As professional school counselors, our job is to support academic achievement by removing barriers to learning for all students. In short, we are advocates for students!! We provide support in a number of ways such as, individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance, and help during parent-teacher conferences, Student Support Team meetings (SST's) and Response to Intervention (RTI).
During digital learning, Gwinnett County School Counselors will continue supporting students' academic success, career development, and social-emotional growth, utilizing Zoom and Google Meet for individual meetings, conferences, presentations, groups, and classroom lessons/activities.”
The Counseling Offices are open from 8:05am till 4:05pm for students and parents each school day.Parents may call the school to schedule an appointment with the student's designated counselor. When calling the counselor's office, please leave a voicemail if no one answers, as we are often in meetings with students and/or teachers.
How might my child receive school counseling services?
- Individual Counseling - A student and the school counselor work in a safe, positive, and confidential setting to address issues that get in the way of school achievement. Topics are based on the needs of the student and may include: feelings, changing families, peer pressure, friends, stress, academics, social skills, bullying, conflict-resolution, problem-solving, and decision-making. All counselors at MMS have an open door policy, however, students must have a signed agenda (pass) from a teacher. Also, students may request an appointment or be referred by a teacher or parent.
- Small Group Counseling - A process where students, sharing similar issues and concerns, work together in a small group environment consisting of about 4 - 6 peers. The group sessions usually last about 30 minutes, 1 time per week, and are held for approximately 6 - 8 weeks. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include study/organizational skills, attendance, grief/loss, friendship/social skills and stress management.
- Classroom Core Curriculum - The school counselor develops and implements classroom curriculum driven by ASCA standards. Classroom lessons are scheduled every semester (or more as requested per teacher) and address personal, social, academic, and career-related needs at the child's developmental level. Topics may include bullying and harrassment, GCIS, Jr (Careers), Teen Lures, Conflict Resolution and study/test taking skills.
- Parent and Teacher Consultations - If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us! We are here to offer you help and link you to outside resources, as needed. We often consult with all school staff, parents and communities about the best practices to help our students meet their potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come up to the school to meet with the school counselor without notice?
- All appointments with the school counselor must be scheduled in advance. Please contact your student's school counselor prior to visiting the school in order to set up an appointment time so that we can give your concerns the appropriate attention they deserve.
When should I contact a school counselor?
- When your student is having difficulty achieving academically.
- When family changes interfere with academic progress.
- When you want to become more involved in your student's educational and career choices.
Will my child be in trouble if he/she visits the school counselor?
School Counselors are not disciplinarians! 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 or if permission is given by the student and/or parent to share information with others as relevant to the student's success at school.
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 suspected 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 student academically.