SKMS Counseling Program Philosophy and Beliefs
The counselors at Signal Knob Middle School believe that:
~ All students have dignity and worth. We support their personal and social development through a myriad of interactions including individual, group, and classroom instruction.
~ All students can be successful learners. They have the right and ability to learn, but not necessarily on the same day and in the same way.
~ The counselors’ primary purpose is to advocate for the student.
~ The counseling program is a critical component within the school system and is integral to the academic, personal/social, and career development success of each student.
~ Parents, teachers, administrators, support specialists and community providers are valuable assets to the counseling program.
~ School counseling programs adhere to the Standards for School Counseling Programs in Virginia Public Schools and to the American School Counselor Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
~ The counseling program is available to all enrolled students.
~ Consultation, collaboration, counseling, and classroom guidance are all essential components of a successful counseling program.
Our goal as a counseling program is to increase attendance, improve academic performance, and engage students in their career exploration by assisting in removing barriers that directly and indirectly affect their progress.
In an effort to meet the ever changing needs of our diverse student population, the counseling program at Signal Knob Middle School will continuously be improved through systemic review and evaluation of data pertaining to student performance and graduation rates.
All Signal Knob Middle School Students are eligible to receive the benefits of a school counseling program that is developmental in nature, preventive in design, and comprehensive in scope. As an integral part of the total educational program, school counselors ensure access to services so that every student is challenged and supported to reach his/her highest potential.
The mission of the Signal Knob Middle School Counseling Program is to provide a comprehensive and developmental program that addresses the academic, career, and personal/social needs of each student. Counseling services are provided through a classroom curriculum, group and individual counseling, and crisis intervention. In partnership with educators, parents, and the community, our school counselors work to prepare our diverse student population to be adaptive learners in our ever changing society.
Comprehensive Guidance Program Components
Adapted from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA National Model, 2003)
The guidance curriculum component consists of planned experiences presented systematically through classroom and group activities K-12. The purpose of the guidance curriculum is to provide each student in our schools with the skills needed to address their academic, career, and social needs. While counselors’ responsibilities include the organization and implementation of the guidance curriculum, the cooperation of the administration and entire faculty and staff is necessary for its successful implantation. The guidance curriculum is delivered through: Classroom Activities: School counselors provide instruction, team teach, or assist in teaching the school guidance curriculum, learning activities, or units in the classroom, career center, or other school facilities. Group Activities: School counselors conduct groups outside the classroom to respond to students’ identified needs. Parent Workshops and Instruction: School counselors conduct workshops and informational sessions for parents or guardians to address the needs of the school community and to reflect the student school guidance curriculum.
Individual planning consists of school counselors coordinating activities designed to help individual students establish personal goals and develop future plans. School counselors coordinate activities that help each student plan, monitor, and manage their academic, career, and social development. These activities are generally delivered on an individual basis or in small groups. Individual planning is implemented through: Individual Appraisal: School counselors work with students analyzing and evaluating students’ abilities, interests, skills, and achievement. Test information and other data are the basis for assisting students to develop immediate and long-range plans. Individual Advisement: School counselors advise students using personal/social, educational, and career information in planning personal, educational, and occupational goals. The involvement of parents and the school community in this process is important.
Responsive services consist of activities to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students. These concerns may require counseling, consultation, referral, peer mediation, or information. This component is available to all students and is often parent and/or student-initiated. School counselors have special training and skills to respond to these needs and concerns. However the cooperation and support of the staff are necessary for successful implementation. Responsive services are delivered through: Counseling: School counseling is a short-term helping process. It is provided on a small-group or individual basis for students expressing difficulties dealing with relationships or personal concerns which may interfere with academic success. School counseling assists students in identifying problems, causes and possible consequences so that appropriate choices are considered. Crisis counseling is available to address traumatic unforeseen events. Consultation: School counselors consult with parents, staff, and other school and community groups regarding strategies to help students. School counselors serve as student advocates. Referrals: School counselors assist in making referrals to outside agencies. The counselor may act as an advocate for the student, assisting them as they make contacts with these agencies. Peer Facilitation: Counselors train students as peer mediators, conflict managers, and mentors. The techniques of peer mediation and conflict resolution are used to help students learn how to make changes in the way they get along with others.
System support consists of management activities that establish, maintain and enhance the total school counseling program. In addition to the professional development activities in which counselors participate, this component is implemented and carried out through: Consultation: Counselors consult with teachers, staff members, and parents/guardians regularly in order to provide information, to support the school community, and to receive feedback on emerging needs of students. Advisory Councils: School counselors serve on school committees, curriculum committees, committees and advisory boards as a way to support programs in the school and community. Community Outreach: School counselors are knowledgeable about community resources, referral agencies, field trip sites, employment opportunities and local labor market information. This may involve counselors visiting appropriate sites. Program Management and Operations: Counselors plan and manage tasks necessary to support the activities included in the comprehensive guidance program. Counselors also orient staff and community to the guidance program through newsletters, guidance webpages, local media, and school-community presentations.