What is an Elementary Support Specialist (ESS)?
An ESS is a Mukilteo School District educator with a Master's Degree in School Counseling, Social Work, or School Psychology. We are trained in understanding the social-emotional and behavioral needs of students, just as other educators are trained in math, science, or language arts. At Lake Stickney, both ESS's have a Master's degree in School Counseling. Our goal is to develop, implement and evaluate proactive programs designed to meet the needs of ALL students.
Here at Lake Stickney, we are blessed to have a full-time ESS/School Counselor (Mrs. Dittemore) and a part-time ESS/School Counselor (Mrs. Pahre) to serve our 600+ students. Throughout the school year, we will adjust the supports offered within our school to meet the needs of ALL students, based on data and input from staff and families.
As ESS/School Counselors at Lake Stickney, we deliver developmentally appropriate lessons in your child's classroom to promote academic, social-emotional and career development. Classrooms teachers may share that information in their family newsletters. Please talk with your child about what they are learning during these lessons so you can reinforce it at home.
We also run small groups on various topics to support academic and social-emotional growth, and we meet with individual students on a short-term basis to help them develop skills and strategies to resolve conflicts, manage emotions, deal with crises, and make good choices.
When the ESS/School Counselor is not in a meeting or working directly with students, we are often visiting classrooms, the cafeteria, or the playground to observe and check in with students, or consulting with staff to provide proactive and reactive intervention strategies to improve student behavior and enhance student success.
On a daily basis, the ESS/School Counselor collaborates and consults with families, teachers, support staff, and administrators. We work closely with families, as needed, to support their child's ability to learn and be successful at school. The ESS/School Counselor also consults with school psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and other individuals and organizations in the community to support our students and their families.
In short, we are here to help.
Please be aware of our respect for confidentiality. In all of our consultation, collaboration and counseling activities, we adhere to the American School Counseling Association Ethical Standards. (https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Ethics/EthicalStandards2016.pdf)