How are ASW's counseling programs helping students return to regular school under new health protocols and the ongoing pandemic? Read on to hear from our counselors.
The ES School counselors feel the wellbeing and safety of our students and community are of utmost concern. We understand that it is okay if parents are finding this new learning landscape difficult to navigate. We see how so many people are doing their best to carry on, which is incredibly admirable, and the resourcefulness of the ASW community is a daily inspiration. To help spread awareness, we produced two ES school counselors’ COVID19 support videos: Video 1 and Video 2. The hope is that these videos, as well as those for parents, help to normalize and ease any big feelings children may be experiencing. Our counselors main focus is helping all learners to be happy, healthy, and safe.
ES counselors, together with teachers, are focusing on building strong relationships. We know children need relationships that make them feel cared for and secure. The counselors are pushing into classrooms daily to either do lessons or help facilitate community building activities. Plus, some students work within small support groups and/or have one-to-one check-ins.
Teachers or parents can refer a student for these offerings at any time during the school year. The counselors support the PYP’s inquiry into wellbeing through play. Play is one of many ways that we can all partner together to grow our happiness and wellbeing. Also, the ES counselors use the Kimochis and mindfulness lessons/techniques to support students' inquiry into self-awareness and self-regulation.
Counselors in MYP are available to students at any time during the school day - for scheduled or drop-in meetings. Such meetings can be individual or in small groups, depending on student needs and preferences. Counselors meet weekly with the teaching teams to go over any concerns and are working with advisors and coordinators to help create related content that will be delivered in advisories, by the advisors themselves.
There is an MYP counseling website launched mid-September which offers resources for parents and students. The 6-9 counselors also offer an open Zoom session to interested parents, which is a monthly event. Details about this can be found in e-Notes and in grade level newsletters. 6-9 counselors host a lunch session for students on Fridays, called Popcorn Piątek. This is an open forum discussion hour, for students to share anything they'd like to talk about, in a casual format. Parents are encouraged to reach out to counselors with suggestions or concerns.
Counselors go into Grade 11 seminars to do wellness sessions and college counseling nearly every Thursday and Friday of semester 1. Mindfulness will continue but other parts of wellness will include topics based on the results of a needs assessment that the grade 11 students filled out. Some of these interests include topics such as: learning about strengths, self-awareness, healthy relationships, career exploration, sleep , managing time, mental health, body image, sexuality, alcohol and drugs.
We are meeting with all of our seniors individually for college counseling but we also check in with them with regards to their general well being, check in with how they are doing with the return to school and the current situation. Students can also request a meeting with us at any time.