Hoosic Valley Elementary School Counseling
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The Counseling Connection

  • Welcome
  • Second Step Program
  • Kelso's Choice
  • Groups
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Grief & Loss
  • Parent Tips

Dear Parents and Students.

Thank you for visiting the Counseling Connection. Some of the services that we provide are described under the tabs above.

Our character education lessons are growing!  Character education lessons occur weekly in Kindergarten through 3rd grade and bi-weekly in 4th through 6th grade.   These lessons are taught within the classroom so the classroom teachers can reinforce the concepts throughout each school day.  Lesson content includes information from The Second Step program, Kelso’s Choices program and Olweus Bullying Prevention program.

If you have any questions about these services, then please call or email us. Have a great day!


Beth McQueeney,School Counselor, x3504, bmcqueeney@hoosicvalley.k12.ny.us

Lisa Waldron, School Psychologist, x3505, lwaldron@hoosicvalley.k12.ny.us


  • Information
  • Empathy Training
  • Impulse Control and Problem Solving

The Second Step Program

The program teaches skills in the following four areas:

1. Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.

2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.

3. Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings

4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way. 

If you have any questions about the Second Step lessons, then please call Beth McQueeney at  753-4458, extension 3504.

Unit I:  Empathy Training

Empathy means identifying and understanding your own and others’ feeling in order to get along better.  Below is a list of skills your child has been learning at school, followed by examples of ways you can help your child remember and improve these skills.   

Students have practiced empathy skills by:

  • Identifying their own and others’ feelings through looking at faces, recognizing body clues, listening to voices and watching what is happening.  (Help your child practice by noticing, “You’re smiling” and asking “Are you happy?  Why?”)
  • Recognizing that people may react differently to different situations.   (Help your child practice by saying, “You like to play on the jungle gym, but it scares your friend.  What can we do about that?”)
  • Predicting feelings. (Help your child practice by asking, “How do you think your friend might feel if she asked you a question and you didn’t answer?”)
  • Learning the difference between accidents and things done on purpose. (Help you child practice by asking, “Do you think he meant to knock over your bike?”)
  • Sharing feelings.  (Help your child practice by sharing your own feelings: “I feel happy when you offer to set the table.”)
  • Understanding and accepting differences in others.  (Help your child practice by saying, “It’s okay for your friend to be different from you.  You two are alike in some ways too.  How?”)

In general simply listening and talking about feelings helps children be more understanding of others.  It also helps create a more positive classroom environment.

Unit II:  Impulse Control and Problem Solving

Impulse control means slowing down and thinking rather than doing the first thing that pops into your head. 

Problem solving is a strategy for dealing with the problems we face with other people and as individuals. 

Calming-down techniques are taught to give your child the skills to compose him- or herself so that a given problem can be solved more effectively.

Our class will learn and practice steps for calming down and solving problems.  You can help by practicing these new skills at home with your child.  For example, reinforcing calming-down skills at home maybe go something like this:

Your child comes in upset about her younger sibling playing with her new toy.  You might say, “Wow!  I can tell that you’re upset.  Try taking three deep breaths, then count backward slowly before deciding what to do.”

After you child has calmed down, you might help her practice the problem-solving steps by saying, “Now that you’ve calmed down, tell me what the problem is. What are some ideas that might solve it?  Let’s go through each of the possible solutions and ask, ‘Is it safe?  How might people feel about it?  Is it fair?  Will it work?’  Now choose a solution and give it a try.  If it works, great!  If not, then try something else.”

At-home activities idea:  Use the How to Solve Problems poster to solve a problem with your child.  Take on a specific problem (such as remembering to take out the trash) and state the problem in a non-blaming way.  This will help you reach a solution.

In this unit, your child will practice using such skills as apologizing ignoring distractions, and dealing with peer pressure. 




















Kelso's Choice

We will use The Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Program to help students understand about problem resolution.

Click here for more info.



The Banana Splits program is available to students in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade.  It is a peer support program for children who have experienced changes in their families.  Although changes are obviously occurring daily within families, this group is geared towards changes due to separation, divorce, remarriage, illness or death of a parent. 

“Banana Splits” provides an opportunity for children to realize they are not alone; there is no longer a “traditional household”.  Some children are a part of a single household, some are a part of a two parent household, some have parents who are separated or divorced, some have step-parents, some are in foster care, and many have had a number of changes occur in their young lives. Sharing feelings and thoughts helps each child know that other children have similar feelings and thoughts; that anything he is feeling is normal and “OK”.  Each child learns to understand and express his emotions and learns the problem –solving skills necessary to work through the changes in his family.

Banana Splits groups will meet at lunch one time a week for approximately six weeks. Students who have already been through a six week progarm will meet once a month.
If you wish for your child to participate in “Banana Splits”, then please call Beth McQueeney at 753 – 4458, ext. 3504 or send an email to bmcqueeney@hoosicvalley.k12.ny.us.


Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.

Anti-Bullying Rules

1. We will not bully others.
2. We will try to help students who are bullied.
3. We will try to include students who are left out.
4. If we know someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and at home.

"Olweus, Dan and Susan P. Limber. Olweus Bullying Prevention: Teacher Guide, Hazelden Publishing, Copyright 2007"

  4 characteristics that make a situation bullying

  1. repeated
  2. on purpose
  3. imbalance of power
  4. one- sided

Additional Resources:




Community Hospice Literature

http://www.communityhospice.org for more information on services provided to the community

Wave Riders Support Groups for Grieving Children

Wave Riders Support Groups are for children, grades K – 8th, who have experienced the death of someone significant in their lives, including a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend.  A parent educational support group is offered concurrently.  The programs are free of charge, but registration is required.

These programs provide a safe environment where children can share their grief experience and seek healing and growth through art, music, games and discussion.

If you are interested in learning more about these programs, click here - Wave Riders Support Groups for Grieving Children & Teens

Camp Erin

Camp Erin is a weekend overnight camp for children, ages 6 - 17 who have lost someone in their life due to death.  It combines traditional, fun, high-energy camp activities with grief education and support.  At Camp Erin, each camper has the opportunity to remember their loved one, develop grief skills and enjoy a positive camp experience.  Camp is staffed by licensed social workers, nurses and trained community volunteers.  Camp Erin-Albany was developed in partnership with The Moyer Foundation.

Camp Erin is held yearly - usually during a weekend in September.  Activities begin on Friday evening and end on Sunday afternoon.  It takes place at the Fowler Camp and Retreat Center on Sacandaga Lake in Speculator, NY.  

It is necessary to complete and submit a registration form for each child would like to attend.  

The camp is free to all members.

This website includes more information: 

It’s All Perfectly Normal

 Emotions run rampant during the preteen and teenage years.  Here’s what to expect:

  • Mood swings as hormones begin to do their thing.
  • Worry about appearance, compared to their friends and classmates.
  • Concern about timing of development, especially for early or late bloomers.
  • Desire for their own “space” – even embarrassment to be seen with parents.
  • New and different friends.
  • Crushes/romantic feelings – for “real-life” boys/girls or unattainable ones like celebrities or teachers.

 (Health Notes, Volume 11, Northeast Health Community Newsletter)