• School Counseling Program 


    Vision Statement

    Elementary school counselors within the Palm Springs Unified School District visualize a future where all students have the opportunities they need to: explore their talents to meet their highest potential; take pride in themselves and their school; become life-long learners and responsible, contributing members in our community. Students will emerge equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be college and career ready, as well as productive members of an ever-changing global civilization.  

    Counseling Beliefs

    • All students have worth.
    • All students can achieve academic success and become productive members of society.
    • All students will demonstrate resilience, grit and growth mindset when faced with challenging situations. 


    Mission Statement

    The mission of Palm Springs Unified School District’s Elementary School Counseling Program is to deliver a comprehensive program that allows for continuous self-evaluation and improvement as we strive to support and enhance the academic, college/career readiness, and personal/social/emotional development of all students. This is done through the delivery of data-driven classroom lessons, small group instruction and individual counseling. Elementary school counselors advocate for the success, equity and equal access for all students. We endeavor to create a school climate that supports inclusion, safety, academic success and the ability for all students to be responsible members of society as well as life-long learners that are prepared for all the challenges the future holds.  


    Counseling Services:

    • Monthly classroom lessons - Counselor provides guidance lessons to entire classes on specific topics, such as: What is a Counselor, Growth Mindset, Empathy, Kindness, Friendship, Career Exploration, etc.
    • Group counseling - Counseling for a small group of students to address a specific issue such as; anger, anxiety, coping skills, self-esteem, divorce, social skills, etc.
    • Individual counseling - One-on-one brief counseling to students for issues ranging from minor to major, including crisis intervention.
    • Academic progress support and referrals for tutoring or other help.
    • Personal development support and referrals for intervention programs, therapy or other community resources.
    • Collaboration with other educators, parents/guardians, and community contact to help support students.
    • Consultation with teachers, support staff, parents and outside agencies (as needed).
    • Schoolwide activities. 



    Information students share with the school counselor is confidential. The student’s right to privacy is guarded as much as permitted by law, ethics and school policy. The school counselor is obligated to break confidentiality when there is potential harm to the student or others, concern about neglect or abuse, or a court of law that requires testimony or student records. Counselors maintain confidentiality of the information that your child shares with them. However, as a mandated reporter, all school employees or healthcare workers are required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services. 


    About Me

    Hello everyone! My name is Paula Henry and this is my fifth year as the School Counselor at Sunny Sands Elementary School. I received my Master’s in Guidance and Counseling from California State University San Bernardino in 2017. Before coming to Sunny Sands, I worked at Rancho Mirage High School as a Prevention Specialist, helping students at risk of failing, students having attendance issues and students caught with substances on campus. Prior to working for Palm Springs Unified School District, I worked as a School Counselor for Riverside County Latino Commission in partnership with Coachella Valley Unified School District for about 2 years. During my time there, I worked at Sea View Elementary, Westside Elementary and Cahuilla Desert Academy Middle School providing mental health counseling, running groups and providing counseling lessons in the classroom. I am so excited and honored to be the School Counselor with the amazing team of educators and staff here at Sunny Sands. I provide support to students and help them achieve academic success, career and social/emotional development, so that they can meet their personal and academic goals for this school year and beyond. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends and enjoy cooking and baking for them. 


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     Frequently Asked Questions