Our school counselor works with students, parents, teachers and administrators to help students succeed in school and prepare for meaningful productive living. St. Joseph School employs a school counselor on site three days a week. A teacher or parent may refer a student to the counselor or a student may request an appointment with the school counselor.
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 morals and values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. The counseling program at St. Joseph School provides education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic, career 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 and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
At St. Joseph School, the counselor’s role is to support students with intervention and prevention services that focus on academic, career and personal/social needs. The counselor visits the classrooms throughout the year and provide whole group instruction on a variety of
topics. Classroom lessons will address the needs of MOST students.The counselor offers small group counseling. Small group counseling is appropriate for SOME students who might need extra reinforcement in certain areas, above and beyond what is already addressed during classroom lessons. Small groups meet once a week and focus on specific concerns of the participant(s) (e.g., social skills, divorce, deployment, grief or anger management). Participation in small group counseling requires written parental permission for each student.
The counselor is available for individual counseling when needed. Individual short-term counseling is an appropriate intervention for a few students who need reinforcement o develop the skills they need in order to be successful in the school setting. Many students visit with the school counselor for a brief intervention, which differs from small group counseling. Students can be referred for individual counseling through self-referral, parent referral, or teacher/staff member referral. Parent/guardian consent is not required for short term personal or social counseling and/or crisis intervention that is needed to maintain order, discipline, or a productive learning environment.
Confidentiality is a key feature of the counseling experience. The school counselor will keep information confidential with the following possible exceptions, as required by law/or ethical standards: harm to self or others, abuse or neglect, and court or other legal proceedings.
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.