Hello! My name is Mrs. Samantha Kerns and I am the School Counselor at East Palestine Elementary School. This page provides you with information about the School Counseling program, and counseling topics and resources. More information will be posted with helpful links as I grow and develop this site.
I work hard to pay close attention to every student in the building and how he/she 'connects' to his/her education and is achieving their potential. I support families, students, and school personnel to problem-solve issues that may (temporarily or otherwise) pose an obstacle to the learning process and your child's academic achievement and/or social/emotional well being.
Please feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or concerns regarding your child's academics or social/emotional well-being.
What is a School Counselor?
Professional School Counselors are uniquely trained leaders who promote success for all students. They collaborate with school stakeholders to facilitate the success of all students. As a result we work to help all students:
- achieve to his/her maximum potential
- demonstrate academic, career, personal/social problem-solving skills
- recognize and appreciate individual and cultural differences
- develop communication and citizenship skills to make positive contributions to their school and community
School Counselors are certified, trained, and caring professional who works with all students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order for every student to achieve academic and social success. School Counseling services are delivered in four specific ways:
- Classroom Counseling Curriculum- designing ,structuring, and delivering classroom lessons so that students develop specific competencies (personal/social, academic, career) and driven by the needs of the school population
- Individual Student Planning- assisting students with goal formation/planning (behavioral, academic, etc.)
- Responsive Services- meeting immediate student needs (counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, referral, peer mediation, information-providing)
- System Support- school wide program planning and implementation (PBIS, Instructional Leadership Teaming, etc.), consulting with other professionals, coordination of various supports for students and families
How does your child experience school counseling services?
- Individual Counseling- I may work with a student in a safe, positive, and confidential setting to address issues that 'get in the way' of' school achievement. Topics are based on the needs of the student and may include: understanding feelings, changing families/divorce, grief, stress, social skills, academics, bullying, problem-solving, and decision-making.
- Small Group Counseling- A process where students sharing similar issues or concerns work together in a small group environment consisting of about 3-6 peers. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include divorce or changing families, grief and loss, friendship and social skills, study skills, conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, and stress-management.
- Classroom Counseling Lessons- Based on classroom and school needs I will develop and implement curriculum driven by national and county school counseling outcomes. I often co-plan and co-teach lessons with other professionals in the building to support social and emotional growth across areas. Topics may include self-esteem, conflict resolution, study skills, anger management, career awareness, tattling/reporting, friendship/social skills, responsibility, respect, teasing/bullying, feelings, cooperation, goal setting/decision-making, and peer pressure.
School Counselor Leadership Roles at EPES:
- PBIS Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
- Response to Intervention (RTI) Team member
- Building Leadership Team Member
- Section 504 plan building coordinator
- Coordinate Services with Outside Agencies to Provide Additional Services to our Students
Counseling Approaches Commonly Used to Assist Students:
- Play or Art Experiences (exploring & role-playing solutions, creative representations of life situations)
- Bibliotherapeutic Experiences (reading & discussing books relevant to whatever the student is experiencing)
- Conflict-Resolution processes (working out disagreements)
- Behavioral Coaching/Role Plays (goal-setting & encouragement)
- Academic/Organizational Skill-Development (organization, understanding grades, study skills, etc.)
- Therapeutic Games (card & board games focused on developing coping skills)
- Attendance monitoring