My name is Mareesha Backman, the 2016/2017 school year will be my second year at North Star Elementary School. This past year has been a joy getting to watch the students here at North Star learn and grow. It has been a fun year getting to know the staff, students and parents here at North Star and I am proud to have the opportunity to become part of the North Star team.
I tell the students that my job is to make sure that they are happy and safe at school. There are many ways that kids end up in conversation with me; here are the most common ways:
1) Self-referral – This coming year I will have a box outside my door that students will be able to leave notes in if they wish to visit with me. This is a great way for kids to advocate for themselves when they have something they want to talk about.
2) Staff-referral - Teachers and other NS adults come to me when there are social-emotional concerns or when there's a behavior that they would like help with.
3) Referral from home - Parents and guardians are welcome to call me with questions or concerns that they have. If there is something that has the potential to impact their time at school, I would like to work with you to help support them while they're here.
4) Peer-referral - What an amazing thing when students begin to advocate for one another. When students see a friend or classmate in need of help, they, too, have the ability to leave me a note to express their concern.
I support the students and staff in other capacities besides individual counseling. This may be a classroom guidance lesson, small group guidance, behavior support, and others. It's likely that I will work with each child in some way. I will communicate home when some follow-up is needed or if you need to be made aware of an issue; often it is unnecessary, however.
Family support is crucial, too. I work closely with families in need of resources. If you are in need of some resources (clothing, supplies, some bills, etc.) please contact me. Resources are scarce and limited, but I'm committed to doing what I can to help you and your family.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 253.683.8870.