Counselor

Access to Counseling Services
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School counselors serve students and parents — both in groups and individually — to help students meet academic, personal/social, and college/career goals. 
Individual referrals to the school counselor may be made by the student, a parent, or by school staff and administration. School counseling services do not constitute or substitute for professional therapeutic care. 
Students may stop by the counseling office during the school day. Parents may call the counseling office to schedule an appointment or a phone conference. Matters of urgency will be given priority.
 
Individual Counseling and Planning
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Sometimes parents or teachers ask me to visit with a child individually.  Individual services are brief and solution-focused, not long term therapy. Some children may need a little extra support and guidance, and usually it is just an extension of the classroom lesson topics.   I might help your child to address his/her specific needs on issues such as decision-making, accepting responsibility for one's actions, making friends, anger management, worries and frustrations, coping with grief and loss, etc. I believe in helping children solve their problems so that they may envision a bright and successful future. 

I am also the 504 coordinator for our campus.  If your child has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life function, then he or she may qualify for accommodations under Section 504.  I facilitate the meetings and manage the 504 paperwork.  I also help guide the teachers to implement the 504 accommodation plan in the classroom.
 
Group Counseling
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Group counseling is also brief and solution-focused. It's a great way to normalize shared experiences with children and for children to learn from each other.  Our groups are sometimes called "SOS" groups -- which stands for strengthened sense of self...I call them my "secrets to success" groups. We play games or complete activities to help students develop the social skills needed to be good friends and responsible students.
 
REACH for Excellence
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Our slogan "REACH for Excellence" is our way to help everyone in the building know our expectations and use a common language to communicate what we expect! The signal to REACH is a panther paw (hand) raised up in the air. Ask your children to explain what the letters in REACH stand for (or check out the bulletin board in the main hallway)!
 
Classroom Guidance
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Perhaps the most important responsibility (and one of the most fun) for a guidance counselor is to implement the guidance curriculum by following American School Counseling Association standards. These lessons are usually scheduled once a month and relate to standards in three areas: Personal/Social Development, Academic Development, or Career Development...lessons on topics such as making and keeping friends, peaceful conflict-resolution, effective ways to communicate feelings, responsible decision making, etc....