Elementary K-6 Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program
The West Des Moines Community School’s elementary counseling program facilitates the development of capable people.
The WDMCS Elementary Counselors follow the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) Model. Our delivery system provides services to students, families, school staff, and the community in the following areas:
Direct Student Services are in-person interactions between school counselors and students and include the following:
- School counseling core curriculum: This curriculum consists of structured lessons designed to help students attain the desired competencies and to provide all students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills appropriate for their developmental level. The school counseling core curriculum is delivered throughout the school’s overall curriculum and is systematically presented by school counselors in collaboration with other professional educators in K-12 classrooms and group activities.
- Individual student planning: School counselors coordinate ongoing systemic activities designed to assist students in establishing personal goals and developing future plans.
- Responsive services: Responsive services are activities designed to meet students’ immediate needs and concerns. Responsive services may include counseling in individual or small-group settings or crisis response.
- Indirect Student Services are provided on behalf of students as a result of the school counselors’ interactions with others including referrals for additional assistance, consultation and collaboration with families, teachers, other educators, and community organizations.
Purpose of an Elementary Counselor:
- To prevent, rather than treat problems
- A sense of self-worth and belonging are necessary before a child can grow academically
- To promote a positive school environment
There is an increasing number of choices children face in our fast moving society. There are changes in families. There is a strong influence of today’s environment (violence, drug abuse, etc.) on our children. There are many social anxieties students have today.
Duties of the Elementary Counselor:
- Conducts classroom guidance activities
- Sees children individually and in small groups
- Works with, and helps orient, new students to the building
- Works with parents and teachers
- Uses the community as a resource
- Acts as a liaison with outside agencies
- Gains understanding through observation
Benefits of an Elementary Counselor:
- Recognize their strengths and weaknesses and improve their school experience
- Build self-confidence and self-esteem
- Learn decision-making skills
- Establish and maintain healthy relationships with others
- Learn self-respect and dignity
- Deal with concerns, feelings, and goals
- Learn communication and leadership skills
- Better understand themselves and others
- Gain optimum benefits from the school experience
- Gain valuable citizenship skills
- Learn about their child’s growth and development
- Appreciate the child’s abilities, limitations, and progress
- Help their child develop emotional and social skills that help them in life
- Help their child cope with crises arising with the family (e.g. divorce, death, or serious illness)
- Increase knowledge and skills by sharing information and materials
For School Personnel:
- Establish a positive learning environment
- Identify the needs of students and coordinate appropriate services
- Initiate classroom counseling activities that promote understanding of self and others
- Complement teacher efforts in promoting positive social and emotional growth in children
To receive individual or small group counseling services, the student/child may be referred by:
- The student/child themself
- A parent/guardian
- A teacher
- An administrator
- A friend
- Special services personnel