Growing up presents a variety of social and emotional challenges for children and adolescents. School counselors serve as an additional source of support for students and their families. The primary goal is to develop a caring and supportive relationship with our students. School counselors can help students identify obstacles, develop effective strategies to overcoming these obstacles, and make progress toward their goals as they continue their education at La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS).
In addition to meeting with students individually, the school counselors are also available to meet with students in small groups, and with parents and teachers as needed. Referrals will be provided for more in depth or long term needs.
The mission of the school counselors is to assist students with their academic, career, personal and social development, in order to help them achieve to their fullest potential.
Students have a right to privacy and confidentiality. The counseling relationship requires an atmosphere of trust between the student and the counselor. In the Middle and Upper Schools, all information discussed during counseling sessions will be kept in confidence, except in circumstances when student safety may be at risk. For more information regarding specific limits of confidentiality, please contact the school counselors directly.
The school counselors are fully integrated into the natural flow of the school day. We meet with students individually and in small groups to discuss topics that are of interest to the students. These topics may include friendship and social issues, coping with loss/grief, family transitions, managing stress, study skills, decision-making, goal-setting, problem solving, etc. The school counselors are also involved in classroom guidance lessons, which transpire through Life Skills in the Middle School and through Advisory in the Upper School.
Our goal in meeting with students is to first establish a positive rapport in a safe environment. We want to get to know them and find out how we can best help them. Individual counseling can be used for one-time or ongoing issues (e.g. bullying, peer interaction issues, problems at school, stress, a challenging situation at home, etc.). Our role is not to provide therapy but rather to help students identify the problem as well as brainstorm ways to resolve it. School counselors can also provide resources for students and families who may need additional support. Parents and teachers may refer students for individual counseling, but sometimes students might seek out a meeting on their own. The confidentiality of these meetings is addressed above.
That is OK. The school counselors provide options and guidance that are based on their prior experience and knowledge. We all approach life differently and therefore, the school counselors may have opinions that differ from your family’s philosophy, but we will happily work with each family within their preferred religious or spiritual principles. If you have any questions or concerns about what was discussed in the meeting with your child, please contact the school counselors directly.
No. Unless there is an urgent counseling situation that requires immediate attention, we do not meet with students during academic classes. Middle School students can meet with the school counselor during study hall, lunch or milk break, while Lower School students meet with the school counselor during a scheduled time that is determined by their teacher. Upper School students may visit the school counselor during their free periods, lunch, before or after school.
The school counselors believe in the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child and therefore, we take our partnership with families seriously. While we encourage students to share when they’ve met with the school counselor, we don’t always involve families unless the student is comfortable with it because it’s necessary to respect the confines of the counseling relationship. However, if a student is in danger of being harmed or harming himself or others, the school counselors are legally and ethically obligated to share this information with the appropriate authorities.
Parents and faculty can make referrals for students at any time via phone or email. Lower School students can let their parents or teachers know that they would like to set up a meeting. Middle School students can fill out a guidance request form, located in the Middle School office. Upper School students may walk into the office or email to schedule an appointment.
Yes. A professional school counselor provides a school counseling program based on the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model, which is comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature. More information on ASCA’s National Model can be found at www.schoolcounselor.org. School counseling programs include academic, career and personal/social domains. Both of our school counselors specialize in brief and solution-focused counseling.