What does a school counselor do?
A school counselor does:
- Work with ALL students to encourage a safe school climate of trust and respect
- Deliver classroom lessons that align with ASCA standards
- Facilitate small groups
- Meet individually with students to do brief solution-focused counseling
- Help students who are struggling to make positive behavior choices
- Collaborate with parents/guardians, teachers, support staff, and administration
- Maintain confidentiality of students and their families unless there is a need to report a safety concern
- Provide education and information about students’ social-emotional needs
A school counselor does NOT:
- Work with only special ed., regular ed., or “problem” students
- Assign grades after lessons or teach academic subjects
- Facilitate therapy groups
- Meet individually with students to do long-term mental health therapy/counseling
- Handle the discipline or assign consequences
- Collaborate with only one person; a team approach including the school counselor works best
- Share information about students and their families to appease the curiosity of others
- Tell teachers how to teach in their classrooms or tell parents how to parent at home
Three Domains of Student Development
Students are more likely to thrive when each area of development is addressed. Each domain is strengthened by the other domains.
Counselors at SMSA are trained and ready to work with students who are experiencing emotional struggle or management. These struggles may include, but are not limited to:
- Peer conflict
Career development and preparedness is a part of SMSA’s counseling program. Counselors work with students 1:1 and in a classroom setting to help prepare them for their future. Students will acquire the self-knowledge necessary to make informed career decisions. Students will also understand the relationship between educational achievement and career development. As well as employ career management strategies to help achieve future career success and satisfaction.
Counselors at SMSA will help students acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to successful learning in school and across the lifespan. Students will develop the academic skills and attitudes necessary to make effective transitions from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school to a wide range of post-secondary options. Our program focuses on helping students to understand how their academic experiences prepare them to be successful in the world of work, in their interpersonal relationships, and in the community.
SMSA’s Counseling Program follows the American Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Model. This model is the framework for a data-based and ethical counseling program. Counselors at SMSA follow and align classroom curriculum according to the ASCA’s standards.
SMSA’s Counseling Program Strives To Be:
- Holistic: focus on all aspects of the student’s development
- Systemic: work with all stakeholders to ensure the healthy development of all students
- Balanced: balance duties of counseling, educating, consultation and collaboration, leadership, and coordination and advocacy
- Proactive: develop preventative programs to ensure a positive, nurturing and safe school environment
- Infused into the academic curriculum: Classroom Character Education (Classroom Guidance) will be infused in all aspects of the school including academic lessons
- Reflective: evaluating and reassessing the current program by looking at data and trends. Making changes as needed.