Welcome to the School Counseling page! My name is Marisa Lazarus-Miner and I am continuing my journey as a school counselor helping all students at PCS with issues that may be affecting their academics and personal/social interactions. I have the great pleasure of working with students through classroom guidance lessons, small group and individual counseling, and collaborate with school staff and parents in order to best meet the needs of our PCS students.
Classroom Guidance Lessons
Frequent visits to kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms for conversation and social/emotional lessons give me a chance to interact with every student. Lessons typically last 30 minutes, and cover topics such as understanding feelings of self and others, problem solving and friendship skills, careers, and more.
In the primary grades we utilize the Zones of Regulation curriculum. Zones is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that teaches self-regulation by categorizing the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones. The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in, controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts. The Zones of Regulation also incorporates Social Thinking® concepts and numerous visuals to teach students to identify their feelings/level of alertness, understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states. Kids discuss these feelings/emotions and when they may feel this way. As the program continues students learn how to cope with these feelings.
Green Zone- Happy, Content, Ready to Learn
Blue Zone- Sad, Depressed, Sick
Yellow Zone- frustration, anxiety, nervous, silly
Red Zone- Angry, Aggressive
Small Group Counseling
A variety of small groups are offered to students who may benefit from spending some extra time developing academic, social, or emotional skills along with their peers, and to students who are coping with similar life situations. Groups can have anywhere from 3-5 members and usually meet once a week during lunch for several weeks.
Some students can benefit from one-on-one counseling regarding academic, social, or emotional challenges. I also work closely with outside therapeutic clinicians for students in need of more support.
This year our faculty has been exploring topics around Restorative Justice practices which emphasize the importance of positive relationships and restoring these relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative practices have been shown to decrease behavior issues, discipline referrals and bullying, and improvement in overall school climate and culture. During the 2018-19 school year our staff will be working closely with Mel Motel, Director Brattleboro Community Justice Center and R. Suzanne Belleci, Executive Director of Greater Falls Restorative Justice Center to as we explore the use of restorative practices in our school setting.