The following are frequently asked questions regarding the School Counseling Department:

What is a school counselor?

“School counselors are certified/licensed educators with the minimum of a master’s degree in school counseling and are uniquely qualified to address the developmental needs of all students through a school counseling program addressing the academic, career and social/emotional development of all students.”

Source: Who Are School Counselors?  American School Counselor Association.

School counselors are part of the general education program at Gravely and regularly have contact with all Gravely students. It is important to remember that school counseling services are not considered special education, nor are they considered therapy.


How do school counselors deliver their program?

School counselors deliver their program in the following ways: counseling individuals and small groups, conducting classroom lessons, collaborating with school staff and community agencies, supporting students with special needs, and offering crisis intervention and prevention.

School counselors also provide the following services for parents and guardians: parent workshops (parent education and discussion groups), referrals to community resources, and information about situations that may be harmful to students.


How do school counselors manage their program?

School counselors manage their program through regular collaborative meetings with school administration, and in consultation and collaboration with stakeholders through the Counseling Advisory Council. Additionally, counselors work toward allotting 80% of their time in direct services to students (individual and small group counseling) in accordance with the ASCA National Model.


How do school counselors measure the progress of their program?

School counselors collect data on the effectiveness of the services they provide (such as classroom lessons, small group counseling sessions, etc.,) and then analyze this data to constantly improve the program. This data is reported to the Counseling Advisory Council, as well as administration and the county supervisor.


How does a student get in touch with a school counselor?

Students may refer themselves to the counselor by filling out a “Notes to the Counselor” form located in the hallway outside of the counseling offices.


How does a parent get in touch with a counselor?

A parent can contact a counselor via phone at 571-248-4930, email, or by sending a note in with his/her child. 


What are the ethical standards of a counselor?

“The professional school counselor keeps information confidential unless disclosure is required to prevent clear and imminent danger to the student or others, or when legal requirements demand that confidential information be revealed. Counselors will consult with appropriate professionals when in doubt as to the validity of an exception.”

Source: Ethical Standards for School Counselors. American School Counselor Association.

Parents have the right to know what their child has discussed with the school counselor in a counseling session. The counselors encourage students to take the initiative to talk to their parents about counseling sessions. This keeps parents informed, but also promotes the necessary rapport and trust between the counselor and the student.