Dawn Gesualdi, M.S.
Byam School Counselor
gesualdid@chelmsford.k12.ma.us
(978) 251-5144
 
 

Welcome to Elementary School Counseling!

  • llll We are excited to share resources, information, and updates with you.  As school counselors, it is our goal to improve the school climate and enhance the education of all students. Research shows that a positive social and emotional development program in schools enhance overall academic achievement and resiliency.
     
    Through groups, individual sessions, and classroom guidance, we strive to encourage children to reach their full potential academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.  Please visit our site often for information pertaining to our comprehensive school counseling program.
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Elementary School Counseling Program

What is an elementary school counselor?
  • A certified, specially trained professional educator who has a minimum of a Masters Degree in School Counseling or the equivalent
  • A special friend when a child needs someone to listen
  • An advocate for students 
  • A caring person who provides help and guidance to teachers, parents, students, and administrators
  • Someone who counsels with students both individually and in groups
  • A teacher of social-emotional learning curriculum
 
What does an elementary school counselor do?
  • Offers student body a wide range of school counseling services that are developmentally appropriate for each grade level, and are generally preventative in nature 
  • Conducts a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate guidance and counseling program (based on the American School Counseling Associations National Model)
  • Collaborates with staff to support students
  • Utilizes referral services and helps families and students to access community resources
  • Conducts parent and teacher conferences
  • Provides guidance lessons to each class, works with identified groups of children with specific needs 
  • Provides brief individual counseling to:
    • help students develop effective communication skills
    • help students develop positive interpersonal relationship skills
    • help students set positive goals, exercise responsibility and improve academic success
    • help provide support during a crisis

A child may see the counselor for:
  • Any social-emotional problems that they may be experiencing that are impacting the student’s academic performance and functioning at school
  • Ongoing social difficulties/conflicts
  • Divorce or changing family issues
  • A loss of a family member or close friend
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Improvement and aid in the development of positive self-esteem
  • Family concerns or fears
  • Developing and increasing social, self-regulation and organizational skills as it relates to functioning at school
  • Review and discussion of academic needs and concerns
  • Individual counseling at school is short-term in nature and should a student need long term,  on-going therapy, a referral can be made to an outside mental health provider. Individual counseling referrals for students can be made through the request of a student, parent or teacher.

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