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The North Bend Eagle


 

Psychologist Klootwyk enjoys NBE

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/31/11

Beth Klootwyk has been a school psychologist out of Educational Service Unit 2 for six years. This fall she’ll be working with North Bend students for the first time, and so far her first impressions are favorable.

“The students are very friendly,” Klootwyk said. “They seem confident, like they love school.”

Beth KlootwykKlootwyk

Klootwyk has an Educational Specialist Degree, an academic degree above a masters, but not quite a PhD. Her undergraduate degree from University of Nebraska at Kearney was in psychology. After serving as an behavioral para at an alternate middle school in Grand Island, Klootwyk decided she wanted to become a school psychologist and earned her EDS from UNK. She is now one of four school psychologist at ESU2, but the only one who is nationally certified.

“In the past, we contracted with ESU2 to have one person conduct counseling services and a different person to take care of school psychologist testing services,” NBCPS superintendent Dan Endof said. “Beth fits the bill for both of these needs while also providing additional dollars to the district through special education reimbursement. In the long run, we receive many more contracted days with Beth than we did with the previous scenario--and for a similar expense. We thank ESU2 for creating this favorable format for us.”

In the past six years Klootwyk has worked at Lyons, West Point and Wisner. She is in North Bend three and a half to four days a week, in addition to serving Bancroft and Dodge. Klootwyk also does all the autism testing and consultation for the ESU 2 area.

Klootwyk also serves as the guidance counselor for North Bend Elementary. The first few weeks of school she has been visiting all the class rooms doing a “getting to know me” lesson with the children. Her future schedule will include meeting with the fifth and sixth grade classes once a week and meeting with the kindergartner through fourth grade classes every other week.

A statement from ESU 2 about the service explains the service reads:

“Psychologists provide services in consultation, assessment and intervention to assist educators, parents and other professionals in understanding the learning, social-emotional and behavioral needs of students and in identifying effective strategies to help all children be successful learners.”

As guidance counselor at the elementary, Klootwyk will talk to classes, individuals or do group counseling as well as the testing for special education. When she goes to the classroom she will discuss issues that the teacher thinks the class needs to talk about. Topics could range from bullying, social skills, study habits, or whatever issues the teacher thinks pertinent.

“The students are willing to answer questions in the classroom, to discuss ideas,” Klootwyk said. “The teachers are doing a fabulous job here.”

At the high school there is a full time guidance counselor so Klootwyk’s only role will be as psychologist.

“It’s nice to have a female psychologist to assist with adolescent girls as they grow into young woman,” NBC principal Brenda Petersen said. “There are just some issues they don’t feel comfortable talking about with a male counselor or even a principal. Beth will be a friendly face they can trust for guidance.”

Klootwyk and her husband Ryan live in Omaha with their three children, Sydney, Owen and Ian. She says it takes her about 45 minutes to get to her job, but she’s loving it.

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