Counseling Program

Classroom Lessons | Small Group Counseling | Individual Counseling | Consultation | Coordination/Referral | Case Coordination | Crisis Response | Testing | Family Assistance | Program Delivery | Consistency of Services

Classroom Lessons:
School Counselors may deliver services by teaching lessons in the classroom to an entire class. Through these lessons, counselors seek to implement a comprehensive developmental curriculum comprised of standards from academic, career, and personal-social domains. Counselors design effective, interesting lessons for diverse groups of students and create positive learning environments. They may also collaborate with classroom teachers to reach mutual goals.

Small Group Counseling:
In small group counseling, a counselor works with two or more students together. Group discussions are generally based on structured learning experiences. Group members have an opportunity to learn from each other. They can share ideas, give and receive feedback, increase their awareness, gain new knowledge, practice skills, and think about their goals and actions. Group discussions may be problem centered, where attention is given to particular concerns or problems. Discussions also may be growth centered, where general topics are related to personal and academic development.

Individual Counseling:
Counselors may engage in individual counseling sessions with students to work on a problem together or a specific topic of interest. A one-on-one meeting with a counselor provides a student maximum privacy in which to freely explore ideas, feelings and behaviors. School counselors establish trust and provide information, always considering actions in terms of the rights, integrity, and welfare of the student.

Counselors are obligated by law and ethical standards to report and to refer a case when a person's welfare is in jeopardy. It is a counselor's duty to inform an individual of the conditions and limitations under which assistance may be provided. Individual counseling generally addresses the specific concerns of targeted students with an identified need.

The counselor as a consultant primarily helps students, parents/guardians and teachers to be more effective in working with others. Consultation helps students, parents/guardians and teachers think through problems and concerns, acquire additional knowledge and skills, and become more objective. This intervention can take place in individual or group conferences, staff development activities, or parent/guardian informational seminars.

Coordination / Referral:
Counselors serve as a liaison between teachers, parents/guardians, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful student development. Counselors are familiar with community services and often refer families in order to enhance their child's academic, career, or personal/social growth.

Case Coordination:
Counselors may assist with the development and appropriate implementation of an individual student's plan toward achieving success in academic, career, and personal/social areas. This plan may be developed by the Multidisciplinary Action Team (MAT) or by other educational professionals in collaboration with parents/guardian. Counselors may participate in meetings involving referral of students to the Child Study Team (CST) in the CST Initial Evaluation Plan meeting, and the CST Annual Review meetings.

Crisis Response:
Counselors are integral members of the school and district crisis response team. All counselors will be trained by the district in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention techniques and will be familiar with procedures in case of emergency. In cases of suspected child abuse or threats to harm self or others, counselors are thoroughly familiar with district policies and practices (See Appendix E for Board of Education policies related to School Counselors and Guidance Programs).

Family Assistance:
School Counselors will assist students by being school and community agency consultants. They are aware of community resources and help families to access these resources as need arises. They coordinate programs within their individual schools to assist school families during holiday times and throughout the school year. School Counselors update their resources frequently in order to provide the most current information possible.

Program Delivery:
The goal of the School Counseling/Guidance Curriculum Guide is to produce a “Best Practices Document." The degree of implementation and effectiveness of the Galloway Township Public School Counseling/Guidance Program and the PreK-6 and 7-8 guidance curricula will be related to the availability of resources and personnel within each school building. To achieve balance among the program components and to use all of the delivery methods, it is necessary to maintain a realistic counselor-student ratio that fully supports the number of staff necessary to provide a standards-based program. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends a ratio of 1/100 (ideal) to 1/250 (maximum) to implement a standards-based, comprehensive developmental school counseling program. In addition, a comprehensive developmental school counseling program is a full-time program and requires counselors to spend 70-80% of their time in direct contact with students. The school counselor's duties need to be limited to program delivery and direct counseling services. (Campbell, Dahir, 1997, ASCA “The National Standards")

Consistency of Services:
School Counselors assist with incoming and outgoing transfer students, including transfers within the Galloway Township School district, in order to assure appropriate placement and to support these students as they transition into and out of our schools. Coordination also occurs with the local high schools to assure continuity of services for the students who reside in our community.

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