School Counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School Counselors are integral to the total educational program. They work closely with teachers, parents/guardians, administration and school staff. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. School Counselors work in three domains: Academics, Personal/Social, and Postsecondary/Career.
All school counselors in GMSD schools are professionals, have a master's degree or higher in school counseling, meet the state certification/licensure standards, and uphold ethical and professional standards of the American School Counseling Association.
Each GMSD School is staffed with professional school counselors who can provide the following services, as based on both the Tennessee Model for School Counseling and the American School Counselor Association:
- Developmentally appropriate classroom guidance lessons
- Individual and small group counseling
- Consultation and collaboration with parents, administrators, teachers, support staff, and community agencies
- Staff development
- Seminars for parents
- Social services and mental health agency referrals
- Prevention and intervention programs
- Rules and Expectations
- Goal Setting
- Listening Skills
- Emotion Management
- Bullying Prevention and Empathy
- Study Skills
- Red Ribbon Week
- Career Exploration and Readiness
- Test-Taking Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Positive Mindfulness
Small Group Counseling
Group counseling offers students an opportunity to pursue common goals with a small group of peers. This is great for learning, and developing social skills. These groups usually meet once a week for 3-6 weeks. Students may be referred by a parent, teacher, or they can ask to speak with the counselor. Groups are formed as needed, and common topics include Self Control, School Success Skills, Family Changes (ex. Divorce), Anxiety/ Worry, and Friendship/ Social Skills. While personal information regarding other group members is confidential, students are encouraged to share with their parents what they are learning in group. Parent permission is required to participate in small group counseling, and require the standard GMSD counseling consent form.
Students may meet with the counselor on an individual basis if there are academic, social, or emotional concerns. Students may be referred to the counselor by a parent, teacher, or they can ask to speak with a member of our team. After the first meeting, parent permission must be obtained for sessions to continue. While the information is confidential, unless there is a suspicion of harm to self or others, students are encouraged to share with their parents what they are talking about in sessions. Parent permission is required to participate in individual counseling, and require the standard GMSD counseling consent form.