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A Note From the Counselor

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Garden Valley’s part time School Counselor. I am on site Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Wednesday. This is my first year working at Garden Valley Elementary School. I have the privilege of working with your students connecting through brief check ins, individual counseling, small group counseling, school wide and classroom guidance lessons. I also collaborate with school staff and families in order to best serve the needs of our wonderful student population. Per ASCA's (American School Counselor Association) recommendations 80% of my time is dedicated to direct and indirect student services and 20% is reserved for non-counseling duties.

All students have the opportunity to meet with me, as needed. Students are instructed to leave me a note and I will schedule a check in with their teacher to meet with them. I also meet individually with a small number of students whom benefit from weekly or bi-weekly counseling. Students can refer themselves as well as teachers and parents/guardians. These sessions often include coping skills and strategies for dealing with life and family changes.

Another function of the counselor is to facilitate small groups. Groups usually consist of 4-6 students that meet with the counselor weekly. A variety of small groups are offered to students who may benefit from spending some extra time to further develop their academic, social, or emotional skills along with the aid of their peers. Each group is usually focused on one topic such as grief/loss, social skills, friendship skills, anger management, self-control, or self-esteem building. Additionally, in these groups we work on important social skills, such as, taking turns, active listening, communication, and assertiveness.

Lastly, as the school counselor I implement whole-school prevention programs, such as bully prevention, character development, drug and alcohol awareness, college/career education and exploration. These lessons generally take place in the classroom or at school assemblies. I also visit the TK and Kindergarten classrooms using Second Step Curriculum.

Additionally, I am available to meet with parents. I regularly attend SST meetings and can attend parent-teacher conferences.  As needed, I can meet with parents individually to discuss specific concerns or to serve as a liaison for families needing community resources.

Please feel free to contact me at or (916) 566-3460 ext. 21362 if you have any questions or concerns.


Natalie Horwath

elementary school counselor with colored pencils