Benefits of a Comprehensive School Counseling Program

A high quality Comprehensive School Counseling Program benefits students, staff, administrators, and parents.

When it comes to students, school counseling services can improve academic performance by identifying barriers to learning. School counselors work with students individually or in small groups to help children work through difficult issues so that they can stay focused in the classroom and get the most out of school. School counselors help children become emotionally available to learning so that they can get "back in the game" as soon as possible.

On a larger scale, school counselors deliver a guidance curriculum that focuses on what are considered the common needs of the majority of learners in schools today. Southington's Comprehensive School Counseling Program is based on state and national program and content standards. The topics presented are aligned with the state and national content standards, with the purpose of helping all students become effective learners, build self-confidence, develop interpersonal skills, respect self and others, resolve conflicts, and make responsibile choices.

Not only does our curriculum support the students, but it also offers support to administrators as well because it is aligned with important school and district goals which focus on students achievement and promoting a safe, positive school climate that is conducive to learning. School counseling programs are proactive and preventative in nature, working to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.

Along the lines of maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning, school counselors work very closely with teachers to enhance their abilities to reduce classroom disruptions and manage classroom behavior effectively. What might start out as a small problem for a particular child, can quickly develop into a larger issue if it is not addressed. This type of situation can negatively impact everyone else's learning in the classroom. So, even if your child doesn't need the direct services of the school counselor, he or she is experiencing the benefits indirectly. Teachers and school counselors work collaboratively. We're partners in helping children with the learning process. Many referrals come from teachers - they're with our children 6 1/2 hours a day and often they are the first ones to observe that something may be interfering with learning.

And of course, parents, school counselors are always readily available to students and families in a time of crisis - that goes without being said. There are times when parents are not facing an unavoidable crisis, but they do have real concerns. When it comes to tips, ideas, suggestions - your friendly school counselor is a resource for you. Being a parent is by far the most difficult job that exists. While there is still some excellent parenting literature out there to help, there is no specific training manual for YOUR particular child. When you're a parent you are constantly faced with unforeseen challenges at every age and stage of development. It can really help sometimes to share your concerns or run an idea by someone who's a trained and caring professional. Talking through a concern with a school counselor can help put a situation in perspective and help you to determine the best course of action.

The elementary school years are when the foundation for learning is established. It is a time when students develop attitudes concerning school, themselves and others. It is a time when students develop life skills and character values. A Comprehensive School Counseling Program helps children develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to become competent and confident learners. The emphasis is on a meeting children's needs through prevention, early identification and intervention. It's all about being proactive!

Resource: Comprehensive School Counseling: A Guide to Comprehensive School Counseling Program Development, State of Connecticut/State Board of Education, 2008

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