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What is a School Counselor?

What is a School Counselor?
A school counselor is a certified, trained and caring professional who works with students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order that each student achieves academic and social success.
Services Provided
School counseling services are delivered in four ways: (1) Classroom Curriculum Lessons (delivered to all students & based in the areas of personal/social, academic and career development), (2) Individual Student Planning (one-on-one assistance with goal formation/planning), (3) Responsive Services (brief counseling, crisis intervention, problem-solving, skill building) *** If a student needs mental health counseling, we will refer the family to community counseling resources. (4) System Support (consultation with school & community professionals, school-wide programming, and support for students and their families).
Individual Counseling
Individual counseling sessions with students are initiated by referral from teachers, parents, administrators or peers. Students also self-refer.
The counselor and/or teacher will schedule a time for the counseling session. Sessions may include expressing feelings, problem-solving, designing plans of action, skill building, and academic/attendance/behavior check-in.  Usually, the student and counselor work together to establish an individual goal related to the initial concern.  While confidentiality is an inherent part of the counseling relationship, children are encouraged to share with their parents/guardians. Children are generally seen no more than 4-6 sessions.

Small Group Counseling
The counselor organizes and leads small group counseling sessions based on building resilience and providing support for students experiencing similar problems. Students can be recommended for small group counseling by administrators, teachers, parents, and through self-referrals.  Small group counseling sessions will be conducted for 4 to 6 sessions based on student needs and schedules.  The small groups for counseling will consist of 3 to 4 students.

Classroom Curriculum Lessons 
Currently we are using the Zones of Regulation curriculum to work on emotion regulation for all of our students.  This curriculum works on emotion identification/recognition, physical/body signs of each zone, awareness of what zone they are in, expected/unexpected behaviors, understanding different perspectives, triggers that lead to the yellow or red zone, calming/sensory tools, and thinking tools - like Size of Problem and Positive Self Talk vs. Negative Self Talk.  We just started and have only worked on introducing the students to each of the zone colors and some feelings in each zone.  We have also talked/drawn pictures about situations that have happened to make us have feelings in each zone.  The older students have started to discuss calming/sensory tools that they already use or see others use when in the blue, yellow, or red zone.  We will continue to work through this curriculum.  See below for an example.

Counseling Crisis Situations
When a crisis occurs that impacts students or staff, the counselor will provide classroom support or individual counseling. Follow-up sessions will be done, if necessary, and counselor will meet privately with individual students as needed.
Zones Image 3
Zones Image 4