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What Does the School Counselor Do?

Who are Elementary School Counselors?

Elementary school counselors are master-degree level professionals who provide a school counseling program to support students, staff, parents and the community.  School Counselors are trained to develop a program that is comprehensive, developmental, and preventive.  The program focuses on services that address the academic, personal/social, and college/career development of our students. 

Please watch this video that describes the role and responsibilities of an Elementary School Counselor

What Services does the Elementary School Counselor Provide?

All professional school counselors are trained to provide these services in a variety of efficient and effective methods, including:

Guidance Curriculum

  • Individual Student Planning
  • Responsive Services
  • System Support

Individual Student Planning

  • Short and long-term goal setting
  • Consult with parents and teachers regarding academic issues
  • School transitions

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small group counseling 
    • Please note that I do NOT provide long-term therapy and typically meet with a student no more than 8 continuous times over a school year. For ongoing and serious mental health needs, I am happy to work with a student and their families to refer them to outside providers.
  • Consultation
  • Referrals to community resources

System Support

  • Participation in school committees
  • Program management
  • Professional development 

Children may face difficulties, which can prevent them from doing their best in school. These difficulties can include school adjustment issues, stress, family change, grief, fears, or difficulties with relationships. Having support through difficult times can be essential to a child’s educational success.

Students are informed that if they would like to meet with me, they can request a meeting through their parent/guardian or teacher.  Students are also referred to meet by parents/guardians, or school site staff. Please let me know if there is a situation in which you feel I may be of help. 

The Counselor/Student Relationship:

An important part of the counselor and student relationship is trust. One of the ways counselors build a trusting relationship with students is through confidentiality. I talk to students at the beginning of the year about keeping information confidential. I share with students that I will try to keep the information they share with me confidential but there are times when I will need to share with other adults what the student has shared with me. I let the students know I will break confidentiality if they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, if someone is hurting them, or if we decide it is important for us to share the information with another adult. I do share with students that problem solving is a collaborative effort and there will be times we will want to include their parents or teachers in our work.

If I am meeting with a student regularly, and it will not break the students trust, nor hinder the counseling process, I will inform the parents that we are meeting.  If I would like to include a student in a group, I will notify the parents to get consent to work with the student in the group setting.Otherwise, I will only inform the parents of these meetings if it is an issue where we need your assistance or if a referral needs to be made to other resources.

Russell Sass