“Creating bridges of success for all students”

Who are School Counselors?

A school counselor is a professional trained caring person who works with students, staff, parents, and the community. Counselors are specialists in identifying school and personal problems; in helping students to deal with social problems; and in facilitating the planning of future goals.  School counselors assist students in the development of those lifelong skills necessary for optimum character, coping with life’s difficulties, and building cohesive relationships. 

What is a development counseling program?

A developmental guidance and counseling program assists students in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for their academic, career, social, and emotional development.  The program consists of the following four components aligned with the American School Counselor Association
 national model.
1. Guidance Curriculum:  The guidance curriculum is structured developmental lessons designed to assist students in achieving the desired competencies and to provide all students with the knowledge and skills appropriate for their developmental level.  The guidance curriculum is infused throughout the school’s overall curriculum and is presented systemically through K-12 classroom and group activities.
2. Individual Student Planning:  Counselors assist students individually in establishing personal goals and developing future plans.  Counselors guide students as they plan, monitor, and manage their own educational, career, personal, and social development. 
3.  Responsive Services:  Counselors intervene on behalf of students whose immediate needs, usually necessitated by life events or situations and conditions in the students’ lives, put their continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk.  Counselors are available to provide short term counseling to students individually or in group settings. 
4. Systems Support:  Counselors support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.  Counselors use their expertise to plan and manage their programs and to coordinate services for children.

What about confidentiality?

  The information shared in a counseling relationship is confidential and will be respected and guarded to the maximum degree as permitted by law. However, counselors are legally required to break confidentiality and divulge information under the following circumstances:
  •  if a child or parent/guardian gives       
      permission to share information
  •  if ordered by the court of law
  •  if there is suspicion of abuse        
     and/or neglect
  •  if there is threat of harm to self or 
  •  if there is a need for me to defend   
     myself against any allegations made

  Sometimes it is necessary to share information for the purposes of supervision and consultation, and to inform administration of pertinent issues that may affect student learning or safety. In the event that information must be shared, only relevant details of the situation will be shared with the understanding of a student’s right to confidentiality.

How does a student access school counselors?

Self-referral (students are free to drop in or schedule an appointment)
Teacher referral
Parent referral
Administration or other staff referral
Referral by friend(s) 

What credentials do school counselors hold?

School Counselors have earned a Master’s Degree from an accredited Counselor Education program,
received certification from the State of Maine Department of Education, and are active participants in state and national professional school counseling organizations.


The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs.

“What is a Professional School Counselor?” printed by the Texas Counseling Association
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