|Grades||Counselor||Email Address||Phone Extension|
|2nd & 3rd||Christal Fitzgerald, M.Ed.||firstname.lastname@example.org||1418|
|4th & 5th||Meg Williams, M.Ed.||email@example.com||1414|
Welcome to Nottingham West's School Counseling Department. We hope that you find this web site helpful in learning more about what we do and how we provide support for your children. We feel privileged to work with your kids and welcome any questions or comments. We are truly a community of learners and fully respect the rights and privacy of families within this school.
The mission of the Hudson School District School Counseling program is to empower all students to become responsible and productive members of society through the delivery of a proactive and comprehensive program that promotes the academic, social-emotional and career development of all students. The school counselors address the need for students to acquire decision-making, conflict resolution and life awareness skills through the delivery of developmental classroom curricula, needs-based individual and group counseling, and school-wide programs that emphasize character development. The school counselors collaborate with all members of the school community to enhance student awareness of the value of life-long learning and foster the well-being of all students.
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School counselors provide support for students through individual interactions in which they work together on a problem or a topic of interest. Individual counseling meetings offer students a safe environment in which to freely explore ideas, feelings, and behaviors. Counselors build trusting relationships with students and always consider their actions in terms of the rights, integrity, and welfare of students and families.
Individual counseling generally addresses the specific concerns of targeted students with identified needs. Students can be referred to the school counselor by parents/guardian, teacher, administrator or staff member. Counselors use individual counseling sessions to evaluate student needs and create plans for support. When appropriate, the School Counselors may recommend that students receive additional support from school staff and/or outside resources.
Small Group Counseling
In small groups counseling, the school counselor works with two or more students together. Group size generally ranges from five to eight members. Group counseling meetings may be based on structured learning activities or may be flexible depending on the needs of the group. Group members have the opportunity to learn from each other. They can share ideas, give and receive feedback, increase their awareness, gain new knowledge, practice skills and think about their goals and actions.
Group counseling may be problem-centered, where attention is given to particular concerns or problems. Counseling may also be growth-centered, where general topics are addressed related to personal and academic development. Areas addressed in group counseling may include social skills development, family issues, anger management, or academic and behavioral concerns.
The primary focus of consultation is to help parents, teachers, and administration to be more effective in working with each other on the behalf of students. This team approach is a key factor in supporting and advocating for our students. During consultation, the school counselors work with teachers or parents to identify problems and concerns, develop strategies to address student needs, and create systems to provide academic, emotional and/or behavioral supports for students. Consultation may take place in individual or group conferences, through staff development activities, or parent education classes.
School counselors serve as members of the Student Success Team (SST), which meets to develop individualized intervention plans for students in need of academic, emotional or behavioral support. School counselors also work as members of the Special Education Team to provide consultation services regarding students who are being referred for evaluation or who have been identified as educationally disabled.
Students who have a handicapping condition or medical disability which substantially limits their access to education may be eligible for a Section 504 Plan under the Americans with Disability Act. The school counselor serves as the Section 504 Plan Coordinator and chairs the Section 504 Team, which is responsible to identify students in need of a 504 Plan and design appropriate environmental and academic adjustments.
The school counselor also works with members of the Placement Team to determine appropriate grade level and classroom placements for all students.
The School Counseling Department conducts numerous school-wide programs designed to meet the needs of all student.
School-wide service programs are designed to cultivate personal, civic, and intellectual growth for students through meaningful and effective service experiences. Under the leadership of the school counselors, students collaborate with community partners and participate in activities which provide for people in need throughout the Hudson School District.
At times, the school counselor provides structured parenting education through workshops and seminars. The goal of parenting education is to assist parents in refining skills and learning strategies which enable them to best promote their children’s healthy development.
The school counselor serves as the coordinator of community partnerships which bring community resources into the school for the benefit of students. These partnerships include:
Big Brothers/Big Sisters which matches community members with students in need of adult mentors.
New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation, which provides career and college exploration activities for fifth grade students.
SUPPORT FOR ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT
The school counselor works with teachers and staff to develop programs which directly support academic development.
Classroom Guidance Curriculum
Large group settings (classroom guidance) offer the best opportunity to provide guidance to the largest number of students at one time. The guidance curriculum consists of organized objectives and activities and is delivered by the counselor in the classroom. The counselor develops and presents special guidance units, which give attention to particular developmental issues or areas of concern at each grade level.
The counselors implement character education initiatives designed to address the development of each child’s character as well as their minds. Each month during the school year, a character education “Word of the Month” is targeted. The Word of the Month will be displayed on a bulletin board in the front hall and discussed in weekly announcements. The counselors develop classroom activities which are provided to teachers to reinforce character education themes.
Career Exploration Activities
Students are introduced to career exploration through the use of Career Journals. Career Journals are provided by the Counseling Department and go home with students so that family members can write about their educational and career experiences. Students then share this information with classmates.
Guidance Enrichment Programs
Hudson counselors coordinate and plan special guidance enrichment programs throughout the year, and frequently partner with the elementary school PTO to provide these programs. Enrichment programs are designed to provide group experiences for all students or for students at selected grade levels. Issues which may be addressed during enrichment programs include bullying and teasing, diversity and differences, drug and alcohol awareness or other important topics. Enrichment programs enable the counselors to provide educational experiences to the entire student population in an engaging format.
Why Elementary School Counselors?
“Elementary school years set the tone for 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 school, parents and community to create a caring atmosphere whereby children’s needs are met through prevention, early identification and intervention.”
- American School Counselors Association
In other words …
There is clear connection between comprehensive guidance programs and school success. With a comprehensive guidance program, all students have the opportunity to learn how important they are and to learn the skills that will help them make the most of their education.