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Lowell Elementary School Comprehensive Counseling Program 

My name is Samantha Moss, and I became the school counselor at Lowell in January 2018! I received my BA in Sociology and Psychology and my MA in Counselor Education, all from UNM. I am passionate about working with children and I am confident that integrating a comprehensive school counseling program at Lowell will benefit each and every student.

Mission statement: The mission of the Unicorn Counseling Program is to ensure student success, happiness, health, and safety by focusing on the 3 major spheres of school counseling: academic development, career development, and personal/social development for all students.

What does a school counselor do?

As a profession, school counseling is focused on prevention, education, and collaboration to encourage student achievement, not just in academics but in all areas of life. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), elementary school counselors “provide a proactive program that engages students and includes leadership, advocacy and collaboration with school staff, administration and community/family members in the delivery of programs and activities to help students achieve success.”

As a professional school counselor, I believe that all students have unique strengths, and I also believe that students try to make the best choices they can, given their environment, experiences, and what they have already learned. If I can give students the right tools, information, and skills, I can help students make better choices and lead more successful lives.

What does the Unicorn Counseling Program add to the school?

  • Individual Counseling Services: when students need support with a social or personal problem that is interfering with their ability to learn, those students can meet one-on-one with the counselor to find solutions. If long-term mental health counseling or other long-term services are required, a referral will be made. Best practice suggests that a school counselor meet with an individual not more than 3 times regarding a given issue. Individual school counseling is intended to be brief, solution-focused, and strengths-based.
  • Group Counseling Services: when many students share the same social or personal concerns, a support group can be formed. Counseling groups are for the students to learn about others who have similar experiences, relate to one another, support each other, and work together to grow through adversities.
  • Classroom Guidance Lessons: all students can benefit from classroom lessons focused on academic, career, and personal/social growth. An evidence-based school counseling curriculum will be utilized in the classrooms to ensure that every student receives these valuable, preventative, and educational counseling lessons.

How do I know if my student needs to see the school counselor?

Students may be referred to the school counselor for any academic, emotional, family, social, or behavioral concerns.

Here are some common concerns that may prompt a counseling referral:

  • Academic: frequently absent or tardy, unable to focus, easily distracted, missing or incomplete schoolwork.
  • Emotional: anger, sadness or depression, extreme shyness, low self-esteem, constantly tired, nervous or anxious, unable to control emotional outbursts.
  • Family: loss or death in the family, adjustment to a family change such as divorce or incarceration of a parent/guardian, unstable home life, exposure to substance abuse in the home, financial issues or lack of necessities, or change in guardianship.
  • Social or Behavioral: bullying, lacking social skills, inappropriate personal hygiene, fighting or aggressive behavior, frequently visiting the nurse, self-injury, defiance or uncooperative behavior, or any dramatic change in behavior.

Additional Counseling Information

Referral to Counseling Services: Staff members at the school and parents or guardians can make referrals electronically for a student to see me. Just fill out the parent referral google form.

I will be notified by email as soon as a referral form is submitted. Students can also refer themselves to counseling services via a paper form. Copies of this form are available in the counseling portable, and in the front office.

  • Confidentiality: Protection of students’ right to privacy and confidentiality is extremely important, and school counseling is unique situation for counseling. Because counseling services are provided to minor children in the school setting, the school counselor may share information with parents/guardians, the child’s teacher, and/or administrators or school personnel who work with the child on a need to know basis, so that we may better assist the child as a team. The counselor is also required by law to report any disclosure of harm, or imminent potential of harm, to self or others.
  • Consent: For counseling that extends beyond two sessions in a trimester, or for planned group counseling participation, a consent form must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to school.

Crisis Hotlines and Important Phone Numbers


Mental Health Crisis: 1-855-NMCRISIS

Agora Crisis Center: 505-277-3013

NM Crisis Line: 1-866-435-7266

Children, Youth, and Family Department: 1-855-333-SAFE

Domestic Violence Shelter/ SAFE House: 505-247-4219

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

NM Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-773-3645