Elementary School Counseling
The Elementary School Counseling program is proactive in its focus and based upon the developmental stages of students in grades Kindergarten through twelve. Because the student needs vary at different age levels, the areas of emphasis will vary accordingly. The program builds a foundation for learning in the following areas:
-orientation/transition to the educational environment
-resolution of problems which interfere with learning
-awareness of academic abilities, strengths, needs and interests
-knowledge of effective study/test-taking skills
-awareness of curricular alternatives and career goals
-pursuit of a planned and balanced academic program consistent with abilities, interests, and educational needs
-awareness of post-secondary academic opportunities
-development of increased self-understanding
-establishment of positive relationships through effective communication skills
-acquisition of problem-solving/decision-making and coping skills
-encouragement of self-directed and responsible behavior
-understanding of the need for postiive attitudes toward school, learning, community and society
-awareness of, and knowledge about, the world of work and careers
-acquisition of information about educational and vocational/training opportunities within and beyond school
-use of knowledge of self as it relates to career planning
-establishment of tentative career objectives
-preparation for future education and employment
School counselors encourage a cooperative relationship between school and home. Strategies include consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators; personal counseling for small groups or individuals; and information for referral to community resources, as needed. Topics for classroom guidance are designed to enhance academic success and development of program-solving skills for all students.
Materials used in the School Counseling program are previewed and are available for parental review in each school. Interested parents should schedule an appointment with the school counselor for this purpose.
In the event that a parent/guardian wishes to limit participation of a child in the social/personal counseling aspect of the School Counseling program, the parent/guardian should provide written notification to the school prinicpal within 15 days of the receipt of their child's handbook. The written notification must state that the child should not be included in either group, individual, or both for personal/social counseling.
Middle School Counseling
The major goal of the middle school counseling program is to foster the optimal academic, personal, and career development of early adolescents. Services focus on the transitional period of the child from puberty to adolescence with emphasis on the academic, social, emotional, and physical changes that students experience during this period of their lives. Each middle school has two full-time school counselors. They are assigned by grade level to the student groups in an effort to create a long-term relationship with the student and parents. Typically, a counselor will begin with a grade level or portion of a grade level and follow those students from grade 6 through grade 8. Counselors provide classroom guidance activities, small group sessions, individual counseling, and parent workshops.
Special features of the middle school counseling curriculum include:
-Summer Connection Program
-Study Skills and Test Taking Strategies
-Violence Prevention Program
-Academic and Career Planning
DEVELOPING THE STUDENT’S ACADEMIC AND CAREER PLAN
In order to prepare students to live and work in society, opportunities are provided by the Spotsylvania County Schools to help students develop to the fullest of their capabilities. Course offerings in middle and high school are geared to meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students and expand their options beyond high school.
The process of developing a student’s Academic and Career Plan begins as early as grade 7 and continues with the annual review of progress toward the student’s established goals. Parents and students, working side by side with school counselors and teachers, provide the direction for the future by making appropriate course recommendations and yearly schedule plans in line with the long term goals of the diploma option and desired career field. Students take career assessments in grades 7 and 9 to determine appropriate career clusters based on their interests, skills and aptitudes. The results of these assessments are noted on the Academic and Career Plan to help direct course selection and preparation for the education needed to enter into the career fields.
Serious consideration should be given to the class registration process by students and their parents as choices are made regarding school subjects and career preparation each year. The Catalog of Secondary Course Offerings presents students and parents with essential information needed to take an active role in this decision-making process. This course description guide has been prepared to enable students to make wise and appropriate choices in the selection of their classes at the secondary level.
High School Counseling
Students are alphabetically assigned to a school counselor for the duration of their high school years (based on the student’s last name). Together, the counselor, parents and student will build the relationship needed to better assist in academic planning, and goal setting as well as provide support toward the attainment of the college goals. Parents are encouraged to participate in the development of the student’s program of studies that maps the route to the chosen diploma option and graduation. In addition to the annual academic planning and course selection sessions, counselors provide programs to all students through classroom guidance, small group and/or individual sessions on topics such as study skills, test-taking strategies, decision-making and time management strategies. Counselors assist students and parents to address other issues that create challenges to academic success.
SPECIAL PARENT AND STUDENT WORKSHOPS
Each high school counseling program offers workshops for students and parents designed to enhance orientation to academic success, awareness of the college admission process, scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and transitions after high school. Counselors
support the regional college night program.
Check your school newsletter, school website and special announcements on the Spotsylvania Schools website and educational broadcasting channel to learn more about the programs at your high school.