Counseling and Guidance at North Thurston Public Schools
School counselors have the skills needed to increase youth's ability to concentrate, study and ultimately, learn. Students in North Thurston Public Schools benefit from trained and certified school counselors able to provide counseling interventions on classroom performance and to offer expertise in the selection and preparation for post-high school education, training, and employment. Areas of concern typically address attitudes toward school, peer relationships, family transitions, test-taking and study skills, career and educational planning, decision-making, and coping skills.School counselors are trained to provide students with mental, emotional, social, developmental, and behavioral support. They assist students and families in overcoming personal problems, coping with disabilities, and seeking additional resources. Counselors reduce school violence by recognizing early warning signs in at-risk youth and working with building administrators and staff to develop and implement safety and learning plans.
In Washington State, a master's degree in counseling and a 400-hour internship with a certified counselor are required to become an ESA-certified school counselor. The school counselor's role in today's schools requires adherence to rigorous standards reflected in North Thurston's current policy on counseling and guidance services provided to district students.
Middle & High School Level
In district middle and high schools, counselors are responsible for supporting student academics, career/college readiness, and Social Emotional Learning. They are part of a team that develops needed Section 504 plans for students with disabilities. Administrators monitor the implementation of accommodations.
At the elementary level, counselors are responsible for supporting student academics, career exploration, and Social Emotional Learning. They serve as case managers for Section 504 plans for students with disabilities and work with groups of students and in the classroom on developing social skills, preventing harassment and bullying, and refining conflict mediation strategies. They provide daily support to students and families around their students' academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs.