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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Author:

Role & Purpose:

The role of SMS Counseling & Student Office is to assist students to derive the maximum possible benefit from their educational experience by removing, or by assisting to over come obstacles that interfere with learning.  We also serve the larger goal of supporting students in becoming responsible, productive citizens through realistic goal planning, academic support, assistance in relational issues & social/emotional concerns.


* Individual Counseling

* Small Group Counseling

* Advisor to Natural Helpers Program/Co-Advisor Honor Society (see other link on web site)

* Teacher/Parent Consultation

* Classroom guidance/PBS

* Community Referrals

* Academic Monitoring

* 504 Coordinator


Individual Counseling:  Teachers or parents may refer students (or students may self-refer) for individual (one-to-one) counseling.  This is counseling is for immediate, acute problems that can be resolved in a relatively short period of time.  It is not within the scope of the  Counseling Office  to provide therapeutic long term, on-going counseling to individual students and these services may be referred to an outside agency.  If determined necessary, the counselor will contact  the student’s parent/guardian and assist in providing referrals to appropriate private or community agencies.

Small Group Counseling:  Small group counseling (4-6 students) is provided according to the identified need of the school population determined through either questionnaires or student requests.  These groups usually meet once a week over a six to eight week period and focus on such topics as anger management, grief and loss, self-esteem, or social skills.  In order to participate in small group counseling, students must have a signed permission form from their parent or guardian.

Teacher/Parent Consultation:  Counselors work with parents, teachers, administrators and other professionals to plan and implement strategies and programs to help student success.

Classroom Guidance Activities:  Counselors provide classroom guidance activities to individual classrooms on specific topics identified by the administrator, support office or teachers.  These guidance activities may include positive behavior support lessons  linked to student behavior, conflict resolution or school safety.

Community Referrals: The SMS Counseling Office works closely with outside community agencies who provide social/emotional/economic services above and beyond which can be provided in a school environment.

Referring students to the counselor:  Teachers can refer a student to the counselor by completing a “Counselor Referral Form” or by E-referral.  The student will be called down to the counselor’s office as soon as it is feasible.  Due to the possibility of the counselor being in a conference or on other duties the referral will be attended to as soon as it is possible. Students may also request to see their counselor by filling out a “green request form” which are located in a small wooden box on the student office secretary desk. After completing the request the student should give it to the Student Office Secretary and the green slip will given to the school counselor.  Students exhibiting extreme emotional distress or depression, harm to one-self or others, or possible neglect or abuse should be sent to the counselor’s office immediately and will be seen.

Confidentiality:  All information disclosed to the counselor will be regarded confidential and privileged except for those situations which require disclosure by State or Federal Law.  Situations requiring mandatory reporting include: possible abuse or neglect, possible danger to one-self or others and court order.

Progressive discipline: A referral to the counselor is considered a part of the progressive discipline process but should not be confused as a disciplinary step in itself.  The role of the counselor in progressive discipline is to conference with the student to assist them in gaining a full understanding of the consequences of their behavior and problem solve appropriate solutions.  Once this step has been completed, further instances of the problem may be referred to the dean’s office.  If the behavior is so severe or flagrant to warrant removing the student from the class, a referral to the dean’s office should be considered…often if behavior continues to escalate over time a student may be placed on a behavior contract with the counselor, dean or vice-principal.

Schedule changes: Schedule changes are only considered if a student is improperly placed in a class academically and is never for personal preferences.  Teachers may make recommendations for students who may benefit from a move to a different level of  classwork  or for  accelerated classes.

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