The mission of Norton Elementary School’s Counseling Department is that all students should be afforded opportunities for guidance and support in becoming life-long learners and develop skills to support their personal, social, academic, and career goals. The counselors work to provide a comprehensive and developmental guidance program that meets individual student needs. They work in partnership with parents, teachers, administrators, and members of the community to remove barriers to student success.
The counselors at Norton Elementary School believe:
- All students can learn
- All students have worth and should be treated with dignity
- All students should have access to learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate, grounded in theory and best practices, and aimed at optimal academic, emotional, and social development regardless of their differences or special needs
- All students should have access to a comprehensive school counseling program in which goals for academic, career, personal, and social development are attained.
Who are school Counselors and what do they do?
School counselors are certified educators who are specifically trained to address the academic, personal/social, and career development needs of their students. They help promote a safe and secure learning environment by providing developmentally appropriate counseling services that are based on best practices.School counseling services include classroom guidance, individual counseling, small group counseling, parent/teacher consultation, crisis intervention, understanding test scores, conflict resolution, and mediation, supporting good attendance, Student Support Team meetings, and community resources.Each grade level in Gwinnett County has a list of competencies/objectives for student guidance. The school counselor is responsible for delivering these competencies to each student. The competencies are covered through regular classroom guidance and reinforced through other school-wide activities. The competencies include career, education, personal knowledge, and skills. Classroom guidance topics may include the following: celebrating differences, personal safety, feelings awareness, friendship, empathy, character education, self-esteem, study skills, setting goals, test-taking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and transition to middle school. Small group counseling can include feelings awareness, friendship, grief and loss, family changes, self-esteem, work habits, and self-control/responsibility.
How are students referred to the counselor?
Counseling is conducted with students individually and in small groups when requested and determined appropriate. It is voluntary and confidential. Parent permission is obtained prior to any small group counseling. Students are seen when:
- Parents request and indicate a need and desire that the counselor meet with their children
- Students request counseling
- Teachers, administrators, or other school staff members refer the student to the counselor
When should you call a counselor?
- When your student is having difficulty learning
- When family changes interfere with academic progress
- When your child needs extra help adjusting to school
- When you want to arrange a meeting with both a teacher and a counselor
- When you want to discover available community resources and agencies for your student and family