Role of the Elementary School CounselorThe elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.Elementary School Counselors implement the Counseling Program by providing the following:
Classroom guidance lessons- Classroom guidance lessons are provided for each grade on a bi-weekly basis. These lessons incorporate academic, personal/social, and career development. Classroom activities focus on interpersonal skills, decision-making skills, self-awareness, and character education. We also use this time to buildralationships and have fun! See the above link for more information on the objectives of Classroom Guidance lessons.
*Small group counseling- The school counselors offers small groups which address a wide range of topics. Groups are usually made up with less than eight students in the same grade level and last 4-6 weeks. Group times are scheduled during the school day at a time that will impact the least amount of instructional time. Many groups are held during lunch periods. See the the link for group topics and objectives.
*Individual counseling- The school counselors works with students on an individual basis to help meet the needs of the child. Individual counseling is usually short term and can focus on academic concerns, family issues or student attitudes and behaviors. If you'd like to speak more about individual counseling services, please reach out!
Lunch Bunch - The school counselors also enjoy having these special lunches with the students. Sometimes we will have a lunch bunch to help make new friends or just to celebrate a special day, or students may simply ask to have lunch with one to three of their friends as well as one of the counselors. This is just a fun way to get to know your children better!*Parental permission is required for individual and group counseling.
Why Do Parents Contact a School Counselor
- Academic achievement
- New school registration, orientation and transition
- Special needs of students
- Student crisis situations
- Family transitions
- Higher education issues
How Is a Student Referred to the School Counselor?
Teacher, administrator or staff referral
What are some of the tasks a school counselor "doesn't" do?
*The school counselor does not do testing or diagnosing. The counselor may help serve as the liaison between the specialists involved in this process, such as the school psychologist, or school social worker.
*The school counselor does not do "therapy," and will refer out to other professionals if deemed necessary.
*The school counselor does not handle discipline issues. However, the school counselor may follow up with this student if he/she is currently working with the counselor, or if the student is someone who may begin working with the counselor.Minimum Qualifications for a Virginia School CounselorMaster's DegreeState CertificationsPlease feel free to call either of us with any questions that you may have regarding your child and/or our program. We are looking forward to meeting and working with you and your child!