Welcome to the Counselor’s Corner. My name is Karen Kilby and I am excited to serve the Hillside community as your new School Counselor.
Counselor’s Role: While collaborating with other adults in the school community, one of my roles as a counselor is to help create a safe, welcoming, and positive school environment for all students. I also collaborate with school staff to support the social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of all our students so that each student can reach their academic and social goals. We are fortunate to welcome back Mrs. Golboro our Mental Health Specialist who supports all five elementary schools and welcome Mr. Hargest to join the Hillside counseling team on Day 5 this school year.
Counseling Program: The counseling program at Hillside is designed to be preventive and developmental. Classroom guidance will take place in all classrooms for all grade levels and will cover some of the following topics: personal safety (all grades), social skills, resiliency, and mindfulness. In addition to seeing students during classroom guidance and individually, we will also hold small group counseling throughout the year. This occurs during Flex core or lunch. The groups generally last between 20-30 minutes for 6-8 group meetings. These groups are offered by invitation due to teacher recommendation or parent concern. If your child is invited to participate in a small counseling group, you will receive an individualized permission form. For more information about school counseling, please visit the district website.
A little about me: While this is my first year at Hillside, I have been supporting and educating students in this district since 2006. I have educated students at both TEM and VFM as a special education teacher and as multi-tiered intervention teacher. The last two years, I have served as a school counselor at Valley Forge Elementary. Helping students identify their strengths while building resilience is a passion of mine. I am thrilled to join the Hillside family! We will work together to make sure your child has a successful 2022-2023 school year! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the number or email below.
Bucket Filling: We will continue our use of the Bucket Filling initiative as our school wide positive behavior support program. A few new things: This year we will be incorporating character traits to focus on each month that are ways we can fill someone’s bucket. For example, September is inclusiveness. Students will be recognized for their effort in demonstrating each month’s specific character trait or recognized when they fill someone’s bucket in any way. Our bucket filling slips also have a new twist! Students will still fill out the slip given by a staff member and place in grade level bucket --but a portion of the ticket can now be taken home! This will create another opportunity to celebrate positive behavior shown at school and create additional reinforcement for the behaviors we want to see. We want to make sure all our students feel celebrated for their great work and kindness even if they aren’t selected as a winner each month. We will celebrate this great work the first Friday of every month – Fill it Up Friday! Be sure to ask your child what the character trait is each month and brainstorm ways this can be shown at school and at home!
Mindful Monday: School wide Mindful Monday has started this year in all classrooms K-4! Teaching mindfulness can help give the tools needed to build confidence, cope with stress, and cultivate resilience. Be sure to ask your student about the mindful strategies they have been learning or ask about my favorite technique so far this year- “The Blue Sky”.
Mrs. Karen Kilby