FAQ

How can I set up an appointment to meet with you?
Feel free to email me or call me anytime. We can make an appointment for you to come in to meet or I can see your child per your request. I can be reached at nkresky@barnum.k12.mn.us or 218-389-6976 ext1135.

How does my child set up an appointment to meet with you?
Once they are given permission from their teacher to come to the counselor’s office they may then fill out a “ Request to see the Counselor” form outside my office in the main hallway, then put it in the mailbox next to it. After that–I will come and get them from class as soon as I possible.

This “Request to see the Counselor” form can also be printed from this website as well.

When should you seek counseling?  
There are times when we all need a little help to solve problems that overwhelm us or cause emotional stress.  Counselors provide caring, expert assistance during these times. We help to identify stressors in your life & assist in finding the best ways to cope by finding constructive ways to deal with a situation beyond your control.  Remember, for many issues, there are no quick fixes- they take time, work, & often parent support.

My family is going through a transition & I’m concerned about my child. 
If your family is experiencing a transition (moving, changing schools, family additions, divorce), you may see some changes in the behavior of your child. This is absolutely normal! Children adjust to transitions very differently depending on the child/situation. Providing stability & routine in your child’s life is important, in addition to a nurturing & supportive environment.  I’m happy to consult with parents & discuss the possibility of my help with counseling services if needed or outside resources.

How can I talk to my child about bullying? 
If you feel your child has been bullied at school, speak to your child’s classroom teacher as soon as possible. You can also offer suggestions to your child such as ignoring, walking away, telling them to stop, using an “I” message, going to a trusted adult (which is not tattling; this is requesting assistance with a serious problem). I am also available to offer further assistance if the problem persists. Please see my bullying resource for parents  I provided as well.

Can a school counselor provide individual counseling? 
I cannot be a student’s individual therapist – this is beyond the scope of my role. If I am in my office doing individual therapy with students all day, I cannot provide what is needed for 100% of students. I can see students on a 1-1 basis up to three times. If further help is needed I can recommend local counselors to continue services. 

What do you do all day?
Each day is different, which is one thing I love about being a school counselor! My day can go from checking in with a student to get his day started off well, to mediating a conflict between two on-again, off-again friends, to listening to a parent report that their child is refusing to come to school, to supervising/visiting students @ lunchtime, to teaching a lesson to first graders about personal space, to playing positive choices Jenga with a group of active boys, to consoling a crying student who’s missing mom or missing dad, to checking in with teachers about certain struggling students, to meeting regarding a 504 plan or other kind of meeting to plan for a student’s needs, to recording notes (never ending!) so I can remember what I did that day.  We wear many ‘hats’ throughout our day. It is an extremely rewarding profession that I am very grateful to be apart of.

Are parents notified when a student visits the counselor? 
Parent notification depends on the purpose of the student’s visit. Parents are notified & must give permission for students to participate in support groups that meet regularly. For behavioral support incentives & quick care meetings, parents are typically not alerted. However, issues can arise during these meetings that may merit parental notification.

Your job must be so stressful & sad.
It can be stressful, but I try to use that energy & channel it for good use. It can be extremely sad as well & very difficult not to keep that negative energy with me. In addition, I sometimes have to make incredibly difficult decisions. It is also a learning experience for me every day & truly humbling. To see the success & growth of students is amazing. I’m so so thankful that I get to do this type of work, be a part of something that matters, & help to make positive changes.

Are counselors all about mushy feelings?
There may be some school counselors who are mushy gushy, but I’m not one of them. I do teach about feelings a lot, but this makes me a teacher of social-emotional skills that are crucial for your child’s development into a healthy, functioning adult.

Is information shared with the counselor also shared with teachers? 
It really depends on the nature of the information. Typically, personal information shared with the counselor is not necessarily shared with the classroom teacher unless permission to share the information is granted by the student or the parent.

Are you an expert on behavior & emotional problems in children?
I’m not an expert. I’m educated in child development, including behaviors & emotions that fall within the ‘norm’ for children of various ages. I also know though that kids are different & develop/learn when they’re ready. Try not to compare your child to another & simply enjoy yours while they’re still young & go through this amazing learning process.

How is confidentiality handled? 
All student information is kept in confidence in accordance to educational code.  Disclosures of abuse &/or imminent danger to self or others are reported to the appropriate agency in accordance with the law. Situations jeopardizing student safety including incidents of abuse, imminent danger of self or others, bullying & sexual harassment are reported to the administrator in accordance with school policy.