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:
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
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:
June: Review Wave Values
Moral Courage is emphasized the entire school year!
DeBug Strategies (K-2)
- 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
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.