Abigail Kosch ’24
At the start of this school year, Passaic Valley welcomed Ms. Rose Moise, the new School-Based Clinician, to its staff. Ms. Moise works out of the West Bergen Mental Healthcare group and serves as a resource for students to receive mental and social-emotional support.
A School-Based Clinician position was created to support students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Ms. Moise provides our students with social-emotional and mental health support, which enables them to successfully navigate the current times we find ourselves in,” said Mr. Bracken Healy, Superintendent of Passaic Valley. “The past 18 months have been incredibly hard for many of our students. Ms. Moise’s services are invaluable as she helps alleviate stress, anxiety and many other ranges of emotion so that our students can flourish both socially and academically.”
In addition to the health measures to combat COVID-19, Healy and Vice Principal Ms. Krista Voorhis decided to take measures to ensure students’ mental health is being prioritzed as well. “It’s really important that we recognize that our students’ mental health deserves to be monitored and supported as well,” says Ms. Voorhis. “[Ms. Moise] is a perfect fit to assist us in that.”
To differentiate Ms. Moise’s position from the other mental health clinicians working with students at Passaic Valley, a school-based clinician helps specifically with school-oriented mental health. “The goal for the school-based clinician is to make sure the student is well-grounded enough to be in classes,” said Ms. Moise. “It can’t be psycho-dynamic. It’s very short term, to make sure that the student is well-grounded to have a better school year.”
Ms. Moise has worked professionally with students for the past two years and began her work with West Bergen Mental Healthcare group in July. She has previous experience working in schools as a clinician. Additionally, Ms. Moise has her teaching degree in preschool to third grade. Her degree also enables her to work with students who have disabilities. I wanted to make sure I give my students a voice and make sure their needs are met. So that’s why I picked counseling versus teaching,” said Ms. Moise.
Ms. Moise’s office is a safe space where students can go to receive help if they feel they are struggling with their mental health, and it is affecting their success in school. “As a counselor you have to stick to confidentiality. Everything you say in here stays with me,” said Ms. Moise. “I use myself as a safe box.” Ms. Moise is working to make her office more of a comfier one, adding more comfortable seating, pillows and other more home-like things to reflect this idea.
For Mr. Healy and Ms. Voorhis, Ms. Moise and her role at Passaic Valley are essential to the students’ development. “We wanted to make sure our students had a variety of support services available to them,” said Healy. “The development of a successful, well-rounded person begins with good mental health. Ms. Moise is one of the many great resources we have here at Passaic Valley. I encourage our students to stop by her office and say hello!”
Ms. Moise loves the students, staff and families of Passaic Valley and is glad to be part of such a welcoming environment. “It’s good that you have that family approach,” said Ms. Moise. “It’s like a family here with the staff and the students.”
Ms. Moise also loves how tradition is a key factor at Passaic Valley and it shows through the students and staff. “You have so many teachers and so many staff members that have been here for so long, or were students here and now they’re staff,” said Ms. Moise. “You don’t see that in a lot of places anymore. I think that’s what I appreciate about PV.”