Heather Heidt / Edson Wagatsuma
Two counselors share the school counseling position at Atlas and work together to meet the needs of our students. Heather Heidt has been a school counselor for 4 years and Edson Wagatsuma has over 20 years of experience from Hawaii. The school counseling program includes a range of services: individual and group support, class meetings, crisis counseling, consultation, collaboration, family support and resource referrals. Groups are designed to meet the needs of the students each school year. School counseling is part of the Coeur d’Alene School District's educational program curriculum.Students can get connected with the school counselor through the following ways:
· Parent referral
· Teacher referral
· Principal referral
· Outside agencies
We visit every classroom every 2-3 weeks for lessons and group discussion with students on topics listed below, with the goal of helping children grow in areas of personal-social and academic areas. Lesson topics are proactive so that we can teach and promote positive interactions and prevent negative behaviors like bullying. Personal safety aims to give students the knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe.
Here are the main areas that are covered during counselor visits to the classroom. This schedule may vary depending on needs of the classroom. A class meeting format is often used to encourage face-to-face communication between students and reinfoce a positive classroom climate.
· Personal Safety
- Ways to Stay Safe/Always Ask First
- Safe/Unsafe Touch
· Resolving conflicts
- Resolving Conflicts
- Identifying Feelings
- Career (depending on grade level)
- Dealing with difficulties
- Current issues relating to student challenges
The School Counselors utilize a variety of materials. The following are some of the curriculum that are used.
Second Step for K, 1st and 2nd grades
Steps to respect for 3rd, 4th and 5th
Personal Safety Curriculum
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
In order to provide services to as many students as possible, we organize small groups that meet once per week usually during the lunch hour. Groups are designed to meet the needs of students and often cover social skills, friendship group, groups designed for children going through family changes or many forms of loss, self-esteem or other topics as needs arise. Small groups are an effective way for students to find commonality, express emotions, and practice skills with one another. Parents are encouraged to contact us through the school's main office if your child(ren) may benefit from the counseling program while they are with us at Atlas during the school day. Along with a variety of resources, we utilize the Rainbows for All Children program, which helps children grieve when faced with any kind of loss and find support through one another so that they can grow and heal.
We are available to provide support to students who could benefit from individualized attention to enhance academic, social or emotional development. If a student is in need of ongoing mental health counseling, families are given referrals to outside agencies.
504 Case Management
We are case managers for students with 504 Plans, which is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. A 504 Plan is a legal way to document accommodations that have been proven to be successful for a student with a diagnosed disability which has a significant impact on a student's functioning in one of the three areas: health, academic or behavior. Students that have life-threatening allergies which require an epi-pen are given 504 Plans so they have access to the necessary accommodations.
Students can make an appointment with one of the counselors by filling out a counselor request form, asking their teacher, or via parent request. Our office is room #204 near the main office. We welcome communication with parents so that we can do our best to collaborate for the benefit of children and families, provide resources and support. Please reach us by phone 762-0626 x2044 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
We have enjoyed getting to know the wonderful students at Atlas and look forward to another great year!
CDA Backpack Program is a community resource that we have partnered with to help serve our students and their families. For more information, contact one of the school counselors.
Counselors will begin Personal Safety lessons in October, including:
Ways to Stay Safe: Recognize, Report and Refuse
Never Never Rules
Always Ask First Rule
Safe and Unsafe Touches
The Touching Rule
Please contact us if you have any questions. Working together with you to keep your children safe is our top priority!