Lower School Counseling

The lower school counseling program aims to help all students grow in their social, emotional, personal, academic, and spiritual skills. This program helps students manage challenges that may arise during the school year. The lower school dean of counseling and student services and the lower school counselor are available for individual meetings with students at the request of the student, teacher, or parent, in order to work toward productive action at school and at home. The lower school dean of counseling and student services also manages the accommodations program and testing needs for lower school students.
The Lower School Counseling Program is developmentally, proactively based.

List of 3 items.

  • Academic Accommodations

    Wesleyan lower school will offer the following accommodations within the classroom if they are consistent with specific recommendations included in the student’s psychoeducational evaluation:
    Physical Accommodations
    • Preferential Seating (near teacher, between well-focused students, away from distractions i.e. windows, hallways, etc.)
    • Extra seat or table space for expanding work area when possible.
    Instructional Accommodations
    • Extended time (not to exceed 50% of the original time) on timed quizzes, tests, and exams.
    • Permission to use notes (verified by the teacher) as a supplemental source of information to a student’s own personal notes (note-taking buddy to fill in gaps).
    • No penalties will be given for spelling errors on in-class writing assignments, essays, tests, exams, and quizzes. Assignments will be graded on content. When grading content, the teacher should be able to identify/sound out the word as it is written. If the teacher cannot, the student will be asked to identify the word. If the student cannot identify the word, it will be considered incorrect.
      • This is only granted to K-12 students who have been diagnosed (by a licensed/school psychologist) with a reading disorder/dyslexia, written expression disorder, or a phonological processing disability, and whose written psycho-educational report recommends a spelling accommodation.
      • Spelling errors noted in MCL courses may receive a deduction of a maximum of five percent.
    Behavioral Accommodations
    • Cueing procedures (i.e. nodding to student, gently placing hand on student’s shoulder) privately agreed upon with the student to help maintain focus
    • Additional appropriate movement throughout the classroom (ie, brain break) when possible
  • Program Components

    Classroom Counseling
    Co-curricular counselor lessons are provided by the lower school dean of counseling and student services and the lower school counselor. Topics include:
    Digital Citizenship
    Personal Safety
    Listening Skills
    Making and Keeping Friends
    Conflict Resolution
    Growth Mindset
    Choices and Consequences
    Managing Worry
    Small Group Counseling
    Small Group Counseling is available on an “as needed” basis and is problem and growth-centered.

    Individual Counseling
    Individual counseling is available to help guide students toward productive action at school and at home and assist students in problem solving.

    Working with teachers, parents, administrators, and other educational specialists.
  • Student Support Team

    The Lower School Counseling Program offers consultation for teachers and parents to analyze the ways that individual students learn and succeed at Wesleyan. This service often occurs through the SAS (Supporting All Students) process. A support team may be initiated by parents, teachers, or faculty members. Teachers meet once a month with Nancy Jones, lower school dean of counseling and student services, for SAS meetings. The lower school principal often attends these meetings.

    At a SAS meeting, a student’s progress is discussed from several relevant viewpoints, including: his or her academic, behavioral, social, and emotional perspectives. Our goal is to find out where and how a student is succeeding and where any gaps in success are occurring. We brainstorm possible interventions that may help close those gaps, so that teachers can return to their classrooms with ideas in hand to help keep students on the right track.

    We frequently contact parents to obtain additional information or to coordinate additional steps to support each and every student. Many parents choose to share information obtained from outside tutors and/or psycho-educational evaluations. This is invaluable to us, as we are then able to make the appropriate accommodations based on your child’s specific needs. Accommodations may be physical, instructional, or behavioral. Accommodations and/or modifications will be available to Wesleyan students who have the following required documentation of learning disabilities:
    • A psycho-educational evaluation completed within the last five years
    • Achievement, IQ, and/or Aptitude Test data completely listed within evaluation
    • A specific diagnosis
    • Recommendations for services and/or accommodations for the classroom
    It is our goal to utilize all available information while maintaining confidentiality as much as possible to plan for the success of each Wesleyan student. We welcome and appreciate your input as we make those plans, and look forward to working with you and your child.
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List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Nancy Jones

    Nancy Jones 

    Lower School Dean of Counseling and Student Services, Director of Counseling
  • Photo of Kristen Bell

    Kristen Bell 

    Lower School Counselor

Suggested Resources

Health and Wellness:
Bully Prevention:
Suggested Readings:
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson
Raising Emotionally Strong Boys by David Thomas
Strong and Smart by David Thomas
Raising Worry-Free Girls by Sissy Goff
Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, Jr. by Kristen A. Jenson and Debbie Fox
The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Pain Bryson
12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Tim Elmore
Love Does for Kids by Bob Goff (devotional)
Everybody Always for Kids by Bob Goff (devotional)