As an elementary school counselor, the primary objective is to assist students in reaching their potential to become effective learners. The goal is to complement the learning environment in the classroom by using a child-centered, preventative, and developmental approach.
Counseling services include:
- Classroom Lessons - Classroom lessons are a way for the counselor to work with every student in the school. The counselor talks about different topics--from friendship to conflict resolution to making positive choices. Teachers also may request a special lesson or co-teach a lesson.
- Group Counseling - From time to time, the counselor will meet with a group of students for several sessions and discuss a theme such as grief, changing families, friendship, organization, self-discipline etc. Groups are formed from parent, teacher, administrator, and self-referrals. A letter is always sent home asking for parental permission with a brief summary of each week's topic.
- Individual Counseling - From time to time, students may need to meet with a counselor privately. Individual counseling is a way for students to work on skills in a one-on-one setting. This is designed as a brief intervention. If a student is in need of more intensive therapy the counselor will make a referral for the student and, of course, be in constant contact with the student's parents.
- Consultation - The counselor is constantly consulting with teachers to help ensure the best quality education for all students. They brainstorm ideas, develop strategies, and express opinions. The counseor also available to do the same with parents. They are happy to meet with you to discuss any concerns you may have about your child or your child's education.
School Psychology Services
School psychologists are mental health specialists with knowledge of child development, the psychology of learning, behavior management and intervention, monitoring the progress of students, and program evaluation. School psychologists apply this knowledge using a problem-solving approach to help bring about positive changes in the learning environment, attitude, and motivation. Services offered by the school psychologist may be provided directly to the student or indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and other care givers; however, all services provided by the school psychologist are intended to enhance the academic and social emotional success of students. Minimum requirements to be a school psychologist include a 60-hour master's degree program and a one-year full-time internship; many FCPS school psychologists hold doctoral degrees.
Our School Psychologist, Kelly Sweeney
Social Work and Support Services
School social workers focus on family and community factors that influence learning. They provide intensive services for students facing issues that pose risks to their academic success such as parent divorce and separation, poverty, truancy, chronic illness, mental health problems, conduct problems, child abuse, etc.
All FCPS social workers hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree; many have earned a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree. All school social workers are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. The majority of the staff is clinically licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Social Work (LCSW) or in other jurisdictions and trained to provide mental health services in any setting.
Our School Social Worker, Sarah Ince
Bullying Prevention and Intervention
FCPS is deeply committed to creating a safe and positive school environment where all students can learn. Through school-wide positive behavior approaches and participation in K-12 health and guidance lessons students are taught to behave respectfully and to resolve conflicts in positive ways. A culture of acceptance and creation of safe opportunities to discuss concerns is actively developed through class meetings, interactions, and relationships with caring adults.