My name is Cheryl Fowler and I am the School Counselor for Bayard Elementary.
Elementary school counselors provide classroom lessons on a variety of skills, from decision-making to communication and friendship skills. They also work with small groups of students and individuals on particular topics, as needed. Elementary school counselors can provide a wealth of information to teachers and parents on behavior management and child development issues, and can provide referrals to community-based resources.
The rapid spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, has forced districts to review and in some cases implement emergency shutdown plans. My website outlines comprehensive school counseling services that will be provided and addresses equity and access to ensure that all students have access.
I understand the expectations and limitations of providing virtual school counseling and have the responsibility to provide a school counseling program and develop programs to support all students in academic, career and social/emotional development that would emulate school counseling that would take place in a face-to-face environment.
It is important to note that we cannot completely "ensure" confidentiality in an online setting given our limitations. We cannot know the student is alone, for example. However, these practices can help work toward this ideal:
Use headphones with a microphone, and suggest students do as well.
Use a white noise machine to help prevent others from overhearing private conversations
Identify a separate or private room. (You may think you are starting with an academic topic, but the discussion may venture into other areas.)
Students need to be mindful with what they share online via email, social media, or video conferencing.