School Counseling Services at DFES

Mrs. Sara Beckman, school counselor

Hello! I am here to help with a variety of services that are offered by the school counseling program at Dutch Fork Elementary School. There are many programs that you will need to know about. As a staff member, I wanted to make you aware of some of the roles that I play in helping our students reach their full potential, both academically and socially.


Classroom Guidance Lessons

I will come to your classroom about once per month to do a lesson with your students. School counselors have state standards just like teachers, so I have created a curriculum based on those standards and the needs of our students. If you have a topic that you would like for me to address, be sure to talk with me about it. I will be asking you for a time so we can set your lessons for the same day of the week at the same time each visit. You will then get a copy of lesson dates for the year.


Individual and Small Group Counseling

If you have a student who needs to see me, they can complete a self-referral form and return it to the guidance office. You may refer students as well, using the same form. I will come get the student at a time which does not interfere with direct instruction.


Small groups occur as the need arises throughout the year. Typical group topics include divorce and family changes, grief, self-control, social/friendship skills, student success skills, and understanding and accepting feelings.

It is not within the scope of school counseling services to provide therapy to students.

Students who need extensive therapeutic treatment are referred to the appropriate outside therapist/agency. Once a student is working with an outside therapist/agency, it is not ethical for the school counselor to continue seeing the student for individual counseling. It would be appropriate for the school counselor to provide assistance if the student needs support for a crisis situation.

Child Abuse and Neglect

I am the contact person for reporting suspected abuse and neglect to DSS or any other relevant authority. If a child discloses this type of information to you, get minimal facts (who was involved, what happened, where and when) and then come to see me immediately so we can proceed with a report. It is ultimately the responsibility of the person to whom the child discloses to report the situation according to South Carolina state law. The reason for my involvement is to assist you with having the appropriate information to make the referral, as well as allowing one person in the building to have a record of reported incidents over time.


Testing

I am the school testing coordinator here at DFES. I manage all aspects of CogAT testing for 2nd and 4th graders (usually held in November) and spring testing for grades 3 through 5 (yet to be determined for this year, usually May). Please check our school web site for dates or the district testing calendar in the upper right of the D5 home page. Academic and diagnostic testing of students is done by our school psychologist. Assistant principal Beth Poore serves as our placement chair and schedules SAT meetings to initiate the evaluation process. For questions about testing for our AGP gifted and talented program, see any of our AGP teachers.

Bullying

Our school and district both have policies pertaining to bullying. It is a zero-tolerance policy for any type of physical, social or verbal bullying. This behavior is identified by a pattern of behavior that is intended to overpower or intentionally hurt the targeted student(s). You are responsible to report any suspected bullying to me or to the assistant principal, Mrs. Poore.

PBIS

I am closely involved in our school's PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) team. I can consult with you regarding individual students and classroom management strategies. You are welcome to borrow children's literature to read to your class on a variety of topics and I can share professional resources to build upon your expertise. As a member of our Tier Two Team, I meet with teachers and staff to formally discuss students with a pattern of behavior concerns and related academic performance. To set up a meeting, contact Beth Poore. We meet every other Tuesday morning and provide coverage for your class if necessary.

Mentoring

I am the mentoring coordinator for our building. We have adult community members who assist students by meeting with them for one hour per week to provide practice with social skills and support our students by developing a positive relationship with them. If you have a student that you would like to be considered, please let me know. The number of mentors available is limited, so I am also eager to hear if you know of an adult with the time and skills to volunteer.

Additional Programs

I coordinate various other programs, such as our back-to-school back-pack program, weekend snack program and holiday assistance for needy families. Our school has held food drives and other service projects by grade level, which I am happy to assist with as needed. I am our school's parenting liaison, and the contact point for referrals to our school's assigned social worker. Please see me for further information if you feel your students would benefit.