The goal of my program is to ensure that every student is ready and able to receive the education that is provided at our school. There are many things that can get in the way of a good education. It's my job to create and carry out plans for students whose learning is being negatively affected by any of the various problems that can arise. Students are referred to me from teachers, the principal, other staff, parents, and sometimes students refer themselves.
I also work to enhance the school climate by creating programs that increase positive communication between students, decrease bullying behaviors, to encourage an environment conducive to learning.
In recent years the role of the school counselor has been changing nationally as well as locally. Counselors are trained to do more than help individuals and small groups. These days we look at the school as a system, and create our programs to assist targeted groups of students. This year I am expanding an advocacy project I have been working on for three years. This project is geared to raise the benchmark scores of specific groups of students. For example, some of the target groups are ELL students, students who have limited access to homework help, and students who appear to be socially isolated.
In the 09/10 school year I will continue to provide support to selected students in the middle grades who need help with organization and getting work in on time. In this capacity I will teach a Study Skills class to a small group of 8th graders, and meet with 6th and 7th graders regularly. I am also teaching an elective, Personal Development, to about 2/3's of the mid level students. You can find out more about the classes under the CLASSES link under IN THE CLASSROOMS, as soon as I figure out how to post there!
Often I personally create and carry out plans to increase the school success of individual students. This always entails collaborating with parents and often also includes consulting with the teacher, talking with the student, and working in the classroom.
Services that are part of my program include:
- Coordination of the Building Screening Committee--weekly staffings utilizing the expertise of our staff to brainstorm solutions to student difficulties.
- Consultation—to parents, teachers, tutors, outside counselors and others.
- Direct instruction in the classroom—Second Step, Steps to Respect and customized teaching to address specific school community and/or student difficulties.
- Guidance counseling to individuals and groups of students.
- Parenting Support to parents individually and in groups.
- Student service groups such as Student Game Leaders, who lead recess games for younger children.
- Coordinating implementation of a school wide social skills curriculum, i.e. Second Step and Steps to Respect.
- Advisor to the Student Government.
Sometimes the best way I can be of help to students is by referring students or families to other helpers, for example:
- After school homework club and Study Skills class.
- School nurse.
- School psychologist.
- Low cost counseling.
- Food & clothing sources.
If you have ideas about how I can improve my program, please let me know -- I welcome new ideas!