The School District of Haverford Township has offered a comprehensive developmental guidance program in its five elementary schools since 1989. Each elementary school has a full-time school counselor, and a wide range of services are offered.
Developmental Guidance Lessons:
Elementary counselors present regularly scheduled classroom lessons to all students in grades one through five. The elementary guidance curriculum is child-centered and developmental in nature, in that it considers the characteristics and needs of students at each age and grade level. The curriculum encourages students to develop positive self-images, develop healthy relationships with others, and learn effective problem-solving skills. The program makes extensive use of stories, discussion, and role-playing and focuses on feelings, communication and problem solving.
Elementary school counselors meet individually with students to provide support for developmental and school-related issues. The counseling strategies necessarily vary with each student’s needs and are provided on a short-term basis (usually six to eight weekly sessions) as determined by the school counselor. Students can refer themselves to the counselor or can be referred by parents, teachers, or other school staff. Occasionally group counseling may be offered, depending on the needs of children at a particular grade level.
School counselors work with teachers, administrators and other school staff to provide information, materials, and referral assistance; address student needs, especially within the student support and IEP teams; and to promote a safe and healthy school climate.
School counselors also work with parents to exchange and gather information; provide recommendations; and to discuss parenting concerns. With parent consent, school counselors also consult with other mental health professionals.