Degrees and Certifications:
What does a School Counselor do?
School counselors wear many hats to help students reach their best personal, emotional, social, academic, and career potential. School counseling services fall into one of two main categories: preventative or responsive. Below is a general overview of the foundation of a comprehensive School Counseling program.
Individual counseling: Individual counseling is mainly a responsive service where Ms. Schmaler meets with students individually, as needed. Individual counseling is brief and solution-based in nature. The goal is always to provide the necessary support and tools for students to enhance their skills to work through situations independently. Many times, students will need help more than once and Ms. Schmaler is happy to provide the necessary guidance. Ms. Schmaler likes to think of herself as a crutch, helping to give students support to walk through their concerns until they are able to navigate on their own. If your child comes home and tells you that they met with Ms. Schmaler, please do not be worried! You will be contacted if your child seeks Ms. Schmaler's support for a serious matter.
Group counseling: Small group counseling is a responsive service that provides a supportive environment for students with shared concerns or needs. These groups may include topics such as: social skills, friendship, anger, divorce, or any other need that arises. Small groups typically run for about 5-6 weeks and usually meet once a week for about 20-30 minutes.
Classroom lessons: Classroom lessons are typically preventative in nature and are presented to all students in K-8. Lessons are focused on character education topics, academic support, social/emotional information, and college/career readiness. Character education topics may include: respect, responsibility, conflict resolution, peer pressure, friendship, making good choices, kindness, etc. All lessons are developmentally appropriate for the wide range of ages within the school.
Crisis response: Ms. Schmaler is always available for students experiencing troubles due to suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, abuse, neglect, death, eating disorders, bullying, etc. She follows the school's policy, works with the necessary staff, and will be in contact with the parents accordingly.
504: Ms. Schmaler is the 504 Coordinator and works with a team of educators, your child's teacher, and parents to formulate and modify 504 plans.
I&RS: Ms. Schmaler serves as a member of the Intervention and Referall Services team. I&RS is a team of educators who help teachers with additional strategies and support in the classroom to help meet student needs.
**All information is kept confidential unless the student is suicidal, homicidal, or being abused. In these situations, Ms. Schmaler shares information with the appropriate stakeholders to keep the student safe and to make a plan to get the student the help that he or she needs.**