Rumson School District School Counseling Program

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1 Rumson School District School Counseling Program We inspire all students to believe in their own potential, pursue a passion for inquiry and knowledge, excel at learning, as well as act as responsible citizens in a diverse world.

2 The Rumson School District's School Counseling program is a developmental, comprehensive model that promotes core values, creates a caring school community, provides students with opportunities to think and discuss, and includes a challenging academic curriculum. Students are taught to respect each other as positive learners, develop character, and support each other so that all students can succeed. The comprehensive counseling program is developmental, systematic, and sequential in nature, and adheres to and is aligned with the National Standards for School Counseling programs, the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and ethical standards as set forth by the American School Counseling Association. It is our mission to foster students' character development in a caring and developmentally-appropriate manner that engages the students, the staff, and the community in activities that promote responsibility. The comprehensive school counseling program is an integral part of Rumson s educational system: All district employees are concerned with the whole child and recognize the uniqueness and personal worth of each child. The personnel providing counseling services are alert to the multiple dimensions of the child and view her/him as an individual a unique human being endowed with dignity and worthy of respect. Both Deane Porter and Forrestdale schools are committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB). This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of HIB through the following practices: adhering to the 2011 New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights legislation; training all staff to identify, report, and address HIB behaviors in a timely fashion; and proactively educating parents, students, Board of Education members, and the community to establish HIB expectations and the communication of our commitment to safety and respectful behavior for all. The guidance program is designed to help students develop positive self-concepts and effective decision-making skills. Our program focuses on activities that help students acquire knowledge, skills, and understanding to cope with the developmental stages of life. The School Counselor works with students individually and in groups, as well as in the classroom setting to assist in areas of academic, social/emotional, and career development. In the Rumson School District, Character Education is not simply a program; rather it is a culture and a belief system that supports cooperation, collaboration, and values within all the academic disciplines. In addition to weaving character education into the existing academic curriculum, the Rumson School District supports the following programs to meet the needs of our students: Second Step Second Step is a research-based curriculum designed to decrease aggression, bullying and substance abuse, as well as to increase students social skills and school-related success. Each lesson in the program is fully scripted with media-rich content, academic integration activities, online training and other resources, and includes sections for additional review and practice of lesson content. Second Step also uses developmentally-appropriate ways to teach core social-emotional skills such as empathy, emotion management, self-regulation, and executive function skills.

3 Prevention First: Olweus Bullying Prevention Program The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is based on research proven to reduce bullying throughout a school setting, and has four components: school, classroom, individual, and community. This comprehensive plan deals with individual problems, but also creates a more positive, nurturing environment in the school which improves peer relations and leaves no room for bullying. Olweus is a long-term, system-wide program that also offers training for adults who interact with students at the school and includes methods for reaching out to parents and the greater community as well. The goal is to spend less time dealing with bullying behaviors and focus more on fostering the learning and development of students. Morning Meeting (Deane Porter) Students in our kindergarten through grade three classrooms participate in regular Morning Meetings (similar to the model of the Responsive Classroom). The daily meeting format is a teaching approach with three main goals: to create a classroom community, to foster positive interaction, and to teach daily rituals/routines needed to be a responsive member of a classroom or school. The meeting has four main parts: greeting, sharing, group activity, and news and announcements. Through each of these practices, students learn important skills needed for both academic and social success. PRIDE (Forrestdale) The goals of the PRIDE program are to create connections between students and staff, and to improve school climate and culture by holding regular classroom meetings whose purpose is to: Help students learn more about themselves and their feelings and reactions, and those of their peers, as well as provide them with opportunities to express their personal opinions in a safe and supportive environment. Build a sense of community and belonging, and to help develop a set of norms about bullying and other important issues that is shared by a majority of the students in the class. Help the teacher learn more about the classroom culture, power struggles, and relationships among classmates, and what goes on in the group. Provide a forum for dealing with typical age-related issues in the classroom and, more generally, for the discussion and possible solution of other problems in the classroom. Teach students what bullying is, the meaning of the school's anti-bullying rules, and different ways of reacting when bullying occurs, and to build a commitment among students to follow these rules.

4 Monthly Themes (Deane Porter) Monthly themes are aligned to the Six Pillars of Character (Character Counts). Each month, teachers are encouraged to incorporate multiple classroom activities that support the monthly theme. The themes are communicated to parents via the Monthly Reminder and a banner is displayed in the front lobby of the school. The themes are: Respect: To honor the feelings of those around you through words and actions Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule Be tolerant and accepting of differences Use good manners, not bad language Be considerate of the feelings of others Don t threaten, hit or hurt anyone Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements Trustworthiness: To be honest and be someone that others can count on as well as have the courage to do the right thing Be honest Don t deceive, cheat, or steal Be reliable do what you say you ll do Have the courage to do the right thing Build a good reputation Be loyal stand by your family, friends, and country Responsibility: To follow through with a task carefully and thoroughly Do what you are supposed to do Plan ahead Persevere: Keep on trying! Always do your best Use self-control Be self-disciplined Think before you act consider the consequences Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes Set a good example for others Fairness: To respect individual differences, views, and beliefs of others Play by the rules Take turns and share Be open-minded; listen to others Don t take advantage of others Don t blame others carelessly Treat all people fairly Caring: To be sympathetic and understanding toward the needs and feelings of others Be kind Be compassionate and show you care Express gratitude Forgive others Help people in need Citizenship: To demonstrate the rights and privileges as a citizen within the community Do your share to make your school and community better Cooperate Get involved in community affairs Stay informed; vote Be a good neighbor Obey laws and rules Respect authority Protect the environment Volunteer

5 School Counseling Services: The School counselor s work is differentiated by attention to age-specific developmental stages of student growth and the needs, tasks, and student interests related to those stages. The school counselor works with all students, including those who are considered to be at risk and those with special needs. The counselor is a specialist in human behavior and relationships and provides assistance to students through four primary interventions: Counseling (individual and group): A confidential relationship in which the counselor meets with students individually and in small groups to help them resolve or cope constructively with their problems and developmental concerns. Large Group Guidance: Planned, developmental, program of guidance activities designed to foster students academic, career, and personal/social development (collaborative effort between counselor and teacher/s). Consultation: Collaborative partnership where the counselor works with parents, teachers, administrators, school psychologist, school social worker, and community personnel in order to plan and implement strategies to help students be successful in the education system. Coordination: Leadership process in which the counselor helps organizes, manage, and evaluate the school counseling program; the counselor assists parents in obtaining needed services for their children through a referral and follow-up process and serves as liaison between the school and community agencies so that they may collaborate in efforts to help students. The school counselor is responsible for developing a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student learning. The school counselor, as a member of the educational team, works on behalf of students and their families to ensure that there is a safe learning environment for all members of the school community, and that all school programs facilitate the educational process and offer the opportunity for school success to each student. The following services are provided by Rumson school counselors: Direct services to students Individual counseling Group counseling and guidance* Classroom guidance Peer mediation / Conflict resolution Direct services to teachers, administrators, and other staff members Staff consultation Staff collaboration Parent/Teacher conferences Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS)* Section 504*

6 Direct Services to parents/guardians Parent consultation New student tours Kindergarten orientation Updated website with links to resources Indirect services coordinated by counselor Character education Anti-Bullying Specialist Program leadership and development Program evaluation Counselor professional development Plan activities for Week of Respect and School Anti-Violence Prevention Week School Safety Team Committee chairperson I&RS and Section 504 chairperson Transition planning Small Group Counseling: Small group counseling is an opportunity to work with several students on areas of special common concern. The counselor works with groups of about 3 6 students for approximately 30 minutes, once a week for six weeks. Group offerings vary on the amount of students who are referred and the topics for which they are referred. Placement of a student into a group is critical for an effective group to work. *Some students may have needs that go beyond the scope of the school counseling department. Resources for outside services are always available to families upon request. The goal is to work collaboratively with families in order to facilitate change in the lives of their students. Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) The I&RS Committee provides referred students and their teachers with support to assist in the students learning. Students may be referred to the committee by teachers or parents who have academic, behavior or other concerns. The I&RS committee is multi-disciplinary and may include: school administrator(s), a guidance counselor, a Child Study Team member, a general and special education teacher, the school nurse, any other related services personnel who could assist in the development of an action plan, as well as the child s teacher. The committee meets to discuss a student's areas of strengths and vulnerabilities, creates goals and develops an Action Plan of strategies and techniques to be used address areas of concern. Follow-up meetings take place as needed to review and assess the effectiveness of the interventions identified in the Action Plan, which can be modified, as appropriate, to achieve the desired outcomes.

7 Section 504 Section 504 is a federal act prohibiting discrimination against anyone with a handicap in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The act defines a person with a handicap as anyone who: 1. Has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including activities such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working; 2. Has a record of such an impairment; or 3. Is regarded as having such an impairment. In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, the Rumson School District recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a handicap will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices of the school system. Accordingly, the school district has specific responsibilities under the act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and, if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, afford access to educational services. The I&RS Committee meets to consider students whose parents or teachers have referred them for evaluation for accommodation under Section 504 and determines eligibility after considering: The nature of the disabling condition; The basis for determination of eligibility; Whether the disability affects one or more major life activities; and Reasonable accommodations that are necessary. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, she or he has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

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