhelming feelings. 

I look forward to working with you and your child this year!  Please feel free to call me if I can be of assistance.  I can be also reached by email at melisa_vines@ecboe.org.

Respectfully,

Melisa Vines