The mission of the school counselor is to help ensure that all students have an opportunity to attain academic, personal, and social success and to help create and nurture a school environment free of fear, harassment, and violence. The school counselor takes into account the individual needs and interests of all students and assumes a proactive role in the development and implementation of programs which will assist students, staff, and family members in achieving these objectives.
The students of Orchard View Elementary School are diverse learners who possess unique interests, abilities and goals. They are guided through a course of studies designed to prepare them for successful and fulfilling careers and help them to see themselves as valued members of their community.
The comprehensive school counseling program will support the school’s vision of an exemplary learning environment. The school counselor will collaborate with administrators, teachers, parents, and community members to promote healthy student development in a safe and nurturing learning environment. Students will be provided the opportunity to explore their interests, embrace their individuality, and enhance knowledge of self. As the challenges and expectations of our students change, the school counseling program, too, will evolve in an effort to provide maximum support and help our students achieve their fullest potential.
Elementary School Guidance Program
I am here at Orchard View on a full-time basis and can best be reached between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. by calling the main office. As part of the guidance program, I will be providing special activities for the students throughout the year. The guidance program consists of small group counseling, individual counseling and classroom guidance lessons.
All grade levels will receive classroom guidance during the year. A variety of topics will be covered during these classroom presentations. I will be working with teachers to provide lessons that will be most beneficial to the students and which are also in accordance with the Virginia Standards for School Counseling programs and the county's "Character Education" Curriculum. The following are examples of lesson topics that may be addressed:
- Self-esteem -- feeling good about yourself
- Study skills, time management, and organizational skills
- Understanding yourself and your emotions
- Decision making and problem solving skills
- Cooperation and teamwork
- Conflict resolution
- Career awareness
- Multicultural awareness
- Emergency situations/dealing with strangers
Small group counseling involves working with groups of children with various needs and/or interests. Possible group topics include developing a positive self image, self control, cooperation, family changes, study skills and stress management.
Groups can help foster friendship and enhance self-esteem. Individual counseling is available for children who have a special concern or need someone to talk with. Referrals for group or individual counseling can be made by anyone who is in close contact with the child such as a parent or teacher; children may also do self referrals to the counselor.
The goal of the guidance counseling program is to encourage every child to be the best person they can be. I hope to provide opportunities for the children to positively interact with one another and feel good about themselves and their school experiences.
I am looking forward to working with your children. If you would like more information on any of the topics mentioned above, or if you would like to review the Standards for Virginia School Counseling Programs, please feel free to contact me.
Connie Van Sickler