FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can your school counselor help with?
- Social Skills
- Learning Strategies
- Family Issues
- Crisis Situations
- Problems with Friends
How are students referred to the school counselor?
- Parents can request a meeting between the school counselor and their child(ren)
- Students can ask a teacher or the front office staff to visit the counselors office
- Teachers, Staff, or School Administrators can refer students to the counselors office
Are parents contacted if their child(ren) are seen in the counselor's office?
Parents are only contacted by the school counselor to discuss their child(ren)'s visit to the counselor's office if the student shares information about wanting to harm him/herself or someone else. Parents may also be contacted by the school counselor per the request of the student or regarding the student's academic performance to arrange supports for the student. Otherwise, student sessions and the information shared in those sessions are kept confidential.
What is confidentiality and what are the parameters around it?
Confidentiality is the protection of personal information shared with the school counselor. The information that a student shares with the school counselor is not shared with others (parents, teachers, staff, administration, or other students) UNLESS the student is in imminent danger. In this case, the school counselor will contact the student's parents, school administration, and to the appropriate agency to provide the student with immediate help to stay safe. School counselors are mandated reports and must report all suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to Child Protected Services.
How do parents contact the counselor?
Parents are invited to contact the school counselor at any time via phone or email regarding their child. Concerns can be discussed over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting with the school counselor. Parents can call or email the School Counselor to set-up a conference.
For how long does the school counselor see the student?
Sessions may be held on a regular, ongoing basis or simply as needed.
How do I get referred for outside services?
The role of a school counselor is to assist children during their school day. This may include issues with friends, test anxiety, social issues, and problems at home that are impacting their school day. When there are difficulties at home (i.e. divorce, death of a loved one, deployment) in which parents and/or staff think that private counseling may be necessary, the school counselor can provide information regarding local counseling agencies or other services that may help the family.
If a student is getting outside services, what is the school counselor’s role?
To collaborate with the outside service provider if needed. There is a two-way consent form that the school counselor may give you for use and/or disclosure of confidential information, which will allow communication between the provider and the school in an effort to create and maintain a plan of support for your student.
What topics do you cover in small groups?
Small group topics are determined based on the need of the small group. Examples of commos small groups and their topics are listed below:
- Positive Choices Group: Learning skills- listening, following directions, focusing attention, making a plan for learning; self- talk; Decision making; problem solving; Appropriate vs. Inappropriate behavior; friendships; confidence
- Friendship Group: strengths as a friend; what to look for in a friend; conflict resolution with friends; sharing and taking turns; problem solving; listening to others; how to make a new friend
- Peer Mediators: This group focuses on teaching youth how to trouble shoot social conflicts between others through positive and helpful communication skills.
- Study Skills Group: This group focuses on: Organizational Skills, Following Directions, Prioritizing Time, and Doing and Returning Homework.
Does a visit to the counselor's office mean that my child is in trouble?
No. A counselor is an adult who acts as your child's advocate! An advocate is someone who wants to listen to what your child has to say and help him/her come up with reasonable solutions to make their situation better. It does not mean that the school counselor can solve the problem for your student; but, it does mean that your student has a safe place to go when s/he is not sure what to do.