Guidance

Katie Elliott and Amanda Herbert 
Counseling Department Website 

 

Department Philosophy

The School Counseling Department at Fairview Elementary is designed to benefit students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the overall school community. The counseling department believes in the worth of each student and value the diversity among our students. The counselors use a variety of tools such as music, bibliotherapy, active listening, puppetry, artistic expression, play, and movement to help students convey their feelings and learn healthy behaviors. The counseling department has several goals: (1) to promote a climate which fosters cooperation and assist students in developing good character; (2) to support each individual student in developing the self-understanding which leads to a positive attitude about self, about school and academic achievement, and about community; (3) to assist successful interpersonal relationships; and (4) to assist students in developing life-planning skills, and to understand the relationship between their academic work and successful future occupations.

 

Program Implementation, Responsibilities of Counselors

Planning

Ø Collect accountability measures such as outcomes and pre/post tests to determine the effectiveness of the counseling services and makes changes as indicated.

Ø Plan programs around assessed needs of our specific student population. Oftentimes, input from teachers and administration help guide the topics and goals of the counseling department.

Ø Plan for individual and small group sessions, classroom guidance lessons and activities, and school-wide programs such as the annual career fair, possible service learning fieldtrips, and/or whatever the school community most needs.

Ø Maintain an organized and efficient counseling center.

Ø Monitor students’ academic performance and behaviors.

 

Counseling Services

Ø Individual Counseling

§ Provide brief individual counseling for students upon referral by parents, school staff, and the students themselves. School counselors seek to empower students to handle their unusual life circumstances and normal developmental struggles. We continue to monitor the students’ progress, regardless for whether they need individual sessions. Time is also set aside for brief counseling sessions in such cases as emergencies, agency requests, or self-referrals/teacher referrals.

§ Refer students to outside agencies when the students’ individual needs are too great to be met within the school environment. Of course, the school counselors can continue to check in with those students during the school day and be available for immediate needs.

§ Are available for emergencies for students, parents, and staff.

§ Prepare students for transitions to the middle school and in the case of students changing schools during the school year.

 

Ø Small Group Counseling

§ Assess student needs both formally, through parent and teacher questionnaires, and informally, through observation and recommendations to determine small group topics that would be most helpful to the student body.

§ Lead developmentally appropriate group counseling sessions for special populations. Topics include expressing feelings appropriately, grief group, changing families, friendship groups, and whatever is needed by our students.

 

Ø Classroom Guidance

§ Provide guidance curriculum to students on a variety of character education traits, developmental tasks, academic skills, career development, and social skills.

§ Collaborate with each grade level to integrate guidance curriculum/character education into academics.

 

Consulting

Ø Provide general and case specific consultation to parents, teachers, administrators, and community agencies to help them respond to students’ developmental levels appropriately.

Ø Assist with classroom behavioral interventions.

Ø Present information sessions to parents about topics affecting their children.

Ø Present at staff development workshops and retreats about topics such as self-care and stress management.

Ø Aid teachers and parents by interpreting achievement and aptitude test data. 

Ø Facilitate meetings between teachers and parents when a high level of difficulty exists in the relationship.

 

Coordinating

Ø Maintains communication with school staff and parents about the counseling department services. Periodic reminders will be put in teachers’ boxes and will be sent home with students to inform their families about counseling services.

Ø Responsible for Care Team meetings to determine special accommodations.

Ø Assist in management of local resources from charities.

Ø Works closely with the family school specialist to monitor attendance issues and at-risk students.

Ø Coordinates services to meet individual student needs with community agencies and past/future schools.

Ø Organizes school-wide activities such as career day, etc.

 

Student Appraisal

Ø Interpret tests and support the test administration for End-of-Grade tests and writing exams.

Ø Observe students in their classrooms to see their problem behaviors and strengths so as to know how to work with them and make suggestions for classroom intervention.

 

Professional Development

Ø Convene monthly with other district counselors to discuss the needs of our population.

Ø Attend conferences and in-services in the school and community, which increase knowledge base and skills to better serve our students.

Ø Adhere to ethical guidelines of counseling, policies of the school, and governmental laws.