School Counseling & Social Work Services
Brittany BueckersSchool Counselor (Grades K, 2, 4)
Cold Spring Elementary
Kathy van der HagenSchool Counselor (Grades 1, 3, 5)
Cold Spring Elementary
Ambur ChaikaSchool Social Worker
John Clark Elementary & Richmond Elementary
The Role of the Elementary School Counselor/Social Worker
Meeting the Challenge
Elementary school counselors/social workers are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School counselors/social workers work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help ALL children achieve academic success.
Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling/social work programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academics and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
Elementary School CounselorS / Social Workers implement the Counseling Program by providing the following:
- Individual Counseling – For students who have behavioral concerns, various mental health concerns, and/or situational stressors
- Small Group Counseling – For students who share a common history, challenge, or struggle
- Consultation – With teachers and parents/guardians to provide strategies to help struggling learners and learners with behavioral/ mental health needs in the classroom
- Character Education – Support teachers in delivering classroom guidance and Character Strong lessons – a school-wide program to promote a healthy school community and develop positive character traits
- Community Communication – Working with outside agencies to help obtain services and enable communication about students who need outside assistance
- Committee Work – Working on various committees that work to improve the opportunities for students to succeed (for example: Early Intervention Team – a multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss students who are struggling and brainstorm effective ways to help them)
- Crisis Response – Dealing with the daily issues that arise within a school
Essentially, the school counselor/social worker's role is to work with students, teachers, parents, and outside agencies to best meet the individual needs of each student (both academic and social/emotional) so that students can be maximally successful in and out of the classroom.