The Allegheny Valley School District provides counselors at the elementary and secondary level's to provide support to students in academic, social, and emotional areas. The goals of the Elementary Guidance Program are:
- To help children understand themselves and others and their role in the school, family, neighborhood, etc. Children are taught to express themselves with words and actions that show concern for and appreciation of others.
- To prevent problems from developing through preventive counseling programs that stress early detection of learning and social adjustment problems.
- To help identify children with special needs and develop personalized programs based on child's abilities, strengths, weaknesses, emotional, and intellectual needs.
- To follow safety and crisis management procedures during crisis intervention.
- To provide career education activities that help students become aware of their own skills and that teach them about the world of work.
- To coordinate or facilitate efforts of others (social workers, psychologists, community agency staff, etc.) with those of parents, teachers, and administrators.
The counselor works one-on-one with students who have personal or school-related difficulties to help make school a successful experience. Students learn skills to develop appropriate behavior patterns for dealing with classroom activities and relationships.
Students are placed into groups based on needs, which are assessed through a survey completed by classroom teachers. The groups teach students skills; they are not support groups or therapy sessions.
The counselor actively participates in the Incidence Response Teams in the buildings to identify and address the immediate needs of a crisis situation. In response, the counselor meets the needs of students or staff through individual or small group counseling.
The counselor assists teachers in implementing behavior and classroom management techniques for students. Relevant materials and resources are provided to teachers. In addition, the counselor participates in Instructional Support Teams (IST) and Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and assists in developing programs for students with special needs.
School assessments are coordinated, administered, and interpreted through the guidance office. The counselor can then interpret student information, such as test results, to help students, parents, and teachers use this information appropriately.
Orientations at the kindergarten, grade 3, and grade 6 levels are organized through the guidance office. Information on child development is provided for teachers and parents, and student observations are used for information gathering. In addition, the counselor is involved with kindergarten registration and screening and participates in parent-teacher conferences to exchange information and strategies.
In addition, the Elementary School Counselor provides numerous services for the school, including:
- Coordinates, with the principals, monthly theme assemblies for Colfax and Acmetonia.
- Teaches classroom guidance for grades 1-6 on a weekly basis.
- Teaches conflict resolution and peer mediation skills to students to work through peer
- Presents a proactive School Bus Safety program at Acmetonia and Colfax.
- Organizes safety programs for Acmetonia and Colfax through local community
- Provides career awareness for students through a Career Fair, seventh-grade
scheduling, and classroom guidance.
The Elementary School Counselor program is an integral part of the school's total educational program. It remains committed to individualizing the educational experience of all students. This perspective involves recognizing the uniqueness of all students, helping them to develop a realistic concept of themselves, and assisting them to become aware of educational and occupational opportunities. To this end, elementary counselors will:
- Serve as a consultant for teachers, parents, and administrators
- Assist with involvement of parents
- Assist in Kindergarten registration
- Collaborate with the junior high in the transition of students from grade 6
- Assist students during their daily school activities
The elementary school counselor works with students to help them develop academically, personally, and socially. The counselor will work closely with parents, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to provide students with the best possible resources and services.
Assistance for Students & Families
Any student or member of a student's family should be aware that counseling assistance is available to them by calling the Family Services Emergency Line at 724-335-6242. This number is a 24-hour hotline where trained persons are available to discuss personal problems and crisis situations.