What is an Elementary School Counselor?
A school counselor is a certified professional:
All professional school counselors in Pennsylvania must have a master's degree and meet other certification requirements defined by the state.
Why do schools have elementary school counselors?
The American School Counselor Association describes the role of the elementary school counselor in developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for our children to become healthy, productive adults. With a comprehensive developmental counseling program, counselors work as a team with students, parents and community to create a caring atmosphere whereby children's needs are met through prevention, early identification and intervention. Early identification and intervention of children's problems are essential to change some of the current statistics regarding self-destructive behaviors. For many children, the school counselor is a person within the school building who creates an atmosphere of safety, trust and positive regard.
Elementary School Counselors:
- Implement effective classroom guidance focusing on understanding of self and others, coping strategies, peer relationships and social skills, communication, problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, study skills and career awareness.
- Provide individual and small group counseling dealing with self-image and self esteem, personal adjustment, family issues, interpersonal concerns, academic development, behavior management, peer facilitation and peer mediation.
- Provide assessment by helping students identify their skills, abilities, achievements and interests through counseling and guidance activities and interpretation of standardized tests.
- Work with specialized populations and needs that require special attention, such as culturally diverse populations and students with varying abilities.
- Provide consultation with teachers, administrators, school psychologists and outside agencies concerning the welfare of the students.
- Make appropriate referrals for special services for students and families within the school and community.
- Communicate and exchange information with parents/guardians by way of conferences, parent education workshops and newsletters.
- Participate as members of the school improvement and interdisciplinary teams and work as liaisons with parent and teacher organizations.
Our goal is to help children succeed academically, socially and emotionally.