The counseling program at SOAR Charter Academy is designed to help students, parents, and staff members develop positive learning experiences with a strong connection to character education. The program will be based on the American School Counselor Association’s National Model and Student Standards and will consists of a variety of services and activities; including individual and group counseling, parent and teacher consultations, group guidance, class lessons, information services, and referral assistance to other programs and services in the community. My program will focus on the three domains found within educational counseling: Academics, Personal/Social, and Career Development.
To tell you a little about me, I have been a teacher since 2001 working in a variety of settings ranging from traditional schools to continuation schools to charter schools and with grade levels K-12. I earned my master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University along with my Pupil Personnel Services Credential. The education I received in counseling focused on human development, learning theory, counseling and consulting, career development, and other areas appropriate to the practice of counseling in a school.
The primary services of the school counselor are to provide direct services to students in the school. Below is a description of these direct services.
Students at SOAR will be able to meet one-on-one with me to discuss issues that are affecting their academic success. In order to see me students can fill out and return a self-referral form (found in the front office) or teachers/parents/other school personnel can complete the student referral form (found in the teacher's lounge). I will also provide teachers with a copy of these forms in their staff mailbox.
During sessions, a version of brief therapy and play therapy techniques (i.e. drawing, role-playing, puppetry, etc.) are used as a way to discuss school counseling goals, as outlined by the American School Counselor Association. This includes helping students reach their academic, personal/social, and career potential.
Another counseling service available to students at SOAR is group counseling. This is done by grade level and topic, such as “making and keeping friends” or “bullying” or "handling divorce." These groups and topics are decided based on a needs assessment completed by classroom teachers and by parent/teacher/school personnel feedback. In order for a student to participate in small group counseling (usually 5-7 participants), a permission form has to be signed by his or her parent/guardian. I will attempt to hold these groups during lunch so students would not miss core academic subjects or specialty areas. However, each lesson is designed around both the Academic Content Standards and American School Counselor Association standards.
During sessions, a version of brief therapy, social interaction, and play therapy techniques (i.e. drawing, role-playing, puppetry, etc.) are used as a way to discuss school counseling goals, as outlined by the American School Counselor Association. Also, for older students, interactive/reflective activities are used (i.e. making books for younger grade levels, interviewing teachers and staff, etc.).
All students at SOAR will have the opportunity to meet me during classroom guidance sessions. These sessions focused on a specific issue that was negatively impacting learning in the classroom/school and were designed around the Academic Content Standards and American School Counselor Association standards. Teachers signed-up for classroom guidance units based on the specific needs of their students. More information will be provided on these sessions soon.
I also intend to work with directly with teachers and provide lessons to your students regarding Character Counts!
My goal is to provide a classroom lesson to every group of students at least once a month.
As you can see stated above a major portion of the day is scheduled with services for the students. Parent and teacher consultations will usually be scheduled early in the morning before classes or during after school hours.
I look forward to working with each and every one of you this year...Let's make it a great one!