• November 23

    Checking in with...our Student Support Services Team
    Our District employs counselors, school resource officers, social workers, and other professionals to provide appropriate services to meet the needs of individual students and families. We've asked them to share insight with families each month. For November, we are focusing on questions regarding screen time:

    How much screen time is too much? That's a difficult question in our fast-paced and technology-driven world. Think about your child’s overall health and wellness.

    • Do they get plenty of sleep and exercise?
    • Are they keeping up with school?
    • Do they spend quality time with friends and family?
    • Do they enjoy non-screen activities, like music or sports?

    These are important questions to answer as we look at the impact of technology/social media on our students' learning and mental health. Attached please find a few articles that dive deeper into setting limits on screen time and how it affects our mental health and social relationships. 

    Additional Resources:

    How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers

    How to Set Limits on Screen Time - Child Mind Institute


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  • October 18

    October - Unity

    During the month of October, Sartell Middle School students have focused on the concept of Unity. Within their Student Advisory class period there is a weekly lesson surrounding Unity and how it can be applied to their everyday lives.

    When we are willing to include everyone, each individual can feel like they are an important piece of our community. That feeling helps improve behavior, self-esteem and academic success. 

    Unity is important in October, because it is National Bullying Prevention Month. A large part of the theme this month is Unity Day. This is a day to celebrate Kindness, Acceptance and Inclusion.

    The actual date of Unity Day occurs annually on the 3rd Wednesday of October. Riverview Intermediate School participated in Unity Day on Tuesday, October 18 and created this video overview.

    Sartell Middle School will participate in Unity Day on Wednesday, October 19. Students will learn about the meaning behind Unity Day and ways in which they can celebrate this day. Three examples included in the lesson are:

    1. taking a pledge to stand up to bullying,
    2. sharing their own story, and
    3. wearing orange to show support for the cause. 

    It is important as adults to help educate their students on how to respond and how to support their students in advocating for themselves and others. Families in the community can help further the discussion on Unity by talking with their students about the role that they play in bullying prevention. 

    Some discussion questions could include:

    • What can they do to encourage others to be inclusive? 
    • How can they act in a way that makes all people feel valued in their classes, on the bus or their activities outside of school? 
    • What are things they can say or do to show support for other students? 
    • How do gossip and rumors create division within our buildings and community and hurt the self-esteem of others?
    • What makes them feel safe and confident?

    For more information about Unity Day, please visit the websites below:




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  • October 10

    Stearns County created a resource of Stearns County food resource information including food shelves that cater to culturally-specific food needs, information on Fare for All, and county-specific resources such as SNAP and WIC. View the flyer below or click here.

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  • September 23, 2022

    Checking in with...our Student Support Services Team
    Our District employs counselors, school resource officers, social workers, and other professionals to provide appropriate services to meet the needs of individual students and families. We've asked them to share insight with families each month. For September, we are focusing on the importance of routines:

    Kids thrive on routine and structure because it gives them a sense of predictability. The start of a new school year can include early mornings, busy schedules, and even some frustration as parents try to get everyone going in the right directions each day(Bartlett, 2022). Establishing and practicing morning, afterschool/homework and bedtime routines can help kids feel successful. 

    Routines create a structure with clear expectations, simple step-by-step instructions, and praise (Wilson and Straus, 2021). When establishing a routine, remember to make time to connect with your child each day, reflect on mistakes and celebrate successes. Using established routines as a guide and encouraging kids to take charge of their own routines gives them a sense of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. When your child knows what to expect, they feel competent and accomplished, and they learn they have a cooperative place in the family (Bartlett, 2022).

    Some questions to think about when establishing a routine: 

    • What do they need the most help with?
    • What can you expect them to accomplish on their own?
    • How much time is helpful for them to get everything done?


    Child Mind Institute - Helping Kids Back Into the School Routine July, 27, 2021 by Lianna Wilson, MA, and Sarah Straus, MS

    Green Child Magazine - Back to School Routine: Tips for Creating Structure and Predictability August 22, 2022 By Kelly Bartlett 

    For more information, please contact the Support Services team for your child's building.

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  • August 18, 2022

    Feeding Area Children Together: FACT

    FACT pack details

    FACT, a nonprofit founded by four parents from the St. Cloud District, provides meals free of charge to K-8 students who are in need of food on weekends and over school breaks. Signing up means your child will receive a FACT Pack (one-gallon zipper bag) that contains child-friendly, non-perishable breakfast, lunch and snack each day school is not in session during the 2022-2023 school year.

    • FACT Packs are delivered to students at school
    • No income requirements to enroll
    • Serving students in grades PK-8
    • Peanut-free and contain no pork products
    • Child-friendly and easy to prepare meals
    • Locally funded, locally run 501(c)3 non-profit

    Bags are packed by volunteers and delivered to schools. This is NOT a government program; all food and supplies are paid for by donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. All information is confidential. All bags are placed DISCREETLY into your child’s backpack on Fridays or the day prior to school break.

    Please click here for a flyer and enrollment form. Questions? Please contact your building's Student Support Services team. 

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  • June 6

    Free Meals for Kids helps families and kids locate free healthy meals across Minnesota. The App is powered by GPS and shows locations of schools and community sites providing meals, with days and hours of operation. It also shows the distance and directions to the nearest site from your location. The App is updated regularly, even daily, to make sure the information is up to date. We count on you and MDE to make the information accurate. Please download the App (Apple or Google) and share it with families and others concerned about feeding kids this summer. 
    free meals app
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  • Students and families can find age-appropriate support and resources for family changes, chemical dependency, eating disorders, mental health, and social/emotional concerns, along with college and career readiness.

    Our District employs counselors, school resource officers, social workers, and other professionals to provide appropriate services to meet the needs of individual students and families.

    We invite you to contact our Student Support Services staff using our Staff Directory.

    District counselors have compiled a variety of student support resources for use at home. Please visit our Virtual Resources page to explore topics that provide mental health support, calming strategies, and resources for play.

    To get to know our staff and the services the District provides, please view this presentation from the December 14, 2020 meeting of the Sartell-St. Stephen Substance-Free Coalition. 

    General timeline of the video: 

    • 0-4:35 - Overview: District staff, configuations, and details
    • 4:53 - Oak Ridge Early Learning Center
    • 8:50 - Pine Meadow Primary School
    • 12:35 - Riverview Intermediate School
    • 16:05 - Sartell Middle School 
    • 20:45 Sartell High School Overview
    • 30:00 In-School Therapist through CentraCare and Mental Health Therapist through Central Minnesota Mental Health Center
    • 33:10 - Other supports (food, clothing, mentorship, etc.)
    • 35:20 - Student Resource Officers
    • 39:30 - Questions & Answers

Distance Learning Support

Contact Us

  • Mental Health Support
    If your child is in need of mental health support, please contact:

    Carrie Gapinski

    Licensed School Social Worker

    Heather Hofer
    Licensed School Social Worker
    320-656-3701 x4894

    Stacy Boom
    Licensed School Social Worker
    District Homeless Liaison
    320-656-3701 x4892

    Luke Rude
    Licensed School Counselor
    320-656-3701 x 2104

    Connie Connor
    Licensed School Social Worker
    320-656-3701 x2105

    Student last name A-K
    Shannon Zinken
    Licensed School Counselor
    320-656-3701 x 3206

    Student last name L-Z
    Madeline Schug
    Licensed School Counselor
    320-656-3701 x 3205

    Natalie Helgerson
    Licensed Graduate Social Worker

    Marilee Lefeber
    Administrative Assistant
    Counseling Office

    Student last names
    A-F: Justine Kirkham
    Licensed School Counselor

    G-K: Kate Turner
    Licensed School Counselor

    L-Q: Dawn Forsberg Brown
    Licensed School Counselor

    R-Z: Noel Meyer
    Licensed School Counselor

Last Modified on Monday at 2:01 PM