` The overarching goal of the counseling program at Springport Middle School is academic success for every student. The focus is on what all students should know and be able to do in 3 areas: Academic Development, Career Development and Personal/Social Development.
The approach of school counseling is to provide learning opportunities that are preventative in nature. Learning opportunities are delivered to students in 4 primary ways.
Guidance Curriculum – Students receive lessons from teachers and counselor two times each week as part of their Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) class time. These lessons are designed to help students grow in the areas of self-awareness, social-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision making. Character education and bullying prevention are also important subjects addressed.
Responsive Services – Individual counseling, crisis counseling, referrals to outside mental health care providers, and consultations with parents are some of ways students are served. The counselor also at times brings together groups of students to address common concerns and needs. Conflict resolution between classmates is provided on a regular basis.
Student Planning - Students work with the counselor and have the opportunity to plan and monitor the steps necessary for academic success and educational/career planning.
Systems Support – The school counselor works with others throughout the district by providing leadership to broader school projects, consulting, collaborating, and teaming to support the overall mission of academic success for all students.
Individual/Group Counseling - Counseling students begins with establishing a relationship of mutual respect and acceptance. Faulty thinking patterns and concepts of self are identified and discussed. Students are encouraged to set goals and make plans so that constructive changes can occur. Occasionally, groups of students are brought together to address common areas of concern - like grief, divorce, friendship, and school success. The school counseling office is not the place to seek long-term counseling. In such instances referrals are made.
Confidentiality - The information shared by a student with his/her counselor is confidential. Only under exceptional circumstances will what is communicated be shared with others. The exceptions to confidentiality are:
- If the counselor suspects that a student is in danger of hurting himself or others
- If the counselor suspects that a student might be involved in the abuse or neglect of another.
- If the counselor is required to tell others by a court of law
The counselor works with 5th grade teachers, 6th grade teachers and the elementary school counselor to plan Transition Day. Each spring, 5th grade students spend a day at the middle school and experience a little bit of what it will be like. They have the opportunity to tour the building, learn how to get involved in middle school activities, meet and hear from their teachers, interact with older students, and get their questions answered. Lunch and recess at the middle school round out the day.
Our 8th grade students have a similar experience prior to moving up to the high school.
New Student Groups are formed every September to benefit students who are new to the district. The counselor meets with these groups 6-8 times or until students feel comfortable in their new school. Sessions focus on answering questions, sharing feelings, and making friends.