Hello! My name is Kerri Gilchriest, the School Counselor at High Point Elementary School. This page provides you with information about the School Counseling program, and counseling topics and resources.
To facilitate the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. School Counselors are integral members of the instructional team. They directly impact student achievement by delivering comprehensive services that meet the needs of the 21st century school community.
What does this mean for your child? This means that I pay close attention to every student in the building and how he/she 'connects' to his/her education and therefore achieves to the maximum level possible. I support your child and all school stakeholders to creatively problem-solve any issues that may (temporarily or otherwise) pose an obstacle to the learning process and your child's academic achievement.
Professional School Counselors are uniquely trained leaders who promote success for all students. They collaborate with school personnel using data‐driven decisions to facilitate the success of the 21st century learner in an ever‐changing society. As a result the student will:
- achieve to his/her maximum potential
- demonstrate academic, career, personal/social problem-solving skills
- recognize and appreciate individual and cultural differences
- develop communication and citizenship skills to make positive contributions to the community
- access human and technological resources for support and information
What is a School Counselor?
I am a trained and caring professional who works with all students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order for every student to achieve academic and social success. School Counseling services are delivered in three specific ways:
- Classroom Counseling Curriculum- designing ,structuring, and delivering classroom lessons so that students develop specific outcome-driven competencies in all grades PK-5 (personal/social, academic, career)and driven by the needs of the school population
- Individual Student Planning- assisting students with goal formation/planning (behavioral, academic, etc.)
- Responsive Services- meeting immediate student needs (counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, referral, peer mediation, information-providing)
How does your child experience school counseling services?
- Individual Counseling- I may work with a student 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: understanding feelings, changing families/divorce, grief, stress, social skills, academics, bullying, problem-solving, and decision-making.
- Small Group Counseling- A process where students sharing similar issues or concerns work together in a small group environment consisting of about 3-6 peers. The group sessions usually last about 30 minutes and are held for approximately 6-8 weeks. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include divorce or changing families, grief and loss, friendship and social skills, study skills, conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, and stress-management.
- Classroom Counseling lessons- I develop and implement PK-5 classroom curriculum driven by national and county school counseling outcomes. I provide lessons that support social and emotional growth across curricular areas. Classroom lessons are regularly scheduled and address personal, social, academic, and career-related needs at the child's developmental level. Topics may include self-esteem, conflict resolution, study skills, anger management, career awareness, tattling/reporting, friendship/social skills, responsibility, respect, teasing/bullying, feelings, cooperation, goal setting/decision-making, and peer pressure. I like to send home a letter to parents after each classroom lesson because I believe that a strong home-school partnership is what's best for kids.
School Counselor Leadership Roles at High Point Elementary:
- Character Development
- Student Services Team member
- Gifted/Talented Referral & Review Team member
- Crisis Response Team/Counseling-Response Team
- School Improvement Team member
- Section 504 plan consultant/ coordinator
Counseling Approaches Commonly Used to Assist Students:
Play-Therapeutic or Art- Therapeutic Experiences (exploring & role-playing solutions, creative representations of life situations)
Bibliotherapeutic Experiences (reading & discussing books relevant to whatever the student is experiencing)
Conflict-Resolution processes (working out disagreements)
Behavioral Coaching/Role Plays (goal-setting & encouragement)
Therapeutic Games (card & board games focused on developing coping skills)
- Academic/Organizational Skill-Development (understanding report card grades, study skills, etc.)
- Attendance monitoring and incentives