Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Aubrie Tarantino and Laura Karnes
Special to the Courier 

Flagstaff Academy recognizes National School Counseling Week

Series: Flagstaff Academy | Story 1

February 5, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Aubrie Tarantino, Elementary School Counselor (left) and Laura Karnes, Middle School Counselor

Flagstaff Academy's mission is to develop students who are equipped to be well-rounded, ethical leaders in the world community with a foundation based in mathematics and science. How does this look in the world of school counseling?

Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), National School Counseling Week (Feb. 3-7) highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve academic and post-secondary success.

The Flagstaff Academy counseling program is committed to supporting all students' achievement in the development of twenty-first-century skills which include critical thinking and reasoning, informational literacy, collaboration, self-direction, and invention. Goals include improving academic, attendance and behavioral outcomes related to scholastic development, college and career readiness, and social/emotional development. Other goals include developing protective factors which are attributes that students develop that help them to more effectively deal with stressful situations. Lastly, the counseling program helps develop and foster self-efficacy in students. Self-efficacy is a child's belief in his or her capacity for executing control over one's motivation, behavior and social environment.

"My philosophy as an Elementary School counselor is to empower students to use their strengths, build relationships, and understand their why," said Elementary Counselor Aubrie Tarantino, M.A., LSC. "I love working with the littles as you get to see their growth and I love learning new things alongside them."

Flagstaff Academy provides a comprehensive school counseling program that is driven by the standards provided by the ASCA. The school counselor's role is to make data-informed decisions to help support the whole child. Counselors meet student needs through both direct and indirect student services. Indirect student services include consultation, collaboration, and referrals to various mental health professionals in the 21st-century community. Direct services include psychoeducational interventions in the classroom, advisement through data analysis, and responsive services, including individual and group counseling on a short-term basis, as well as family outreach, and connecting families to resources in the community. Other responsive services include crisis response which involves providing support to students and families as they face crisis.

"As students navigate their journey from children to adults, it is our job to keep their needs at the center of our work, ensuring the development of the whole child and a full synthesis of academic and social development within an ever-changing global community," said Flagstaff Academy Middle School Counselor Laura Karnes, M.A., LSC.

School counseling is a dynamic and ever-evolving process of service delivery supporting the development of the whole child. Flagstaff Academy invites all SVVSD families to take a moment to recognize and celebrate school counselors, who play such a critical role in "helping to build better humans."


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