Counseling Services

For students experiencing specific barriers to academic success and emotional wellbeing, individual and small group counseling is available at University Park Elementary. This service is provided by Tania van Straalen, M.A, our Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist (ERC), and offers a wide range of support services such as short-term, solution-focused individual or small group counseling, parenting support and consultation, and community resource outreach and linkage. If students are in need of longer-term or more intensive counseling services, the Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist can provide parents with resources for local counseling agencies or assist them with finding service providers through their medical insurance.

In addition, Lunch Bunch gatherings are available each week where students have the option to join the ERC during their lunch break to meet new peers, socialize with friends while participating in games as well as fun activities! Lastly, we collaborate with local outside agencies to provide FREE parent education workshops on various important topics throughout the school year.

Meet your Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist:

My name is Tania van Straalen and I am the Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist at University Park Elementary. I work to ensure students are receiving social and emotional support during their school day. I have been working in Education in various capacities for over 13 years. I received my Bachelors of Art’s in Psychology from San Diego State University and my Master's in Clinical Psychology, emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Additionally, I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. During my free time, I enjoy hiking, playing with my dogs, swimming, and spending quality time with my family and friends.

Should you feel that your child may benefit from a counseling service, please feel free to contact me. I am available Monday through Friday by phone (949) 936- 6347 or email

Second Step Program 

Each classroom can explore monthly lessons through SecondSTEP ( and align with the following skill-building areas: Skills for Learning, Empathy, Emotional Management, and Problem Solving. In addition to classroom lessons, students at University Park Elementary can participate in small groups that support the monthly classroom lessons. Group sessions are held once a week, for 10- 12 weeks, and is a pull out service that students receive

during their school day. Lessons are provided by Holly Robertson, a trained paraprofessional through IUSD’s Guidance Paraprofessional Program. Talk to your child's teacher if you feel your child would benefit from this program. If you would like more information on SecondSTEP or other related services, check out IUSD’s Prevention & Intervention page found here (

Meet your Guidance Paraprofessional:

Hello everyone! My name is Holly Robertson and I am excited to be a part of the University Park Team. I love talking to your children and helping to set them up for success in the classroom and in life with social-emotional skills. I will be running the Second Step classroom lessons and providing small groups to support with social skill building. I am a California native mother of 3 who loves gardening, reading and yoga. I have a bachelor’s degree in social work. I will be at University Park on Mondays and Fridays from 8:30am- 2:30pm

Parent Resources 

Below are a few helpful articles related to your child's wellbeing and social and emotional development. Should you need further support or information, please contact Tania van Straalen at (949) 936- 6347 or

Additional Resources 

  • Irvine Family Resource Center (949) 936-7580
  • Didi Hirsch Mental Health 24 hour crisis line: (877) 727-4747
  • Irvine Police Department: (949) 724-7000 (non-emergency line)
  • OC Links (855) 625-4657

Contact Information

Tania van Straalen, M.A.
Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist
(949) 936- 6347

Office hours

Monday-Friday during school hours. Please allow 24-48 hours for a response, with the exception of holiday breaks, weekends and when our office is closed.

If there is a life-threatening emergency, and the student requires immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.