Pine Ridge Elementary School Counselor
Mrs. Whitney Haynes
Pine Ridge Elementary
1200 Mill Ridge
936-328-2160 Ext. 3014
Pine Ridge Elementary School Counseling Program Overview
The Pine Ridge Elementary School Counseling Program provides social-emotional, mental health, character trait guidance and wellness support for students. In addition to supporting students, the counselor also offers parent support and education, resource linkage and professional learning for school staff.
What kinds of services does an Elementary Resource Counselor provide?
Short-term individual and small group counseling to address a specific skill or area of concern. Individual sessions are provided once a week over the course of 2-4 weeks and groups meet weekly and span 4-6 weeks. If students are in need of longer-term counseling the school counselor will provide resources for outside counseling agencies to the parent.
How do students access the counselor?
Students can be referred to the counselor by their classroom teacher, school nurse, administrator, or other school support staff. They can also be referred by a parent, peer or they can self-refer. Parents are welcome to refer their child by calling or emailing the school counselor directly. If a student has an immediate concern or is visibly upset at school the classroom teacher or administrator will contact the school counselor to arrange for the child to be seen that day.
How is the type of intervention, resource or support service determined for a student who is referred to the Elementary Resource Counselor?
The counselor assesses the social-emotional and mental health needs of students through a brief assessment process and then develops an intervention plan to address the identified needs of the individual student. The assessment process includes the opportunity for the student’s classroom teacher and other select staff to provide information regarding the student’s strengths and any concerns. The counselor will also observe the student in the classroom or at recess, as well as, meet with the student before determining what type of support would best meet the needs of the student.
Do parents have to consent to the counseling services?
In order for a student to participate in individual counseling or group counseling, a consent form must be signed by the parent. If the consent is not given counselors will not be able to provide counseling services to students. Counselors can attend to a student in need once without consent but if they plan to continue to see the student then parent consent is needed.
Are counseling services confidential?
Yes, information shared during counseling is confidential and will not be shared with other school staff. The only exception is if a student shares information regarding their safety or the safety of others. All school staff are mandated reporters and must report anything that falls under “harm to the child or a child wishing to harm themselves or someone else”.
Do counseling services go on a student’s permanent record?
No, counseling services will never be listed on a student’s permanent record.
Can materials for art therapy and play therapy be used with students?
Yes, they are standard practice in the field of elementary counseling and highly encouraged as they help young children to express their thoughts and feelings.