K-12 Program

K-12 Counseling Program
The following is a detailed description of the counseling services offered in the Blind Brook Schools.  Guidance and Counseling is offered to all students, from kindergarten to graduation.   

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Elementary School Counseling Program

The Elementary School Counseling Program is a model that incorporates classroom guidance, individual and group counseling, consulting and coordination of services with teachers and administrators. There are approximately 650 students in the elementary school and currently there is one counselor. Although it is challenging, the counselor makes an effort to get to know each child personally.

 

Classroom Guidance

The classroom guidance program in the elementary school is called “Magic Circle”. In the kindergarten through second grades, students participate in Magic Circle on a weekly basis, while children in grades three and four rotate with eight week units.  During Magic Circle time, students discuss affective topics that impact their lives, practice socialization skills and improve listening skills. It is also a time to resolve any classroom, lunch and/or recess issues that challenge our students.   Magic Circle topics vary by grade level and include the following:

Kindergarten

Introduction of the School Counselor

Building New Friendships

Communicating Feelings

Learning from Mistakes

First Grade

Accepting and Respecting Differences

Basic Study Skills

Responsibility

Second Grade

Making Good Choices

Maintaining Friendships

Complimenting Others

Third Grade

Handling Emotions

Bullying Prevention

Fourth Grade

More Bullying Prevention

Conflict Resolution

Common classroom guidance topics for all grades include character education themes such as respect, fairness, trustworthiness and citizenship. Students also discuss career awareness, stranger safety, sexual abuse prevention and drug awareness.

Fifth Grade

The Drug Abuse Resistance Program (DARE) taught by a Rye Brook Police Officer

Counseling

The counselor is available for short term individual counseling sessions with students for personal, academic, social, and emotional issues. Students can seek counseling on their own, or parents and teachers can refer students.

The counselor also facilitates friendship groups, family change groups and other special topic groups for students benefiting from a small group experience. All kindergarten and new students to the district visit with the counselor at least once in a small group to become familiar with the counselor and the guidance program.

Consultation

The elementary school counselor consults with teachers, parents, and other support staff to address the needs of the student population in a collaborative effort to promote school success. The counselor also makes referrals to outside therapists and agencies when necessary.

Coordination

The counselor coordinates and participates in the Instructional Support Team for teachers. The counselor also coordinates the DARE program with the Rye Brook police department, the incoming kindergarten visitation, tutoring contacts for students when necessary, and the Character education committee.

Finally, the elementary school counselor is available to mediate recess conflicts between students, perform classroom and recess observations, and provide crisis intervention when appropriate.

 

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Middle School Counseling Program
The goal of the Middle School Guidance and Counseling Program is to work with students throughout the school year to insure that every student has an opportunity to grow both in their academics and in their community life in school.  This is accomplished by engaging students both in individual counseling and in group guidance classes.  In addition, the counselor acts as an academic and personal/social resource for parents, teachers and administrators.  The goal of the middle school counselor is always to advocate for the students and help them access the many opportunities availed to them in the middle school. The following is a timeline of the services and programs offered by the middle school counseling team. Please note that this is a fluid schedule and is subject to change based upon the students’ needs.

The middle school is staffed by two certified school counselors.  Currently, one counselor acts as the 7th and 8th grade counselor.  The other counselor acts as the 6th grade counselor, teaches the 6th grade seminar and is responsible for the development of the master schedule for the building.    

Month

School Counselor Services and Interventions

Summer

Finalization of master schedule and individual student schedules by counseling department. 

Review of individual student schedules.

New student orientation.

Marking Period 1

Orientation, first day of school, grades 6, 7 and 8.

Lunch meetings with students who are new to our district.

Review student schedules to ensure proper placement.

Articulation with 5th and 9th grade counselors.  This refers to meetings between counselors to help with the transition of all students in need.

6th Grade Guidance Seminar, Topics to include:

  • What is expected of a “good student”
  • Using the student planner
  • Planning for tests/quizzes and projects
  • Developing a long term planning calendar
  • Planning for Multiple Tests
  • Introduction to the IMC (Library)
  • Checking for daily use of student planner
  • Outdoor Education Program with the 6th Grade
  • Study and homework strategies

The counselor meets individually with every 7th grader. 

6th, 7th and 8th Grades, review progress reports for all students and meet with students to develop plans for improvements.

8th grade students who have had academic, social and/or emotional difficulties will meet with their counselor to develop a plan for the upcoming school year.

Team meetings: review students who have social/emotional/ academic concerns.

Review 504s and IEPs with faculty.

Schedule Child Study Team Meetings.

Marking Period 2

7th Grade, continue individual meetings with students.

6th Grade Seminar Topics:

  • Dealing with Anxiety and Stress
  • Reinforce long term planning
  • Checking for daily use of student planner
  • Topics determined based on student needs

6th, 7th and 8th Grades review report cards and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

8th Grade small group meetings with students regarding social, emotional and academic issues.

Scheduling surveys are distributed to teachers in preparation for the development of the next year’s master schedule.

Begin developing the master schedule for the upcoming school year.

6th, 7th and 8th Grades: review 1st Quarter report cards and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

8th Grade: small group meetings with students regarding social, emotional and academic issues.

6th, 7th and 8th Grades: review 2nd Quarter progress reports and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

Scheduling process begins with the 8th graders.

Marking Period 3

6th Grade Seminar Topics:

  • Topics that are determined based on student needs.
  • Long-term planning reinforced.
  • Working with students and their daily planners.
  • Begin preparation for the study of final exams.

 

6th, 7th and 8th Grades: review 2nd Quarter report cards and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

Work on the master schedule and the 8th grade course requests continue.

5th grade students sign up for foreign language and music course.

6th, 7th and 8th Grades: review 3rd Quarter report cards/progress reports and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

Work with 8th grade students on resolving conflicts with high school master schedule.

Continued work on the master schedule for the middle school.

Begin meeting with the 5th graders to develop a transition plan to the middle school.

Marking Period 4

6th Grade Seminar ends.

6th, 7th and 8th Grades: review 4th Quarter report cards/progress reports and meet with students to develop plans for improvement.

Review with teachers those students who are in danger of failing a subject for the year and notify parents.

Continued work with 8th graders and their families on high school course requests and schedule.

Continued work on the master schedule.

Attend CSE and 504 Annual Reviews.

Begin meeting with the 5th graders to develop a transition plan to the middle school.

Articulation (communication between professionals to facilitate the transition) with 5th grade teachers and counselor.

Articulation with 9th grade counselors.

6th Grade Orientation and visit for 5th graders and their parents.

Work with students on their final grades and notify students and families of failure and summer school options.

Continued articulation with the elementary and high school.

A day in the life of a middle school counselor:

  • Meeting with teachers and students regarding the academic and social/emotional concerns of students.
  • Meetings, e-mails and phone calls with parents.
  • Facilitate meetings between students, parents and teachers, which at times require conflict mediation.
  • Confliction mediation between students.
  • Working with students on attendance and discipline issues.
  • Collaborate with administration and other pupil personnel professionals to provide a supportive environment for the students.
  • Coordinate private and peer tutoring for students in need.
  • Contact and collaboration with outside mental health practitioners.
  • Help monitor student progress above and beyond the progress and quarterly report cards.
  • Attend Child Study Team (team of school practitioners that look to work with students at psychological or social risk).
  • Participate in Threat Assessment Team and Crisis Intervention Teams to ensure all students safety.
  • Develop student activities to cultivate a positive academic and social environment.
  • 6th Grade Counselor develops lessons and activities for the 6th Grade Seminar Class.
  • Being a good listener to students who are having a difficult time in school or at home.

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High School Counseling Program
Every student at Blind Brook High School is assigned to a school counselor upon entering ninth grade.  Counselors work with students, both individually and in groups, on many issues, including the transition to high school, personal/social growth, course selection and programming, and post-secondary school planning.  We work very hard to cultivate a helpful relationship with parents.  One that enables us to help all of our students be successful in school and to graduate with a plan of action that helps them achieve their goals.  The following charts detail the specific work we do with students.  The charts are presented by grade level. In addition, I have included a copy of the job description for the Director of Guidance and Counseling.

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9th Grade Program
The counselor is responsible for:

  • the programming of the 9th grade student schedules.
  • SAT SDD student registration – application for testing accommodations with the CollegeBoard.
  • individual counseling regarding psychological and social/emotional concerns.
  • conducting a group counseling program in the beginning of the year to introduce the counseling department and assist with the transition.
  • consulting with parents, faculty, outside mental health practitioners and administrators
  • crisis intervention when needed
  • reviewing all report cards and progress reports with students who are having difficulty.
  • communicating with middle school counselors to develop programs for students and to better understand student needs.
  • working with parents regarding the academic and psychosocial needs of the students.
  • meeting with the CSE and 504 teams to develop interventions for students with disabilities.
  • conducting case conferences with teachers and families to address student needs.
  • participating in the Adolescent Study Team (team of school practitioners that look to work with students at psychological or social risk).
  • reviewing state assessments and standardized test information with students and families.
  • summer school registration
  • Freshman Parent Orientation Meeting (Evening Program)

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10th Grade Program
The counselor is responsible for:

  • developing course requests and programming schedules.
  • working with students who have not completed their SAT SDD student registration – application for testing accommodations with the CollegeBoard.
  • coordinating the administration of PSAT exam.
  • provide students with counseling regarding CollegeBoard. (SAT II)
  • individual counseling regarding psychological and social/emotional concerns.
  • conducting career development groups for sophomores.
  • consulting with parents, faculty, outside mental health practitioners and administrators regarding student needs.
  • crisis intervention when needed.
  • reviewing all report cards and progress reports with students who are having difficulty.
  • working with parents regarding the academic and psychosocial needs of the students.
  • meeting with the CSE and 504 teams to develop interventions for students with disabilities.
  • conducting case conferences with teachers and families to address student needs.
  • participating in the Adolescent Study Team (team of school practitioners that look to work with students at psychological or social risk).
  • reviewing state assessments and standardized test information with students and families.
  • summer school registration
  • Sophomore Counseling Night (Evening Program)

Ruler

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11th Grade Program
The counselor is responsible for

  • developing course requests and programming schedules and working with students regarding the process of taking Advanced Placement Courses.
  • working with students who have not completed their SAT SDD student registration – application for testing accommodations with the CollegeBoard.
  • administration of CollegeBoard and ACT exams to students with disabilities.
  • coordinating the administration of the PSAT exam.
  • coordinate the administration of the AP exams to all students.
  • provide students with counseling regarding CollegeBoard and ACT exams.
  • individual counseling regarding psychological and social/emotional concerns.
  • conducting college information groups for juniors.
  • conduct individual counseling sessions with juniors and their parents to develop a plan regarding college admissions.
  • conducting breakfast meeting with parents of juniors to discuss recent trends in college admission and answer specific questions regarding the process.
  • supervising the Naviance Internet College Resource.
  • consulting with parents, faculty, outside mental health practitioners and administrators regarding student needs.
  • crisis intervention when needed.
  • reviewing all report cards and progress reports with students who are having difficulty.
  • working with parents regarding the academic and psychosocial needs of the students.
  • meeting with the CSE and 504 teams to develop interventions for students with disabilities.
  • conducting case conferences with teachers and families to address student needs.
  • participating in the Adolescent Study Team (team of school practitioners that look to work with students at psychological or social risk).
  • reviewing state assessments and standardized test information with students and families.
  • publishing the junior college planning guide.
  • preparing the student transcript and reviewing for accuracy and satisfaction of graduation requirements.
  • summer school registration
  • Junior College Night (Evening Program)
  • We have a college admissions professional attend and provide another perspective on the admissions process
  • coordinating the junior book awards and the program.

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12th Grade Program
The counselor is responsible for:

  • developing course requests and programming schedules and working with students regarding the process of taking Advanced Placement Courses.
  • administration of CollegeBoard and ACT exams to students with disabilities.
  • provide students with counseling regarding CollegeBoard and ACT exams.
  • coordinate the administration of the AP exams to all students.
  • individual counseling regarding psychological and social/emotional concerns.
  • individual counseling regarding college applications, testing, scholarships, admissions, essays and timelines.
  • work with visiting college representatives.
  • publish senior college planning guide.
  • conduct individual counseling sessions with seniors and their parents to discuss their college admissions plan.
  • supervising the Naviance Internet College Resource.
  • consulting with parents, faculty, outside mental health practitioners and administrators regarding student needs.
  • crisis intervention when needed.
  • reviewing all report cards and progress reports with students who are having difficulty.
  • working with parents regarding the academic and psychosocial needs of the students.
  • meeting with the CSE and 504 teams to develop interventions for students with disabilities.
  • conducting case conferences with teachers and families to address student needs.
  • participating in the Adolescent Study Team (team of school practitioners that look to work with students at psychological or social risk).
  • reviewing state assessments and standardized test information with students and families.
  • preparing the student transcript and reviewing for accuracy and satisfaction of graduation requirements.
  • summer school registration
  • Financial Aid Night (Presented by a college financial aid professional)
  • Senior College Night (Evening Program)
    • We discuss the process of filing applications and review a timeline for the year.
  • assisting with the senior awards and the program.

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