Forest Hills Public Schools
Student Services (Northern Hills Middle School)
3775 Leonard NE l Suite A
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Office Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Phone: (616) 493-8660 l Fax: (616) 493-8663
Jann Van Airsdale, Director of Student Services
Fred Wisniewski, Director of Special Education
Sarah Castro, Special Education Coordinator
Annette Savage, Secretary
Cheryl Bauer, Special Education Registry Secretary
The Role of a Counselor
In accordance with the Michigan School Counselors Association, the role of the elementary counselor in Forest Hills is to:
• Help children develop a better understanding and acceptance of themselves.
• Help children cope with family changes.
• Help children develop decision-making and problem solving skills.
• Help children develop socially and emotionally and to mature in their relationships with others.
• Help parents to understand their child’s emotions, behaviors and learning styles, and to assist them in meeting their child’s needs.
• Help school staff to understand and meet the needs of all students in intellectual, personal, social and emotional areas.
• Help parents and teachers create a positive learning environment.
Counselors present their programs to students in large groups, small groups, and with individuals.
Large or Small Groups – Many children benefit from counseling activities with others who have similar social and emotional needs. To help address these needs, elementary counselors provide small group activities which address the following topics:
• separation and divorce
Groups are created based on student need and students will only be involved with signed parental permission.
Individual Counseling- Individual students may receive counseling for a variety of different reasons including:
• anger management
• grief and loss
This is short term counseling typically resulting from a student, teacher or parent referral.
Parent Advisors for Special Education (PASE)
The Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) has a parent advisory committee that provides input related to the improvement of special education services within Kent County. Each local school district has PASE members appointed by their local school board and the KISD Board, who serve three-year terms. Forest Hills PASE members assist our special education administrators in disseminating information and educational opportunities available to parents. The PASE members can provide information and support from a parent’s point of view.
All meetings are held at the Kent ISD at the Educational Service Center (parking lot #11) in the Coldwater Room from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on the following dates:
• 2011-2012 Schedule Coming Soon
Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC)
Forest Hills parents of students with disabilities have the opportunity to meet periodically throughout the school year with special education administrators and staff. There is an educational component whereby parents are informed of new regulations or changes in special education. This group also provides feedback to the district regarding special education from a parent’s perspective. Getting parents together also gives them a sounding board and helps build their resource network. All meetings are held at the Kent ISD at the Educational Service Center (parking lot #11) in the Coldwater Room from 6:15–7:00 p.m., same dates as the PASE meeting.
• Click here for Specific Learning Disability Process (coming soon)
• Click here for Section 504 Procedure Manual
About Speech Pathology
Speech therapy is usually twice a week for twenty minutes per session. Students are pulled from class along with other students in the same grade or working on similar goals. Therapy is structured so that students can work on their sounds or language needs in a fun and motivating way. Games, hands-on activities and active listening activities are used to stimulate and improve speech and language.
Tips for Parents
Many parents ask what they can do at home to help with their child’s speech therapy. We always suggest reading aloud with children of all ages.
With a younger child, choose picture books with lots of repetition. Have the child “read” along with you by saying some of the words, predicting what will happen next and saying the repetitive phrases. With older kids, take turns reading pages aloud, focusing on target speech sounds or new vocabulary.
As you go on outings or just do daily activities, TALK to your child about what you are doing together. When you hear your child make a mistake in his or her speech, repeat back what they said but in a correct and conversational way. Ask your child what they are working on in speech class so you can be tuned in to what to listen for.
Be positive about GOOD SPEECH & LANGUAGE!
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
Please click here to download an article on how you can help your child get ready for Kindergarten.
Useful Parent Links