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 / or 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 mental, emotional, social, developmental and behavioral supports to students. They assist students and families to overcome personal problems, cope with disabilities or seek 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, as well as, a 400 hour internship with a certified counselor is required to become an ESA certified school counselor. The role of the school counselor in today's school requires adherence to rigorous standards that are reflected in North Thurston's current policy on counseling and guidance services to be provided to district students.

Middle & High School Level

  • In district middle and high schools, counselors are responsible for planning appropriate coursework with students, for scheduling their teachers and courses and for supervising school wide test taking. They develop needed Section 504 plans for those with disabilities and monitor implementation of accommodations. Planning for post high school careers and further education, providing scholarship information to graduating seniors and responding to individual and school wide crises are all part of their responsibilities.

Elementary Level

  • At the elementary level, Intervention Specialists as counselors are called, case manage 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 teachers, principals and families around the academic, social, emotional, behavioral and developmental needs of their students.