School Counseling
Contact:
Jane Hopper Phone Icon 663-2453 Email Icon Email

Counselor in the Classroom

Ms. Jane and husband, Mike
Ms. Jane and husband, Mike

Why Elementary School Counselors

“Today’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders and citizens, every student needs support, guidance and opportunities during childhood, a time of rapid growth and change. Children face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement."

– “Toward a Blueprint for Youth: Making Positive Youth Development a National Priority,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
The 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.

Meeting the Challenge
Elementary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Elementary school counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. ASCA’s National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2002), with its data-driven and results-based focus, serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.

Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

School Guidance Curriculum

  • Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
  • Goal setting and decision-making
  • Career awareness, exploration and planning
  • Education on understanding self and others
  • Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
  • Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Substance abuse education
  • Multicultural/diversity awareness
  • Individual student planning

Academic planning

  • Goal setting/decision- making
  • Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Transition plans

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small-group counseling
  • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consultation/collaboration
  • Referrals


System Support

  • Professional development
  • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
  • Program management and operation


Elementary School Counselors Collaborate with:
Parents
Parent education 
Communication/networking 
Academic planning 
College/career awareness programs 
One-on-one parent conferencing 
Interpretation of assessment results

Teachers
Classroom guidance activities 
Academic support, including learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically 
Classroom speakers 
At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success

Administrators
School climate 
Behavioral management plans 
School-wide needs assessments 
Student data and results 
Student assistance team building

Students
Peer education 
Peer support 
Academic support 
School climate 
Leadership development
Community
Job shadowing, service learning 
Crisis interventions 
Referrals 
Parenting classes 
Support groups 
Career education

**These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive

Why Elementary School Counselors?
Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.


School Counseling is an important part of our school. The counselor gives presentations to each class, does group counseling and individual counseling. Anytime a student has a problem, he or she can meet with the counselor. Parents can also request that students meet with the counselor. Our school counseling is happy and relaxed and our goal is to help each student do his or her very best academically and socially.  When children are happy, they do better in school.  Please be aware that when students talk with me individually, what they say is confidential and will only be shared if they disclose abuse. I want students to know that they can talk  openly to me about anything and know that I will not share that with anyone else. If your child says something that I feel you need to be aware of, I will contact you so you will know of their concerns or feelings. Otherwise, what they tell me is completely confidential. Sometimes students just need to talk and then they are fine and my job is simply to listen and encourage them. Thank you for sharing your precious little ones with us each day.    

This year's lessons are about bullying  prevention. Each lesson has a theme and we discuss ways to stop bullying and prevent it in the future. The lessons are listed below:


August:         We all deserve to feel safe at school.

September:  Bullying is not acceptable.

October:       Everyone needs to learn to  live in peace.

November:   We all want to feel included.

December:   Conflict is inevitable; bullying is not.

January:      Telling an adult about bullying is not tattling.

February:     Bullying can be stopped.

March:          If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

April:             Bullying is NOT a normal part of growing up.

May:              It's important to communicate well. 


Please ask your children what they are learning in guidance classes and be open to what they tell you about bullying. Feel free to contact me anytime to discuss concerns.


Ms. Jane