What is Counseling?

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals (American Counseling Association, 2010).

What do school counselors do? 
• Develop a plan for the program based on needs
• Counsel students individually and/or in groups
• Provide systematic and developmental classroom lessons to all students
• Respond to student needs in crisis situations
• Orient students to new school settings
• Work with absentees and chronic tardiness
• Refer students to special programs and/or services when necessary
• Analyze assessment results to provide information about abilities, 
achievement, interests and needs
• Coordinate efforts with other school specialists
• Conduct conferences with parents and facilitate parent discussion groups
• Coordinate staff support activities
• Adhere to ethical and legal standards
• Pursue continuous professional growth and development
• Conduct an annual evaluation of the school counseling program


The Counseling Program at the elementary school at Key Biscayne K-8 Center is designed to provide assistance and support to all students in the form of classroom guidance presentations, small group counseling, and individual counseling.  

During the school year, the counselor makes classroom presentations on values and enhancing learning and study skills, self-esteem, personal and social skills, study habits, conflict resolution strategies and self-confidence.

Small group counseling may be recommended by the classroom teacher, the administration, or the counselor. Students who are earning below average 
grades in reading, language arts or math may need to attend some sessions.    
Counseling sessions usually take place once a week (half-hour) for a 2-4 week period.  During small group counseling sessions, we engage in activities to strengthen the students' learning and study skills, self-confidence, and positive attitude toward school.

Individual counseling may be recommended by the teacher, an administrator, a parent, the counselor, or a student's self-referral.  Counseling sessions may 
take place one or more times according to child's needs.  Activities are geared to strengthen a student's academic performance, self-esteem, self-confidence, study skills, conflict solving strategies and appropriate school behaviors as needed.

A parent may speak to the classroom teacher or to the office to request that the child sees the counselor. Many times teachers or administrators make  referrals. Also, students may request to see the counselor. After a referral or request, an appointment is scheduled with the student.

A parent may also request an appointment with the school counselor by calling (305) 361-5418. If I am not available, please leave a message with your name, phone numbers and best time to reach you.  I will return the phone call as soon as possible. If the situation cannot be resolved by phone, a conference at school will be scheduled.
A CHILD MIGHT NEED OR MAY BENEFIT FROM COUNSELING...if there seems to be a problem with:   

1. Behavior that interferes with a child’s ability to learn or make friends.

2. Excessive anger, uncontrollable emotions, sadness, or fears.
3. Behavior that is immature for the child’s age.

4. Physical symptoms, which have no medical cause.
5. Preoccupation with sexual behaviors or identity issues.

6. Talking about not wanting to live.

7. Self-harming incident or repeated incidents of self-harm.

8. Being bullied at school, on the way to or from school.

9. Bullying/violent behaviors are frequently displayed.

10. Difficulty in adjusting to common family changes.

11. Experiencing trauma such as: abuse, abandonment, and domestic violence including witnessing it through seeing or hearing violent incidents; separation and divorce.
12. Death or the loss of a family member or pet, chronic illness, hospitalization, moving away, or a painful experience. Events that may seem insignificant to you may be very significant to a child.

These are only a few of the reasons.  If it is behavior that seems “not normal” then let’s get together and talk.


El Programa de Consejería Escolar... 

...esta diseñado para dar ayuda a todos los estudiantes a través de presentaciones en las clases, sesiones en grupos pequeños y consejería individual. El propósito del programa es ofrecer información a los estudiantes y proveer actividades para el enriquecimiento de destrezas que ayuden a mejorar su aprovechamiento académico, auto-estima y auto-confianza, socialización, hábitos de estudio y resolución de conflictos. 

Los estudiantes pueden ser recomendados por sus maestros, sus padres, sus compañeros de clase, o por sí mismos para participar en algunas actividades de consejería. Los padres pueden llamar al colegio al (305) 361-5418 para conversar con la consejera.


Why Elementary School Counselors? 
(Information adapted from the American School Counselor Association Website- and Florida's School Counseling Framework- 
Florida Department of Education)

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident 

Through a Comprehensive School Counseling Program, counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate 
and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. 

Elementary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by 
today’s diverse student population. 

Elementary school counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. 

Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. 

The American School Counselor Association's National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2002), with its data-driven and results-based focus, serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.

Comprehensive School Counseling Programs promote student success through a focus on academic achievement, prevention and intervention activities, advocacy, and social/personal/ emotional and career development.


Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

School Guidance Curriculum

1. Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills 
2. Goal setting and decision-making 
3. Career awareness, exploration and planning 
4. Education on understanding self and others 
5. Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills 
6. Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution 
7. Substance abuse education 
8. Multicultural/diversity awareness

Individual Student Planning

1. Academic planning 
2. Goal setting/decision making 
3. Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses 
4. Transition plans

Responsive Services

1. Individual and small-group counseling 
2. Individual/family/school crisis intervention 
3. Conflict resolution 
4. Consultation/collaboration 
5. Referrals

System Support

1. Professional development 
2. Consultation, collaboration and teaming 
3. Program management and operation

Elementary School Counselors Collaborate with:

1. Parents
Parent education 
Academic planning 
One-on-one parent conferencing 
Interpretation of assessment results
Transition to Middle School 

2. Teachers
Classroom guidance activities 
Academic support, including learning style assessment and education to help 
students succeed academically 
Classroom speakers 
At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to 
enhance success

3. Administrators
School climate 
Behavioral management plans 
School-wide needs assessments 
Student data and results 
Student assistance team building

4. Students
Peer Mediation education 
Personal/Social support 
Academic support 
School climate 
Leadership development
Community Awareness 
Crisis interventions 
Support groups 
Career education
Health education