On a typical Thursday at Fletcher Elementary School, you will see students performing science experiments, calculating math problems, reading books, creating art and moving in physical education but what you might not see is a beneficial collaboration between the school counselor Kim Przybyl and representatives from local agencies.
Patricia Humm, social worker from Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, Arrick Davis, Project Reach coordinator with Chautauqua Striders, and Kathyrn Bull, School Linkage facilitator with Chautauqua Opportunities visit Fletcher Elementary School once a week to join the school's mission to develop children intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially for a happy, productive future.
"Our collaboration with these agencies is a great opportunity for our students," said Przybyl. "We work as a team to encourage parental involvement in their child's education. The agencies can provide support and resources for our students and families that we as a school can't. It is a winning situation for us as it helps our school to provide extra support to families right here at Fletcher School."
Fletcher Elementary School Counselor Kim Przybyl and Principal Maria DeJoy meet with their community partners, Patricia Humm from Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, Kathryn Bull from Chautauqua Opportunities and Arrick Davis from Chautauqua Striders who work with students and families at Fletcher School.
Przybyl works as a liaison between the school and the agencies. She, along with Principal Maria DeJoy and Fletcher teachers, determines referrals of students who might benefit from the additional help. The agencies provide small group and one-to-one counseling for both students and their families in Fletcher Elementary School.
All of the agencies work together to provide a multitude of services in the school such as addressing behavioral and academic concerns, mental health evaluations and counseling by Family Services. Chautauqua Striders provides mentors and activities outside of the school day for students such as, helping students sign up for Little League or visit the Audubon Society, with the primary goal being to enhance their self-confidence. Chautauqua Opportunities helps link families to services they may need such as health insurance, housing and financial education, all to help the students and their families concentrate on learning.
"The elementary school years set the tone for developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for children to become productive, healthy adults," said Przybyl. "By working as team with local agencies, we can provide even more assistance to our elementary school students and their families in these very crucial first years so that we can get early identification of, not only a child's academic needs, but also their personal and social needs to remove any barriers and set-up our students for future successes. We are very lucky to have such amazing community partners to help our students succeed."
Working with community partners is just one important part of Przybyl's job as school counselor. She assists students, parents, teachers and administrators by providing developmental and comprehensive school counseling both small group and one-to-one, which promotes and enhances student success in three different areas: academic, career and personal/social. To name just a few ways she helps students: improving grades, making friends, learning how to make decisions, planning for transition to middle school, dealing with peer pressure and bullying and learning effective study skills to name just a few.
Parents can benefit by calling their school counselor for: exploring ways to help your child succeed at home and school, improving parent-child communication, supplying resources and materials, and providing information to help parents understand their child's unique needs.
"My job is to serve as a advocate for all Fletcher students so that they can reach their fullest potential both academically and socially. These local agencies are vital to the success of our children here at Fletcher and we are so fortunate to have united together to support our Fletcher families," said Przybyl.