Student advocacy, Individual student planning, responsive services, and program management/system support
Counselors actively support causes, ideas or policies that promote and assist student academic, career, personal/social, and global perspective needs. One form of advocacy is the process of actively identifying underrepresented students and supporting them in their efforts to perform at their highest level of academic achievement.
Individual Student Planning
Counselors will advise students using culturally sensitive approaches to consider their personal/social, educational, and post secondary goals. For student planning to be successful, a partnership between the counselor, parents/guardians and the student(s) can be important in providing a holistic approach to supporting the student to meet his/her goals.
Responsive services include the more traditional activities of a counselor. This component consists of activities that meet the students’ immediate, unplanned, social and emotional needs. Usually necessitated by life changes, events and conditions (such as death, transition, divorce, fights with friends, a breakup, etc.) in the students’ lives, these needs require consultation, counseling, referrals, peer mediation, transition support, and/or information provision.
Counselors are available to consult with parents, teachers, administrators and community agencies regarding strategies to help students and families before, during and after a situation arises.
Counseling is provided in a small-group or individual basis for students experiencing difficulties dealing with relationships, personal concerns and/or developmental issues. Individual and small-group counseling supports students in identifying their strengths and any obstacles preventing them from developing skills and strategies to help make healthy choices. Counseling in the school setting is normally short term in nature. When necessary, referrals are made to appropriate community resources, as available.
Counselors (a) maintain a current list of community resources and personnel outside of school for referral purposes; (b) may refer faculty, students, and families whose needs cannot be addressed in the school setting to outside agencies and specialists; and (c) will advocate for community and mental health services on behalf of faculty, students and families.
The counselors work with students to operate as peer mediators, conflict managers, student ambassadors, tutors and mentors. The techniques of peer mediation and conflict resolution are used to help students learn how to make changes in the way they communicate with others. In peer meditation, students are trained in a system to use with their peers whom are having trouble getting along with each other.
The counselor is available to provide transition support to families and students who are moving in and out of the LJA community. While some of this is embedded into the orientation and advisory curriculum, additional support may be needed on an individual level, which may be provided by the counselors.
Program Development & System Support
The advisory curriculum aims to deliver semi-structured developmental lessons designed to assist students in achieving desired competencies in areas directly related to personal, social and emotional wellbeing. The advisory curriculum is infused throughout the school’s overall curriculum and is presented systematically through small classroom groups involving individual student planning and group inclusion activities. The advisory curriculum is an ongoing and collaborative effort to create a systemic avenue for students to achieve advancements in their social emotional intelligence. It is aligned and cross-referenced with the IB Learner Profile standards and LJA's vision for students' academic, social and emotional achievement. The counselors contribute to the advisory curriculum's delivery through: group work; SEL curriculum development; SEL instruction; teacher, parent, and admin collaboration; and transition support.
The counselors will conduct small group activities outside and inside the classroom to respond to students’ identified needs or interests.
SEL Curriculum Development
The counselors collaborate with grade level teams to develop and refine the advisory curriculum in content areas which are appropriate to age/grade level.
The counselors provide instruction, team teaches or assist in teaching the school advisory curriculum.
Teacher, Parent, & Admin Collaboration
The counselors are available to collaborate with parents, teachers and admin to facilitate informational sessions that aim to address the needs of the school community and to reflect the goals of the counseling curriculum.
The counseling team aims to provide opportunities to promote students' positive transitioning between schools and grade levels.