Trust is important in any counseling situation and communication between the school counselor, student, and/or parent is confidential, except in those instances covered by law. Limits of confidentiality include, but are not limited to, threat of harm to self, threat of harm to another person, or suspected child abuse/neglect. Parents and guardians of minor children have certain privileges and can be entitled to information about their minor children in a counseling relationship. Such information will be disclosed if it will be in the best interest of the child. Any disclosure to a parent will first be discussed with the student. Should the student seek support three times for the same issue, parents will be notified. In a school setting, it sometimes becomes necessary to inform the student’s classroom teacher/advisor or an administrator of information about a student. This will also be discussed with the student and will only be shared on a need-to-know and helpful basis.
Confidentiality is harder to maintain in group settings; however, students participating in groups will be informed about confidentiality in a developmentally-appropriate manner. Group members are allowed to share anything about themselves or that of the adults, but it is a breach of confidentiality to disclose information about another group member. Parent permission is mandatory for any student to attend an ongoing counseling group.
Communication between the school counselor and student and the school counselor and parent is confidential, except in those instances covered by law. Limits of confidentiality include, but are not limited to, threat of harm to self, threat of harm to another person, or suspected child abuse/neglect. Parents and guardians of minor children have certain privileges and can be entitled to information about their minor children in a counseling relationship. Such information will only be disclosed if it will be in the best interest of the child or in the interest of maintaining the counseling relationship. Any disclosure to a parent will first be discussed with the student. In a school setting, it sometimes becomes necessary to inform the student’s classroom teacher or an administrator of information about a student. This will also be discussed with the student and will only be shared on a need-to-know and helpful basis.
Confidentiality is harder to maintain in a group setting. Students participating in groups will be informed about confidentiality in a developmentally-appropriate manner. It will be shared with the group members that they may share anything about themselves discussed in the group, but it is a breach of confidentiality to disclose information about another group member. Parent permission is mandatory for any student to attend a counseling group.
Parents are informed of individual counseling of their child on a case-by-case basis, depending on the seriousness of the issue the child disclosed, or if informing the parent is determined to be necessary in order to be helpful. Parents will be contacted if the child meets with the counselor more than three times to discuss the same concern.
It is not uncommon for a counselor to maintain dual relationships with children outside of the counseling relationship. It is possible that counselor/parent interactions may occur at GSES functions. In order to protect the confidentiality of children who have received counseling, under no circumstances will the counselor discuss a counseling-related issue or child during a GSES event. A parent may schedule a parent/counselor conference at any time.
Counseling records are the property of Good Shepherd Episcopal School; they are separate from the academic records and will be stored in a locked file cabinet in the counseling office. Only the counselors and the Head of School, when warranted, will have access to the counseling records. In accordance with counseling standards of practice, records will be kept on file for seven years.
CODE OF ETHICS
As the school counselors, Mrs. Didlake and Mrs. Gereg will abide by the American School Counseling Association Code of Ethics. A Code of Ethics informs one of acceptable counselor practices and expected behavior. A copy of the Code of Ethics is available on the counseling webpage or upon request.
Good Shepherd Episcopal School believes that all individuals have a right to a safe and healthy school environment. GSES has an obligation to promote mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance.
GSES will not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety of anyone. No individual shall intimidate, harass, or bully anyone through words or actions.
GSES defines these behaviors as:
Bullying*: The repeated actions or threats of action directed toward a person by one or more people who have or are perceived to have more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress, or harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or any combination of these three.
Cyberbullying*: The intentional and repeated mistreatment of others through the use of technology, such as computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
Such behavior is considered bullying whether it takes place on or off school property.
To ensure bullying does not occur on school campuses, Good Shepherd Episcopal School will provide staff development training in bullying prevention and cultivate acceptance and understanding in all students and staff to build each school's capacity to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.
This policy will be discussed with students in age-appropriate ways.
Bullying behaviors deemed to be inappropriate include, but are not limited to:
Humiliation; including name-calling, reference to academic ability, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; or a mental, physical, or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic
Intimidation; including aggressive use of body language
Verbal abuse - anonymous or otherwise
Physical abuse or threatened abuse
Aggressive or obscene language
Offensive joke - whether spoken or by email or text message
Exclusion and isolation
Intrusion through interfering with personal possessions or locker
Threats, including demands for money
An attack by rumor, gossip, innuendo, or ridicule on any individual’s reputation. Inappropriate texting, sexting, or sharing of personal photography of yourself or others in various stages of undress
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING INCIDENTS
Good Shepherd Episcopal School expects students and/or staff to immediately report incidents of bullying to the appropriate Division Heads or Counselors. Staff who witness such acts will immediately intervene. Each complaint of bullying will be promptly investigated. This policy applies to students on school grounds, while traveling to and from school for a school-sponsored activity, and during any school-sponsored activity.
The procedures for intervening in bullying behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:
All staff, students, and their parents will receive a summary of this policy prohibiting intimidation and bullying: at the beginning of the school year, as part of the student handbook and/or information packet, as part of new student orientation, and as part of the school system's notification to parents.
The school will make reasonable efforts to keep a report of bullying and the results of investigation confidential.
Staff who witness acts of bullying will take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so. People witnessing or experiencing bullying are strongly encouraged to report the incident; such reporting will not reflect on the target or witnesses in any way.
Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment or bullying will be fitting to the individual incident.
The Head of School, Division Heads, or another designated administrator is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. A prompt and complete investigation of each alleged incident will be completed within three school days after a report or complaint is made. Good Shepherd Episcopal School prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment or bullying. Good Shepherd prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment or bullying.
Tips & Strategies for parents re: persistence, separation, sibling rivalry, mean or aggressive behavior, etc
Teaches kids to identify feelings, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, problem solving, etc.
Simple meditation app for ages 7-adult with many great resources about mindfulness (breathing, listening, etc)
Easy to use tool for teaching mindfulness and compassion
Information about managing anxiety and facing challenging situations for teens and young adults - app helps you think change how you think about anxiety
Stress management app – teaches how to overcome stressors around test-taking and negative thought patterns encouraging practicing mindfulness throughout the day
Discover the connection between being grateful and feeling relaxed. App encourages you to think of 5 things a day that you can be grateful for.
Drawing in the “sand” while listening to soothing music promotes calm.