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School Counselor

School Counseling at McDonald International

Our School Counselor, Katie Runions, works with students Kindergarten through Fifth Grade to support the social and emotional growth of our students in classroom, group and 1/1 settings.

Social-Emotional Curriculum

Our classroom teachers are regularly teaching and reinforcing emotional and social awareness with our students. Our school has adopted Second Step, a social emotional curriculum that focuses on emotional intelligence, self-regulation and problem solving. Ms. Runions works with teachers to introduce social skills practice to students and to co-facilitate many of the lessons. You can find information about Second Step at www.secondstep.org

Social-Emotional Small Groups

Ms. Runions also works with classroom teachers as part of the MTSS process to identify students that will benefit from additional social skills support in a positive and guided setting. In November, Ms. Runions will form groups of students that meet weekly to focus on topics such as friendship, emotion regulation and anxiety. Groups typically run for 8-10 weeks and families will receive a letter and permission form if their student is recommended for a group. Ms. Runions works with teachers and families to monitor growth goals and recommend additional supports, as needed.

Individual Student Check-Ins

All students have an opportunity to check with in the school counselor to get support with conflict with peers, uncomfortable emotions, or family stressors outside of school. Students may request to talk with Ms. Runions by filling out a “Let’s Talk” form on the outside of the counseling office door. She will connect with students as soon as she becomes available. Parents and teachers may also reach out to Ms. Runions about specific concerns. While she is unable to provide long-term counseling, she can offer limited problem-solving sessions with a student. Below you’ll find a list of outside agencies and play groups, if you believe your child would benefit from an outside therapist.

Ms. Runions can also help connect you with resources in our community. Please reach out if you are needing confidential support for any of the following:

  • Community counseling or social supports
  • Transgender and LGBTQ resources
  • Housing, food and finances
  • Family stress or violence
  • Self-harm or suicidal thinking

Community Resource List

Please note that this is a resource list and none of the providers are affiliated with or endorsed by SPS.

Social Skills Groups

NE Seattle Counselors and Psychologists

Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Outpatient Clinic
Sand Point location
206-987-2164
Accepts Medicaid, Apple
(Also try Children’s Overlake location, sometimes less wait)

Ryther Child Institute
Main: 206-525-5050
Lake City location
Accepts Medicaid, Apple

ABCD
Multidisciplinary Practice for Child Behavior/Development
Northgate location
206-361-6884

Seattle Psychology
206-420-4701
Wallingford location

Sound Mental Health
Northgate Location
206-302-1900
Accepts Medicaid, Apple

Community Psychiatric Clinic
206-461-4544
Northgate, Lake City and Wallingford locations
Accepts Apple, Medicaid

University of Washington Psychotherapy Clinic
University District location
Provides mental health services to children, adults and families
2nd Year PhD Graduate Students
Affordable Sliding Scale
206-543-6511

Center for Human Services
Shoreline location
206-362-7282
Accepts Apple, Medicaid

Why might families contact the counselor?

There are many common challenges that students experience as they make their way through elementary school. Our counseling program aims to assist with these issues and to alleviate the struggle that kids undergo. The following are some reasons families might contact the counselor:

  • Difficulty making friends
  • Academic concerns
  • Family changes (moving, death, divorce, etc.)
  • Home stress
  • Bullying
  • Resources or referrals to community agencies
  • To discuss special needs for your child
  • If you are homeless
  • Crisis
  • Behavior concerns

Emergency Contacts

If you are in need of help and it is after school hours, please use the following resources

Crisis Line: 206-461-3222

Child Protective/Family Reconciliation Services:
Day: 1-800-609-8764
Night: 1-800-562-5624

Other Types of Assistance Such as Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Healthcare:
Dial: 211 or 206-461-3200

Police Department Emergency : Dial 911