School Counseling

Helping every student be the best learner they can be

Jan Pendergrass
School Counselor

Services Provided

  • Classroom Lessons in K-5 classrooms, in support of classroom Second Step Curriculum.*
  • Counseling: Brief, solution-focused individual counseling and small groups on emotion management, social/friendship skills, anxiety, grief, changing families, and other needs.
  • Consultations: Support to staff, families and community members on a variety of student issues and concerns.
  • Coordination: Student Support Team (SST) meetings, 504 accommodation plans and community resources.

*Second Step is a social-emotional skills curriculum focusing on empathy training, emotion-management, and problem-solving skills.

Helping Students Succeed

The elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. They are beginning to develop decision- making, communication, and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family.

Through a comprehensive developmental School Counseling Program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention school counselors can help all children achieve academic success.

Social Emotional Learning at a Glance

Recognition and labeling of one’s feelings and accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations.

Emotion regulation, delaying gratification, managing stress, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving goals.

Social awareness
The ability to empathize and take others’ perspectives and recognize and mobilize diverse and available supports.

Relationship skills
Clear communication, accurate listening, cooperation, nonviolent and constructive conflict resolution, and knowing when and how to be a good team player and a leader.

Responsible decision making
Making ethical choices based on consideration of feelings, goals, alternatives, and outcomes, and planning and enacting solutions with potential obstacles anticipated.

Refer to the  CASEL website for additional information on SEL.

Mrs. Pendergrass’ Top Ten Tips for Parents of Elementary Students

  1. Attend Family School Events. Make Curriculum Night, Parent-Teacher Conferences and other family events at school a priority. Show kids you value the school community and their education.
  2. Communicate with your child’s teacher and always assume they want the best for your child.
  3. Establish routines before school. Plan ahead for peaceful mornings, allowing enough time for a nutritious breakfast and an unhurried trip to school. Be on time!
  4. Establish routines after school. Predictability eliminates stress and arguments. Make sure your student gets between 10-12 hours of sleep each night.
  5. Teach organizational skills at home. Make time to go through your child’s backpack or binder each night. Help kids keep a calendar or planner, and make to-do lists. Celebrate accomplishments!
  6. Read every night to or with your child.
  7. Get involved at school when you can, and take time daily to talk to your child without distractions about how things are going at school and with friendships.
  8. Limit screen time, especially just before bedtime. Electronics should be turned off an hour before bedtime and internet devices kept in a room other than the child’s bedroom.
  9. Save yelling for life saving! Model your ability to calm down in stressful situations. Teach your child to solve problems with healthy communication after everyone’s calm and all facts are gathered.
  10. Remember you, your child and your school are all on the same team. “Go Team <insert your child’s name here>!”

Community Resources

Counseling and/or Psychiatric Evaluation:
Southwest Youth & Family Resources, 206-937-7680
Navos West Seattle, 206-933-7000
Neighborcare, 206-461-6950 or 206-658-8048

Rent or Utilities Support:
West Seattle Helpline, 206-932-4357, or call 211.

Fairmount Park has assistance; contact the school office, or West Seattle Food Bank 206-932-9023

Transition, Temporary Housing and Homelessness:
McKinney-Vento Liaison of Seattle Public Schools, 206-252-0857 (or contact Ms. Breidenbach)

Supporting Gifted Children: