The elementary school guidance counselors play an integral role in supporting students socially, emotionally, and academically. They are trained social workers who help support students when facing a variety of challenges. The supports they offer are school-based and can involve individual counseling, small-group counseling, guidance lessons, lunch bunches, and additional services to support students, faculty, and staff.
Students are referred to Ms. Danielle Sandler, MSW, LCSW, Merritt's guidance counselor, by a teacher, administrator, or parent/guardian. Students can also refer themselves. Some topics that are addressed by the Guidance Counselors include social skills, grief, divorce, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and making friends. The guidance counselors also consult and collaborate with teachers, staff, administrators, and parents/guardians in order to find solutions to meet students' needs within the academic setting. They are often involved with developing 504 plans, individualized education plans (IEPs), and Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) meetings.
Please note that while our elementary school guidance counselors are licensed clinical social workers, they are not clinical counselors in the school setting and therefore do not provide mental-health diagnoses. As a result, families are often encouraged to seek outside therapist for these types of services or situations in which ongoing treatment for mental health services is warranted. The guidance counselors are happy to provide resources to families looking into these types of services that are available in our community.
For additional information or questions regarding our guidance program, please contact Ms. Sandler at firstname.lastname@example.org.