Hello! I am Gina Newlander, one of the School Social Workers, at Oxbow Creek Elementary School. This school year, 2019-2020, is my 15th year at Oxbow Creek, and my 17th year with Anoka-Hennepin.
At Oxbow Creek, my "office" is connected to the Compass Room. The Compass Room is a multipurpose room designed to help children "find a new direction", with the goal being that the child successfully returns to the classroom as soon as they are able. Mrs. Cater, para-educator, is staffed in the Compass Room part time as well.
Sometimes children come into the Compass Room because they need a quiet, less distracting place to do work. Sometimes children need to take a "break" to calm down, or regroup. Sometimes a small group of children are sent to the Compass Room to work out a problem. Other times, children choose to spend time in the Compass Room with a friend during lunch or recess, for a reward; or other positive reinforcement. Some children who may be going through a difficult time (due to family change, grief/loss, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, health problems, etc.) often use the Compass Room as a safe place to talk about and work out their feelings.
At Oxbow Creek, I work with children on an individual basis, as well as in small groups on various topics. Please click on "What Do School Social Workers Do?" on the left, to find out more information.