Meet Wood Acres' New Counselor, Mrs. Solazzo

This is currently my 9th year as a school counselor in Montgomery County. Before coming to Wood Acres this year, I was the counselor at another MCPS school for 8 years.  Previous to that, I taught Head-Start and kindergarten. I hold a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Westminster College in PA and a master's degree in school counseling from The Johns Hopkins University. 

When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my husband and children doing outside activities and going to the beach. 

Counseling Program at Wood Acres: 

Individual Counseling

One-on-one counseling support is available to all students K-5. This support addresses specific concerns that a child might have that might be interfering with learning. 

  • Students are able to self-refer themselves to see the counselor when needed. There are notes outside of my door so students write their name and teacher’s name on a note, fold it and place it outside of my door in the red bucket. 
  • Parents can call or email if they would like to have a concern addressed.

 Small Group Counseling

Small group counseling provides support for K-5 students with similar academic, social or personal concerns. Some examples of small groups might include:

  • Coping with separation and divorce 
  • Social Skills 
  • Friendship  
  • Grief/loss 

Classroom Counseling Lessons 

Each class, kindergarten through fifth grade receives a regularly scheduled counseling lesson every month. Classes also have additional lessons as needed. 

 Some examples of topics covered in classroom counseling lessons include: 

  • WAVE values
  • Making and keeping friends
  • Bullying, teasing, put-downs
  • Conflict resolution
  • Expressing feelings appropriately
  • Ways to appropriately deal with stress/anxiety

Also, unifying questions and TASS from the MCPS curriculum are integrated into the lessons.

 

Wood Acre WAVE Values:

September: Responsibility

October: Respect

November: Honesty

December: Caring

January: Self-Control

February: Tolerance

March: Perseverance

April: Pride

May: Cooperation

June: Review Wave Values  

Moral Courage is emphasized the entire school year!  

DeBug Strategies (K-2)

  • Ignore
  • Move away
  • Give and “I Message”
  • Get Adult Help
 
Win/Win Guidelines (3-5)     
  • Cool Down
  • Give an "I Message"
  • Brainstorm Solution
  • Affirm, forgive and/or thank
No Put-Downs

 In addition to problem solving strategies, the students use the No Put-Down Strategies:

  • Think about Why (think before we act or speak)
  • Cool Down (count to 10, take deep breaths)
  • Shield Myself (think about your strengths)
  • Choose the Right Response (you have the power to choose the right or wrong way)
  • Build Up (build yourself another others up by giving put-ups)
Bucket Fillers / Drops 
To encourage students to give "put-ups," classroom teachers read their grade appropriate book in the beginning of the year and refer to it throughout the year.
  • K-1: "Fill a Bucket" by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing
  • 2-5: "Have you Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing
Each week students write a put-up or "drop" and put it in a bucket in their classroom. Students deliver the drops to the counseling office on Thursdays. On Fridays, a handful of drops are read over the announcements and hung up outside of the counselor's office.
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