School Counselor's Role and Responsibilities

  • Mrs. Charity Walter, M.A., N.C.C.
    School Counselor/Guidance Counselor
    p: (609) 631 - 4163 ext 2906
    e: cwalter@hamilton.k12.nj.us

     

    What Does the School Counselor Do for Our School?

    The following information highlights some of the counseling services available at Robinson Elementary School.

    Curriculum ("Guidance Classes")

    Mrs. Walter teaches in each classroom at Robinson as part of the "specials" rotation; her special is called "Guidance".  Curriculum for Guidance classes centers around developmentally appropriate lessons on good character behaviors, academic skills, career development and social/emotional development. Lessons are designed to reinforce the character values of the Hamilton Twp. Board of Education as well as help your child to grow socially and emotionally.

    Examples of guidance lesson topics would include conflict resolution, anti-bullying awareness/prevention, anger management, emotional regulation, negotiating frienships, study skills and career exploration activities. Lessons are often developed in response to informal and formal data on student group needs.

    Coordination

    Mrs. Walter coordinates activities for special events like the Week of Respect Celebration, Peace Week and the National No-Name Calling Week. Mrs. Walter assists in bringing in speakers and events that enhance student learning in her specialty area. Mrs. Walter is the Robinson coordinator for other service projects like our Thanksgiving Food Baskets, JLA Toy Drive, Lala and Mimi Pajama Drive, Winter Clothing Drive, Giving Trees and other service projects for area charities and non profit agencies that serve our community.

    Consultation

    Parents can make appointments with Mrs. Walter to process an individual concern, normalize a behavior, or celebrate a success.

    I&RS: Mrs. Walter works with your child’s teacher, principal, child study team member, and basic skills teacher on the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Team.  The team collaboratively will develop a plan of action for your child’s individual needs. Interventions are discussed and recommendations are made to help improve your child’s performance.  Reasonable and attainable goals are set for your child. Monitoring and follow-up meetings are scheduled as necessary to examine if progress is being made. If a referral to the Child Study Team is warranted, it would come as a recommendation of the I&RS team. Mrs. Walter is your contact person for questions regarding I&RS meeting scheduling, meeting notes and follow up plans.

    504: Mrs. Walter is the coordinator and case manager for all 504 educational plans at Robinson Elementary. Any questions about 504 plans should be directed to her attention.

    Counseling

    While school counselors are not outpatient therapists, they do work with students individually and in small-group sessions to assist them as they learn and practice life-long skills like working cooperatively, making friends, processing feelings, resolving conflicts, and solving problems. Referrals to visit with Mrs. Walter can be initiated by a staff member, a parent, an administrator, or the student. Psychoeducationally based small group counseling groups are offered by in specific topic areas each year for students with specific needs that meet the criteria of the group. Parental permission is required for these groups.

    Mrs. Walter also assists classrooom teachers with individually tailored behavioral interventions for students in need.

     

    A list of mental health professionals and agencies in the community is available upon request.

     

    School Climate and Culture

    Mrs. Walter heads our Robinson School Climate and Culture committee. This group is dedicated to improving the day to day experience of school for all of our Robinson students. This committee also reviews trends in student behaviors, conflicts and HIB related concerns and develops proactive programming to address identified needs.

     

    Anti Bullying Specialist

    Mrs. Walter is the Anti Bullying Specialist for Robinson Elementary. She is responsible for investigating and documenting all formal allegations of bullying received by Robinson Elementary. If you have a question or concern about bullying, you are always welcome to contact Mrs. Walter directly. Names of students involved in any HIB investigation are kept confidential.