The School Counseling Program at Horizons Elementary School provides classroom lessons, small groups, short-term individual counseling and crisis intervention, as well as consultation for parents and teachers. The focus of the program is prevention and to foster positive academic, personal/social, and career development for all students. As a member of the support team at HES, the school counselor advocates for all students to work toward a successful school year.
Classroom lessons generally address character education, bully prevention, conflict resolution, communication skills, stress management, and other topics. In collaboration with the school social worker, the school counselor provides lessons to all grade levels throughout the school year. Lesson objectives are based on the North Carolina Guidance Essential Standards and the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success.
Small Group Counseling:
Small group counseling is also offered throughout the school year. Small groups can help students learn coping skills, social skills, organizational skills, and develop other skills in areas they may be struggling in. It is also a great opportunity for students to learn from each other. Groups encourage students to help one another, share ideas, and further develop life skills. The sessions are interactive and based on the needs of group members. While the sessions are designed to be beneficial to all students, only a select number of students are invited to participate in groups at a time to facilitate strong relationships in the group. The majority of referrals come through teacher recommendations. Topics vary depending on student need but may include: Self-Esteem/Positive Self Expression, Dealing with Family Changes, Anger Management, School Success Skills, or Conflict Resolution.
*** Parent/Guardian permission is always requested before students may participate in a group.***
Individual counseling is developmental and designed to help students gain a better understanding of themselves and/or others, define goals, and resolve conflicts. Students may meet with the counselor upon student request, parent request, teacher/administrative referral or counselor invitation. Requests from students can be made by asking a teacher to contact me. All other requests can be made via phone or email.
***Individual counseling is provided on a short-term basis. Referrals to outside agencies will be made for on-going issues.***
At the elementary level, students are learning to understand the value of privacy for themselves, their families, and for others. Respecting this right to privacy, or confidentiality, is imperative to a successful counseling relationship. It allows students to share their concerns with a trusted adult who will listen non-judgmentally and help them problem-solve in an environment where they know they are both physically and emotionally safe.
Information shared by students in the context of counseling will be kept confidential. However, limitations do exist to maintaining confidentiality as required by law and ethical obligations. These include:
- Intent to harm self/others
- Suspected abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult
- An appropriate court order is received
While confidentiality is very important in my role as a school counselor, I recognize that parent/guardian and teacher communication is essential to helping students. While I respect a student's right to privacy, I will ask for a student's permission to speak to a parent/guardian and/or teacher about a situation when I feel there is pertinent information to help us work together as a team to support the child. In instances where I am concerned about the safety of a student or someone else based on information shared with me, I will inform the student that I am required to inform parents and other necessary adults (such as administration and/or the School Resource Officer). Contacts with parents are made via phone call or email so it is vital that the school has up to date contact information.
I encourage parents to contact me if you have questions or concerns about your child.