Elementary School Counseling
The ACS Athens Elementary school promotes and implements a comprehensive developmental school counseling program. The developmental domains of our program include: Academic and Personal/Social-Emotional domains. The elementary school counselor creates an inviting/safe place where students, teachers, and parents feel comfortable to visit and express their joys, and share their concerns.
The Elementary School Counselor:
- provides early Interventions for personal and social development.
- helps establish meaningful relationships with adults at school.
- helps students feel safe in their school environment.
- develops personal/social skills such as: self-awareness, communication skills, anger management, and conflict resolution.
- helps students understand themselves better.
- develops skills for academic success.
- helps students acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and throughout life.
The Elementary School Counselor provides:
Counseling: one-to-one (Individual counseling), and/or small group activities, or guidance seminars (didactic educational) for all students in the classroom setting.
In particular the counselor organizes the following activities:
- social skills groups for both girls and boys. The primary goal for these groups is to educate the students who are having difficulty making or maintaining friendships. Students also learn proper decision making skills
- organizes and facilitates guidance seminars for the elementary classroom. The goal is to deliver age/developmentally appropriate psycho-educational topics such as: diversity training, tolerance, respect, caring, kindness, empathy, etc.
- facilitates/implements the Elementary School Owl-Buddy program for all new students enrolled in grades 3-5. The goal for this program is to ease the transition of all new students. These students will receive reliable sources of information.
Who is the School Counselor?
- the school counselor has earned advanced degrees in school counseling, is a U.S. certified educator who is trained in counseling theories and practices, human behavior, developmental theory, and is sensitive in social/cultural issues.
- has experience in age specific developmental stages of student growth and their needs, tasks, related to those stages.
- is a specialist who believes that children learn best when they feel good about themselves and their relationships with others.
- believes that the attitudes formed during the Elementary School years will shape their future beliefs towards self, learning and our greater society.
Middle School Counseling
The Middle School counselor is responsible for working with all students individually and in group settings to help them succeed at the Middle School level. If a student has a challenge, or feels uncertain about some aspect of the Middle School that teachers cannot resolve, the counselor may be consulted. In addition, The Middle School Counselor invites students and parents to discuss educational concerns, scheduling and testing, follows up on progress reports, quarter and semester reports, and students who are ineligible for co-curricular activities due to their grades or on probation. Students may make appointments with the Office of Student Affairs Administrative Assistant for an appropriate time. Parents may telephone 210639-3200, extension 226 to arrange for conferences.
Below are some of the major changes that adolescents face while transitioning into Middle School:
- Different teacher for every subject - Each student has eight separate classes with a different teacher in each class, or block.
- 65-minute class blocks - Five classes are taught a day in a rotating schedule, with the increased time allowing for more intensive discussions and focused class work. Classes number from 1 to 8, with each class/subject meeting 3 times a week.
- Lockers - Students having their own personal storage area that helps them become more organized by arranging their books, supplies and schoolwork.
- Tardies - Students are expected to be in class and ready to work before the bell rings. The breaks in between blocks allow plenty of time for students to go to their locker, briefly socialize, and be on time to each class.
- Homework - Middle School students will face a larger workload for both Homework and Class work in comparison to the Elementary School. The average time should be expected to be anywhere from 1-2 hours.
- Sports, Activities, Dances - Extra-curricular life is an important part of the Middle School years. To help them develop both socially and physically, please encourage your child to participate in many extra-curricular school activities.
To assist students during these changes in their lives, counselors are available and aim to provide support, guidance and care to all new students entering our learning community. Examples of programs run through the counseling office include:
New Student Buddy Program, Salutation Program, Individual Student Sessions, Teacher and Parent Sessions, and Step Up Day, Weekly Advisory Session classes during our Wednesday X-block sessions.
As high school begins, expectations rise. Academic rigor characterizes the Academy as students prepare to transition into higher education. Transcripts become important as grades throughout high school are now cumulative. Counselors begin advising each student on their future university options. This is done both on a 1:1 basis as well as through the Advisory courses 9th-12th grade. As early as 9th grade, counselors meet with each student and their family to create a course framework, the Four Year Plan, to guide them in their academic and extracurricular options and choices in high school, which will ultimately lead them to their best fit higher education choices.
At the foundation of ACS Athens Academy Counseling lies the Advisory program, a series of classes that assist students in making best fit choices throughout high school and beyond. Such choices are skillfully put together in a digital portfolio (or hard copy) used to present students’ best work to universities across the world. Students spend one semester of each academic year in Advisory.
Maintaining a balance between academics and extracurricular activities is vital in this stage of the student's life and counselors, through a variety of programs, assist the students in making the best choices while maintaining optimal well being.
In addition, a comprehensive step by step guidelines brochure has recently been developed to assist student athletes explore the vast educational / athletic opportunities available to them in the United States.