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Our School Counseling Program is comprised of four program components that contribute to student preparedness, engagement, and growth.
Individual Student Planning
Individual Student Planning
The Omaha Public Schools' Developmental Pre-K through 12 School Counseling Curriculum consists of structured developmental experiences presented systematically through classroom and group activities. The purpose of the school counseling curriculum is to provide students at all levels with knowledge of normal growth and development, to promote their positive mental health and to assist them in acquiring and using life skills. The curriculum is organized into three major areas: Personal/Social, Academic/Educational, and Career/Occupational. While it is the counselor's responsibility to organize and implement the school counseling curriculum, the cooperation and support of the entire faculty and staff are necessary for its successful implementation.
The school counseling curriculum is delivered through such strategies as:
Classroom Activities: Counselors teach, team teach and/or assist in teaching school counseling curriculum learning-activities or units in classrooms or the guidance center.
Group Activities: Counselors conduct groups outside the classroom to respond to students' identified interests or needs.
Individual Student Planning consists 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 and plans. The activities in this component are counselor planned and directed. The activities are generally delivered on an individual basis.
Individual Planning is implemented through the Personal Learning Plan in grades 4-12 and includes such strategies as:
Individual Appraisal: Counselors, working with students, analyze and evaluate students' abilities, interests, skills and achievements. Test results/data are the basis for developing immediate and long-range plans for students.
Individual Advisement: Counselors, working with students, use personal-social, educational, career and labor market information in planning personal, educational and occupational goals.
Placement: Counselors assist students in making transitions from grade to grade, school to work or post-secondary education/training.
Responsive Services consists of activities designed to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students. This component is available to all students and is often student-initiated. While counselors have special training and skills to respond to students' specific needs and concerns, the cooperation and support of the entire faculty and staff is necessary for successful implementation of this component.
The Responsive Services component of the School Counseling Program is implemented through the strategies listed below.
Consultation: Counselors consult with parents, teachers, educators and community agencies regarding the creation and implementation of strategies to assist students. Home visits are an essential part of the counseling program in the elementary schools.
Personal Counseling: Counseling is provided in a small-group or on an individual basis for students expressing difficulties dealing with relationships, personal concerns, or normal developmental tasks. Solution-focused counseling assists students in identifying problems, causes, alternatives and possible consequences so that appropriate action and positive solutions to concerns can be accomplished.
Crisis Counseling: Counseling and support are provided to students and their families facing emergency situations. Such counseling is normally short-term and temporary in nature. When necessary, appropriate referral sources are used.
Referral: School Counselors use referral sources to deal with crisis situations such as suicide, violence, abuse and terminal illness. Referral sources include: Community Counselors, Mental Health Agencies, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, Student Personnel Assistants, Social Services and others listed on the Resource Card.
Resource Cards: All students annually receive an updated Resource Card with contact information for personal crisis situations.
System Support consists of management activities that establish, maintain, and enhance the school counseling program as well as meet school-wide responsibilities.
The System Support component is implemented and carried out through activities in the following areas:
Professional Development: Counselors are involved in regularly updating their professional knowledge and skills.
Staff and Community Relations: Counselors communicate to staff and the community through newsletters, local media, school and community presentations.
Consultation with Teachers: Counselors consult with teachers and other staff members regularly to provide information and support to staff and to receive feedback on emerging needs of students.
Advisory Councils: Counselors serve on school counseling program committees--Student Preparedness, Student Engagement, or Student Growth. Counselors may serve on community advisory boards or committees in order to provide input and generate community support. There is also a community advisory board for the School Counseling Program.
Community Outreach: Counselors are knowledgeable about community resources, employment opportunities and local labor market information. In order to obtain this information, counselors visit local businesses, industries, and social service agencies on a periodic basis.
Program Management and Operations: Counselors plan and manage tasks needed to support activities conducted in the school counseling program. This also includes school staff responsibilities.
Research and Development: Counseling program evaluations, data analysis, follow-up studies and the continued development and update of counseling learning activities are some examples of the research and development work of counselors.