Frequently Asked Questions
Use the drop-down links to the right to find resources on different topics. Read below for answers to our FAQs about school counselors and school counseling.
Frequently Asked Question About Hulstrom Counseling
Q: What do the School Counselor, School Psychologist, and Social Emotional Learning Specialist (SEL) do at Hulstrom?
A: We are happy to take this opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions about mental health supports at Hulstrom and what it is that we do all day with your students. The Hulstrom Mental Health team supports students using a three tiered approach to services. Tier I is Universal Supports that are available to all students, Tier II is Targeted Small Group or Individual Supports addressing particular student needs, and Tier III is Individualized Targeted Support addressing an individual student's needs. All tiered supports are provided in conjunction with appropriate stake-holders and students may utilize more that one support tier at a time. Mental Health supports at Hulstrom are designed to be short-term interventions to support students at school; we do not provide long-term or therapuetic services. Please click here for more information.
Q: How can I see the School Counselor, School Psychologist, SEL?
A: Students can come to the office with their teacher's permission or request a meeting via email. If one of us is available, we will see the student immediately. If we are not available, students can fill out a request slip regarding the issue that they would like to discuss (see Mrs. Tracy) and one of us will see the student as soon as possible. The Mental Health team member that meets with a student will depend on a number of factors including, but not limited to: student preference, student needs and history, and/or staff availability. Parents may also request a meeting or check-in through email or phone - please see our contact information at the bottom of this page. We do our best to let parents know when a meeting has taken place, the general topic of the meeting, and any other information the student feels comfortable sharing; this notice may occur via phone, email, or in person. While we encourage and support open and honest communication between student and parents, we are also bound by confidentiality and ethical standards that limit the information that we can share. Parents will be informed if their student has made statements of harm toward themselves, toward others, or are threatened.
Q: What is an urgent (right away) vs. non-urgent (can wait) issue and when should my child come to the office to report an issue?
A: URGENT = SAFETY CONCERN (Someone is in danger)
Please come to the office immediately (do not wait until the end of the day) and do not leave until a member of the office staff has taken your concern to a Mental Health team member.
A: NON-URGENT = EVERYTHING ELSE
Please come to the office to see if the school counselor or school psychologist is available, email to request a meeting, or fill out a request form with Mrs. Tracy.
Q: What is the Mission of the Hulstrom Mental Health team?
A: We support Hulstrom’s mission to empower and nurture gifted and advanced learners to build 21st century skills through leadership and innovation. With creativity, critical thinking, communication, inquiry, problem-solving, and collaboration, we foster global citizens who will make a positive impact on a rapidly changing world. We do this through classroom programs and small group or individual activities that support students’ social/emotional, academic, and career goals.
Q: What is the role of a School Counselor?
A: School counselors are licensed educators with a minimum of a master’s degree in school counseling, making them uniquely qualified to address students’ academic, career and social/emotional development needs. School counselors do not provide therapy, but use interventions and strategies to help support students.
Q: What is the role of a School Psychologist?
A: School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' abilities to learn and teachers' abilities to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School Psychologists do not provide therapy, but use interventions and strategies to help support students.
Q: What is the role of a Social Emotional Learning Specialist?
Q: What services does the Mental Health team provide?
A: Individual Counseling and Responsive Services: We often meet individually with students who are struggling with school, family, personal, or social concerns. We are able to meet students on a short term basis in order to help them work through problems so that they can be successful in the classroom.
A: Small Group Counseling: Students may participate in single-session group counseling in the form of peer mediation or targeted interventions to address school or social concerns. Lunch bunches are provided several times throughout the school year on a referral basis with parent permission. These short-term group session focus on leadership, emotional management, and prosocial skills to support student success in the classroom.
A: Classroom Guidance: Utilizing the ASCA (American School Counselor Association) National Model, Counselors strive for a preventative approach to school-wide counseling. Because of this, we develop, and often teach, lessons in classrooms or in whole grade-level settings. Lessons are based around the needs of the school and reference the ASCA standards. Topics may include emotional management, problem-solving, bullying, positive school climate, self-advocacy, conflict resolution, college and career readiness, study skills, and other various strategies to support student success in the classroom.
Q: How do I find an outside Counselor or Therapist who provides therapeutic services?
A: Connect to Adams12.org to find community resources for a variety of needs, including therapeutic counseling services.
Q: What types of issues are considered confidential?
A: Students share a wide variety of issues with counselors and mental health professionals. To ensure a trusting relationship with students, counselors and mental health professionals are bound to a code of ethics to do no harm. Counselors respect the privacy of each student and do not generally release information without a student’s permission. Certain issues will remain confidential between student and counselor, while issues such as safety concerns (physical safety, self-injury, suicide, abuse, drug use, etc.) will be communicated to the appropriate stakeholders. We do our best to let parents know when a meeting has taken place, the general topic of the meeting, and any other information the student feels comfortable sharing; this notice may occur via phone, email, or in person. While we encourage and support open and honest communication between student and parents, we are also bound by confidentiality and ethical standards that limit the information that we can share. Parents will be informed if their student has made statements of harm toward themselves, toward others, or are threatened.
Q: What are typical elementary and middle school behaviors?
A: Elementary school and middle school are a time of learning to balance social needs (relationships with peers, teachers, parents), emotional needs (independence, puberty, brain development), academic needs (multiple teacher expectations, study skills, organization, etc.), and career needs (beginning to think about their future endeavors). Each child’s needs will be uniquely their own during this time and no one set of behaviors will be typical or atypical. If you are wondering whether your child is experiencing typical vs. atypical behaviors please reach out for support!
Q: How do I help my 5th grader transition to Middle School?
Q: How can I help support my student with using technology appropriately?
A: Know your child’s password, what apps they have on their phone, tablet, or other device, read their text message or app history, and ask them questions to understand what is happening in their world. Understandably, your child may feel like this is a violation of their privacy, however, you are the parent and are responsible for their safety and wellbeing - you have every right to help educate your child about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Think of it this way: your child may know how to swim and may even be a strong swimmer, but will you drop them in the ocean alone without supervision or support? The online world is like an ocean and parents are key in helping their kids navigate the often treacherous waters.
Check out the documentary Screenagers for more information about how technology is affecting our kids.
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