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    Services Provided by the SWMS Counseling Department

    • Individual Counseling (as needed)
    • Small Group Counseling/ Peer Mediation
    • Classroom Guidance/Core Curriculum
    • Peer Leaders
    • Peer Lead Scholarship Fund
    • Parent and/or Teacher Consultation
    • CARE Team
    • Community Collaboration
    • Responsive Services
    • System Support


     

    SMS School Counseling Mission:

    The Sweetwater Middle School counseling department will deliver a comprehensive, developmental and preventive program appropriate for the needs of all students.  This program will support the Local School Plan of Improvement as well as the American School Counselor’s Association competencies.

    SMS Vision Statement:

    Sweetwater Middle School will be a world-class school for the 21st century, committed to honoring the dreams of the families who choose our school.

     


     

     When should you contact a counselor?

    • When your student is having difficulty achieving academically, concerns of social/emotional well-being.
    • When family changes interfere with academic progress or social emotional well being
    • When you want to become more involved in your student's educational and career choices
    • When you want to arrange a meeting with several teachers or with both teacher and a counselor.



    Frequently Asked Questions

    ** Will my child be in trouble if he/she visits the school counselor?

    No. School Counselors are not disciplinarians! Our role is different from an administrative role and does not include issuing citations, referrals or any other discipline consequence. Our primary role is to assist in removing barriers that may keep the student from being successful in the academic environment.

    ** Will others know that my child is being seen by the counselor?

    School counselors take every precaution to protect the confidentiality of each student. A student’s right to privacy and confidentiality is the basis for an effective counseling relationship. Confidentiality ensures that school counselors won’t share students’ disclosures with others (including teachers and other staff members) unless the student authorizes it or when there is a clear and present danger to the student and/or to other persons.

    ** If the counselor sees my child, is this on the student's permanent record?

    No information shared with the counselor is included in the permanent record. Again, information is only shared with others when there is a clear and present danger to the student or other persons.

     **If my child sees the school counselor, will I be contacted?

    Many times parents initiate the referral process and may speak to the counselor before counseling sessions take place with the students. However, parents are not called every time a counselor meets with a child. And, should parents be called in to meet with the school counselor in a collaborative effort to help the student, parents must also realize that confidentiality is the hallmark of a school counselors’ work. When students enter into a counseling relationship, the school counselor will educate the student about the purposes, goals, techniques and rules of procedure under which they may receive counseling. As counseling with a student progresses, it may become beneficial or necessary for the school counselor to consult and collaborate with parents. It’s the school counselor’s responsibility to reach an agreement with the student about what information to share with the parents; unless, of course, there is a clear and imminent danger to the student or others. While respecting the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians for their children, the school counselor works to establish a mutual relationship with parents/guardians to maximize a student’s development. In addition, school counselors respect students’ values and beliefs without imposing their own personal values on the situation.

    ** What are the limitations to confidentiality that parents should know about?

    The limitations of confidentiality don’t include information of possible abuse or harm to a child. By law, school counselor must report any case of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.

    ** Can the school counselor provide therapy?

    While school counselors have specific training in regards to mental health issues, they are not intended to function as therapists. The role of school counselors is to assist students with academic issues that may interfere with their academic success. School counselors are equipped to serve as liaisons with outside agencies and can consult with families about the steps to take to link to outside therapeutic services.

    ** Will my child miss academic time when they see the school counselor?

    While the school counselor makes every effort to protect academic time, it may occur that a student briefly misses academic time to meet with the counselor. School counselors do their very best to prevent the counseling session from being a burden on the students academically.

    **How does my child request to see a counselor?

    Counselor appointment request can be made online via the students eClass portal.  Students may also submit counselor request in writing via sign-up sheets located outside of their counselor’s office. If there is an emergency, students should ask a trusted adult to request to see a counselor immediately. 

     


     
    Counseling Department Advisory Council

    Every school year, the SMS Counseling Program holds two Advisory Council meetings to discuss our program goals, counseling interventions, and gain feedback from stakeholders on how we can improve our Counseling Program.

     



    Tutoring Opportunities:

    SMS offers tutoring Monday thru Friday at 8:00 am.  There is no tutoring on the last Friday of each month.  Drop off begins at 7:30 am for parent convince.  Students should be dropped off at the rear of the school building.  Tutoring is offered by individual classroom teachers.  Please ensure to check in with your teacher for specific details.



    Work Permits

    If you are at least fourteen years old and interested in obtaining a job, you will need to file a work permit.

    You will need to print the completed Work Permit Data Sheet and present it to your employer. Once your employer returns the form to you, bring the completed work permit and your social security number to the Twin Rivers front office. Your completed permit will be ready to pick up from the front office within 24 hours.

    Directions for filing an online work permit can be found on the following Georgia Department of Labor website.  https://dol.georgia.gov/

     



    Helpful Websites and Resources:

     

    ParenTVision: http://publish.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps/home/gcpstv/videos/parents/parentvision

    Children with Eating Discorders: http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/

    Cyberbullying: www.stopcyberbullying.org

    ADHD/ADD:   www.Chadd.org

    Summer camps: www.summer-daycamps.com

    Camps for children with special needs: www.camptwinlakes.org

    Free Grief Counseling Service for Students in the Metro Area:  http://katesclub.org

    Mental Health Resources:  https://instruction.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/d2l/le/content/418232/


     

  • When should I contact a counselor???

    • When your student is having difficulty achieving academically.
    • When family changes interfere with academic progress.
    • When you want to arrange a meeting with several teachers or with both teacher and a counselor.
    • When you need help to interpret tests and school records and track school progress.
  • Tips for Success

    Middle school is a special place that gives students new opportunities and more independence. Students feel excited, sad and nervous. Classes are different, rules are new, schedules are busier, and students have their own lockers. Here are some tips for success in middle school.
    • Organization- getting organized is an important key to success.
    • Use agenda books to write down assignments each day. Keep your locker and back pack cleaned out.
    • Homework- schedule time for homework, break  big projects into small steps, and prepare the night before.
    • Talk to your teachers- ask questions if you are unsure of your assignment, if you do not understand something, or if you need help.
    • Get good grades- Turn your homework in on time and always do your best work
    • Get involved in extra- curricular activities- find things that you enjoy like sports, clubs, and community activities. This is a great way to meet to new people and to have fun.
    • Stay healthy- get plenty of rest at night and eat a good breakfast.
    • Communication- talk with your parent/guardian regularly about what is going on with you at school.
    • Friends- choose your friends wisely and always surround yourself with positive people.
    • Attendance- be sure that you are here each and every day. If you are not here, you can't learn.