What school counselors should do before school starts

What School Counselors Should Do Before School Starts

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 32 Comments

*Updated Post* This post contains affiliate links. Back-to-school season has always been an exciting time for me. My new school supplies and new schedule seemed like an invitation to endless possibilities. I’m still a sucker for new office supplies, but as a school counselor we can’t wait for opportunities. We need to make every minute count. As with almost anything else, preparation is key to success. I’m not gonna lie. We do a lot and by a lot…I mean EVERYTHING. Everything that has to do with social, emotional, behavioral development. This is in addition to anything & everything that can …

School counseling needs assessments made easy with Google - Save my survey to your Google Drive!

School Counseling Needs Assessment

Heather Thomas Program Management 14 Comments

This post was updated to include a shareable version of my needs assessment on 7/09/17! Conducting a school counseling needs assessment is a crucial step in running a successful counseling program. A comprehensive guidance curriculum is, well, comprehensive and you run the risk of overwhelming your staff if you survey them about every possible topic a counselors could cover. However, if you can get administrative backing to perform a comprehensive assessment, then I say go for it. (You can find examples of teacher and parent needs assessments based on ASCA’s standards and benchmarks in my school counseling binder on TPT.) …

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School Counselor Must-Dos for the New School Year

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 0 Comments

The first few weeks of school is critical for school counselors for setting up their school counseling program. Luckily, there are several things we can do to ensure a smooth transition into the school year. In addition, you will be able to reap the benefits of the tips below throughout the school year. So, without further delay here are my tips for setting yourself up for a productive and effective school year: Check In On Caseload Kids & Their Parents Don’t wait for an issue to pop up before seeing your students. Getting a little “face time” and building on …

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Fun Ways to Welcome New Students

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 3 Comments

Welcoming new students to our schools is one of the things school counselors should do during the first few weeks of school. Leaving old friends and familiar surroundings can make students feel alone and isolated. Typically, meeting a new friend (or two) and learning the procedures and layout of the building can do wonders to ease anxiety and help their transition. Meeting with your new students in a small group setting is extremely helpful in getting the biggest bang for your time…in terms of time. -> You can meet with multiple kids at once and they get to meet other …

Back to School Tips for School Counselors

Blog Post Round Up: Back-to-School for School Counselors

Heather Thomas School Counseling 1 Comment

I’ve rounded up all of my Back-to-School posts for easy reference! Have a FABULOUS school year!!!   School Counselor Welcome Back Letter   The start of a new school year also means refreshed school anxiety. Try these tips to ease the transition.   Interning this year? Begin with the end in mind, by knowing what you want to accomplish from the start!   Set up a Meet the School Counselor display at Open House and the first few weeks of school.   Save sanity at the beginning of the year with these time savers!   Advertise what you do with …

School Counselor Welcome Back Newsletter

Open House Welcome Back Letter from the School Counselor

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 1 Comment

A “welcome back” letter to families is a great way to reach out and reconnect at the beginning of the school year. The point of my letter isn’t to provide a lot of information about the school counseling program (although I do include a copy of my counseling brochure). Rather, it is to reach out to parents and remind them that I’m available if they have any concerns. I have a handful of students that I try to see early on, but it is not practical to touch base with all of my past students within the first few weeks …