We make it our mission to focus on the developmental needs of all students and serve as their advocate by partnering with staff, families, and community members. As your school counselors we are committed to addressing academic and career goals, as well as the socioemotional needs of students while facilitating life-long learning and empowering our students to be respectful world citizens. We will embrace diversity and respond to the cultural needs and interests of each student. To ensure equity, our comprehensive school counseling curriculum is delivered K-5, providing access to resources for all of our students and supporting their rigorous academic experience.
Role of the Counselor
As professional school counselors we can enhance the educational experience of students by:
- addressing personal/social concerns that interfere with students’ education,
- serving as a link between the community and the school,
- coordinating a comprehensive school counseling curriculum, and
- advocating for students and the profession of school counseling.
Comprehensive School Counseling Curriculum
A comprehensive school counseling program includes school counseling lessons, counseling groups, and individual counseling. As school counselors, our professional organization – the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) has provided a model for developing a comprehensive counseling program. We will utilize both the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success and the Virginia Standards for School Counseling Programs – which cover the domains of academic, social/emotional, and career development.
- Academic development: School counselors help students obtain and maintain the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed for academic success in the present and for the future.
- Social/Emotional development: School counselors engage students in activities to promote positive interpersonal knowledge, attitudes and skills. These assets are central to helping students make healthy decisions, set reasonable personal goals, cope with difficult and stressful situations and consider their personal safety inside and outside the school setting.
- Career development: School counselors help students understand their personal talents and strengths in ways that allow them to acquire skills for exploring the world of work and for making informed career decisions.
School Counseling Lessons
School Counseling Lessons are an important component of a counseling program because we can affect the largest amount of students in this way. We will teach lessons that promote academic success (e.g., developing study skills). Our school counseling lessons will incorporate social/emotional concerns like responsibility and citizenship. We will also help to facilitate career development because this is not something that begins in high school; students can begin to explore their interests at an early age.
Counseling groups offer a unique opportunity for students to discuss common challenges and work together to find solutions. Groups like this also offer support – letting students know that they aren’t the only one experiencing these challenges. Before offering counseling groups we will conduct a needs-based assessment to allow both students and teachers an opportunity to share the needs they perceive. Based on the feedback we can offer a variety of groups.
We may offer groups on topics like:
- Academic Success,
- Social Skills,
- Making Choices,
- Military Support,
- Changing Families, or
We might see a student for individual counseling due to reoccurring problems or topics that are too sensitive to discuss in a larger setting. A student might come to his/her school counselor for individual counseling by self-referral (e.g., signing up at our office or by simply stopping us in the hallway). A parent or teacher may also request that we see a student by completing a School Counseling Referral Form.