"We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them."
Hello, my name is Dawn Stefano and I am the School Counselor at Resurrection Catholic School. I have over 20 years of combined counseling and teaching experience in education. I live in South Jersey with my husband and two children ages 18 and 22. I received my M.A. in Student Personnel Services, B.A. in Elementary Education, A.S. in Social Work, School Supervisor Certification and Substance Awareness Coordinator (SAC) Certification all from Rowan University.
I am so proud to be the first full-time counselor at RCS. I love seeing all of the smiling faces each day. In addition to classroom guidance and small groups, I provide individual counseling on an as needed basis. While school counseling is not long term therapy, as the counselor, I can help students adjust to new situations, increase self-esteem, deal with divorce/separation, anger management, stress, or work through relationship struggles that may be barriers to a students educational process.
My hope is that all students at RCS feel safe and have at least one adult they can talk to and trust. Please feel free to contact me with any concern you may have regarding your child. Thank you and have a great school year!
Welcome to Mrs. Stefano's Virtual Counseling Office!
When we're in school, students have the opportunity to use my office as a safe space. In my room there are many tools and supports to help students regulate their emotions, process their experiences and build social-emotional confidence. With some students doing remote learning, I wanted to make sure to provide a safe space for them to explore and utilize whatever supports they may need while they are learning from home.
I believe in maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and always striving for significant outcomes.
Individual Counseling: Elementary school counselors are available to meet individually with a student in circumstances when a student's educational success is being impacted. The school counselor spends time working with individual students to improve their social skills, discuss feelings, and to empower problem solving methods. Elementary school counselors assist ALL children. While a counselor cannot provide on-going counseling, it may be appropriate for a student to receive short-term individual counseling. When more attention and intervention is required, school counselors can act as a referral agent for parents to access counseling services within the community.
Small Group Counseling: The purpose of small group counseling is to complement and enhance students' learning by improving their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Small group counseling provides a safe setting where children, along with their peers, can increase their self-awareness and improve their cooperation and communication skills. The children can learn from each other. Ultimately the goal of small group counseling is to prevent problems in the future by teaching children new skills. Every child can benefit from participation in a small group. Students can be invited to join a group by parent request, teacher or counselor suggestion, or by the students themselves. Some examples of the types of groups offered are: Changing Families, Worry/Anxiety, Grief/Loss, G.I.R.L.S. (Girls in Real Life Situations), Social Skills and Anger Management.
Guidance Lessons / Collaboration / Consultation
Guidance lessons: Guidance lessons are an integral part of the elementary school counseling program and important to every student’s academic success. One of the most effective ways for school counselors to help prevent academic problems is by discussing self-esteem issues such as peer relationships, stress, or dealing with feelings and emotions in large group guidance lessons in the classroom. The lessons are preventative in nature, designed to reach all students, and are taught in the classroom regularly by the counselor. The foundation of the guidance curriculum incorporates SEL (Social Emotional Learning). SEL is highly important for helping children to understand and manage their emotions, feel and show empathy for others, establish healthy relationships, set positive goals and make responsible decisions.
Collaborate with Teachers and Staff: Both teachers and counselors have similar goals: the educational success of each student. It is important that school counselors collaborate with teachers and administrators to promote student learning. If a student is having problems in a classroom, school counselors will join together with teachers to come up with some practical strategies which will remove educational barriers and enhance the learning environment of that student.
Consult with Parents: Parents and school counselors speak with each other to help the child/student on a variety of issues such as new school transitions, special needs, family transitions, and crisis situations. Studies have shown that children have greater academic achievement when their parents are involved in their education. Parental involvement is critical to helping a child be a successful student. Both parents and counselors can share information with each other to help meet the needs of the student. Additionally, school counselors can help put parents in touch with community resources, if the need arises.
Community Resources: School counselors can provide short-term individual counseling for students, but when more intervention is required, they can coordinate referrals to community agencies. Below is a list of local mental health agencies and other social service providers. If these agencies do not meet your needs, please let me know. I have a longer, more comprehensive list of outside service providers.
Need to make an (outside) counselor referral? http://www.psychology.com
Helpful hints on parenting: www.positiveparenting.com
Information on parenting: www.childparenting.about.com
Homework / School Help Websites
Study tips for students: www.howtostudy.org
Mental & Emotional Health Websites
National Mental Health Information Center: Articles and booklets about mental health concerns - www.samhsa.gov
Responsive Services / Crisis Intervention Contact Information
Jefferson Behavioral HealthServices – The ACCESS Center
Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital – 2201 West Chapel Ave, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 - 1-856-428-4357
PerformCare - 1-877-652-7624
Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-855-654-6735