What Does A School Counselor Do, Anyway?

What Does A School Counselor Do, Anyway?

A lot has changed since the days of “guidance counselors”! No longer will you find a counselor sitting behind her desk all day making schedules and handing out college applications! Professional School Counselors are a vital part of your child’s educational team! I believe this is especially true at the elementary school level, where all the action happens!  Your child is learning how to get along in the world and work with other people. They are developing self-concept as learners and becoming competent and confident in the school environment. They are also building important decision-making skills, value systems, and life skills. What an exciting time!

Elementary School Counselor play a very active role in the daily academic life of students. We are uniquely trained in child development, social skills training, executive functioning strategies, and self-management to help children become their best self and experience success in their learning environment. Through the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program, students are supported through this important period in their development. Components include:

Direct Services –

  • Classroom Guidance lessons are delivered to all classroom from KG to 5th grade teaching social-emotional concepts, decision-making skills, academic work habits, and career exploration.
  • Small Group Counseling provides opportunities for more focused investigation of selected topics such as Making Good Choices, Overcoming Anxious Feelings, Managing Myself, Finding Hope in Change (Divorce groups), and Executive Functioning Skills Group.
  • Individual Counseling is a short-term individualized curriculum designed to assist a student in developing skills in a targeted area or supporting a student through a difficult life event.

Indirect Services  

School – wide character education promotions such as the Bucket-filler program, monthly character focus, Red Ribbon Week, Mix-it Up Day, Kindness Week, and College and Career Week.

Coordination and collaboration: Section 504 Coordinator and Intervention Team member

Consultation services with administration, teachers, and parents

This link SCInfographic is a terrific “infographic” from the American School Counseling Association website and outlines in more detail the role of the Professional School Counselor. TAKE A LOOK!

Feel free to contact me if your child needs support. I look forward to working with your child and to a great new school year!

Glen Allen Cub Counselor,

Mrs. Julie Sitter

Red Ribbon Week!

Red Ribbon Week!

Image result for Red ribbonGlen Allen Elementary will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week October 24th  – 28th. Our theme this year is Respect Yourself, Respect Others. We will be learning about making good choices for ourselves to stay healthy and drug free as well as standing together against bullying. Each day the students have an opportunity to demonstrate their support by wearing a particular item. Check out the link here to see more access more information!

Red-Ribbon-Spirit-Week (2)

Welcome Back for a New Adventure!

Welcome Back for a New Adventure!

Welcome to the start of a new school year! I’m Julie Sitter, Glen Allen Elementary’s School Counselor. I am excited to kick off a year full of fun, learning, and lots of adventures! I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for us!

Keep a look out for a gold colored brochure coming home with your child in the coming weeks. It explains my role and the ways in which a school counselor can support students and their families. There are many ways in which I interact with your children each day. I am in the classrooms all the time, teaching guidance lessons and helping students develop work habits to successfully meeting classroom expectations. I conduct lunch groups with all grade levels on a variety of topics. Sign-up letters are sent home throughout the year to allow opportunities for students to participate. Students also frequently come to my office for individual assistance with problem-solving, peer conflict, social skills, and for emotional support. Students in grades 3 – 5 are able to fill out a counseling card and independently make appointments with me to discuss personal concerns.
mrs. sitterClassroom Guidance lessons began September 19th with an introductory lesson about the role of a School Counselor. For younger students, we read a book and completed an activity about being a Bucket Filler to reinforce our school-wide positive school climate program. Bucket Fillers are people who show kindness to others with their words and actions. Students can be recognized by other students, their teachers, and other staff members for outstanding acts of kindness. Their names are featured on our Bucket Filler board in the main hallway.

October is National Bully Prevention Month. Older students will participate in guidance lessons designed to continue their awareness of bullying behaviors, strategies for handling bullying, and participate in initiatives to actively advocate for those who are targets of bullying.

Cub Club lunch groups are also up and running to welcome all new 1st – 5th grade students to Glen Allen. I am having a great time getting to know all the new faces. Glen Allen is truly enriched by adding these awesome students to our Cub family!

Please know that I am here as a resource for parents as well as students! Feel free to contact me with any concerns! Best wishes for an awesome school year!



We are off to a great start!

We are off to a great start!

Set Sail on a Learning Adventure!

Welcome back to school! Our 2015-16 school year is off to a great start! We are bursting – with enthusiasm, energy, and awesome students!  As I watch all the fresh new faces arriving each day, I am reminded of what a wonderful school Glen Allen is and how lucky we all are to share in the experience of shaping these young lives. I look forward to a terrific year with your children!

Classroom guidance lessons began this week. I am visiting all 29 homeroom classes to remind students who I am, how to contact me, and all the ways that school counselors help students be successful learners and citizens. Each student will receive a brochure to take home about the counseling program and are tasked with getting this information into your hands! Please use me a your resource, as well!

I recently found this cute article in the September 2008 Home & School Connection newsletter that I would like to share with you. It has some good ideas for helping youngsters transition from the gentle pace of summer, back to the busy pace of the school year. Enjoy!

Blast Off for Success!

Like an astronaut preparing for a launch, a student gearing up for a new school year will be more successful if she’s organized and sticks to a routine. Here’s a countdown your family can try.  Read the rest of this entry

Keep Your Eye on the Goal!

Keep Your Eye on the Goal!


Jamie wants to do better in math this year and William hopes to stay organized… What does your child want to change this school year? Help him succeed by setting his own goals for success. To get started, try these steps.

Talk It Over

Ask your child what he wants to improve and offer your own ideas. Together, write down a few goals. Examples: “Read more books; finish homework earlier so I have more free time before bed.” Remind your child that two or three goals are easier to focus on that a dozen.

Plan It Out

Help your youngster think of ways to achieve his goals. To read more, he might schedule a daily half hour of reading time. To get homework done earlier, he could start right after school and work for a specific amount of time.

Watch for Progress

Post a goal chart on the refrigerator. With each day of success (a book read, homework done before dinner), reward your child with a hug or high five. Consider a prize after longer periods. Reading a certain number of books or getting homework done early for a whole week, for example, could earn a sleepover or a trip to the bowling alley.

Idea: Post your own goals next to your child’s goals (“prepare and freeze one extra meal a week”; “write thank you notes for birthday gifts”). Then, you can work toward success together!

Article from Home and School Connections

Welcome back to school!

Welcome back to school!

With a fun and restful summer break behind us, we are in full gear and ready for learning!

For many people, the word “counselor” takes them back to the image of someone who they saw a few times in high school to help them with their class schedules, testing, or college application. So why have school counselors in elementary school? Elementary school is a time when kids form attitudes about school, themselves, peers, and social groups. It is a time when they develop decision-making skills, values systems, and learn how to communicate with others effectively. A comprehensive, developmental counseling program takes a preventative approach to helping students navigate the challenges of growing up by endeavoring to provide a variety of interpersonal tools and resources. I believe this is our best opportunity to help children establish themselves academically and interpersonally. As your School Counselor, I would like to extend an invitation to you and your child. Please contact me at any time regarding social or academic concerns. I will be in each classroom in September with a guidance lesson aimed at informing students about these resources and helping them understand how to access them. Be on the lookout for my brochure containing more specific information regarding the services provided by the Guidance and School Counseling Program at Glen Allen.