For many people the word counselor brings to mind someone they saw a few times in high school to help them with their class schedules, testing, college applications, and discipline. Elementary counselors are responding to today’s needs by providing children with comprehensive and developmental school counseling programs.
Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success.
Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
Elementary School Counselors implement the Counseling Program by providing the following:
School Guidance Curriculum: LCPS Elementary School Counselors provide classroom lessons, twice per month, to each class, K-5
Individual Student Planning and Assistance
Meeting the Challenge
Elementary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Elementary school counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success.
Elementary School Counselors and the School Community; Working Collaboratively with all Stakeholders
Academic and career planning
Communication/Networking (School newsletter, Doughnuts with Dads, Muffins with Moms, etc.)
Interpretation of assessment results
One-on-one parent conferencing; facilitate parent/teacher conferences
Parent education and presentations (Bullying Prevention, Homework Help, etc.)
Academic support to help students succeed academically
Classroom guidance activities and lessons
Faculty presentations on counseling initiatives (Bullying Prevention, Academic and Career Plan, etc.)
Career education (Academic and Career Plan Curriculum)
Community service/ Service learning
Leadership development (SCA Sponsors, etc.)
Peer support (Peer Buddies, Circle of Friends, etc.)
Small groups (Anger Management, Changing Families, Friendship, Grief, Self-Esteem, Social Skills)
*These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive. The role and responsibilities are driven in part by the needs of individual schools and may therefore naturally vary as a result.