How does your child experience school counseling services?
I work with a student in a safe, positive, and confidential setting to address issues that hinder school achievement. Topics are based on the needs of the student and may include: understanding feelings, changing families/divorce, grief, stress, social skills, academics, bullying, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Small Group Counseling
I work with a group of students who share similar issues or concerns (consisting of about 3-6 peers). The group sessions usually last about 30 minutes and are held for approximately 6-8 weeks. Topics are based on the needs of the students as determined by data collected from report cards, teacher observation, staff and administration input and counselor experience with the student. The school counseling program is focusing on groups that teach friendship and social skills, good citizenship, study skills, conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, and stress-management.
Classroom Counseling Lessons
This year, we are utilizing the Second Step Program for TK-5 character education lessons, driven by the ASCA (American School Counseling Association) Standards. Character education lessons address personal, social, academic, and career-related needs at the child's developmental level. Topics may include learning to listen, focusing attention and staying on task, identifying feelings, empathy and compassion, calming down, self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, career awareness, tattling/reporting, friendship/social skills, responsibility, respect, teasing/bullying, managaing strong feelings, cooperation, goal setting/decision-making,problem solving, and peer pressure. On the Character Education link, there is a letter to parents that includes information on how you can get involved in reinforcing the character skills that are being taught at school. The Parent letter also includes a link to the Second Step Program for Parents to access to assist their child in reinforcing the skills being taught at school.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):
- What services does the counselor provide?
Elementary School Counselors provide preventive and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Counselors provide appropriate tools for communicating, making decisions, and developing friendships and coping skills. Counselors provide services by developing and delivering classroom presentations that teach skills for achieving success, facilitating small group counseling, providing immediate short-term counseling when needed, and providing support during personal crisis. In addition, counselors work collaboratively with parents to connect them to community resources if needed and to help their student succeed in their academic, career, personal and social development.
- How does my student get referred to the counselor?
Students can see their Elementary School Counselor via self-referral, parental request, request of the counselor, administrative referral, and/or teacher or staff referral. Parental referral forms are available in the main office.
- For how long does the school counselor see the student?
- Sessions may be held on a regular, ongoing basis or simply as needed. The counselor's priority is for the student to succeed here at school and to do so the student must be in his/her classroom as much as possible. Therefore the counselor will not remove the student from his/her class for longer than 15 minutes unless crisis management is needed.
- How do I get referred for outside services?
The role of a school counselor is to assist children during their school day. This may include issues with friends, test anxiety, social issues, and problems at home that are affecting their school day. There are times when outisde, private counseling may be necessary, such as when there are difficulties at home (i.e. divorce, death of a loved one, deployment, mental health concerns, etc.) that are either not affecting the child at school or could benefit from professional therapeutic support. If you decide private counseling is necessary for your family, the counselor can provide information regarding local counseling agencies.
- If it is a weekend, how do I get help for Crisis Counseling?
Our district has many resources for various situations on their website at http://alvordschools.org/Domain/2421. You can also ask your school counselor for a list of local resources to contact in case of a crisis situation.
- If a student is getting outside services, what is the school counselor’s role?
The school counselor can collaborate with the outside service providers if needed. There is a form that the school counselor might give you titled "Authorization for Use and/or Disclosure of Confidential Information" which will allow communication between providers.
- What are the parameters around confidentiality?
Confidentiality is an important aspect of counseling; this is how the counselor builds trust with the student. What the child says during counseling is to remain between the counselor and the child unless: 1. The child is in imminent danger. 2. The child is threatening to harm him/herself or someone else. 3. The child reports an incident of abuse and/or neglect. 4. The child gives permission to disclose. When a breach in confidentiality is necessary, the counselor would make a report to the appropriate agencies, support staff and/or parents depending on the situation. Note: Our highest priority is keeping your student safe. School counselors and other school staff members are mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are required by law to report to CPS any time a student is suspected of being in danger.
- How can I get ahold of the counselor?
The counselor is available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-3:00pm and can be reached by phone, email, or in person. If you would like a meeting, please contact the counselor ahead of time to make an appointment. The counselor shedule is not always open to immediate walk-in meetings, however parental involvement is a priority for us and the counselor will try to schedule a meeting for as soon as possible.
- Why would my child see you?
- Students may be referred to the school counselor if there are concerns that are inhibiting their learning here at school. Some concerns, but not limited to are: behavioral difficulties, social/emotional concerns, conflict with peers, attendance concerns and academic concerns.
- Will you notify me if you spoke to my child?
Parents are notified at the discretion of the counselor. If a counselor will be seeing a student on an on-going basis, the counselor will then notify the parent and seek parental consent for school counseling if it has not already been given within the school enrollment packet.
- What topics do you cover in small groups?
Small group topics are determined based on the need of the small group. Previous groups held are listed below:
Citizenship, Personal/Social Skills, Study Skills
- Where is the Counselor’s office?
- The Counselor’s office is in room 26D. Visitors- Please check in with the front office before going to the Counseling Room.
- Am I in trouble if I see the School Counselor?
When you receive a slip with the Counselor’s name on it, it does not mean you have been called in because you are in trouble or “bad.” In fact, a counselor is an adult who acts as your advocate! An advocate is someone who wants to listen to what you have to say and help you come up with reasonable solutions to making your situation better. It does not mean that your counselor can solve the problem for you; it does mean that you have a safe place that you can go to when you are not sure what to do.
- What services does the counselor provide?
Monday - Friday
By Appointment Only
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Other times during the work day are possible as well based on counselor schedule of availability
Phone: (951) 358-1610
Foothill - School Counselor