Gr. K-5 Counseling

Gr. K-5 Counseling

The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family.

Why Elementary School Counselors?

The elementary school years set the foundation for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Elementary school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, elementary school counselors help their students achieve academic success, develop an understanding of career opportunities and develop social/emotional skills in response to issues they face.

Elementary school counselors hold a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes ongoing professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.

Direct student services including:

  • school counseling core curriculum instruction – direct instruction, team teaching, developing learning activities

  • group activities – planned activities outside the classroom promoting academic, career or social/emotional development

  • individual student planning

  • responsive services - counseling in individual or small group settings school counselors provide planned, short-term and goal-focused counseling. School counselors do not provide therapy or long-term counseling in schools. However, school counselors are prepared to recognize and respond to student mental health needs and assist students and families seeking resources.

  • crisis response – provide support and assistance to students and families as they navigate crisis and emergency situations

Indirect student services including:

  • consultation – share strategies supporting student achievement with parents, teachers, other educators and community organizations collaboration – work with other educators, parents and the community to support student achievement

  • referrals – support for students and families to school or community resources for additional assistance and information

Academic support:

  • Help improve the academic success of all students by monitoring academic progress and working with teachers, students, instructional support teams and families to identify strategies to improve

  • Present lessons in classrooms to teach students organizational and study skills.

Social/emotional support

  • Work with students with behavioral needs and those experiencing crisis situations.

  • Help students resolve conflict and develop coping skills.

  • Build relationships with all students.

  • Help to promote good character traits through character education programs.

Career development/post secondary planning support

  • Begin introducing children to various careers and post-secondary options.

Family support

  • Work with parents to implement strategies and programs to help students be successful in school.

  • Serve as a liaison between the school and community agencies to assist parents in obtaining needed services.

Transition support

  • Work with students in kindergarten to help them adjust to school.

  • Invite new students to lunch.

  • Work with middle school counselors to help students and their families have a successful transition to 6th grade.

Back to Shen HomepageK-12 Counseling HomepageSafety Health and WellnessDASA

Elementary Counselors

Administrator for K-5 Counseling

Rebecca Carman, Counseling K-5

Phone: (518) 881-0611



Tracy Rodriguez

Phone: (518) 881-0510 x41303



Andrew Sheehan

Phone: (518) 881-0520 x46451



Debra Reinisch

Phone: (518) 881-0530 x42452



Erica Rock

Phone: (518) 881-0540 x47454



Courtney Swisher

Phone: (518) 881-0550 x43453



Esma Simohamed

Phone: (518) 881-0580 x48452



Jaclyn Franchini

Phone: (518) 881-0560 x44452



Amy Quinlivan

Phone: (518) 881-0570 x45304


Quick Links

K-12 Counseling Department Home Page

Safety, health and wellness at Shen


Links for K-5 Students

Stop Breathe Think

Mind Yeti

Kelso’s Choice

Yoga for Classrooms


PBS Kids

Scholastic Kids

Kidsmartz/Netsmartz Kids

National Geographic Kids

The Imagine Neighborhood

Links for K-5 Parents

COVID-19 Resources: School Closures

Big Life Journal

CAPTAIN, Community Human Services

Saratoga County - Community Resources

United Way Capital Region

Common Sense Media


Online Grief Support

Simply Parenting

Looking Glass Counseling: Maintaining Mental Health in the Midst of a Pandemic

Zen Mom Happy Mom

Wide Open School

Social-Emotional Learning Should Be Priority During COVID-19 Crisis

Second Step COVID-19 Resource List

Online Counseling Programs

Books and Literature

We Do Listen by Howard B. Wigglebottom

Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice by Julia Cook

Shubert and Sophie Stay Home by Dr. Becky Bailey, Vicky Hepler, and Julie Ruffo

My Hero Is You by IASC