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School Counseling Program

Essential Role of Elementary School Counselors

Elementary school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide a proactive program that engages students and includes leadership, advocacy and collaboration with school staff, administration and community/family members in the delivery of programs and activities to help students achieve success. Elementary school counselors also collaborate with teachers and parents on early identification and intervention of children’s academic and social/emotional needs, which is essential in removing barriers to learning and developing skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement.

Elementary school counselors define and focus the school counseling program based on the school’s academic, attendance and discipline data. Identifying student needs through this data and consulting with administrators directs the program development. Elementary school counselors balance their program by addressing students’ academic, career and social/emotional development in addition to balancing the delivery methods, recognizing that students learn in multiple ways. The end result of this work is reflected in improvement in academic, attendance and discipline outcomes related to academic development, college and career readiness and social/emotional development. 

Direct student services include:

Instruction – teaching the school counseling curriculum to students focused through the lens of selected student standards from the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success.

Appraisal and Advisement – assessing student abilities, interests and achievement to help them make decisions about their future.

Counseling – providing professional assistance and support to a student or small group of students during times of transition, heightened stress, critical change or other situations impeding student success. School counselors do not provide therapy or long-term counseling in schools. However, school counselors are prepared to recognize and respond to student mental health needs and assist students and families seeking resources.

Indirect student services include:

Consultation – share strategies supporting student achievement with parents, teachers, other educators and community organizations

Collaboration – work with other educators, parents and the community to support student achievement

Referrals – support for students and families to school or community resources for additional assistance and information

Source: American School Counselor Association