School Counselor

Hood Canal

Monica Carlson | Office- 360-877-5463 Ext.266 | [email protected]

What is a School Counseling Program?

School counseling programs are collaborative efforts benefiting students, parents, teachers, administrators and the overall community. School counseling programs are an integral part of students' daily educational environment, and school counselors are partners in student achievement. School counseling programs make a measurable impact in every student's life, assisting with academic, career and personal/social development. Professional school counselors are trained in both educating and counseling, allowing them to function as a facilitator between parents, teachers and the student in matters concerning the student's goals, abilities and any areas needing improvement. School counselors provide services not only to students in need, but to ALL students. Some services include: Individual counseling, small groups, substance abuse education, conflict resolution, and career awareness, exploration and planning.

School counselors are integral to the total educational program. Through leadership, advocacy and collaboration, school counselors promote equity and access to rigorous educational experiences for ALL students. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. School counselors align with the school's mission to support the academic achievement of all students. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program.

Counseling Venn Diagram

McKinney-Vento/Homeless Liaison

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

Defining Homeless
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

Mandated Reporters

Department of Children, Youth, & Families Website

Mandatory reporters are professionals identified by law who MUST make a report if they suspect the abuse, abandonment, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of a vulnerable adult has occurred. Mandatory Reporters include:

  • Employees of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
  • Law enforcement
  • Social workers
  • Professional school personnel
  • Contracted Individual Providers caring for a DSHS client
  • Employees of a social service, welfare, mental health, home care, hospice, home health, adult day care or adult day health agency
  • Owners or employees of nursing homes, boarding homes or adult family homes
  • Health care providers subject to Title 18 RCW (such as nurses and doctors)
  • Christian Science Practitioners

Informational Poster

Suicide Prevention
Everyone can play a role in suicide prevention by learning to recognize the warning signs,
showing compassion, and offering support. For more information, please visit the Society for
Prevention of Teen Suicide website for resources and education.

Your school counselors are an excellent resource if your student is in distress. They can offer
referrals to local health care providers, community resources, and other supports your family
may need. If your student is in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, please do the following:

  • Go to any hospital Emergency Department or Urgent Care center/clinic OR Call
  • 911. Say, "There's a Threat of Suicide by a Youth" and; Ask for a "Designated Crisis Responder".
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Text the Crisis Text Hotline: Text HOME to 741741 in the US
  • Call the Crisis Clinic of Mason County
  • Crisis Line: (360) 586-2800 / 1-800-627-2211
  • Youth HelpLine: (360) 586-2777

Cyber Bullying

During this time of social distancing, many of us are spending more time online than usual. For our students this means attending class online, completing assignments, and connecting with their friends online more than ever. While these tools are really great for times like this, they also put your student at a greater risk for being cyber bullied. Here is a quick look at what cyberbullying is and what you can do to help you student if they are being cyber bullied.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of digital communication tools (such as the internet, cell phones, and apps) to make another person feel sad, scared, or angry. This is something that is happening intentionally and repeatedly. Examples of cyberbullying include sending hurtful texts or messages, posting embarrassing photos or videos, and spreading rumors.

What should I do if my student is being cyberbullied?

Finding out that your student is being cyberbullied can be emotional and upsetting. While it is tempting to retaliate, the best thing to do is help your student defuse the situation, protect themselves, and make efforts to stop the bullying. Reassure your student that you love and support them and help them step away from the computer or device and take a break.

These are recommended steps to take when your student is being cyberbullied:

  • Sign off of the computer or device
  • Don't respond or retaliate
  • Block the bully and remove them from any friends or buddy lists
  • Save and print out the bullying messages
  • Report the bullying to your child's school in case the bullying may be happening in person as well
  • Review online safety with your students

Online Safety Basics

This is a list of some online safety basics to share with your student. Make sure you explain your expectations of their behavior while online.

  • Communicate appropriately with respectful language
  • Don't share personal information
  • Respect others
  • Report misbehavior
  • Think before you post, text, or share