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Penny Tumminello

Counselor's Responsibilities

Classroom Guidance:

I love teaching classroom guidance lessons! It gives me a great opportunity to interact with all the students in a positive way. Based on the needs of our school and community, I will focus on social and emotional learning for the 2021-22 school year. I will use the secondSTEP program which is a researched based curriculum. Our school wide theme is PBIS Rewards.  By participating in large group activities, the students begin to build a positive relationship with the counselor, so it is not as difficult for them to see the counselor in times of need.

 

Small Groups:

Small group counseling is offered  to students to enhance the development of personal and social skills and to support academic development. Small groups give the student an opportunity to belong, an opportunity to express themselves, and a chance to benefit from the support of other group members. Groups are offered on "as needed" basis. Students can be referred to a group by teachers, parents, or self-referrals. Small group counseling is by parental permission slip only. The students are encouraged to share with their parents the skills they are learning, but they agree to keep confidential any personal information shared by other students. The groups meet during the day for about 30 minutes each week.

Bibliotherapy, counseling games, and activities are common tools used for small groups. Group topics may include friendship skills, managing strong emotions,school success skills, dealing with worries and anxiety, grief, divorce, and bullying just to name a few. The parent will be notified on the permission slip which group topic will be discussed.

 

Individual Counseling:

Individual counseling is offered to all students needing additional support to cope with a specific situation. Individual counseling might be a better option for students who would not feel comfortable working in a small group or their specific personal issue may lend itself better to working one on one with the counselor. Referrals can come from students, teachers, and parents.

 

McKinney-Vento:

Families may sometimes find themselves in an unfortunate situation. They may lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. For situations like this, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was passed to help make sure students get all the school services they need. As the school counselor and McKinney-Vento liaison, I work with families, district personnel, and other community resources to help make decisions that are in the best interest of the student.

 

Cumulative Records:

The cumulative folder is a record developed to assist in the student's educational growth and progress. Required information in the folder includes date of birth, record of attendance, grades, withdrawal from school, immunizations, and any other information required by school board policies or by the State Board of Education. Currently, the counselor is responsible for maintaining security, confidentiality, and accuracy of student records.