Role of the

School Counselor

The primary focus of school counseling and guidance programs at the elementary level is to be proactive instead of reactive. Our goal is to help students develop more positive interpersonal and intrapersonal skills by assisting them in becoming happier, more effective individuals and learners. Our school counseling program is for every student at Greenwood Forest. Therefore, these services are designed to reach every student through developmental, preventative education, and responsive services.

Classroom Guidance

The school counselors teach a series of classroom guidance lessons throughout the school year. These lessons are developmentally appropriate for each grade level. The goal is to help empower students with the self-knowledge, coping, and life skills that will enable them to become self-directed learners, clear and effective communicators, collaborative workers, creative problem solvers, and involved, responsible citizens now, and in the future.

Small Group Counseling

Small group counseling is offered throughout the school year. Small groups are needs-based and usually meet weekly for about 4-6, twenty-minute sessions. We primarily offer Friendship Groups, Family Change Groups, Self Esteem Groups, Social Skills Groups, and Anger Management Groups. New groups can be formed as needed. Student groups are a wonderful way for your child to meet new friends, to gain more self-confidence, and to develop more positive coping skills in a safe and fun setting.

Individual Counseling

The school counselors work with students individually for a number of problems a student might present, such as friendship issues, difficulty in the classroom, on the playground, or on the bus, conflict resolution, new student orientation, difficulty coming to school, and anger management, just to name a few. Referrals for students to meet with a school counselor can be made by classroom teachers or other school staff (i.e., school nurse or principal), by parents, or through student self-referrals (yes, even at the lower elementary level!). If the student needs show that they may need more than 4 sessions, the student may be referred to an outside counselor.

What is the purpose of Individual/Group Counseling and Classroom Guidance?

• To help students develop self-understanding and self-awareness

• To encourage students to recognize and make the best use of their abilities

• To provide opportunities for students to experience success

• To help students adapt to school and social situations

• To help students build self-confidence

• To help students to recognize, understand, and work through learning differences

• To support students with educational and personal/social concerns

How does a Student see the Counselor?

• Self-referral

• Parent referral

• Administrative referral

• Teacher referral

Revised from Ms. Blakey at Benfer Elementary