Welcome to the Counseling Program at Winton Elementary School. I am Ms. Semko, the counselor. I have been part of the Winton school community for ninteen years. Winton is a fantastic school. There are many good things happening here at Winton Elementary. The school is small in size (about 320 students). The adults are caring and dedicated to the academic and social and emotional growth of students.
The counseling program operates from a prevention perspective. The Coeur d’Alene School District has adopted several programs as part of the Health Curriculum (Peaceworks, Steps to Respect, Mediation, Talking About Touching) which are presented to students by the school counselor.
At Winton, we have adopted the Bully Proofing Your School curriculum. The counselor works in the classroom teaching children how to set boundaries and stand up for themselves. Students are taught to: 1. Say “please, STOP” when someone is doing something they don’t like; 2. Walk away; 3. Get help from an adult when the person doesn’t stop; 4. Let it go – don’t hold a grudge or try to get even with the other person. Staff members have been trained to use this program. We encourage students to stand up for themselves first and then to get adult help if that doesn't solve the problem.
Each year we welcome a Behavior Intervention Support Person. They will assist students on the playground during recesses with good sportsmanship, self control and conflict resolution. They will also be developing and implementing the Wolfpack program and managing the Meaningful Work program. The intentions of the programs supervised by our staff member are to help students become members of a caring and respectful community here at Winton. They will be monitoring the behavior of students who are having behavior management problems.
The counselor also teaches the Talking About Touching program. This includes a wide array of personal safety lessons. Some of the topics: stranger approach, opening the door, 911, not playing with matches, babysitter safety, abuse, neglect, internet safety & inappropriate touching. As with the bully proofing of our school, children are once again taught how to say “no,” get away and to tell an adult. The steps parallel the steps we teach in the bully proofing program. The Personal Safety Program is required as part of the Health Curriculum in the district. Parents are welcome to review the curriculum before presentation. Parents can choose to "opt" out.
In addition to classroom prevention programs, group counseling, individual counseling, parent education and parent consultation is offered through the counseling program. Group topics include but are not limited to: children with parents living apart, anger management, friendship, social skills, kids with parents in jail, kids living with grandparents, etc… All students are eligible to receive services. If ongoing counseling is needed, parent permission is requested. Parent permission is required for children participating in group.
If your family is going through hard times financially, the counselor is the "go to" person for a resource referral list. Your school counselor is also aware of community counselors in the event that your child and/or family may need ongoing counseling services.
Children are referred to the counselor in several ways. The most common referral comes from a staff member. Quite frequently children self refer. Parents also call and take advantage of the ongoing counseling the school is able to provide.