What is a school counselor?

What is a School Counselor? 

A certified, trained, and caring professional who works with all students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order for each student to achieve academic and social success. School Counseling services are delivered in four specific ways: 

  • School Guidance Curriculum- designing ,structuring, and delivering classroom lessons designed to achieve specific competencies in all grades K-5 (personal/social, academic, career) and driven by the needs of the school population 
  • Individual Student Planning- assisting students with goal formation/planning (behavioral, academic, etc.) 
  • Responsive Services- meeting immediate student needs (counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, referral, peer mediation, information-providing) 
  • System Support- schoolwide program planning and implementation (PBIS, Instructional Leadership Teaming, etc.), consulting with other professionals, coordination of various supports for students and families 

What types of counseling supports are delivered by a School Counselor? 

Individual Counseling: A process where students discuss issues in a safe, positive, and confidential setting. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include: feelings, changing families, peer pressure, friends, stress, academics, social skills, bullying, getting along with others, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Small Group Counseling:  A process where students, sharing similar issues and concerns, work together in a small group environment consisting of about 4-6 peers. The group sessions usually last about 15-30 minutes and are held for approximately 6-8 weeks. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include divorce or changing families, grief and loss, friendship and social skills, study skills, conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, and stress-management. 

Classroom Guidance:  A process that requires the School Counselor to develop and implement K-5 classroom curriculum. This K-5 curriculum addresses personal, social, academic, and career-related needs at the child's developmental level. Topics may include self-esteem, conflict resolution, study skills, anger management, career awareness, tattling/reporting, friendship/social skills, responsibility, respect, teasing/bullying, feelings, cooperation, goal setting/decision-making, and peer pressure.

Programs Coordinated by the Counselor 

  • Support the development, implementation, and monitoring of behavior plans 
  • PBIS Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports 
  • Schoolwide Developmental Classroom Counseling Program 
  • Bully-Prevention/Intervention Support
  • Social/Emotional Learning
  • Parent-partnerships: conferencing, resourcing, programming