The counseling team at PDSD is compromised of three school counselors, one case manager/behavior specialist and one school psychologist. This team works together to address the need for support in the area of student health services.
As a team, the counseling department services students campus wide by hosting monthly character education and peer group workshops as well as facilitating the weekly student reflection panel.
Reflection Panel (3rd – 12th grade): PDSD began the student reflection panel in the spring of 2013. The Reflection Panel is a new way of dealing with harassment/complaints from students. If the students have an issue or a report of harassment, they will be given a form to fill out. The Reflection Panel, which consists of three staff members, will meet on Wednesdays to discuss the reports with all parties involved. After discussing and gathering information, the panel will make a decision about the case. The results can vary from a warning to detention hall to suspension. The point of this panel is to promote self-awareness and maturity among students. Often, they complain about issues that they can solve themselves or issues that don’t require attention. This harassment form will help them realize the severity of the situation and make a decision on how to proceed. We hope to promote student empowerment in their decision-making and problem-solving skills. At the same time, show the students that we take harassment and bullying seriously and will be able to help when necessary.
Peer Groups/Character Education (K-12th grade): Topics of peer group workshops can include: Drug Abuse Prevention, Tobacco Abuse Prevention, Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Violence Prevention, Accepting Self-Responsibility, Respecting Others as well as Themselves, Career Choices, Problem Solving, and Conflict Resolution. Topics for character education workshops are geared around the six pillars of character as outlined through Character Counts. For more information, please visit: http://charactercounts.org .
The three school counselors provides individual and group counseling services. Emphasis is placed on school related problems. Individual counseling incorporates a team approach that includes: parents, teachers, counselor and student. Individual counseling works towards providing insight to students and their families who are confronted with issues that can interfere with a student’s learning. Group counseling and prevention groups stress teaching students to make well informed, educated choices that can affect their future.
The case manager/behavior specialist works with students who need more support in their educational environment through the implementation of a Behavior Support Plan (BSP). The case manager will process referrals for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and possible BSP, when further student behavior assistance is needed. The case manager also provides support for general classroom behavior, behavior management strategies and behavior intervention.
The school psychologist’s primary role is to process referrals and provide support for students with delayed cognitive abilities, learning disabilities, possible ADD/ADHD and Autism. The school psychologist is also involved with three-year re-evaluation meetings.
The PDSD Counseling team works closely with community mental health providers. When issues encompass more than school issues, referrals are made to these professionals who are skilled in working with our student population. Services are then coordinated between the community and PDSD in order to provide optimal services for the students and their families.