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 15 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 (mental health/counseling information, 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 253.683.8979.
- Assists with inquiring about and applying for resources from the state.
- Resource for students and families who have a family member diagnosed with Autism.
- A comprehensive list of resources in our area.
- Can Do! Kids are kids focus on what they can do instead of what they can't. Can Do! Kids use their abilities in whatever way is best for them in order to do the things they want...whether it's reading a book, drawing a picture, being a friend, playing a sport, or reaching a goal or dream.
- Webpage that kids can access about various different types of emotions, ways to cope, scenarios, etc. There is an audio version for non-readers, as well as can be accessed in Spanish.
- "Go-to" first check resource for all of Pierce County. This has information to every type of resource from shelters, food, utilities, home repair, etc., etc. Call 2-1-1 and you will get a live person to assist you. For independent research, you can use the website. This is a great resource for volunteering as well.