School Counselor

Guidance

Contact:  Crystal May 770-358-8661 Email

Professional School Counseling at LCPS


Mrs. May

The mission of the Lamar County school counseling program is to facilitate the development of student competencies in the academic, social/personal, and career domains.


A family of life-long learners
committed to the journey of inquiry
into the development of our whole self:
academic, social, and emotional.

 

Welcome to the counseling webpage. The School Counseling Program at Lamar County Primary School is based on a comprehensive developmental model. This page is designed to provide information about the various resources for students at LCPS, and in some cases, how to access those resources for your child.

 

Counseling

Classroom

Guidance

SST & 504

Individual

Small Group

Parent Consultation

Monthly Parent Meetings

Community Resources

Meet the Counselor

Red Ribbon Week

Good Touch / Bad Touch

Career Guidance

Student Support Team (SST)

504 Plan


Did you know?


Our LCPS school counseling program:

  • serves all students

  • includes large and small group counseling

  • incorporates individual counseling

  • works with all stakeholders: parents, teachers, and community

Did you know?

  • A school counselor is an educator who:
  • Advocates for the student at school.

  • Provides Individual and Small Group Counseling

  • Works with teachers and parents to provide helpful suggestions and support for children’s needs.

  • Provides Classroom Guidance for every class.

  • Helps in identifying academic and social/emotional needs of children.

  • Helps children understand themselves and others.

  • Provides information about community resources that would benefit children.

  • Makes referrals to outsides agencies.

  • Provides parents with resources and information.



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Counseling


Individual

The stressors adults face are often reflected in our children’s experiences.Just as an adult may need extra support sometimes, children also experience life stressors in their own unique ways and may also need extra support from time to time. If you think your child may need help for any reason, feel free to contact me.

During a school year, I might see a student for any number of reasons. Counseling at LCPS is developmental and seen as a normal part of a school day. If you have behavioral concerns about your child, or are going through family changes and wish to find some extra support for your child, I am here to help.

Typically, I do brief individual counseling while setting up a systemic plan that includes the family, teachers, and administration so that we can help your child in the most thorough and effective way possible. Groups are also formed based on my individual caseload for the year. If your child is in need of longer-term or more in-depth treatment, I can share listof local providers.


Small Group

Counseling groups are formed based on teacher, student, and parent referrals throughout the year. I will typically have individual counseling sessions with a student before inclusion in a group.

Group structure and themes may vary based on the needs of a particular group of students. However, most group meetings are held during the child's normal lunch time. Themes addressed often include friendship and leadership skills, self-esteem, empathy (understanding feelings of self and others), and developing positive functioning with other students.

Permission forms are always sent home before a group starts.


Parent Consultation

Parenting is simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding job. As our children change and experience life, sometimes we are presented with challenges that we are not sure how to handle. Sometimes there are things the school can do to help smooth a transition or help your child in a way that you might not be aware of. While we will nurture your child through the second grade, you the parent are the single most influential person in your child’s life. To this end, I am here to support parents in our efforts to raise and educate our children. I am here as a parental support so that all students can be successful at LCPS.


Monthly Parent Meetings

As part of our parental support, we would invite you to participate in our monthly parent meetings. These meetings are a good chance to get to know other parents, build a support network, share challenges and joys, and find support from parents and school professionals—all with a continental breakfast. We are here for you. To this end, parents who attend monthly meetings set the topics and agenda s for the following meetings. This means that the more you come, the more input you will have. However, if you miss a meeting or two, you can come back at any time and be on track for the day’s discussion. In the past, topics have included discipline, development, sibling rivalry, homework and school support, family changes, and leisure time.

School professionals who attend may include:

·         Crystal May, LCPS Professional School Counselor

·         Kiana Battle, LCSS School Social Worker

·         Jessica Traylor, LCSS School Psychologist

·         Amy Banks, LCSS Parent Coordinator

·         James Butler, LCSS Parent Advcoacte

 


Community Resources 

While I am glad to provide services for your child at school, individual counseling is educationally-driven and necessarily brief. Our school social worker has provided a list of local resources for children and families in need that can be found at our School Social Worker's webpage.

In addition to these resources, I would encourage you to work with your family doctor and insurance carrier to see what your best options are.

Sometimes, local professionals have ideas about how the school might better help your child. We welcome open dialogue. As with all situations, please let us know if there is anything we can do at the school to promote the safety and well-being of any student.



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Classroom Guidance


Classroom Guidance is an important part of the counseling program here at LCPS. Through lessons in the classroom, I promote responsible choices and healthy development. Topics and themes include anti-bullying, positive peer relations, responsible choices, abuse prevention, and career choices—all at a developmentally appropriate level.


Meet the Counselor

I try to get to know all of the students at LCPS as early as possible because I never know when a particular child may need to touch base. Towards the beginning of each year, I visit every classroom and do a brief lesson about who I am, what a counselor does (“talk to kids”), and give them a chance to share briefly as well. In the early grades, I use a grab bag and have children talk about their hobbies, interests, pets, and loved ones. In the latter grades, we read and discuss a book about bullying.In all cases, the lessons help set the tone for the school year and allow me to work more effectively with all students.


Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is a week when schools and communities celebrate drug-free living and directly face the challenges that drugs can impose on our loved ones and communities. At LCPS, RRW is handled at an age-appropriate level through morning announcements, classroom activities, and classroom visits. We are thankful to Gordon College SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) for visiting us most years to talk about positive life choices, saying no to drugs, and going to college after high school.


Good Touch / Bad Touch

Good Touch / Bad Touch is a developmentally-appropriate abuse and bully prevention program designed for students in grades p-6 (the lesson plans change based on age). It is board approved, data-driven, and research based. The counselor at LCPS has been fully trained by official trainers and uses up-to-date materials.

This is both a sensitive subject as well as an important one. To this end,permission forms are signed every year. I welcome you to come by and look through the manual and/or discuss the program with me if you have questions.

The lessons center around three kinds of touch and five body safety rules.

Touch can be: good, bad, or confusing.

Rules:

1.       It’s my body.

2.       Trust your ‘uh-oh’ feeling

3.       Say “NO!” and get away!

4.       Tell a trusted adult.

5.       Abuse is NEVER the child’s fault.

Whether you choose to have your child participate in our program or not, I implore you to continue open dialogue with your child about safety topics, and to please let us know if there is ever anything we need to do (or be aware of) to help your child stay safe here at LCPS.


Career Guidance

At this age, career exploration is often fantasy-oriented, symbolic, and changing daily. In other words, it’s okay if your child wants to be a power ranger one day, a firefighter the next, and a dentist the day after that. In grades P-2, children are exploring the world, drawing connections between people and their jobs, understanding that a job is something one does, and what jobs are out there. Children are typically drawn to careers with symbols and such as police, nurses, fire fighters,and other people who wear uniforms. We also work hard to keep your child academically “on the bus” to higher education through encouraging college aspirations and maintaining quality instruction.

Most of the career guidance at LCPS is incorporated in the daily lessons within the classroom. There are dress-up corners and puppets in Pre-k, and by second grade there are books about careers in the reading corner and discussions about jobs as teachers cover various topics. During Red Ribbon Week, Gordon College SADD students talk about their own career goals and college major, and the idea that we work hard in school so that we can go to college after high school.

Towards the end of the year, LCPS celebrates Career Week.During Career Week, we have daily competitions about career awareness,teachers incorporate career-specific assignments into their curriculum,and community members talk about their jobs on the morning announcements.


 If you have an interesting job to share with our students, please let me know so that we can set up a recording session. Our students would love to hear about what you do!



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SST & 504

If your child is having academic difficulties, the best thing you can do is schedule a meeting with your child's teacher and follow through with homework. If these steps are not enough, there are a variety of ways to address academic challenges. SST and 504 are both team approaches we might use to address individual needs.


Student Support Team (SST)

SST is method for establishing a plan, running the plan, and using data to make sure that plan is working for a child who is under performing in school.The goal with SST is to provide services for your child so that he or she catches up to same-age-peers. Our goal is that every child with an SST plan catches up with peers and then no longer needs SST support. SST can be used for academics or behavior. Your input is vital at these meetings. If for some reason, you cannot make an SST meeting, please touch base with the teacher at the earliest possible time.

People who might be at an SST meeting: Teachers, counselor, administrators, parents, guardians, and other family members.

LCSS SST Webpage

 

504 Plan

Section 504 refers to a disability portion of a federal civil rights law. It declares that an entity receiving federal funds (such as a school) not discriminate based on a disability or perceived disability that impacts major life functioning.

While we usually have other ways of helping students, there are rare instances when a 504 plan is the best way to ensure a child has access to his or her education. If you have questions about whether your child is receiving appropriate services, feel free to contact the counselor or an administrator so that we can discuss all of our options. Helping every student is our bottom line.

 

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