Student and Family Wellness
Our school district is committed to supporting students and families in healthy environments and with a culture that promotes and protects health and well-being. We are committed to providing opportunities for all students to reach their highest educational potential.
During the past year, we know many in our community have experienced an increase in social, emotional and financial stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time—and all of the time—the district's school social workers share these resources with you to help you and your family navigate challenges. We invite you to reach out to our team or school and program staff with any questions, concerns or a request for more support.
What We Do
We are a team of dedicated helping professionals who meet state requirements to practice in a variety of roles within our district’s school settings. We work to address any possible barriers to learning that may exist in the classroom, community or at home. We strive to understand students' social and emotional perspectives so that we may help them achieve academic and social success. We want to be the link that connects school, home and the community and to provide beneficial and supportive services to students, families and staff.
Our team may:
- Coordinate and facilitate student meetings to address mental wellness, social and emotional coping skills
- Provide student referrals to in-school or community therapy programs
- Find support for family basic needs
- Address barriers to students’ regular attendance at school
- Provide crisis intervention and support
- Bridge the gap between home, school and the community
Getting to Know WHITNEY JARNOT
Whitney has a passion for helping people become the best versions of themselves. For nearly a decade, she worked at CentraCare Health’s Clara’s House and Recovery Plus Adolescent Residential Services in both youth counseling and clinical therapist roles. She brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to Sauk Rapids-Rice High School’s Guidance and Counseling Office as a school social worker.
I love watching change happen for teens when they are able to tap into their strengths and build confidence to achieve their goals. Social emotional learning is so important in today's world and it's so great to see when teens start to understand and manage their emotions in healthy ways.
Jarnot helps students positively engage in their role as learners. She supports school staff as they address the numerous factors that may be barriers to student learning. School social workers like Jarnot help students with social, emotional and behavioral adjustment in school and life. They serve as an important link between home, school and the community, providing support for students’ academic and social success.
Jarnot has learned a lot about Sauk Rapids-Rice High School and the students who make up our community. She provides support, resources, and a safe place for students to process mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma symptoms, substance abuse along with support for students facing average adolescent issues. She helps students develop healthy communication patterns, emotion regulation skills, empathy, perspective building, and coping skills. In her experience, those who have little exposure in how to deal with hard emotions may believe something is “wrong” with themselves or how they feel. She wants to bring hope to students—or anyone facing difficult emotions—so that they know that they are not alone. “Reaching out for help often allows people to consider new perspectives and answers to problems,” she emphasizes.
As an advocate, Jarnot supports students as they learn to trust others and themselves to process through their emotions. She helps those who feel challenged in saying what they need or having a voice in situations. Jarnot feels students often communicate underlying emotional concerns through their behaviors if left untreated. She explains, “Attendance issues, poor academic performance and acting out are usually symptoms of another, larger problem.” She says collaboration between families and school staff is an important piece to student success. The high school has a team of student support specialists in place to address challenges, including two school-based therapists and a drug and alcohol counselor.
For Jarnot, empowering and teaching students skills to work through problems and seeing them positively engage in school and life is what makes her job worthwhile.
Jarnot lives in the Sauk Rapids area with her husband and family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time camping, watching sports, crafting and reading.
Meet Your Wellness Team
Benton County Community Services: 800-530-6254
Stearns County Community Services: 800-450-3663
Central Minnesota Mental Health Center
Child Anxiety Network
Minnesota Mental Health
Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
St. Cloud State University LGBTQ Resource Center