What does an Elementary School Counselor Do?
My services are available to ALL students, not just those in a crisis. It is my job to help ensure students are able to do their best at school. At times, this can be difficult because many factors go into students doing well in school --- their relationships with peers, teachers, and staff; their ability to focus and pay attention; their ability to understand and manage their feelings and behaviors; sometimes their lives outside of school. These issues can be addressed through classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling and brief individual counseling. There also may be school-wide programs like “Kindness Week.” Students can think of me as someone who helps them solve their own problems. I am an adult at school, with whom students are never “in trouble.”
How are you different from a therapist or an outside agency?
Since my services are available to ALL students, I am usually only able to see children briefly (6-8 sessions). I help students address family problems and behaviors at home, but my primary role is to help students deal with school-related problems. Sometimes an issue a student is having might be better addressed more intensively in a therapeutic setting, and with greater direct parental involvement. When outside services are needed, I can help students and families get connected to outside help, like a therapist or other resources and/or services.
How are students referred to you?
Parents can click on the Counseling Referral link below and complete the referral form. A signed permission slip is needed and will be sent home once a referral is received. Parents can also pick up a copy of the permission slip from the office.
Will you notify me if you see my student?
Often, students pop in to tell me about relatively minor or time-limited issues like an argument with a peer or the death of a pet. If that happens, I may not notify you unless: a) there is a safety concern, b) your child has asked to see me repeatedly, or c) if the worry or problem is significant (by adult standards). If I see that your child could benefit from regular meetings with me, or if I would like to have them in one of my small counseling groups, I will always ask for your written permission.