1. 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 and providing immediate short-term counseling when needed, and providing support during personal crisis. In addition, counselors work collaboratively with parents to help their student succeed in academic, career, personal and social development and provide referrals for community resources.
2. 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.
3. How do parents contact the counselor? Parents are invited to contact the school counselor at any time via phone or email regarding their child. We can discuss your concerns over the phone or you can come in to meet with me. Parents can call or email the School Counselor to set-up a conference.
4. For how long does the school counselor see the student? Sessions may be held on a regular, ongoing basis or simply as needed.
5. 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. When there are difficulties at home (i.e. divorce, death of a loved one, deployment) that are not affecting the child at school or are affecting the child greatly at school there are times when outside, private counseling may be necessary. If you decide private counseling is necessary for your family, I can provide information regarding local counseling agencies.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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, I would make a report to the appropriate agencies, support staff and/or parents depending on the situation. Note: 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.
9. What are the parameters around confidentiality? The counselor is available 7:30-3:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can reach her by phone, email, or meet with her in person with an appointment.
10. 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 may be: behavioral, social/emotional, and academic concerns.
11. 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 notify the parent and seek parental consent for school counseling.12. What topics do you cover in small groups? Small group topics are determined based on the need of the small group. Previous groups held here and their topics are listed below:
- Making Good Choices Group: Learning skills- listening, following directions, focusing attention, making a plan for learning; self- talk; Decision making; problem solving; Appropriate vs. Inappropriate behavior; friendships; confidence
- Friendship Group: strengths as a friend; what to look for in a friend; conflict resolution with friends; sharing and taking turns; problem solving; listening to others; how to make a new friend
- G.I.R.L.S. Group: self- discovery; communication; gossip; increase self-esteem; personal power; friendship
13. Where is the counselor's office? The counselor’s office is in Room 3. If you need assistance making an appointment or finding her office please ask at the front office.
14. Is my child in trouble if he/she sees the counselor? When your child is seen by the counselor, it does not mean he/she has been called in because he/she is in trouble or “bad.” In fact, a counselor is an adult who acts as your child's advocate! An advocate is someone who wants to listen to what a student has to say and help her/him come up with reasonable solutions to making the situation better. It does not mean that the counselor can solve the problem for your student; it does mean that your child has a safe place that he/she can go to when he/she is not sure what to do.