Student Support Services

  • The Student Support Services Department at A.A. Gates Elementary School is comprised of one School Psychologist (Lynn Fryer), one School Counselor (Arin Elia) and one Mental Health Counselor (Stacy Austin-Root). These staff members combine their training and skills to work with parents, teachers and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child can learn in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.

    The Student Support Services team promotes child development, school systems, and effective teaching, and is equipped to help alleviate any difficulties that may otherwise impede successful learning.

    In addition to our staff responsibilities, we also collaborate with community service providers to offer additional school-based mental health counseling, such as:

    Integrative Counseling Services 

    • Offers counseling/play therapy at the school by a registered and certified play therapist
    • Accepts most health insurance

    Cayuga Counseling Services 

    • Offers counseling services by a Licensed Mental Health Counselor
    • Accepts most health insurance

    PAWS and PBIS

    The P.A.W.S. implementation within A.A. Gates is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in action! PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success.

    Questions & Answers: 

    What does the Student Support Team do?

    • Works with students to help them develop and achieve personal, social and academic success
    • Works with administrators, teachers, and parents to help students receive the best possible resources and services

    How does this happen?

    • Visiting the classroom to help children understand themselves and others
    • Facilitation of small groups to teach social skills, conflict resolution, coping skills and academic success
    • Making referrals to outside agencies and community service providers as needed
    • Working closely with families, teachers and administrators to help children be the best they can be

    Students, we are here to help you with:

    • Working out friendship problems
    • Setting goals
    • Working cooperatively with others
    • Feeling good about yourself
    • Adjusting to a new school
    • Learning how to make healthy choices
    • Managing your feelings (stress, worry, anger, sadness, etc.)
    • Dealing with peer pressure and bullying

    Parents, we are here to help you with:

    • Exploring ways to help your child succeed
    • Improving parent-child communications
    • Referrals for community resources
    • Understanding the developmental changes of childhood
    • Obtaining information to help you understand your child’s special needs
    • Improving communication between you and the school through meetings with administrators and teachers

    Social Emotional Learning Curriculum:

    A.A. Gates uses Second Step, a social/emotional learning program that helps transform our school’s climate by focusing on empathy, respect, and safety. Second Step lessons are taught by classroom teachers, while supplemental units (such as those focusing on bullying prevention or child protection) are taught by our school counselor.