School Counseling

Welcome to Mr. Belt's School Counselor page
School Counseling Program

A developmental school counseling program is an integral part of a student's educational program and is important to every student's academic success. The program is not only preventative but proactive in nature designed to teach all students. 

Whole class lessons (we call them Guidance) are provided in three 5 week units to provide all students an opportunity to further develop their social/emotional growth, academic success, and career exploration. Whenever possible the lessons are experiential and play-based. It is my philosophy that to teach some of our social and emotional skills, one must actually feel and do.  Filling out papers or listening to a lecture is not the language of our students. They learn though their practice. 

As part of a comprehensive school counseling program, small group and individual counseling sessions are offered.  These sessions are designed to help students develop skills with areas of difficulty that might be interfering with their academic, social and emotional learning. Individual and small group counseling are typically short-term. Contact me regarding these services for more information.

wbelt@jesvt.org or 635-2211 extension 211
About Woody Belt

Woody Belt came to JES in the Fall of 2012 with a Master's Degree in School Counseling and years of experience working at Hardwick Elementary School, Troy School, and Craftsbury Academy.  Prior to that he spent many years working Therapeutic Wilderness programs as well as leading and managing outdoor experiential education programs both in the USA and in other countries. 

Woody has completed all academic requirements and is close to completing his supervison hours to becoming the area's first Registered Play Therapist - School Based (RPT-SB). 

Play is the language our students use to communicate thoughts and feelings. Research has suggested that Play Therapy is a powerful approach in addressing emotional, cognitive, and behavioral challenges. A Play Therapist uses play to help students understand their experiences and develop more effective strategies. 

Woody's office is full of toys (he calls them tools) and his sessions, including guidance classes, look like a bunch of kids playing. You are right! With Woody's training and facilitation, the play builds skills.

Sexual Violence Prevention

posted Mar 13, 2017, 1:09 PM by Woody Belt   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 1:11 PM ]

As you may already know, Act 1, a law relating to Vermont’s sexual abuse response system, was passed in 2009 and has started to take effect in schools as of July 2011. This law came about, in part, as a result of the shocking statistics that pointed to the widespread nature of child sexual abuse both nationally and across the state of Vermont. One component of the law requires that all Vermont schools provide sexual abuse prevention education at every grade level (K through 12) that is both age and developmentally appropriate.  In addition, school faculty and staff will be trained in a number of issues related to child sexual abuse, and similar information will be made available to parents. 

In order to meet the mandate and maintain a safe school environment, Johnson Elementary School, has implemented the We Care Elementary Program for grades 3-6 and the Care For Kids Program for grades Pre-K to 2. 

The We Care Elementary curriculum focuses on a variety of topics such as:

·  Boundaries

·  Empathy

·  Communication skills

·  Coping

·  Healthy relationships

 

Care For Kids curriculum focuses on a variety of topics such as:

·     Boundaries                               

·     Empathy

·     Communication skills

·     Feelings

·     Positive interactions

What this is NOT: Act 1 programs and curriculum is about life skills and not sex. This is not “health” nor “sex education.”

 If you would like to learn more about the curricula, feel free to call me 635-2211 ext 211

I will start working with the K-3 grade in the coming weeks. The 4th - 6th grades have already completed their classes.


News from the Counseling Office at Johnson Elementary School

posted Aug 26, 2016, 8:22 AM by Woody Belt

I am pleased and excited to welcome Amy Maher to the counseling office.  Amy is presently a graduate student at Johnson State College working toward her Master’s Degree in Counseling and is on the mental health track.  Amy will be with us every day of the week for the entire school year as an intern.  She will be able to see students individually, in small groups and teach classroom lessons.

As Amy is in her final stages of her program, I too am widening my training and will be in the final stages of becoming a Registered Play Therapist – School Based.  Play therapy allows students to express themselves, work though experiences, and learn new social and self-regulation skills more through activities than through just talk.  While it might look like a good time with toys or coloring, this form of working with students is work that has real results for children, and adults, by the way.

Amy and I are both working toward important milestones in our professional development where we are required to receive supervision.  For Amy, she will be supervised directly by myself and have further supervision with one of her graduate professors.  I will be receiving supervision through a practicing registered play therapist (RPT) and another RPT who is a RPT – Supervisor.  It is also nice that this RPT-S also works in an elementary school and understands the demands of a school counselor that are not directly related to providing therapeutic support.

Supervising is difficult when the supervisor is present in the same room. The addition of a second adult sometimes changes the outcome we are striving for.  For my supervision of Amy we will be recording both Amy’s and my sessions.  The video is a tool for learning, is not shared with anyone else, and is destroyed after the review.  For my sessions with individuals or small groups where I would like to use video for supervision with my off-site supervisors, I will be asking parents to sign permission slips.

For the last two years we have had a therapist from Laraway come to JES and work with some of our students.  This was such a great success that we have extended the service from one to two days a week.  

Amy and I are here to for all students at JES.  We look forward to working not only with the students but as a team member with parents and teachers to give our students and families the best opportunities possible.

Woody Belt

School Counselor 

Been a while

posted Feb 29, 2016, 10:21 AM by Woody Belt   [ updated Feb 29, 2016, 10:27 AM ]

Here I am.

So far this year our students have explored what it might be like to have a non-visible disability. They discovered what a person with Anxiety, ADD, Autism and learning differences might feel like during their day. We also had Puppets in Education come and help reinforce this lesson.

Students spent time learning more about their feelings and how to cope/regulate when these feelings get stronger. We use the Zones of Regulation and mindfulness to help students explore coping strategies and methods to stay regulated.

If you have not done so, please stop by the main stairwell in the building. Every student read or was read, The Crayon Box That Talked. After the reading the students created a crayon that represents who they are and what they have to contribute to our community. All 280+ crayons are on the walls in the stairwell.. Come see!

The 4th through 6th grades spent some time exploring relationships to meet the requirement for Act 1. We used portions of the We Care Elementary curriculum which is a sexual violence prevention program.  The 6th grade took this lesson further and explore Harassment and it's legal definition as well as sexual harassment. We explored sexual harassment in the context of relationships and how we might not only treat another person but also avoid harassment when trying to tell someone we like them.


New unit and lessons

posted Jan 13, 2015, 11:12 AM by Woody Belt   [ updated Jan 14, 2015, 9:07 AM ]

Hi all,

Starting next week (January 12) I will be in the 4th to 6th grade classrooms. This unit will focus on healthy relationships and Act 1 requirements.. If you have any questions please call me and see the link to Act 1 on my home page.
 

Act 1 Parent Information Night Jan 7th @5:30

posted Dec 23, 2014, 10:09 AM by Woody Belt   [ updated Dec 23, 2014, 10:10 AM ]

 As you may already know, Act 1, a law relating to Vermont’s sexual abuse response system, was passed in 2009 and has started to take effect in schools as of July 2011. This law came about, in part, as a result of the shocking statistics that pointed to the widespread nature of child sexual abuse both nationally and across the state of Vermont. One component of the law requires that all Vermont schools provide sexual abuse prevention education at every grade level (Pre-K through 12) that is both age and developmentally appropriate.  In addition, school faculty and staff will be trained in a number of issues related to child sexual abuse, and similar information will be made available to parents. 

In order to meet the mandate and maintain a safe school environment, Johnson Elementary School, has implemented the We Care Elementary Program for grades 3-6 and the Care For Kids Program for grades Pre-K to 2. 

The We Care Elementary curriculum focuses on a variety of topics such as:

·  Boundaries

·  Empathy

·  Communication skills

·  Coping

·  Healthy relationships


Care For Kids curriculum focuses on a variety of topics such as:

·     Boundaries                               

·     Empathy

·     Communication skills

·     Feelings

·     Positive interactions

What this is NOT: Act 1 programs and curriculum is about life skills and not sex. This is not “health” nor “sex education.”

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to attend a Parent Night Presentation on January 7th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the school Library.  The We Care Elementary and Care For Kids curriculum coordinators from Prevent Child Abuse Vermont will take the opportunity to introduce the program, discuss each program’s approach to sexual abuse prevention education, and answer any questions. 

To get an accurate head count, please complete the RSVP form below, and return it as soon as possible. We hope that you can make it!  Please fill out and return the bottom portion of this invitation to Woody Belt RSVP.  If you would like to learn more about the curricula, feel free to call me.



Happy Holidays

posted Dec 23, 2014, 10:07 AM by Woody Belt

Krista and I certainly hope everyone has a safe and happy vacation.


Great Opportunity for Families.

posted Nov 3, 2014, 11:57 AM by Woody Belt

The Lamoille Family Center each year has two big programs to help families for the holidays. The first is called the Holiday Project. Parents or guardians who have registered in advance and have completed 2 hours of community service get to choose new toys, books, hats, mittens and more on a Saturday in December. Call 888-5229 X 120 to register or for more information.

The second is the Adopt-a-Family. This is a once in a lifetime arrangement for an entire family to be matched with a donor who, in many instances, can match everything on the entire family’s wish list. This is not just for the children. You must be referred by an agency (JES is one). Contact Woody Belt, School Counselor, at 635-2211 X 211 for an application.


Change is-a-coming

posted Oct 10, 2014, 11:07 AM by Woody Belt   [ updated Oct 10, 2014, 11:07 AM ]

Starting the week of October 20 Krista and I will be with the 4th through 6th grades for guidance class. The 4th grade will be learning and practicing the Zones of Regulation and the 5th and 6th grades will be learning and practicing working together through some adventure education lessons. 

Zones of Regulation

posted Sep 19, 2014, 8:14 AM by Woody Belt

We have started out the year in K-3 using a curriculum called Zones of Regulation.  

Students were first introduced to a chart of 4 different colors and some descriptors for each color. The goal with the chart is to help students identify their state of alertness. 

Blue is a low state of sad, tired, and/or sick, SLOW

Green is the ideal state where the student is calm happy, focused and ready for learning. They are GOOD TO GO

YELLOW is a heightened state where a person is feeling frustrated, some stress, excitement, and/or silliness. They are about to loose control. CAUTION

Red is an extremely heightened state where the student is angry, enraged, explosive, elated and/or loss of control. STOP

Students are expecting teachers to ask about the zone. So ask a student what zone they feel they are in or tell them "I think you are in ______ zone."  The goal is to help the students pick up on the connection between the zone and their behavior/feeling/level of alertness at that moment.

Students learned the difference between expected and unexpected behaviors and how those unexpected behaviors can cause others to change the zone they are in (green to yellow due to being worried about the other person's behavior) and what we think of someone when they are in Red or Yellow. Are they someone who has expected behaviors? Can I feel safe with that person?

We introduced and practiced some tools to help as a whole class (brain breaks or refresher) and as individuals to keep in the green or get back to being in the green zone. One of the biggest tool is breathing with our stomachs and doing so slowly like blowing bubbles. 

Lastly the students have explored thoughts and identifying big vs little problems and how this relates to our zones.

If you are interested in any materials we are using in the school, let me know!! 

Woody


Welcome Mrs. Bologna

posted Aug 27, 2014, 11:13 AM by Woody Belt

Mrs. Bologna will be joining me in the school counseling this year. She will be here Monday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout the school year. She will be working in the classrooms, small groups and seeing students individually.

Welcome to JES!!

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