School Social Worker
Thank you for visiting the Kindergarten Connections homepage! I encourage you to browse the contents of this page in order to learn more about what our program has to offer Lathers students and families.
Please note: I have included a number of “Related Files” at the end of this page where you can find additional program information.
WHAT is the Kindergarten Connections Program?
Kindergarten Connections is a program that was designed and established in 2013 at Lathers Elementary in response to the growing number of students who presented with behavioral and emotional difficulties which were negatively impacting their school success. The goal of the program is to connect students, families, teachers, and community with supports that promote social-emotional growth and academic success for our students. A wide range of social-emotional supports have been deveoloped in order to enhance social-emotional and academic growth outcomes.
Lathers Early Childhood and Education classroom houses 9 Kindergarten and 9 Preschool (GSRP) classrooms.
Ms. Grceski works with any general education students that are referred by their teacher who present with behavioral, emotional, or adjustment difficulties that are impacting their academic success.
The Kindergarten Connections office is located directly across from the main office inside of Lathers.
WHAT Kindergarten Connections programs and services are available?
• Push-in services in classrooms (social worker works with students in the classroom teaching and modeling age-appropriate social skills)
• Classroom presentations (i.e. How to use the "Take a Break" (calming area) area vs. Time out area)
• Social stories developed and taught; shared with students and teachers to help teach/guide students that have difficulties with adjusting to school social situations (i.e. being a good listener, how to calm down when angry/frustrated, personal space, sharing, taking turns, problem solving, lunch and recess expectations etc.)
Individual Student Services:
• Individualized sessions for students in need to build specific social skills.
• Small 6-8 week support groups that teach students a variety of social skills that are needed to be successful in their Kindergarten or Preschool classroom.
The following 7 groups are offered:
1. I am a Good Friend (Learning how to make and get along with friends)
2. Keeping Your Cool (Learning how to manage anger/frustrations using calming strategies)
3. Remote Control: Impulse Control (Learning how to control impulses)
4. Worry Warriors (Managing worries and anxiety using calming strategies)
5. My Two Homes (Helping children deal with/process parents who are dicorced or separated)
6. It's Ok to Smile (Helping children deal with grief and loss of a loved one)
See a full list of group details below!
• Development of plans for individual student’s needs that require additional behavior support
• Includes use of positive behavior charts, rewards, movement breaks, visual supports, and sensory interventions such as bumpy seats, sensory strips, and tactile items
• Positive Behavior Support focused - May include daily positive reinforcement/rewards for behavior improvement
• Crisis plan development for students identified as being suicidal/homicidal, victim of child abuse/neglect, or crisis issues such as recent divorce, death in the family, serious illness, etc.
• FREE Monthly parent education workshops on a variety of topics (Love and Logic, Reading and Math with Kindergarteners, etc.) in partnership with the Title One Program, Lathers PTA, and various local agencies
• “Kindergarten Connections Corner” inside of Lathers newsletter, providing information about program details, local community events, workshops and resources
2019-2020 Parent Workshops/Read-Ins Coming Soon!
Surveys will be given to parents during
Lathers 2019-2020 Open House
I want to come to the workshops but what do I do with my children?
In partnership with the Lathers PTA, we offer a safe and fun-filled environment where parents can drop off their children at the PTA-sponsored Read-Ins:
While parents attend the workshops, they can drop off their children (4 years and older) in the Library where they will have stories read to them and participate in fun activities!
• Connecting families with needed community resources (food, clothing, emergency assistance, medical providers, mental health agencies, etc.)
• Community Resource brochure stand (located in Lathers school entrance lobby)
• Partnerships with local agencies to better service the needs of families
Homeless Liaison Services:
• Assisting homeless students/families with needed resources and supplies (i.e. free lunch, clothing, school supplies, etc.)
Health Related Services:
• Partnership with Mobile Dentist to provide in-school dentist visits
• Health-related referrals to local doctors/dentists/ agencies
• Assistance with Medicaid/MiChild insurance application
• Connecting families to various community holiday assistance programs for clothing, coats, food, toys, etc.
• Lathers Adopt-A-Child Christmas holiday assistance program
If you are concerned about your child, please contact Ms. Grceski to discuss your concerns.
Please Note: Academic concerns should be addressed directly with your child’s teacher. However if you feel there are social-emotional difficulties that your child is experiencing, which are affecting their ability to learn and function in the classroom, these are concerns you should share with the Social Worker as well.
WHAT happens next?
Ms. Grceski will assess your concerns based on the information you provide.
Your child’s eligibility for services will be determined, and a student centered-plan will be developed by Ms. Grceski based around your child’s needs.
The parent/guardian, teacher, and Social Worker will then work together to develop, implement, and modify the plan in order to maximize gains in your child’s social and academic functioning.