Williamston Middle School Counseling
"Our counselors seek to assist students with individual and unique concerns on a one-to-one basis."
The Williamston Middle School Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program seeks to assist all students with the acquisition of skills and competencies in the areas of knowledge of self and others, career exploration and planning, education development and career-technical development so that students will grow to be responsible citizens.
The middle school guidance program provides support to students in transition from childhood to adolescence. Students are assigned to a counselor who assists them in their emotional and social development by helping them to understand themselves, to make the best of their abilities, to know the educational and career opportunities available to them and to make plans for the future.
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(517) 655-4668, ext. 6520
The Guidance Curriculum consists of structured developmental experiences presented systematically through classroom and group activities in sixth through eighth grades. The purpose of the Guidance Curriculum is to guarantee selected benchmarks for all students thus empowering them to learn to live, learn to learn and learn to work over a lifetime. The curriculum is organized around the three content areas: Career Planning and Exploration, Knowledge of Self and Others, and Educational/Career-Technical Development. A need assessment designed to identify and prioritize and selected benchmarks from each area is recommended. While counselor responsibilities include the organization and implementation of the Guidance Curriculum, the support and cooperation of the entire school district is necessary for successful implementation. The Guidance Curriculum is delivered through such strategies as classroom and small group activities.
Counselors teach, team-teach, or assist in teaching Guidance Curriculum learning activities or lessons in the classrooms. These activities may be conducted in the guidance center, the regular classroom or some other school facility and are received by all students.
Counselors facilitate groups outside the classroom to respond to identified student needs or interests. Counselors plan and teach structured group activities to develop skills and to increase the knowledge of students. Many, but not necessarily all, students will receive these services.
Examples of Classroom and Group Activities:
- Study Skills
- Decision-Making Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Asset Development
- ATOD Issues
- Career Exploration
- Michigan Career Pathways
- Personal Responsibility
- Goal Setting
- Planning Course Selection
- Educational Development Plans
- 6th and 7th grade Leadership Workshops
Time Allocation for Guidance Curriculum:
These group activities are counselor initiated and should not be confused with small group work requested by specific students, i.e. divorce groups, grief groups, etc.. which fit into Responsive Services.
Lesson planning time should be a part of the Guidance Curriculum.
Individual Planning consist of activities that help all students plan, monitor and manage their own learning as well as their personal and career development. Within this component, students evaluate their educational, occupational and personal goals. The activities in this component are Counselor planned and directed. These activities are generally delivered either on an individual basis or by working with individuals in small groups or advisement groups. Individual Planning is implemented through:
Counselors work with students analyzing and evaluating students' abilities, interests, skills and achievements. Test and survey information and data are a basis for developing immediate and long-range plans for students.
Counselors work with students to use personal-social, educational, career and labor market information in planning personal, educational and occupational goals. The involvement of students, parents and school in planning a program that meets individual needs of students is critical.
Counselors assist students in making the transition from school to school, school to work or school to additional education and training.
Responsive Services consist of activities designed to meet immediate needs and concerns of students, whether these needs or concerns require counseling, consultation, referral or information. The component is available to all students and is most often student initiated. While counselors have special training and skills to respond to these needs and concerns, the cooperation and support of the entire staff are necessary for successful implementation of this component. Responsive Services are delivered through these strategies:
Counselors consult with parents, teachers, administrators, other educators and community agencies regarding strategies to help individual students.
Counseling is provided on an individual or small-group basis for students expressing difficulties dealing with relationships, personal concerns or normal developmental tasks. Personal counseling assists students in identifying problems, causes, alternatives and possible consequences so that appropriate action may be taken. Small groups may include topics such as divorce, loss and grief, anger management, etc
Counseling and support are provided to students with their families facing emergency situations. Such counseling is normally short-term and temporary in nature. When necessary, appropriate referral sources are used.
Counselors use referral resources to deal with crises such as suicide, violence, abuse, neglect, and terminal illness. These referral resources may include the following:
- School student support services/crisis response team
- Community mental health agencies or private therapists
- Family independence
- Agency Juvenile services
- American Lung Association
- American Cancer Society
Systems Support consists of management activities that establish, maintain and enhance the total guidance and counseling program. This component is implemented and carried out through activities in the following areas:
Counselors need to be involved regularly in updating their professional knowledge and skills. This may involve participating in regular school in-service training, attending professional meetings, conferences, and workshops, or completing graduate course work.
Staff and Community Relations:
This activity involves orienting staff and the community to the comprehensive guidance and counseling program through such means as newsletters, local media, e-mail, and school-community presentations.
Serving on departmental curriculum committees, community committees, or advisory boards are examples of ways to support other programs in the school and community and to gain support for the guidance and counseling program.
Included are activities designed to help counselors become knowledgeable about community resources and referral agencies, field trip sites, employment opportunities, and local market information. This may involve counselors' visiting local businesses, industries, and social services agencies on a periodic basis.
Program Management And Operations:
Included are the planning and management tasks needed to support activities conducted in a comprehensive guidance and counseling program. This category also includes responsibilities that need to be fulfilled as a member of the school staff.
Research and Development:
Guidance and counseling program evaluation, needs assessment, data analysis, follow-up studies, and the continued development and updating of guidance learning activities and resources are some examples of the research and development work of counselors.