The School District of Haverford Township has offered a comprehensive S.E.L. program in its five elementary schools since 1989. Each elementary school has at least one full-time school counselor, and a wide range of services are offered to support students’ social and emotional development.
Developmental S.E.L. Lessons:
Elementary counselors teach a social-emotional learning curriculum through regularly scheduled classroom lessons to all students in grades one through five, and as scheduled for kindergarten. The curriculum is child-centered and focused on the five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavior competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The lessons focus on feelings, communication, and problem-solving. Because the counselors are teaching in each classroom every other week, they are able to interact with and get to know all students in the school.
Elementary school counselors meet individually with students to provide support for developmental and school-related issues. The counseling strategies necessarily vary with each student’s needs and are provided on a short-term basis (usually six to eight weekly sessions) as determined by the school counselor. Students can refer themselves to the counselor or can be referred by parents, teachers, or other school staff. Group counseling may be offered, depending on the needs of children at a particular grade level.
School counselors work with teachers, administrators, and other school staff to provide information, materials, and referral assistance; address student needs, especially within the student support and IEP teams; and promote a safe and healthy school climate.
School counselors also work with parents to exchange and gather information, provide recommendations, and discuss parenting concerns. With parent consent, school counselors also consult with other mental health professionals.