Counselor's Corner

As we are in the final months of the 2020-2021 school year I am continually impressed and inspired by the resilience, drive and strength our community has shown. Together we grow stronger by continuing to work with our children to expand their mindsets, encourage resilience, spread kindness and simply allow them to feel their feelings during this unprecedented school year. Together we are Derby Strong!

The Role of The School Counselor
For those of you I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, I am Julie Browne and I have the district privilege of being the Derby School Counselor which encompasses the following:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
I lead this school-wide experience through research-based and Derby created SEL curricula.  We cover topics such as inclusivity, growth mindset, worry, confidence, empathy, social media and leadership to name a few.  We not only discuss such topics, we strive to weave them into our daily language and conversations.    

Counseling Support
I provide counseling support to individual children and in small groups.  If at any time you believe something is impacting your child's school experience, please email me directly at  

Learning Support
If your child has, or is in the process of receiving, a neuropsychological evaluation and is in need of any learning support,  I work closely with a team of learning specialists, teachers, and the Division Heads to determine how to best support each child.  Please notify me directly at if you would like to further discuss learning support.  

Parent Resources

We can’t control what has happened, but we can control how we respond to what is happening. Give yourself and everyone around you the permission to feel all emotions. It starts and ends with self and social compassion. Lean into SEL.

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., Ed.M., Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Executive Functioning

In my second week of home-schooling my own children I have found the built-in opportunity to help develop Executive Functioning (EF) Skills. We are naturally working on them without even knowing it!  EF skills include creating a schedule, goal setting, time management, prioritizing, note-taking, studying etc...  You can have your child check-off items on the daily schedule once complete.  Without rushing around to get out the door or run to the next scheduled activity here is time in our new situation to ask your child to clean up after each meal, turn off the lights after leaving each room, help with the chores around the house, clean out and organize a closet or room.  Ask your child to summarize what they learned or share their notes with you.   You can also play problem solving games (heads up, guess who). 

For MS and US learners, please click here for Time Management Tips for On-line Learning

Derby Academy, Julie Brown

Resources and On-line Story Books About How to Talk to Children about COVID-19

As we continue to talk with our children surrounding COVID-19:

  • Be factual and correct misinformation
  • Model calm and compassion
  • Do not dismiss their concerns
  • Focus on what we can do to keep ourselves healthy; hand washing, social distancing
  • Be mindful of creating social connection through social media and phone calls


Online  Resources


Resources Regarding Anxiety   

Occupational Therapy (OT) Support

Emotional regulation, fine motor & gross motor ideas & games:

We may find our children struggling with emotional regulation and are likely in need of sensory support.  The world of OT also supports fine and gross motor skills.  Please review these fun tools as possible options:

In addition to these resources, children respond well to:
  • Laying or swinging on their bellies
  • Outside breaks before sitting to work
  • Practicing tying shoes, buttoning and zipping 
  • Writing with a clipboard
  • Using different writing tool options (gel pens, markers, crayons, pencils, short golf pencils, pencil grips, chalk, white board, etc…)
  • “Heavy” lifting; moving books around, helping you carry things
  • Marching to a beat
  • *Hugs*
  • Stretching and yoga poses before sleep
  • Use kid friendly tweezers to pick up small objects
  • Use clothespins to clip onto the side of a cup 

Mindfulness Resources for Children and Families

Each topic and conversation deserves it’s own time and our Counselor's Corner will share various supportive measures for specific topics. Here are also some useful links for children and parents regarding anxiety and mindfulness:

For Remote Learning Families