My name is Joe Dinolfo, and I am the counselor at Independence Junior High School as well as Navajo Heights. This is my seventh year working in District #128. I have a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Illinois State University. I also obtained my Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) status.
I am excited to start this school year and to see the positive effects of the implementation of our Professional Learning Communities (PLC's). I am also eager to continue the Rachel's Challenge program at IJHS through the continued implementation of the Friends of Rachel Club (FoR). This is a comprehensive program focused on creating a positive climate in the school, encouraging students to start a chain-reaction of kindness, and putting an end to bullying. With regards to my counseling background, I believe in a strengths-based and solution-focused approach to counseling which builds off of students’ strengths and looks at past successes in order to address current issues. I also strongly believe in the core components of cognitive-behavioral theory. The cognitive model describes how people's perceptions of, or spontaneous thoughts about, situations influence their emotional, behavioral (and often physiological) reactions. I am also working to integrate mindfulness techniques into my professional and personal life.
Ensuring that all aspects of the students’ educational plans (IEP/504) are being implemented, I will continue working in cooperation with the special education staff. In addition, counselor request forms are available in the office at IJH. The students can fill these out if they need to see me to address an issue or concern whether it is academic or personal. If you need to contact me for any reason or think that your child may benefit from counseling services, please do so. This year I will be working at Independence Jr. High School all day on Tuesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays. Additionally, I will be working at Navajo all day on Mondays and on Wednesdays. There is, of course, some flexibility and exceptions but this is a general outline of my schedule. Due to the fact that I travel, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) is often the best way to reach me. Thank you and I am looking forward to an outstanding school year!