Dillon School will be implementing Second Step this year to increase students' social and emotional awareness. Second Step lessons will be taught on a weekly basis. Some lessons will include a "Home Link" for you to complete with your student. I hope you and your student enjoy these assignments, and it sparks new conversations and information about your student that you had not known.
Second Step Units:
- Skills for Learning
- How to Calm Down
- Problem Solving Steps
The Dillon school counseling program is designed to ensure that every student is reached and has a chance to be heard. The program focuses on three areas: academic, career, and personal/social development. The majority of the counselor’s time is spent in direct services to the students; however, the counselor is also available to work with parents/guardians and staff. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns! I'm looking forward to a great school year!
Confidentiality and privacy are important to having an effective school counseling program. Dillon School recognizes the importance of good communication and working relationships. In order to build trust with the child, the school counselor will keep information confidential with some possible exceptions. Because these services are provided to minor children in the school setting, I may share information with parents/guardians, the child’s teacher, and/or administrators who work with the child on a need to know basis so that we may better assist the child as a team. Additionally, the information given during the counseling sessions will be kept confidential except for the following reasons:
- The student reveals information about hurting him/herself
- The student reveals informatin about hurting someone else
- The student reveals informatin about another person hurting him/her
- Records are subpoenaed by the court
If you would like me to share information with a third party, such as a community counselor, psychiatrist, social services worker, or pediatrician, you will need to sign an additional release of information form.
Individual counseling services are offered throughout the school year to students. Students may request to see the counselor by asking their teacher or stopping by the counseling office to see availability. The parents/guardians can also contact the counselor by email or phone to being counseling services for their child. Parents/guardians need to give written permission after 5 sessions. Possible topics may include: friendship concerns, academic issues, family concerns, anxiety, social skills, and grief and loss.
*In the case of suspected abuse or neglect, the school counselor can meet with the individual without parent permission as declared by the state of Illinois.
Small groups are offered throughout the school year based on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Social and Emotional Learning Standards. The topics of the group will be based on the needs of the students. Students with similar needs and concerns will meet for 30 minutes each week for a total of 6 to 10 sessions. Small group counseling is very effective as students learn from one another and realize they aren’t alone. Depending on the topic, a variety of techniques and materials are used including: books, short videos, art materials, role play, and games. Topics may include: friendship, anger management, anxiety, and social skills. The school counselor or school social worker will lead social skills groups for Kindergarten all school year.
*Parent/guardian permission will be sent home before your child begins group.
The school counselor will provide classroom lessons when requested by the teacher to enhance academic, personal/social, and career development. There will be an emphasis on conflict resolution, manners, character education, school expectations, anti- bullying, and respecting self and others. Depending on the topic, a variety of techniques and materials will be used in the classroom, which may include: books, worksheets, music, short videos, and art supplies.
Good Touch/Bad Touch Program:
During the school year, all students participate in a program designed to education children about sexual abuse prevention. The presentations and program materials are provided by the YWCA of the Sauk Valley’s Sexual Assault Department. Information will be sent home with all children about the dates of the presentation. You may choose not to have your child participate in this program if you desire. If you do not want your child to participate, please send a written note to Mrs. Gillette.
This year, Dillon students will receive social/emotional education through the Second Step curriculum. Second Step is a research based curriculum that is designed to increase students' learning, relationship, coping, and problem solving skills in the classroom setting. This curriculum is aimed at reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior while increasing social awareness and understanding of others. Each week, your student will learn about a new topic that will help him/her become successful both in and out of school. During the lessons, students will participate in partner activities, whole group discussion, watch vidoes, and listen to songs that encourage awareness and acceptance. Below is a list of the units for Second Step and some of the skills that are taught.
- Skills for Learning- students learn the "Listening Rules," which are eyes watching, ears listening, voice quiet, and body still. Students also learn how to focus attention, follow directions, use self-talk, and how to be assertive.
- Empathy- students learn that the definition of empathy is feeling or understanding what someone else is feeling. Students learn to identify feelings, predict how others are feeling by looking at their body for clues, and how to manage strong feelings.
- How to Calm Down- students will learn the three steps to calm down, which are stop, name your feeling, and calm down. Students will also learn three techniques to calm down, which are belly breathing, counting, and positive self-talk.
- Problem Solving Steps- students will learn the four steps on solving a problem.
- S-Say the problem (without blame)
- T- Think of solutions (that are safe and respectful)
- E- Explore consequences
- P- Pick the best solution
We are excited to start this new curriculum and hope you can encourage these skills at home!