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Counseling

Unicorn
Lowell Elementary School Comprehensive Counseling Program 
School Counselor: Samantha Moss

contact phone #: 764-2011 ext. 21938


Beliefs of the counseling program:

1. Every student can learn, thrive, and reach their fullest potential if they have the right support, tools, resources, and a safe learning environment.

2. Promoting and encouraging social and emotional wellness for all students is essential for academic growth and lifelong success.

3. My role as a school counselor is to implement a comprehensive school counseling program that meets the needs of our students, families , and community. In addition, my role is to advocate for the safety, equity, rights of ALL students.  

Vision Statement: Our school counseling program at Lowell Elementary School envisions a future where all students possess a passion for learning, use their strengths and skills to overcome challenges, demonstrate grit and resilience to achieve success, and reach their full potential in academics, career, and social/emotional wellness. 

Mission Statement: The comprehensive school counseling program at Lowell Elementary School is on a mission to support all students in developing essential academic, social/emotional, and career skills. The program utilizes data and aligns with the American School Counseling Association National Model to provide equitable access to education and resources, remove potential barriers, and advocate for the success of all students. Intentional, evidence-based, data-driven activities and interventions help students achieve their fullest potential and possess the capacity, grit, and resilience to overcome real-world challenges. 

 

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 Counseling Program add to the school?

  • Individual Counseling Services: when a student needs support with a social or personal problem that is interfering with their ability to learn, they 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. Individual school counseling is intended to be brief, solution-focused, and strengths-based.
  • Group Counseling Services: when several 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 Lessons: all students participate in classroom lessons focused on academic, career, and social/emotional growth. An evidence-based school counseling curriculum is utilized in the classrooms to ensure that every student receives these valuable, preventive, and educational counseling lessons.
  • Responsive Services: when a student is experiencing a behavioral, emotional, or personal crisis, the school counselor can help with interventions, de-escalation strategies, and referrals to additional resources. 

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 concern.

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

Any teacher or staff member at Lowell can recommend that a student see the school counselor. In addition, parents/guardians can refer their students for counseling services by contacting the front desk or the school counselor directly. Students may also self-refer to the counselor. 

  • Confidentiality: Protection of students’ right to privacy and confidentiality is extremely important, and school counseling is a unique situation. Because counseling services are provided to 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. To provide support and ensure success for a student, we believe that working as a team and collaborating is best.
  • The school counselor is required by law to report any disclosure of harm, or imminent potential of harm, to self or others.
  • Consent: For planned group counseling participation, a consent form will be sent home to the parents/guardians of the student, detailing the purpose and goals of the group. Parents/guardians have the right to refuse group counseling services. 

Health and Wellness Team Information

A Health and Wellness meeting is a Tier 2 response for a student who is experiencing social or emotional issues and requires additional support. The health and wellness team members include the school counselor, principal, school nurse, parent liaison, teacher(s) of the student, and parents/guardians, and our contracted Southwest Family Guidance counselor (when applicable). The purpose of the meeting is to collaborate in finding helpful and appropriate support strategies for the student and family, and to promote continuing success in school and in all areas of life. 


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