Supporting Students in Academic and Personal Success
The School Counseling program serves students in grades K-12. It is a comprehensive, sequential program based on standards in academic, career, and social/emotional development. The School Counseling program is an integral part of the District’s educational environment and supports students in academic and personal success.
There are a total of 30 school counselors in the District. Eight counselors are shared among the elementary buildings, nine counselors serve middle school students, and 13 counselors serve high school students. Each high school has one freshman school counselor, one graduation coach, and two school counselors for grades 10-12. In addition, the Sioux City Career Academy has one dedicated counselor.
School counselors at the elementary, middle school, and high school level offer the following:
- Classroom Guidance
- Interventions & Counseling
- Responsive Services
School counselors are trained professionals with expertise in trauma and its impacts on the brain, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. When appropriate, counselors respond to crises and make referrals to school-based therapists and community resource agencies.
The Role of the School Counselor
- School counselors address the needs of students through the implementation of a comprehensive standard-based, developmental school counseling program.
- Their work is differentiated by aenon to age-specific developmental stages of student growth and development.
- School counselors work with all students, including those who are considered at-risk and those with special needs. Students can be referred by staff, parents, and self-referral.
- They are specialists in human behavior and relationships in order to provide assistance to students through four primary interventions: counseling, large group guidance, consultation, and coordination.
- School counselors serve as a liaison between students, staff, parents, and administration.
- Above all, school counselors are student advocates who work cooperatively with other individuals and organizations to promote the academic, career, and social/emotional development of students.
- The purpose is to provide all students with knowledge and assistance in acquiring and using life skills.
- The ASCA model of Mindsets and Behaviors is used to teach learning strategies, self-management skills, and social skills through individual, small group, and classroom lessons.
- Guidance lessons are developed in association with the American School Counselor Association National Standards for students, as well as the Iowa State Standards. Domains include: academic, career, and personal/social. School counselors teach intentional lessons as requested by staff to address social concerns that arise.
Counseling Topics Explored
- Academic Improvement
- Acceptance or Being Unique
- Bullying, Teasing, and Feelings
- Character Education
- Friendship and Kindness
- Likenesses and Differences
- Manners and Self-Discipline
- Red Ribbon Week
Benefits of School Counseling Programs
- Relates educational programs to future success.
- Facilitates career exploration and development.
- Develops decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- Assists in acquiring knowledge of self and others.
- Enhances personal development.
- Assists in developing effective interpersonal relationship skills.
- Broadens knowledge of a changing world.
- Provides advocacy for students.
- Encourages facilitative, cooperative peer interactions.
- Fosters resiliency factors for students.