AES Counseling

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    How can parents get involved in the counseling program?  The CAT (Counseling Advisory Team) includes parents of students and is currently looking for a volunteer!  If you would like to be involved in curriculum, school-wide programs and decisions made about the counseling program, call Mrs. Jernigan 817-408-4212.

    What if a student needs to see the counselor? Parents, students and teachers/staff may refer a student for a visit with Mrs. Jernigan as needed. Referrals can be made in person, phone, email or by filling out a form on the counseling website. I will see students at the first available opportunity. Parent/guardian permission will have to be obtained before a student can see me on a regular basis including lunch bunch and groups.  If a student is in need of on-going therapy, they are referred to outside resources.

    What is the counselor responsible for? The personal, academic, social and career awareness and growth of students is my first and foremost responsibility. There are many factors that may inhibit a student's growth in these areas and my job is to help overcome these barriers. Our school provides weekly Backpack Snacks for kids in need (referred by teachers, parents or other staff) and other opportunities for students such as summer camp scholarships, help with Christmas or Thanksgiving meals, and connecting parents with services such as Mission Granbury and the Child Advocacy Center. I coordinate gifted/talented screening as well as TELPAS testing in the spring.

    What are groups and lunch bunch? Groups last approximately 6 weeks and vary by age and topic. This year we will have a social skills group in the fall and an Anger Busters group in the spring. Lunch Bunch is for all ages and students can be referred for different reasons. Students will be asked if they want to attend Lunch Bunch on their day which is held in Mrs. Jernigan's office or outside on the front porch.

    Career Day: Got some connections? Career Day is a large event that will take place in November. We will need about 35 people willing to teach students about their career in 15 minute rotations. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

    Red Ribbon Week: We will kick it all off with a performance from Nancy Worcester, Ventriloquist. We will have theme days that week and talk to the students about healthy life choices. It's always more fun when everyone participates--I will send you a sheet with the theme days listed for parents when the time gets closer.

    What do students do when they come see the counselor? Well, it depends. A school counselor is not a therapist. Students are seen for short increments and sessions are solution-focused, which means we are talking through problems and possible ways the student can cope or deal with his/her feelings. Some things I have done with past students include: making journals or memory books to help with grief/loss, bibliotherapy (reading and discussing books which might include a character dealing with a similar situation), acting out with puppets and role-play, art (including kinetic sand, markers, paints), sensory bottles and "calming down" activities and listening to music. If a student needs to be seen by a Licensed Professional Counselor, I refer parents to outside resources.

    Anything else? Your class may need help with another topic or subject not included in guidance lessons. I am happy to schedule classroom circles, lessons and visits as needed. Just email me and we will schedule something! I love to work with teachers, so please stop by and visit me!

    Thanks! Jill Jernigan

    jill.jernigan@granburyisd.org