School Counselor – Frequently Asked Questions

What does an elementary school counselor do?

Counsel, educate, advocate and empower! We work alongside teachers and parents/guardians to help students develop socially and emotionally, and to help remove any barriers they have with learning.

Here is a video that describes the role and responsibilities of an Elementary School Counselor

What training do Elementary School Counselors have?

Elementary school counselors are master-degree level professionals who are trained to develop a a school counseling program to support students, staff, parents and the community.  The program is comprehensive, developmental, and preventive and focuses on services that address the academic, personal/social, and college/career development of our students. 

Why would a student see a school counselor?

Children may face difficulties, which can prevent them from doing their best in school. These difficulties can include school adjustment issues, stress/anxiety, self-esteem, family change, grief, fears, or difficulties with relationships. Having support through difficult times can be essential to a child’s educational success.

How does a student see a school counselor at Glenmoor?

  • Self-referral (grades 4-6)
  • Parent/guardian referral
  • Administrator, teacher, or other staff referral
  • Students grades K-3 are informed that if they would like to meet with me, they can request a meeting through their parent/guardian or teacher. 
  • Please let me know if there is a situation in which you feel I may be of help. 

What counseling related services does a school counselor provide?

All professional school counselors are trained to provide these services in a variety of efficient and effective methods, including:

Guidance Curriculum

  • Classroom guidance lessons
  • Parent/guardian workshops
  • Schoolwide programming

Individual Student Planning

  • Short and long-term goal setting
  • School transitions
  • Consultation with parents/guardians and teachers

Responsive Services

  • Small group counseling
  • Short-term individual and crisis counseling
    • Please note that I do NOT provide long-term therapy and typically meet with a student no more than 8 continuous times over a school year. For ongoing and more serious mental health needs, I am happy to work with a student and their families to refer them to outside providers.
  • Community resource referrals (including longer term therapy services)

System Support

  • Participation in school committees
  • Program management
  • Professional development 
  • Coordination of Services Team (COST)
  • Committee involvement

What types of things do counselors talk with students about in class lessons and in individual or group counseling?

  • Career exploration
  • Conflict resolution
  • Focus skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Growth mindset
  • Listening skills
  • Mindfulness and coping skills
  • Positive communication
  • Responsibility
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-regulation (emotions)
  • Study skills

How can school counselors support parents/guardians?

  • Helping with social or emotional concerns you have about your child
  • Improving communication between you and your child
  • Discussing family difficulties/concerns that affect your child at school
  • Making outside referrals to community resources
  • Helping understand the developmental changes of childhood
  • Discussing concerns about your child’s academic achievement
  • Helping establish healthy routines for your child

How does a school counselor manage privacy?

  • Your family’s privacy is important to me. What you or your child discuss with me is private except in cases required by law (when abuse, neglect or imminent danger is suspected).

How does a school counselor manage confidentiality?

  • An important part of the counselor and student relationship is trust. One of the ways counselors build a trusting relationship with students is through confidentiality. However, there are certain exceptions that may require a school counselor to break confidentiality when working with a student.
  • Confidentiality will be broken if a student shares that they are going to hurt themselves, hurt someone else, or someone is hurting them.
  • Confidentiality can also be broken if the student and school counselor decide it is important to share the information with another adult.  I do let students know that problem solving is a collaborative effort and there will be times we will want to include their parents or teachers in our work.
  • All students are informed of confidentiality exceptions at the beginning of the school year during a classroom guidance lesson. Students are are also reminded at the beginning of every individual or group counseling session. 

How does a school counselor manage parent consent?

  • If I am meeting with a student regularly, I will inform the parent of these meetings if:
    • it will not break the students trust,
    • it will not hinder the counseling process, and
    • the parent/guardian’s assistance is needed, or
    • an outside referral needs to be made
  • If I would like to include a student in group counseling, I will notify the parents to get consent to work with the student in the group setting.