School Counselor

Carolyn Johnson

I am thrilled to begin my second year as a part of the Mendham Township Elementary School community! I bring twelve years of diverse experiences in teaching, academic advising at my alma mater- Purdue University (Go Boilers!), and seven years as an elementary school counselor.

School counseling is my passion. As a school counselor, my main focus is to support students with their social, emotional, and academic development as it relates to and enhances their school environment. I am eager to collaborate with Mendham Township teachers, parents, and administration for the benefit of all students.

For more information about the MTES School Counseling Program, please click here.

Please feel free to introduce yourself, check in, and contact me at any time with questions or concerns. I look forward to a wonderful 2018-2019 school year!


All the best,

Carolyn Johnson, M.A.

School Counselor

Anti-Bullying Specialist

Mendham Township Elementary School

cjohnson@mendhamtwp.org

(973) 543-7107

Educational Philosophy

All students are unique and have the ability to succeed. With adequate supports, consistent expectations, and high and attainable goals, students have the opportunity to grow as independent, confident, goal-driven individuals. As professional student advocates, school counselors can assist in this process. Through regular collaboration with teachers, families, and the community, credentialed school counselors can help students gain the necessary foundation of knowledge and skills to contribute to society as a whole.

MTES Counseling Program

MTES School Counseling Program Mission:
The MTES Counseling Program aims to provide a learning environment that helps ALL students realize and enhance their strengths and reach their highest level of academic, personal, and social-emotional achievement.

We provide a variety of proactive comprehensive services that play a critical role in supporting the “whole” child to reach their highest potential and maximize their success.


The 4 C’s:
The MTES Comprehensive School Counseling Program consists of four main components. The program is based on and supported by the national standards of The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) model and aims to address students' academic, personal/social, and career needs.

1) Counseling Services:

Individual Counseling—Students work one on one with the counselor to explore and express their feelings and concerns in a safe environment. Counselors can help students promote self understanding, personal growth, and provide support.

Group Counseling—A process that seeks a group of students to explore similar issues and/or concerns. Students come together in a safe, non-threatening, positive, and confidential environment.
Group counseling session topics can include anxiety and stress management, new student transition, divorce and coping with grief, social skills, study skills, self-esteem and self-image, and anger management.

**Please note- School counseling is short term and solution-focused. Services are not meant to replace therapy and outside referrals may be suggested when deemed necessary.


2) Classroom Guidance Lessons:

Developmental counseling lessons aim to help students understand themselves, others, and the world around them. All lessons are designed to be engaging and meaningful for each grade level.
A variety of topics are coved throughout that year including but not limited to character education, bullying prevention, empathy, tolerance, effective communication, friendships and career exploration and readiness.
I may also provide resources, strategies, and ideas for teachers to address specific problems or identified trends within their individual classrooms.

3) Collaboration:

As a school counselor I work with teachers, administrators, and school specialists along with families and the community to advocate in the best interest of all students. Communication is crucial and is my main role. Together, we work collaboratively on the same team to best serve the needs of your child.
I can help to connect you with an array of resources for when your child is not in school and may make referrals for additional assistance when needed.

4) Coordination:

I coordinate with teachers, administrators, parents, and community resources to ensure that we are all on the same page in order maximize student success.

**Please contact me to set a meeting to discuss any concerns you may have in regards to your child.**

MTES School Counseling Services

Counseling Services:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Small Group Counseling
  • Lunch bunches
  • Classroom Guidance Lessons
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Collaboration/consultation with parents, teachers, and administration
  • Referrals for community resources


Topics Frequently Discussed:

  • Social skills
  • School Success (study skills, organization, shining star behavior, etc.)
  • New student transition
  • Self esteem
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving
  • Coping skills
  • Divorce
  • Grief/loss

**School Counseling services are short-term and solution-focused. Services are not meant to replace outside counseling or therapy. Additional resources for outside counseling can be provided at any time.

Community Support Resources

Please click here for our district list of support services in the community. Please know that the Mendham Township School District is not recommending, endorsing, or advertising specific professionals, rather, we have compiled this list of resources to provide useful and relevant information to our families. This list was compiled per reviews of agencies/professionals that families have used and recommended and can be utilized as a starting point. Of course, fit is the most important part of seeking support and you should find a place that suits your child's needs and financial situation best. If you have any questions or concerns, always feel free to reach out.

NJ Parent Link Resource Center

Character Education

 

Character Traits

Each month, students at MTES will focus on and learn about a specific character trait. Classroom teachers will hold short discussions to foster awareness with their classes in addition to school wide assemblies that will be held to supplement and reinforce these discussions.

Please review the traits below and browse the resources/links included for valuable information that will help in reinforcing these topics with your children at home.

October: Respect- to appreciate or show that you care about someone or something.

November- Gratitude: To show appreciation or give thanks

December- Generosity: To be happy to help and give to others

January- Tolerance: To appreciate and accept others who are different from you

February- Friendship: To find similarities and care about someone

March- Honesty: To tell the truth and do the right thing

April- Responsibility: To be dependable and someone that others can count on

May- Fairness: To take turns, share with friends, and be happy for others when they succeed

June- Citizenship: Doing your best to make your home, school, neighborhood, and community a better place

Resources:
“Bucketfilling”
http://www.bucketfillers101.com/faqs.php

http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-ten-way...

Bullying education and prevention tips:
http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do/parents/

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/bullying/

http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/parents/

http://www.thebullyproject.com/parents

Helpful site with information pertaining to girls:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/parenting/raising-girls/

Helpful site with information pertaining to boys:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/raisingboys/

Second Step Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum

The Committee for Children's evidence based Second Step Social-Emotional Learning curriculum is designed to promote school success, self-regulation, and a sense of safety and support. Through age-appropriate classroom lessons, students will learn how to make and maintain friendships, manage their emotions, solve problems, and deal with peer pressure. Lessons include content in catchy songs, fun games, and other engaging activities.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.cfchildren.org/programs/social-emotiona...

Tiger Leaders

4th graders at MTES have a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a leadership program called Tiger Leaders! The objective of this program is for 4th grade students to actively engage in responsible leadership roles, such as practicing good citizenship, communicating effectively in an organized forum, and volunteering their time towards service projects that will help others in need.

The Tiger Leaders focus on important social causes in the community and/or throughout the world. Our theme is “Helping our School, Our Community, Our World” The Tiger Leaders help plan and organize school activities and service projects based on this theme.

More information on the expectations, the program, and student applications are provided in September from advisors, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Panetta. Tiger Leaders are selected in early October.

Thank you for your interest!


Intervention and Referral Services

Intervention and Referral Services

Frequently asked questions . . .

What is Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)?

I&RS is a state mandated system of clearly defined steps that are taken to assist a struggling student in improving educational outcomes. These steps are taken by a multi-disciplinary team, which meets, regularly, to monitor the success of students identified through the referral process, as needing specific academic and/or behavior “interventions” in order to be successful. These interventions are monitored over a period of time and may be modified, enhanced or discontinued as indicated by the needs of the student involved. The I&RS team aids students in the general education program, but also provides support for students determined to be in need of special education programs.

What are the functions of Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)?
As stated in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8.1, the functions of I&RS are as follows:

Identify learning, behavior and health difficulties of students;

Collect thorough information of the identified difficulties;

Develop and implement action plans which provide for appropriate interventions based on the information collected and the desired results;

Provide support, guidance and professional development to school staff to properly identify and implement interventions designed to address student difficulties;

Actively involve parents and guardians in the development and implementation of I&RS action plans;

Coordinate the services of community-based social and health provider agencies and other community resources;

Maintain accurate records of all requests for assistance and all I&RS action plans;

Review and assess the effectiveness of the I&RS action plans in achieving the outcomes identified and make modifications as necessary; and,

Make recommendations to the school principal for improving school programs and services.

How can we determine if a student needs to be referred to the I&RS Team?
If a student exhibits specific observable behaviors that indicate that he or she is experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties, he or she may benefit from a referral to the I&RS Team.

What are some of the specific observable behaviors to look for?
Any of the following may indicate that a student is experiencing difficulties:

Failing grades

Cheating

Not completing assignments

Falling asleep in class

Chronic absenteeism

Poor participation

Erratic behavior

Defiance of authority

Bullying behaviors

Eating disorders

Alcohol, tobacco or other drug use

Poor personal appearance and hygiene

Suicide attempts

Anything out of the ordinary for that student

What are the steps that are taken in the I&RS process?

1)Teacher request for I&RS intervention;

2)I&RS meeting is held;parents are invited

3)Action Plan is designed and implemented; and,

4)Action Plan is monitored and reviewed; this plan is revised, expanded, or discontinued depending on need.

Who participates in the I&RS process?
The regulations requiring I&RS allows the building I&RS teams to be as flexible as necessary in order to perform the necessary functions. Typically, the following individuals participate:

Principal and Teachers

Support staff: School Counselor, Nurse, Learning Disabilities Consultant; Psychologist; Social Worker

Other: Parent; Community Agency Representative

What happens if the I&RS Action Plan succeeds or does not succeed?
If the I&RS Plan is successful in meeting the needs of the student, then the Plan may continue to be maintained and monitored or the Plan may be discontinued. If the I&RS Plan is not successful, then additional information is collected, additional professional advice is secured and additional resources are identified. In some instances, referral to a basic skills or a special education program may be necessary.

What if I need more information?
Any of these district employees will be able to give you more information:

  • MTES School Counselor Ms. Carolyn Johnson cjohnson@mendhamtwp.org
  • Principal Mrs. Julianne Kotcho jkotcho@mendhamtwp.org
  • Reading Specialist Mrs. Jean Sosna jsosna@mendhamtwp.org
  • Math Specialist Mrs. Nancy Fuller nfuller@mendhamtwp.org

Confidentiality

School counselors abide by the confidentiality guidelines set by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). Discussions in the counseling office are private. However, if the counselor is led to believe that harm is suspected, then the counselor is legally and ethically obligated to break confidentiality and contact supports outside the counseling office.