Phone: 903-873-2491 (5)
Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Lauren Morgan
Hello! I am Lauren Morgan and I am the school counselor at Wills Point Primary School. I grew up in Richardson, Texas.
I began to develop my love for school counseling while I was in school at Yale Elementary. My counselor's name was Mrs. Brehm and she was one of my favorite people in the building. I also met my husband when we were just kindergarteners, there. I graduated from Berkner High School. I then went on to get my bachelor's degree in communication disorders with a minor in American Sign Language from Oklahoma State University, home of the Cowboys and America's Brightest Orange. From there, I headed to Lubbock to attend Lubbock Christian University, which is where I got my master's degree in school counseling.
While in Lubbock, I went through an Alternative Certification Program in order to become a teacher. I taught 3rd grade for one year in Brownfield, TX, a small town southwest of Lubbock. I moved back to the DFW area in 2015 and taught 2nd grade for one year in Garland at Bradfield Elementary. I got married in 2016 to my wonderfully supportive husband and we have two cats, Sherlock and Sebastian. This will be my third year as a counselor at Wills Point Primary.
I love all things Harry Potter, and enjoy spending time outside, especially at White Rock Lake. I also like drawing, painting, reading, doing puzzles, and playing board games, and love to utilize these pastimes with students who are receiving counseling services from me. I play the ukulele, and frequently go to Rangers games. My office has a tank of hermit crabs who love digging in their sand and hiding from people during the day, but when I can get to them, students enjoy getting to hold them and practice being patient.
I have enjoyed every minute of the time I've had so far with your primary school students and am very excited to be back at Wills Point Primary! I can't wait to see what the coming school year brings.
Please feel free to contact me at the school with any comments, questions, or concerns about the counseling program. I will return notes, emails, and phone calls as promptly as I can!
It's Red Ribbon Week! Life is your journey, travel drug free!
Red Ribbon Week is a national week promoting healthy choices like choosing to not abuse drugs and alcohol. Since students in the primary grades are unlikely to have these issues, we will be promoting healthy choices in general and teach students some personal safety measures through a presentation from the Children's Advocacy Center of Van Zandt County. This presentation will help students identify a safe touch (hugs and kisses from parents, a pat on the back, high fives, etc.), an unsafe touch (hitting, kicking, etc.), and a confusing touch (someone trying to see or touch or show their own private parts, which are described as being the areas covered by a swimsuit). Students will also learn 3 steps for being safe when encountering strangers or unsafe or confusing touches: 1. Say No; 2. Get Away; 3. Tell a Trusted Adult, and keep telling adults until someone believes you and helps you. While your child may not be able to tell you all of these things after the presentation, we do hope to plant a seed with this knowledge that they can continue to learn about and remember, just in case. Please turn in your child's permission slip for this presentation as soon as possible. The last presentations will be done on Thursday October 25, and without a permission slip by that morning, your child will not learn this important information.
Dress-up days will be used to celebrate our healthy choices and engage students in Red Ribbon Week. The dress-up days are as follows:
Monday: Tourist Day
Tuesday: Wear Red
Wednesday: Superhero Day
Thursday: Hat Day
Friday: Neon Day
October's Character Trait is TRUSTWORTHINESS.
Trustworthiness is being reliable and dependable, always doing what you say you will do, and being loyal to your friends. It's also being honest and taking responsibility for your actions, and never stealing or cheating.
The Comprehensive School Counseling Program
Wills Point Primary School strives to ensure all students have access to a comprehensive school counseling program as outlined by the American School Counselor Association, the Texas School Counselor Association, and the Lone Star State School Counseling Association. This means that our counselor is constantly working to help your students develop into their best self in the areas of academics, college and career readiness, and social and emotional skills. The counselor may help your student in many different ways including Guidance Curriculum (classroom lessons), Responsive Services (reaching out to students when there is a concern putting their development in one of the four areas at risk), Individual Planning (helping students think about their future), and System Support (lunch duty, helping their teacher include character traits in their lesons, etc.).
All students see our counselor every few weeks for 20-45 minutes. This time is spent with the curriculum Kelso's Choice about a frog who encounters conflicts and learns 9 different ways to solve problems. Students will learn to identify when a problem is small (one that they can solve themselves) and when a problem is big enough to ask an adult for help immediately. Students then learn different ways to approach conflict and solve problems without tattling or fighting. Students get to choose which tools to use and can feel responsible, strong, and smart enough to solve the conflicts they deal with on a daily basis. More information about the Kelso's Choice curriculum will be sent home throughout the year to help reinforce skills at home.
In the primary grade levels, instilling good character is tantamount to our students' development. These are the years when they learn how to make and keep friends, how to be good students, and how to solve conflicts in respectful ways (or learn to ask for help when it's needed). Along with Kelso's Choice, each month we will have a different character theme and promote that theme throughout the entire school to encourage our students and help them learn these traits of good character. During their lessons about conflict management, students will learn about the character trait of the month and participate in fun activities to reinforce those lessons. The character traits for each month are:
- August: Respect
- September: Responsibility
- October: Trustworthiness
- November: Citizenship
- December: Empathy
- January: Fairness and Understanding
- February: Kindness
- March: Perseverance
- April: Being Yourself
- May: Courage
Some students need some extra help throughout the year for various reasons and may see the counselor in those situations. These might include a death or illness in the family, parents divorcing, other changes in the home, trouble with making good choices at school, or difficulty making friends, among other things. If teachers see concerning behavior or a major change in a student's demeanor or attitude, they will bring that up with the counselor so that she can see the student in a fun, safe, welcoming environment and try to help them get back on track. If you are concerned about your student and would like for him or her to meet with the counselor, you can fill out a counseling referral form which can be found with Ms. Patty at the reception desk. Concerns can also be spoken about in person or in an email or note to the counselor. Contact information can be found at the top of the page.
Please be aware that the counselor does have many obligations within the school and this request may take up to two weeks to be completed. School counselors are able to conduct brief counseling with students, but after a few sessions may refer you to an outside Licensed Professional Counselor if your child could benefit from extended counseling services.
Individual Planning in the primary grades mostly consists of making sure students are thinking about their future, even if it's in fantastical ways. Our counselor meets with every student one-on-one for a few minutes at least once a year to ask them questions about what they want to be when they grow up, if they think they need to go to college for that job, and what they like about school.
The counselor also participates in the process of identifying students with special needs or who are gifted and talented. These students may need extra support in order to be the most successful students they can be, and the counselor is one of the people on campus who can help make that happen and help them reach their goals once they are identified.
The counselor has a morning duty and an afternoon duty which supports the school in its daily running. She also provides books and lesson ideas to teachers to support the character trait of the month. Support teachers and the school in this way directly affects the students and their development.