Dear Parents and Guardians,

This year, the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District will be recognizing National Social Emotional Learning Day on March 10, 2023. SEL Day brings awareness to the importance of not only teaching our children Math, Reading and Core subjects, but developing the self-awareness, self control and interpersonal skills that are needed in order to succeed in school, work and life. It is so important that our children learn to identify their feelings, understand and communicate with others, build strong relationships and learn to make good empathetic decisions. It is something that your child’s teachers, counselor and principal have been working on everyday here at Intervale. Especially with their time away from school during COVID, we recognized how vital these skills are for our children not only to succeed in school but to feel safe and happy here.

In true Intervale spirit, our School Climate Committee made up of teachers, staff and parent representation came together to plan a fun filled day of teaching and celebrating these skills for our children. The day includes learning about mindfulness, handling emotions and good decision making as well as skills reinforcing social relationships. This will be done through storytelling, role playing, yoga, and many hands-on activities planned to reinforce these skills. We have paired fifth graders with kindergarteners, fourth graders with first graders and second and third graders to help build on skills such as role modeling, empathy and cooperation.

We will be taking a school picture at the end of the day, so we are asking all children to wear their Bully Free, Intervale or Blue shirts on Friday. This picture will represent the unity and spirit of Kindness, Acceptance and Tolerance that is so important at Intervale.

Included is a link that goes into more detail about Social Emotional Learning if you are interested. As always the school and home working together is vital for our children to succeed socially, emotionally and academically.

Thank you,

Donna O'Donnell
School Counselor

A person's most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge but a heart full of love, and ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help.

Read, Love and Learn

email: [email protected] phone: 862-999-5205


Meet the Counselor

Welcome! I am Donna O’Donnell, the school counselor here at Intervale Elementary School. I have been here at Intervale for twenty one years and think of it as my second home. Before becoming a counselor, I was a sixth grade teacher and then raised my four children. Having such a love for children, I decided to go back to school to become a school counselor as my kids got older. That is why I always tell parents that I have a degree in counseling psychology and school counseling but I am a mom first which helps greatly in working with my students and their parents. In addition to being the counselor, I am also the anti-bullying specialist, chairperson for the Intervention and Referral Services Committee as well as having many other duties at Intervale. I think of each student at the school as my own, seeing to their social, emotional and academic well being. I work closely with the staff to ensure that all children entering our building feel safe and welcomed. I am a firm believer that the school and home must work together in order for a child to succeed. Outside of school, you will find me spending time with my eight grandchildren, friends or reading.

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