Pupil services staff assist and support the child through the educational process. The expertise of pupil service personnel is primarily in educationally related areas. Many roadblocks to learning are environmental and beyond the walls of the school. When those problems interfere with a child’s education, the family may be referred to community resources for support. Pupil services staff assist in those referrals and support the child and family during the process.
Children “At Risk”: When a child exhibits serious behaviors which may be a threat to his or her safety or the safety of others, parents will be contacted to come to school immediately to meet with school personnel to plan how best to help the child. Parental involvement is essential!
Group & Individual Counseling: In addition to the developmental aspect of pupil services, there are a range of other services available. Group discussion opportunities are provided at all levels. Topics include information on changing family structures, general growth and development, and special focus groups. Individual counseling is provided to students who need more extensive support than can be provided in a group or classroom setting. School counselors will not become involved in extended therapy sessions. They will work, however, to assist the students and the parents to secure the needed assistance in the community.
Developmental Guidance Services: A developmental guidance program is also a preventative program. A specially designed curriculum provides topics for group/classroom discussion.
The developmental guidance program for kindergarten through Grade 8 focuses on Conflict Resolution and Career Development. Included in these broad areas are decision making, self-awareness, peer relationships, getting along, friendship, and character development.
Agency and Community Referrals: Many obstacles to a child’s learning are not school oriented and they require specialized treatment. Counselors work with parents in seeking appropriate services in the community. They are also available to coordinate the services of the agency/private practitioner with that of the school.
RtII (Response to Instruction & Intervention): Services are available in each elementary building, the Middle School and in the High School for students who are not realizing success in school. A specially trained team made up of an RtII teacher/coordinator, subject teachers, administration, school counselors and other professional staff, is available to work with parents, teachers, and students in establishing a plan for student success.
Home School Visitor: A home school visitor is available to students and their parents at times when individual or family problems rise. The home school visitor maintains close contacts with other pupil service workers and coordinates those services to the family. In addition, the home school visitor is familiar with all local community agencies and can assist a family or student in obtaining needed services.
Child Abuse Reporting: The Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law requires school personnel and school volunteers to report suspected child abuse to ChildLine at (800) 932-0313 or electronically to the PA Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS). The school's role is limited to reporting the incident-not investigating it. The law does, however, require the schools to cooperate with the agency investigation.
Parental Involvement: The district places a strong emphasis on parental involvement. No one single factor is more effective in working with a child than cooperation and involvement of his/her parents. Parents and the school form a partnership in providing a network of support for the child during both normal life experiences and in times of difficulty. If that partnership fails to develop, the school’s options in serving the child are greatly limited.