Student Support Services
Safety • Connectedness • Efficacy • Calm • Hope
The principles of safety, connectedness, efficacy, calm and hope are foundations from which environments that support well-being are built. These principles guide my role in all I do as Director of Student Support Services.
Supporting children is the highest priority at Lake George Central School. We have several systems in place for various student needs that are persistent and those that are occurring as a result of the pandemic. Our shared goal is to be proactive and preventative by working in teams to collaboratively problem solve in ways that support students’ academic and social emotional well-being before they become problematic.
What does the Director of Student Support Services do?
Here are some of the groups and projects I am privileged to facilitate:
- Child Study Team: This is a proactive problem-solving team that addresses pervasive chronic and acute social emotional and mental health needs of students.
- Response to Intervention Team (7-12): This group works collaboratively to design interventions for students when they are struggling with the demands of the classroom. In addition to academic intervention supports, this team also works to design interventions that remove barriers to student success. These barriers often include those associated with social emotional learning, executive functioning, mental health, chronic absenteeism, disruptive behaviors and more. Progress is monitored to determine if the interventions are successful.
- Wellness Team: This team is designed to support the wellness of both the student and staff populations. Physical and emotional well-being go hand in hand. Therefore, this team focuses on physical health, social emotional and mental health and mindfulness. This team also developed the OASIS room for students.
- OASIS: OASIS stands for Opportunities in Alternative Settings In School. This is a specially designed room, staffed by a TA and volunteer teachers, that mimics the home environment. OASIS is equipped with ambient lighting, comfortable seating including a couch, bean bags, yoga balls, etc., matts for yoga and mindful activities, separate quiet work stations, weighted blankets, essential oil diffuser and white noise machine. It is intended to provide a space for students to relax, regulate, engage in mindful activities, get academic support upon re-entry from extended absences and connect with staff and each other on a more personal basis. These offerings allow students to be more prepared to be successful in the regular classroom setting.
- Mental Health Student Task Force: This is a student led group whose goal is to empower students to educate themselves and others in order to create a culture of mutual support and empathy and to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health. We work to normalize mental health concerns by prioritizing awareness, education, open discussion, relationship building and social emotional learning.
In addition to these groups, I also provide professional development to staff and fill the following roles:
- DASA Coordinator (7-12)
- Title IX Coordinator (7-12)
- Chronic Absenteeism Care Coordinator
- English as a New Language (ENL) Coordinator
- McKinney-Vento Liaison (Homeless youth)
At this time, I also help coordinate the distribution of meals to students enrolled in our district who are remote learners.
As parents and community members, I want you to know that the social emotional well-being and academic success of our students is my top priority and I work diligently to establish and refine systems that meet the needs of our school community and support & nurture the whole child. I welcome your questions, comments and feedback at any time! My door is always open!