School Counseling

Welcome to the


School Counselor's Page

Mrs. Katie Vagell, M.Ed.

School Counselor Grades 3-5

Anti-Bullying Specialist & 504 Coordinator

(973) 887-0358 x332

*Please view the parent backpack on our main page for counseling referral forms*

The Six Pillars of Character

Keep your THOUGHTS positive because your thoughts become your WORDS.

Keep your WORDS positive because your words become your ACTIONS.

Keep your ACTIONS positive because your actions become your HABITS.

Keep your HABITS positive because your habits become your VALUES.

Keep your VALUES positive because your values become your DESTINY.

Why Elementary School Counselors?

"Elementary school years set the tone for developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for our children to become healthy, productive adults. With a comprehensive developmental counseling program, counselors work as a team with parents, teachers and community. The goal is to create a caring atmosphere whereby children's needs are met through prevention, early identification and intervention."

Adopted by the ASCA Governing Board, April 2007

How do I know if my child needs school counseling?

If you believe your child needs social/emotional support in addition to what they are receiving in the classroom, then a referral is appropriate. Some examples of challenges your child may be facing include:


-trouble making friends

-grief/loss issues

-changing families (new routine,divorce, custody arrangements, new baby, etc.)

-behavioral issues

Who can refer my child for school counseling?

You can refer your child for counseling at any time throughout the school year. Forms are available to you by clicking on the link in the parent backpack or by requesting one from you child's teacher. A teacher may also decide your child could benefit from counseling and will contact you to proceed with a referral.

How often will my child receive counseling?

For most students, twice a month (or every other week) is appropriate and will not interfere with their time outside of the classroom. Your child meets with the counselor anywhere from 15-30 minutes each time, depending on the need. For some children, brief check-ins are also appropriate.

What happens in counseling sessions?

Most children express themselves better and relax with the aid of hands-on activities. For this reason, most of the time your child will not only talk with the counselor to brainstorm solutions and discuss issues but will be drawing, playing a game, playing with play dough, reading a story that relates to the issue, or working on some type of activity related to the goals of the session.

Individual and Group Counseling

For some children, it helps to have group counseling in order to relate to other peers and know they are not alone in what they are facing. In some instances, if friendship or shyness is an issue, having the extra small group interaction is an opportunity to practice social skills and make new friends. Some students benefit more from individual counseling with one-to-one attention and support from the counselor.