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Austin Public Schools

Counseling Office

Ellis Middle School

We Care

We understand that many students may have mixed emotions and feelings about what is going on right now, including moving to distance learning. Please know your counselor will continue to provide social, emotional, and educational support throughout this time and will follow the same student privacy and confidentiality guidelines when meeting with students.

Tips for Students Distance Learning
Grounding Technique

We Want to Connect

Please use the contact information located to the right in the event you need to connect with a Support Person.

Direct Contact

Connecting with you is important to us. You can expect that if you reach out to one of us we should be able to connect with you within 24-48 hours during normal school hours. If you need immediate assistance concerning danger to self or others, please contact law enforcement at 437-9400.

Emergency Contacts

In the event of a mental health emergency or crisis, when the health and/or safety of yourself or someone you know is in question, please contact one of the Emergency contacts below.

  • Minnesotans can now access suicide prevention and mental health crisis texting services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Text "MN" to 741741 for help diffusing a crisis, including suicide and mental health issues.
  • National Suicide Hotline in Spanish: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/en-espanol/ or call 1-888-628-9454.
  • National Suicide Hotline: Chat - https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ or call 1-800-273-8255.
  • Southeastern MN Crisis Hotline: 1-844-CRISIS2 or https://crisis2southeastmn.com/contact-us/.
  • Crime Victim's Resource Center (if you are feeling unsafe in your home- 24 hour a day crisis line): 507-437-6680.
  • Mower County Emergency Assistance line (if no one in your home can leave the home due to COVID-19): 507-396-8227.
  • Austin police department: 911 (if you can't call you can text 911) or 507-437-9400.
  • Mower County Health and Human Services: 507-437-9700.

Please know that you can still contact one of us for support after making a connection with one of the resources above, but a counselor should not be the only point of contact if it is an emergency.

Resources

  • For a comprehensive look at resources available to families in Mower County during this time, please go to the United Way Mower County website at: https://www.uwmower.org/covid-19-resourcesservices.html.
  • You can find information for food resources, health care, employment services, elder care, stable housing, utilities payment assistance, veteran services, disaster services, childcare and family services. Call 211 or visit 211.org for free, confidential, multilingual assistance 24/7/365.

Academic

If you need assistance with academics, please review your teacher's office hours on their Schoology page or directly contact them via email. Additional outside supports are noted below:

Scheduling Issues

For students in 7th grade, please contact kirstin.norby@austin.k12.mn.us.
For students in 8th grade, please contact lea.oelfke@austin.k12.mn.us.
If you have any questions regarding your child entering 9th grade, please contact the respective high school counselor, by last name.

  • A-E: sarah.schmit@austin.k12.mn.us
  • F-La: lynn.keenan@austin.k12.mn.us
  • Le-Reh: julie.hale@austin.k12.mn.us
  • Rei-Z: bryce.hoffa@austin.k12.mn.us

Technology Issues

For full distance learning students: contact APS Tech Services at 507-460-1936.

For in-person / hybrid students: contact Tina Henely at tina.henely@austin.k12.mn.us

We Want To Share

Please logon to https://extension.umn.edu/news/taking-care-yourself-isolation for tips and links on resources for taking care of yourself.

As always, we are here for you, please let us know how we can help. Be safe and well.

Ellis Counselors

7th Grade:
Kirstin Norby
kirstin.norby@austin.k12.mn.us
507-460-1517

8th Grade:
Lea Oelfke
lea.oelfke@austin.k12.mn.us
507-460-1513
Schedule an Appointment

School Psychologist:
Cassandra Owens
cassandra.owens@austin.k12.mn.us
507-460-1512
Schedule an Appointment

REACH Counselor:
John Pereda
john.pereda@austin.k12.mn.us
507-460-1510
Schedule an Appointment