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Robinson School Guidance, Counseling and Starksboro Mentoring

Amy Johnston, School Guidance Counselor

My goal as the school counselor is to help every student at Robinson School be successful in every way-academically, personally and socially.  At Robinson, we believe that teaching kids social and emotional regulation skills will help kids throughout their lives. It is our belief that children need to learn how to work with other people, how to calm themselves down when upset and how to use skills for focusing and paying attention.

In Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades, I teach weekly guidance classes to help students work on basic social skills, such as skills for learning, understanding feelings, calming the body and brain, empathy, problem solving and personal safety. These are short lessons filled with stories, songs and practice that are then followed up by the teacher in the classroom.

All students in grades 3-6 have monthly classroom guidance throughout the school year.  We cover a variety of topics including understanding and expressing feelings, mindfulness, empathy, problem solving, as well as skills around handling bullying and personal safety. Teachers are active participants in lessons and are encouraged to continue using similar language and techniques taught in guidance classes.

The curricula used in classes includes portions of  Second Step Program | Second Step (Social Emotional Learning) to build knowledge of social skills and problem solving, Zones of Regulation to help children identify their feelings, place them in one of four zones based on energy levels and teach them strategies for how to get back to green or a regulated, calm, ready to learn state. (Self Regulation/Emotion Management) and Changing Perspectives (difference/disability awareness), a program which promotes empathy by helping students recognize differences, challenges and disabilities in themselves and others.

New this year, we are beginning work with students on a  research based curriculum called MindUp! MindUp Curriculum understand our brains and ways to attain calmness and attentiveness.  

Kelso's Choices Kelso Resources for Parents an effective problem solving curriculum for use both at home and at school.  Kelso has 9 ideas for solving small problems and teaches students to get an adult for a BIG (scary or dangerous) problem.

In addition to monthly in-class guidance lessons, I work with  small groups of students on specific topics throughout the school year.   Some of these groups include friendship skills, family support through changes, worry/stress, anger management/emotion regulation, and other specific topics as needed.  I am available to check in with children for individual counseling support at any time when they may need some extra help, and for parent meetings as needed. In addition we have a part time CSAC (Counseling Service of Addison County) counselor who works with a small number of children individually on a longer term basis.

I also coordinate the Starksboro Mentoring  Program. This program is offered to Robinson students in grades K-6 and provides them with a carefully screened and trained adult mentor from the community to meet once weekly for lunch and recess time and/or in the community.  Mentoring Matches play games, do crafts, go for walks and generally just enjoy 1:1 time together. Please ask me more about this wonderful program for your child.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk individually with me about your child or any school concerns you might have.

Amy Johnston, M.S.

School Guidance Counselor

Robinson Elementary School

453-2949 ext. 8128