en English

School counselors work to improve the learning environment by involving students, staff, parents, community and others who influence the learning and development of students. School counselors are an integral part of the whole school community and assist with any roadblock to future success and seek to maximize student achievement. A comprehensive school counseling program that incorporates the Virginia Standards of Learning includes individual counseling, group counseling, classroom guidance, and career development. These standards assume that students will acquire an understanding of the knowledge and skills that contribute to lifelong learning, career development, personal and social development as well as the skills necessary to succeed academically and to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. We have two school counselors here at J.B. Watkins Elementary who work to provide these services for the entire student population.

Sarah Spencer

Lora Williams

Blair Burnett

Individual Counseling:
Elementary school counselors are available to meet individually with a student in circumstances when a student’s educational success is being impacted. The school counselors spend time working with individual students to improve their social skills, discuss feelings, and to empower problem solving methods. Elementary school counselors assist ALL children. While a school counselor cannot provide on-going counseling, it may be appropriate for a student to receive short-term individual counseling. When more attention and intervention is required, school counselors can act as a referral agent for parents to access counseling services within the community.Referrals for students to meet with a school counselor can be made by classroom teachers, principal, parents, or through student self-referrals. Self-referral forms are available for all students in grades 2-5, and can be obtained from the student’s teacher. Parents are welcome to call or e-mail the counselors at any time to request that a counselor meet with their child. While students may see us at any time for brief discussions, parental permission must be granted in order for a counselor to work with a student for a series of multiple, planned sessions.

Group Counseling:
Small group counseling provides a safe setting where children, along with their peers, can increase their self-awareness and improve their cooperation and communication skills. The children can learn from each other. Ultimately the goal of small group counseling is to prevent problems in the future by teaching children new skills.

Small group counseling usually meets once a week during recess or lunch for four to six weeks in order to be least disruptive to the learning environment. Group topics are chosen based upon student needs, and can change throughout the school year. Participation, which is voluntary and confidential, requires permission from a parent or guardian. Referrals for groups are made by parents and teachers. Priority is given to students who show an academic need.

Common Small Group Topics: 

  • Organization
  • Friendship
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Control
  • Anger Management
  • Changing Families/Divorce
  • Exceptional Education
  • Grief/Loss
  • New Students

Classroom Guidance Lessons:

Classroom guidance lessons are designed to foster the personal, social, academic, and career development of all students.  We will be working closely with teachers to ensure that classroom guidance lessons are meeting the needs of all students.The following is just a sample of lessons that may be conducted in classrooms.  Actual lessons will be taught based on the needs of the students, the curriculum, and recommendations of teachers.

  • Internet Safety
  • Team Building
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Study Skills
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Peer Pressure
  • Career Exploration
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Friendship
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Communication Skills
  • Character Education
  • Appreciating Individual Differences