Middle School Counselors provide a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses the needs of students in grades 6 through 8. Counselors promote and enhance the academic, personal, social, health and career development of all students and guide students and their families in making informed educational decisions.
School counselors at the middle school level support students as they transition from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. Middle school counselors also serve as a resource for parents and teachers and as a liaison with community agencies.
What do middle school counselors do?
Middle School counselors are knowledgeable about the unique developmental needs of young adolescents and apply that knowledge to their work with students, staff and families. Middle school counselors provide proactive leadership and advocacy to help their students succeed academically, personally, and socially. They work with students in classrooms, in small groups, and individually to build key skills and to address specific concerns.
How are students assigned to a counselor in the middle school?
Typically, counselors in middle school are assigned to a specific grade level. As the students move from grade to grade during the three years, the counselor moves with them, so that students generally have the same counselor throughout their middle school experience. The guidance secretary usually coordinates student and parent appointments with counselors.
How do middle school counselors prepare fifth grade students and their parents for their transition to middle school?
Middle school counselors visit the elementary schools during the spring of the fifth grade year to talk with students and parents about middle school and to provide strategies for making a smooth transition. The counselor works with the middle school staff to orient youngsters to their new school setting and to help students build the academic, personal, and interpersonal skills necessary for success. The counselor is also available to work with small groups or individuals who may need additional support during the transition period.
How do middle school counselors prepare eighth grade students and their parents for their transition to high school?
Middle school is a time when career exploration expands and students begin to connect their aspirations with their academic achievement. Counselors nurture the career development process, working with school staff to equip eighth graders with the skills needed for success in high school, including goal setting, organization, and effective decision making. Middle school counselors collaborate with counselors at the high school to support students through the process of selecting high school courses and thinking about post-secondary possibilities.
How do middle school counselors support middle school students with developing coping strategies regarding their rapidly changing physiological and psychological needs?
Middle school counselors are sensitive to the developmental needs of young adolescents. Through classroom presentation, small group sessions, and individual counseling they help students understand their experiences and develop effective strategies for coping with them. School counselors at the middle school level also consult with school staff and with parents to offer suggestions for supporting youngsters during this period of rapid growth.
Are other resources available if a student's needs are particularly intense?
Yes. Middle school counselors regularly collaborate with the school nurse, the school psychologist, the school's pupil personnel worker (who acts as a liaison to many school system resources), and with private therapists and other community-based resources. With needed, middle school counselors act as case managers in referring students to alternative education and special education resources as well as community-based programs.
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