Mission Statement of the Swanson Middle School Counseling Team
The mission of the Counseling Team at Swanson Middle School is to provide a comprehensive, developmental, dynamic and responsive counseling program that supports student achievement, working collaboratively with all stakeholders to nurture a love of learning in middle school students. By addressing the individual needs of this diverse community, in terms of socio-emotional, academic and career development, school counselors create opportunities for students to have trusting relationships with at least one adult as they transition from elementary school to high school. Through proactive guidance lessons, individual and group counseling, programs and presentations, counselors equip students with the skills of self-advocacy, conflict resolution and educated decision making. Counseling initiatives promote resiliency, good character development and improved peer interactions. Counselors support the APS mission to help students transform into “productive and global citizens”.
Through programming, data collection and the delivery of services based on needs assessments, state counseling standards and aligned with the ASCA National model, the Swanson Middle School Counseling Team provides valuable support to APS’ strategic goal of “meeting the needs of the whole child.” Our collaborative efforts support Swanson’s collective goal to instill in each student a desire for “scholarship, service and spirit.”
In confidential settings, students are assisted in understanding their feelings, attitudes, concerns, and behaviors. Counselors establish a relationship characterized by respect, understanding, openness, acceptance and trust.
Group counseling may assist students experiencing commonly shared concerns and/or developmental difficulties in areas such as interpersonal relationships with peers and/or adults, school attendance, academic achievement, or coping with life changes such as grief and loss.
Through a series of planned classroom learning experiences, counselors assist teachers with meaningful activities targeting the personal, social, academic, and career development of all students.
- Naviance (Career and College Exploration)
- Academic Planning
- Course Request Forms (CRFs)
Counselors may confer directly with teachers, parents, administration and other helping professionals to assist students in the school setting. In this role, the counselor collaborates with others to assist the student in dealing more effectively with developmental or adjustment needs.
Counselors are responsible for the coordination of various services and activities in the school. Examples of these activities include crisis intervention programs, character education initiatives such as Admirable Admirals, parent and student orientation and education programs, parenting skills courses and peer mediation programs. Counselors often coordinate referrals to the school psychologist, social worker and various community agencies.
Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program
The developmental guidance and counseling program in Arlington Public Schools is composed of organized objectives and activities, based upon the National Standards for School Counseling Programs. The curriculum may be presented in classrooms or advisory groups. The objectives may be integrated into subject-area curriculums.
The Curriculum Includes:
Understanding of self (interests, abilities, skills, achievements and personal characteristics.
Understanding one’s behavior and learning the consequences of that behavior
Understanding and working with people
Goal setting and the decision- making process
Developing appropriate habits and attitudes
Developing awareness of careers, and
Developing test-taking abilities.
Home and School Partnerships
A positive relationship between school and home fosters the academic, social, and emotional growth of children.
School Counselors Seek to involved parents in the school program
Invite parents to review the school counseling program
Protect the privacy of information shared by parents and children; and
Inform parents of situations or behaviors that may harm their child.