Thank you for visiting the South Spencer High School and Middle School Social Work page.
My name is Klay Kress and I am the School Social Worker at South Spencer High School and Middle School. As the School Social Worker, I am here to facilitate each student’s success collaborating and communicating with teachers and parents, providing appropriate individual and group counseling, and making appropriate referrals to community agencies. I work closely with Sara Campbell, who is the guidance counselor at the high school, as well as Abbie Lawalin, who is the guidance counselor at the middle school. We meet with students who are having problems or difficulties at school. These problems or difficult situations may include divorce, retention, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, poor self-control, behavior problems, academic limitations, disabilities, or social and emotional concerns, etc. Students may be referred to us by their teachers, the principal, their parents, or by themselves. Our sessions with students can vary from just once or twice during the school year to once each week throughout much of the school year.
Each link contains useful information for both parents and students in order to promote optimal learning by addressing mental health and interpersonal skills. Our goal is to link students and families to services that are essential for student success.
Access to informative brochures including: Anger Management, Anxiety, Empathy, Grief and Loss, Growth Mindset, Healthy Boundaries, Healthy Relationships, How to Thank a Hero, Importance of Gratitude, Negative Thoughts, Self Esteem, SMART Goals, Teens and Body Image, The Importance of “I” Statements, The Problem with Comparing Yourself to Others, Eating Disorders, The Teen Brain
Confidential information on eating disorders, brochures and a link to the national helpline.
Important resources in the Spencer County area (Suicide Prevention, counseling, food, etc). If you know of additional resources that you feel should be included within this page, please contact Klay Kress and it will be reviewed).
Information on the importance of attendance and school success. Information about South Spencer’s attendance policy is included.
Apps you can download on your phone or tablet to help with anxiety and depression and other mental health issues.
How technology can affect the teen brain. Is too much a bad thing?
Take a quick test to see if you may have symptoms of anxiety, depression or an eating disorder, etc.
*Listed below are a variety of resources in the South Spencer area. If you know of other resources in the area that should be added to this list, please reach out to Klay Kress and it will be added.
Only let your child stay home if he/she is truly sick. Sometimes complaints of a headache or stomach ache might be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. Contact the teacher or school counselor/social worker for support if you think this might be happening.
If your child must be out of school for an appointment, get him/her back to school for at least part of the school day if possible.
Contact the school every time your child will be absent.
Technology is rapidly evolving and regardless of how you feel about it, the changes are here to stay as a part of our daily lives. According to a Pew Research Center survey, “95% of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.”
Dr. Joshua Essery discusses the effects that technology has on our youth during our weekly Parents Chats. As the Director of Outpatient Clinical Services at Clarity Child Guidance Center, Dr. Essery has significant insight into how technology impacts our kids’ mental wellness.