School Counseling

Meet our school counselors, school psychologist, and social worker and learn about our school counseling program

The Cardinal Forest Elementary School Counseling Team works together to ensure your child experiences success at school. In alignment with the national model for school counseling programs, we focus on academic, personal/social and career development. Our services come in the form of monthly classroom lessons, various programs and activities, and individual and/or small group counseling. Counselors are highly collaborative, working with administrators and classroom teachers to promote the growth and success of all students, and supporting families with issues that may affect children at home and school. 

All counseling is voluntary and confidential. We work hard to build a comprehensive counseling program that suits the needs of our unique school family! 

Elementary school counselors support classroom teachers and the overall educational team by helping students remove barriers to learning. The three primary methods for delivering guidance services include individual counseling, small, topic-based discussion groups, and classroom guidance lessons. 

Counseling services aim to facilitate growth in the following areas: academic, career, and personal-social development. Cardinal Forest counselors support the school mission by encouraging academic excellence and helping to develop lifelong learners who are respectful, responsible, and productive citizens. 

Some reasons parents contact a school counselor include

  • Academic achievement
  • Decision-making / Behavior 
  • Interpersonal communication and social skills
  • Family Transitions: moving, military deployment, changing family due to marriage, separation or divorce
  • Family illness or loss
  • Student crisis situations

How to see a counselor

  • Students may tell their classroom teacher that they want to see their counselor.
  • Students may leave messages for their counselors in the front office or in the envelope outside the counselors' room. 
  • Parents can call the counselors to discuss, or request the counselor meet with their child. 
  • Teachers and administrators may ask the counselors to meet with students.

Possible Monthly Classroom School Counseling Lessons

  • Recognizing and Responding to Bullying
  • Goal-Setting
  • Friendship 
  • Peer Pressure / Assertiveness
  • Problem-Solving
  • Stress Management
  • Anger Management
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Career Exploration
  • Study Skills
  • Time Management

Career Awareness

Internet Safety Resources

Possible Small Group Counseling Lessons

  • Friendship:  Making and Keeping Friends
  • New Students
  • Anger Management
  • Changing Families (e.g. divorce, members moving in/out, etc.)
  • Deployment
  • Coping with Grief/Loss
  • Social Skills
  • Coping with Chronic Illness (of self or family member)
  • Lunch Bunch 
  • Leadership
  • Self-Esteem, Strengths-Based
  • Etc.

*School counselors also work with students individually on any topics covered in the group and classroom settings.

Our School Counselors

School Psychology Services

School psychologists are mental health specialists with knowledge of child development, the psychology of learning, behavior management and intervention, monitoring the progress of students, and program evaluation. School psychologists apply this knowledge using a problem-solving approach to help bring about positive changes in the learning environment, attitude, and motivation. Services offered by the school psychologist may be provided directly to the student or indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and other caregivers; however, all services provided by the school psychologist are intended to enhance the academic and social-emotional success of students. Minimum requirements to be a school psychologist include a 60-hour master's degree program and a one-year full-time internship; many FCPS school psychologists hold doctoral degrees.

Our School Psychologist

Social Work and Support Services

School social workers focus on family and community factors that influence learning. They provide intensive services for students facing issues that pose risks to their academic success such as parent divorce and separation, poverty, truancy, chronic illness, mental health problems, conduct problems, child abuse, etc.

All FCPS social workers hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree; many have earned a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree. All school social workers are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. The majority of the staff is clinically licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Social Work (LCSW) or in other jurisdictions and trained to provide mental health services in any setting.

Our School Social Worker