School Counseling

Bronwyn Hogan


Why Elementary School Counselors?


Elementary school years set the tone for developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for 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 wherein children's needs are met through prevention, early identification, and intervention.


The Developmental Needs of Elementary School Students


 Elementary school is a time when students develop attitudes concerning school, self, peers, social groups and family. It is a time when students develop decision-making skills, communication skills, and life-training skills, as well as character values. Comprehensive developmental counseling is based on prevention, providing goals that are integrated into all aspects of children's lives. Early identification and intervention of children's problems are essential to change some of the current statistics regarding self-destructive behaviors. If we wait until children are in middle school or high school to address these problems, we lose the opportunity to help them achieve their potential, as well as feelings of dignity and self-worth. For many children, the school counselor may be the one person who provides an atmosphere of safety, trust and positive regard.


Elementary School Counselors...



Implement effective classroom guidance focusing on understanding self and others; coping strategies; peer relationships and effective social skills; communication, problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, and study skills; career awareness and world of work; substance education; multicultural awareness.



Provide individual and small-group counseling dealing with self-image and self-esteem; personal adjustment; family issues; interpersonal concerns; academic development; behavior modification; as well as peer facilitation and peer mediation.



Provide assessment by helping students identify their skills, abilities, achievements, and interests through counseling, guidance activities, and interpretation of standardized tests.



Work with specialized populations and needs that require special attention, such as culturally diverse populations and students of varying abilities.



Develop students' career awareness as a lifelong process of forming basic values, attitudes, and interests regarding their future world of work.



Coordinate school resources, community resources and business resources; school-wide guidance-related activities; and extracurricular programs promoting students' personal growth and skill development.



Provide consultation with teachers, administrators, school psychologists, school social workers, outside agencies and social services concerning the welfare of the students.



Make appropriate referrals for special services for students and families within the school and community.



Communicate and exchange information with parents/guardians by way of conferences, parent education workshops, and newsletters.



Participate as members of the school improvement team and interdisciplinary team and work as liaisons with PTA.

Adopted by the ASCA Governing Board, April 1997.