Counseling Program Benefits
All stakeholders in Indian Valley Elementary School share the benefits of this plan. School counseling and guidance programs have a positive impact on students, parents/guardian, teachers, administrators, boards of education, school counselors, counselor educators, communities, postsecondary institutions, and student services personnel.
Benefits for Students
- Ensures every student access to the school counseling and guidance program
- Monitors and interprets data to facilitate student improvement and school success
- Provides strategies for closing the achievement gap
- Promotes the most challenging and appropriate academic curriculum for each student
- Advocates for students and promotes equitable access to educational opportunities
Benefits for Parents/Guardians
- Supports active partnerships for student learning and career planning
- Invites and coordinates access to school and community resources
- Promotes assurance that parents will be provided with opportunities of academic, career, and personal development
- Provides training and informational workshops
- Provides data for information on student progress
Benefits for Teachers
- Promotes an interdisciplinary team approach to address student needs and educational goals
- Increases collaboration with school counselors and teachers
- Supports development of classroom management skills
- Provides assistance in analyzing data to improve school achievement and climate
Benefits for School Counselors
- Defines responsibilities within the context of a school counseling and guidance program
- Eliminates non-school counseling program activities
- Supports access to every student
- Provides a tool for program management, implementation, and accountability
- Recognizes school counselors as leaders, advocates, and agents of change
Benefits for Communities
- Builds collaboration with businesses and industries and enhances the potential for every student's postsecondary success
- Provides a workforce with a stronger academic foundation
- Promotes equity and access to the workforce
Benefits for Postsecondary Education
- Enhances articulation and transition of the student to postsecondary institutions
- Encourages and supports rigorous academic preparation that prepares every student for the most appropriate postsecondary educational opportunities
- Motivates every student to seek a wide range of substantial postsecondary options, including college
- Promotes equity and access to postsecondary education for every student
PROGRAM DELIVERY COMPONENTS
The Indian Valley Elementary School comprehensive school counseling and guidance program will ensure that every student has multiple opportunities to acquire competencies in the three domains of Academic Development, Career Development, and Personal/Social Development. A combination of the four program delivery components (School Guidance Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support) should be utilized in assisting students to achieve these competencies.
School Guidance Curriculum
The guidance curriculum includes structured experiences presented systematically through classroom guidance activities, individual and small group activities, interdisciplinary curriculum development, and teacher workshops, in addition to parent education groups when needed.
Classroom Guidance Activities
The counselors facilitate the delivery of classroom guidance activities. These may take the form of classroom visits, teacher in-service, or other forms of guidance activities. The curriculum may be delivered in the classroom, in the guidance office, or in some other school facility.
The counselors conduct small-group counseling sessions in their respective counseling offices or in a classroom. These counseling groups are designed to respond to students' identified interests or needs and may be either immediate-response or long-term relationships.
Interdisciplinary Curriculum Development
The counselors work with teachers, administrators, and support personnel to serve all students more effectively. Counselors serve on committees that allow them to be student advocates: curricular development, student policies, at-risk, technology, and professional development. Teachers are provided with information that enables them to provide instruction in the domains of affective, social, and employability skills for all students.
Parent Workshops and Instruction
Counselors conduct workshops and information sessions for parents or guardians to address the needs of the school community and to reflect the school counseling and guidance curriculum. Parents are always welcomed to the schools and students are informed about the opportunities that are available to them through the counseling program at each school.
Topics for school guidance curriculum activities within this component may include, but are not limited to:
Career Awareness and Exploration
Substance Abuse Programs
Individual Planning includes counseling activities to assist all students to plan, monitor, and manage their own learning as well as their personal and career planning. Individual planning emphasizes test preparation, informal counseling, and educational counseling including college and post-secondary vocational-technical planning and career planning. Individual Planning is delivered through such strategies as:
Counselors help students to assess and interpret their abilities, interests, skills, and achievements. The utilization of appropriate assessment information becomes an important aspect of developing immediate and long-range plans for students.
Counselors help students to acquire self-appraisal; knowledge of self and others; and educational, career, and labor market information. This information assists students in planning their personal, educational, and career aspirations. Counselors also enlist teachers in helping students and parents in making education and career choices.
Placement and Follow-up
Counselors assist student in making transitions. They focus on giving information, advising, helping to establish linkages, and counseling in the face of interpersonal conflict.
Examples of individual planning activities are as follows:
Developing Social Skills
Positive Work Habits Discussionq
Adaptive Social Behavior
Adjustive Social Behavior
Responsive Services include counseling or referral activities to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students. Responsive services include personal counseling, crisis counseling, problem solving, as well as agency referral and consultation for parents, teachers, and other professionals and support groups. Responsive services are delivered through these strategies:
Counselor consults with students, parents, teachers, other educators, and community agencies regarding strategies to help students. This may include participation in student study teams and student management teams.
Counseling is provided on a small-group or individual basis for students expressing difficulties dealing with relationships, personal concerns, or normal developmental tasks. Personal counseling assists students in identifying problems, causes, alternatives, and possible consequences so that the appropriate action can be taken.
Counseling and support are provided as outlined in the school's crisis intervention plan to students and their families facing emergency situations.
Counselors use referral sources to enhance the services provided through the school counseling and guidance program. These referral sources may include:
- Cheaha Mental Health
- Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement
- Juvenile Services
- Social Services
- Sylacauga Police Department
System support includes indirect guidance management activities that maintain and enhance the total counseling and guidance program. Responsibilities in this area include staff relations, community relations, task forces, professional development, support teams, test interpretation, data analysis, and curriculum development. This component provides appropriate support to academic programs. Examples of system support delivery options within this component may include, but are not restricted to:
Counselors are regularly involved in updating professional knowledge and skills. This may involve participating in regular school in-service training, attending professional meetings, completing postgraduate course work, and contributing to professional journals.
Counselors attend system and school in-service training to ensure counseling skills are updated in the areas of curriculum development, technology, and data analysis. Counselors may provide in-service instruction in school guidance curriculum and areas of special concern to the school and community.
Consultation, Collaboration, and Teaming
Counselors provide important contributions to the school system by consulting, partnering, collaborating, and teaming.
Counselors design activities to orient the staff and community about the comprehensive school counseling and guidance program.
Counselors forge partnerships with local businesses, industries, and social service agencies. Community outreach requires counselors to be knowledgeable about community resources, employment opportunities, and local labor market information.
Consultation with Staff
Counselors consult regularly with teachers and professional staff members in order to receive feedback on emerging needs of students and to provide information and support to staff.
Curriculum Development Support
Counselors participate in the ongoing review and revision of academic curriculum materials as related to data analysis, student advocacy, postsecondary education, and career/technical education planning.
Counselors form counseling and guidance advisory committees at both the system and the individual school level. Counselors actively serve on community committees or advisory councils that influence other programs to generate support for system and individual school counseling and guidance programs.
Program Management and Operations
Planning and management tasks include the support of activities conducted in the school counseling and guidance program and responsibilities expected of a member of the school staff. Budget, facilities, policies and procedures, and research and resource development are elements of management activities.
Research and Evaluation
Some examples of counselor research and evaluation include PEPE or other personnel guidance evaluations, program evaluations, data analysis, follow-up studies, professional development, and updating of resources.
Fair-share responsibilities may include such tasks as bus duty, playground duty, class/club sponsorship, and taking tickets at sports events. Non-guidance responsibilities assigned to counselors should not be above and beyond those of other certified staff members, and should not interfere with the delivery of guidance services.