My name is Veronica Kaipainen, but the kids and staff at our school find "Mrs. K" to be much easier to remember and say! :)
I have been a school counselor for 13 years, and I'm proud to say that every single year has been spent right here at Pioneer Valley. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the children grow and learn over all these years, and getting to know and care so much about the families in our PV community.
I'm very proud to be a part of the Pioneer Valley team. Our teachers, students and families are the best!
I tell the students that my job is to make sure that they are happy and safe at school. There are many ways that kids end up in conversation with me; here are the most common ways:
1) Self-referral - I have a box outside my door that students may leave notes in if they wish to visit with me. This is a great way for kids to advocate for themselves when they have something they want to talk about.
2) Staff-referral - Teachers and other PV adults come to me when there are social-emotional concerns or when there's a behavior that they would like help with.
3) Referral from home - Parents and guardians are welcome to call me with questions or concerns that they have. If there is something that has the potential to impact their time at school, I would like to work with you to help support them while they're here.
4) Peer-referral - What an amazing thing when students begin to advocate for one another. When students see a friend or classmate in need of help, they, too, have the ability to leave me a note to express their concern.
I support the students in staff in other capacities besides individual counseling. This may be a classroom guidance lesson, small group guidance, behavior support, and others. It's likely that I will work with each child in some way. I will communicate home when some follow up is needed or if you need to be made aware of an issue; often it is unnecessary, however.
Family support is crucial, too. I work closely with families in need of resources. If you are in need of some resources (clothing, supplies, some bills, etc.) please contact me. Resources are scarce and limited, but I'm committed to doing what I can to help you and your family.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 253.683.8966.