School Counselor Role
The elementary counseling program is part of the total school program. It is child-centered and complements learning. The counselor promotes personal success by enhancing the development of academic skills, interpersonal skills, and self-understanding. The purpose of counseling is to help students maximize their potential.
How does a school counselor help kids?
A school counselor is someone who is trained to help you be the best you can be!
Why would I need to see a school counselor?
If you are having trouble making decisions about anything, a school counselor may be able to help.
What kinds of problems can a school counselor help me with?
A school counseling program is DEVELOPMENTAL by design, focusing on the needs, interests, and issues related to the various stages of personal growth.
A comprehensive school counseling program is proactive and based on educating, rather than simply being reactive to the multiple concerns that invariably appear in their lives.
Comprehensive School Counseling Program
River Valley School District is committed to providing a comprehensive school counseling program for students K-12. The district recognizes that each student's personal, academic, and social/emotional development must be addressed in order to allow the child to realize his fullest potential. The elementary counseling program was created to better serve the needs of district children. All elementary students are eligible to participate.
The primary responsibility for meeting student's educational and developmental needs is assigned to the classroom teacher. The school counselor serves in a supportive role to teachers, students, and parents.
School counselors are not disciplinarians. Their appropriate role is to develop and deliver school wide curriculum for the prevention of behaviors that lead to disciplinary action. Approximately 80% of a school counselor's time should be spent in direct student contact. The major responsibility of the elementary school counselor is to TEACH, COUNSEL, and GUIDE students through large group, individual, and small group instruction.
Students will gain confidence that they can succeed in this world. Each student will acquire the knowledge of how to identify a problem, apply problem-solving techniques, and solve a problem. They will learn coping strategies and apply them when faced with situations beyond their control, especially to reach out and ask for help when help is needed.
All children can succeed.
A caring community is essential for optimum learning to occur.
Young people have four basic needs:
CONNECTION children need to feel connected to their surroundings, that they belong
COMPETENCE children need to feel they are capable
SELF-CONTROL children need to feel they have some control over their lives
CONTRIBUTION children need to feel they have given of themselves, that their ideas are important
To create a caring environment that builds on student strengths and meets their four basic needs.
To address the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs of all students.
To teach to all modalities: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile.
To adapt materials and evaluations for students when needed.
To provide clear, specific instruction.
To empower students to take responsibility and to learn from their mistakes.
Classroom instruction through biweekly Life Skills class
Individual student counseling
Small group counseling
Coordinate community services
Teach developmentally appropriate lessons during scheduled Life Skills Class: Teach a series of developmentally sequenced lessons in the classroom, as well as facilitate the teaching of career awareness activities into the regular education curriculum.
Counsel individual students: Individual students are counseled for a number of reasons, such as friendships, anger management, and difficulty coming to school. This is short-term counseling, involving approximately one to five sessions. Referrals to outside agencies are made when the student need is greater than what the school can provide.
Conduct small group counseling: Conduct structured, goal-oriented need-based groups on a variety of topics throughout the school year. Groups meet for 20-30 minute sessions. They run from four to eight weeks, depending on student needs. Group topics may include: friendships, family change (separation, divorce, moving, job loss, and death), social skills, and anger management.
Consult with staff and parents regarding meeting the developmental needs of students: Serve as a resource for parents and staff. Participate in group consultation with administration, staff, parents, and others to enhance their work with students; facilitate conferences; conduct or provide opportunities for parent education programs; assist families with school related problems.
Participate in school-wide programs: Design, coordinate, or serve as a participant on school-wide programs to enhance school climate. Examples may include bullying prevention programs, National School Counseling Week, Red Ribbon Week, All School Assemblies.
Coordinate counseling related community services: Identify and coordinate counseling related community services that may be invited to our schools.
Fifth Grade Conferencing: Meet with fifth grade students and their parents to discuss student's strengths, interests, and goals. Answer any questions regarding transitioning to the middle school.
Refer students with critical needs, in consult with their parents, to appropriate community resources.
Demonstrate professional conduct and pursue professional growth. Membership in national (ASCA) and state (WSCA) associations is highly recommended.
Plan, implement, evaluate, and revise the school counseling program: Review the school counseling program annually with staff and administration.
REFERRAL PROCEDURE FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELING
This process involves the teacher-counselor-parent triad. Consultation can take place informally. To insure proper placement, as you refer the student for individual or group counseling services, consultation must occur before counseling begins.
If the child is displaying a school-related problem (of an emotional nature), counselor and teacher discuss what interventions to try. If it involves Small Group Guidance refer to C.
C. Referral Process
1. Teacher or counselor calls parent. Obtain parent's verbal permission for counseling services.
2. When applicable, counselor sends relevant paperwork to parent.
3. Parent fills out necessary forms and returns.
4. Counselor consults teacher and arranges a scheduled time to meet with student.
5. Counseling services begin.