Counselor's Corner 

OVERVIEW

I am excited to connect with you through PTO this year. Each week I will provide updates on ways the counseling team is supporting children and families. Then, I will provide resources that will help all of you navigate school, parenting, and COVID. 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (fkassoy@uaschools.org.)

 

COUNSELING TEAM UPDATES - SEPTEMBER 24

9/27/2021 10:09 am

We would like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic response to our fall groups. Please be on the lookout for the list of new groups that will be starting in November.

Our classroom visits have begun. It is great to be back in the classroom with all of the children and see their *smiling* eyes.

In addition to groups and classroom visits, we also work with children individually. If we can support your child (or family) in any way, please reach out to Dr. Kassoy (fkassoy@uaschools.org)

Until next week,
Felice, Sarah P, Sarah M, and Megan

Counseling Team updates - September 21

9/20/2021 11:40 am

We would like to thank everyone for the enthusiastic response to our fall groups. Please be on the lookout for the list of new groups that will be starting in November. As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Our monthly visits have begun. It is great to be back in the classroom with all of the children and see their *smiling* eyes.

In addition to groups and classroom visits, we also work with children individually. If we can support your child (or family) in any way, please reach out to Dr. Kassoy (fkassoy@uaschools.org).

Food For Thought:

Monitoring our children’s screen time was a very *popular*  pre-COVID topic. As the pandemic created significant challenges for learning, staying connected, and working remotely, it was necessary to rethink our expectations for kids and their devices. One statistic that resonates with most of us is that we significantly increased our screen time!

Although life is far from "normal," this new school year is a great opportunity for re-evaluating everyone's screen time. Here are some Family resources from Common Sense Media that might provide some guidelines for talking about digital citizenship and revisiting your family’s best hopes for using technology. Perhaps these tips will provide some new ideas or just validate what you already know.

Even though all of our Wickliffe children are school-aged, I have decided to share this TedTalk that reminds us of the importance of the earliest years of a child’s development. I have included it for two reasons. First, I hope it will make you smile (as you watch Molly Wright, a precocious seven-year old give this Ted Talk). And secondly, it is a small illustration of why putting our devices down is important. I invite you to pay close attention to the moment of distress when a screen comes between Ari and his dad. Perhaps it is a gentle reminder to all of us of the importance of connecting, talking, and playing. 

Until next week,

The Counseling Team (Felice Kassoy, Sarah Perry, Sarah Moyer, and Megan Montana)

Counseling team updates - September 14

9/14/2021 8:41 pm

Counseling team updates

Fall groups are now officially underway:

  • TOAD (Teaching Others About Diversity) Talks

  • Tackling Transitions and Coping with Confidence

  • Morning Mindfulness  

We are excited to have so many children participating in these opportunities. Please be on the lookout for additional information about our winter groups. 

As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions.

Food For Thought:

Honoring the diversity in our Wickliffe community is critical to our progressive philosophy. Being a community that is welcoming and inclusive is essential to the wellbeing of our children and their families.

This month we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. This is a time to honor the many Latinx people who have greatly contributed, influenced, and enriched our culture and society. 

According to Rudine Sims Bishop, children need windows and mirrors. “They need mirrors in which to see themselves and windows through which to see the world."

Here are 11 inspiring and colorful children’s books recommended by PBS Kids that celebrate the voices and culture of the Latinx community. We hope that these books will be a mirror for some of our children and a window for others as you engage in conversations about National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Until next week,

The counseling team (Felice Kassoy, Sarah Perry, Sarah Moyer, and Megan Montana)

Counseling team updates - Sept 6th

9/7/2021 9:05 am

We have had a very enthusiastic response to our fall groups, which is GREAT news. Because our numbers are so big, it is taking us a little longer than planned to get all of these “up and running.”  So thank you for your patience as we work out the logistics so that everyone can be included!

 

Food for thought:

Getting back into the routine and expectations of school can be more challenging for some children than others and especially when we return from a 3-day weekend. Here is one idea that might help the day to get off to a good start.

 

You might even print this and put it on your child’s bedroom door, the bathroom mirror, or the refrigerator as a reminder to use this *strategy* for a grounded start to the day.

If you have other ways that your family starts their day, we’d love to hear from you so that we can share them with our Wickliffe family.

Until next week,
The Counseling Team (Felice Kassoy, Sarah Perry, Sarah Moyer, and Megan Montana)

Counseling Team Updates - August 31st

8/30/2021 2:02 pm

Hello Wickliffe families!

Thank you to the PTO for inviting the *Counseling Team* to communicate with all of you through this newsletter. In this first section, we will provide you with information regarding classroom lessons, morning and lunchtime groups that we are offering, and general information about what we are doing at school.

Below, we will share relevant information about topics that are helpful to understanding the development of your children, in general, and in the context of school, the community, and beyond.

We always welcome your questions, insights, and feedback.

Food For Thought

Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a great community resource for understanding and supporting the health of children. In 2018, NCH started a program, On Our Sleeves, designed to reduce the stigma around mental health by providing free educational resources to start conversations, educate families, and boost mental health and wellness. This week we will share information provided through this initiative.

Although we are starting our third week of school, here are some reminders about how to support your children as they are transitioning back to school. Some of our students have not been in the building for almost 18 months.

You can help ease your child’s transition back to in-person school by having honest conversations about their feelings or concerns. The article suggests that, if necessary, practice new or forgotten routines at home, like mask-wearing, socializing with classmates, and proper hand hygiene to help it feel more natural when at school.

Here are seven tips from behavioral health experts to help make the transition easier.

We hope these tips are helpful!

Until next week,
The Counseling Team (Felice Kassoy, Sarah Perry, Sarah Moyer, and Megan Montana)

 

Counselors’ Corner - August 20th

8/23/2021 10:20 am

Greetings from the Counseling Team! 

For those of you who are new to Wickliffe...welcome! Please stop by and introduce yourself.

A more detailed description of the support we provide will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here are two small group opportunities for all children (K-5)!

Mindful Mornings will be offered on Tuesdays, 7:45-8:15 a.m. in room 227, by Shawna McEvoy, Wickliffe teacher, and Urban Zen Integrative Therapist.

As we all know, it has been a very challenging time. As a result, children may be having a difficult time navigating their emotions. 

Students will explore ways to stay present, calm, and effective in the midst of worry and stress. Participants will engage in mindful movements, guided breathing practices, and guided body scans to promote awareness. We will practice and discuss how they can feel empowered to use these strategies in their day-to-day lives.

Please email Dr. Kassoy (fkassoy@uaschools.org) or Ms. McEvoy (smcevoy@uaschools.org) if you would like your child to participate.

Tackling Transitions & Coping with Confidence

“The only constant in life is change” –Heraclitus

That saying couldn’t be more true right now! Over the past 2 school years, we have all had to deal with constant changes and unknowns while trying to keep our attitudes and mindsets flexible and positive. And it’s exhausting! 

 

As our students enter into a new school year, they may be coming from different learning environments but they are facing similar challenges. That’s why our Syntero clinician, Sarah Perry, and School Counseling interns, Sarah Moyer & Megan Montana, will be facilitating our fall lunch bunch group, “Tackling Transitions & Coping with Confidence.” 

Group will start on 9/2 and be held on Thursdays during lunch for 8 weeks. We will discuss topics such as Covid-Fatigue and grief as well how to cope positively with constant changes and the big feelings and worries that these changes sometimes bring with them. We will also talk about how to be kind and compassionate towards one another during these challenging times. 

If you are interested in having your child participate, email Dr. Kassoy (fkassoy@uaschools.org) by Monday, 8/30.

Until next week,

Felice, Sarah P, Sarah M, and Megan

 

End Of Year Message From Dr. Kassoy

5/24/2021 2:10 pm

Thank you so much to everyone who reached out to me this year with comments on my section of the newsletter.

Since this was my first year providing counseling updates and *Food for Thought* submissions, I welcome any feedback. Please let me know how this was helpful and ways that I can improve my communications with all of you.

In addition, please be on the lookout for dates and times for our monthly Summer Parent Coffees. Angela and I plan to use this as an opportunity to partner with each of you about ways to support your children and families as we continue to emerge from this pandemic. In addition, we will introduce the interim principal to ensure a smooth transition for everyone.

I wish each of you a restful summer with moments of joy and much needed laughter.

Until next time,

☀Felice (fkassoy@uaschools.org)

Counseling Team Updates

5/17/2021 2:02 pm

Just a reminder that Angela and I would like to invite you to our last Zoom Family Coffee on Monday, May 24th at 6:45 – 7:30pm (https://zoom.us/my/wickliffeprincipal). As we emerge from this pandemic, we value each of you as co-educators more than ever. We would like to devote this coffee as a time to reflect on this past year and share our hopes for the upcoming year. 

Please note that our last Online Academy MeetUp is this Wednesday, May 19th, from 4:15 to 5:30. There was a previous INCORRECT date given for this gathering. My apologies. We will meet by the new benches at the front door of Wickliffe and end the year by making Warm Fuzzies to celebrate our successes throughout this challenging year.

And lastly, I would love your feedback. This was my first year providing counseling updates and *Food for Thought* submissions for the PTO newsletter. Please let me know how this was helpful and ways that I can improve my communications with all of you.

Dr. Kassoy's Food For Thought

5/17/2021 1:54 pm

The countdown to summer continues!

As you are planning summer opportunities, I would encourage you to think of ways to move your children off of their devices and back outside. There is no doubt that the increased use of screens over the past year was a necessity. Learning online and staying connected with family and friends via Zoom were vital to maintaining their social, emotional, and cognitive growth. 

But now it is important to reclaim some of that screen time for other activities such as engaging with nature. In this National Geographic article you can discover a few ways to turn your children into *wildlife detectives.*

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/family/article/train-your-kids-to-be-wildlife-detectives

Train_your_kids_to_be_wildlife_detectives.pdf

Have fun exploring in a park or just in your backyard.

Until next week,

Felice

Resources for AAPI Heritage Month

5/9/2021 10:14 pm

As we continue to pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success through our celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), I would like to pass along additional resources from Common Sense Media. 

I encourage you “to [explore these] exciting stories about people who live in or have ancestors in many different Asian and Pacific Island countries, including Japan, China, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan” in these books. You will find a variety of genres that appeal to all ages.

And although “Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander characters and actors are still underrepresented in Hollywood, the movies on this list are helping to lead the way toward better representation. [They] focus on authentic lived experiences, stories, and characters without relying on stereotypes. They portray and celebrate a wide range of people and cultures, from the Pacific Rim to the United States. From martial arts classics and fun romantic comedies to family-friendly anime, powerful documentaries, and intense action movies, these movies [also] cover a wide range of genres.”  

Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita of education at The Ohio State University, who has been called the “mother of multicultural literature” reminds us that stories (books and movies) can be both mirrors and windows, either a reflection one’s own identity or a way to see and experience someone else’s. What a great way to celebrate our differences and embrace diversity.

I hope you and your family enjoy immersing yourselves in these AAPI books and movies.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/books-with-AAPI-characters

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-with-AAPI-characters