The Office of School Counseling

The Office of School Counseling title

School Counseling

Mr. DuBose - School Counselor 
 
Greetings Stakeholders:
 
I am Mr. DuBose and I would like to welcome you to the school counselor's page!
 
First and foremost, I proudly serve as the school counselor for Battle Hill Elementary School. My school counseling philosophy is grounded by Epstein's (1987) Overlapping Spheres of Influence which posits the collaboration of the school, family, and community increases child performance, development, and safety. Therefore, building and sustaining cooperative relationships among these institutions promote success in teaching and learning. 
 
School counselors have a breadth of responsibilities. Some responsibilities occur on an individual level whereas others affect the greater population on a institutional level. The school counseling page is partitioned into tabs to extend the description of such responsibilities. While this is not an exhaustive list of professional obligations, school counselors ensure 3 key components guide student development: academics, college and career preparation and readiness, and personal development.
 
Programs are aligned to these key components. Yet, programs work most effectively with the engagement of the school, family, and the community. TapintoUnion.org have featured a few school counseling programs implemented in the 2020-2021 school year: I Have a Dream and Meet Mayor Delisfort.
 
Feel free to contact me about your child performance, school culture, or programming. I look forward to our partnership wherein we work together to provide our students the best education possible.
 
Michael DuBose, School Counselor
 
 
 

HIB

Definition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB)
HIB is a common educational conflict that affect students and their families annually. According to the New Jersey Department of Education (2011) HIB is defined as:
 
"any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that: (1) is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic; (2) takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus; or off school grounds, as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.3; (3) substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students; and ( 4) that a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student" (p. 9).
 
For more information about HIB from the New Jersey Department of Education, visit https://www.nj.gov/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/
 
Types of Bullying 
HIB occurs in multiple forms. Though the continuum of bullying is expansive, the most common forms of HIB include the following: cyber, emotional, physical, psychological, and social (see, Table 1). Due to the forcefulness and crudeness of bullying, each form of bullying is equally harmful to the education and development of a student. The school and home have a responsibility to teach  children about the types of bullying.  
 
Table 1
Types of Bullying 
 
Type 
Definition 
Example
Cyber
Is a practice of using electronic devices (i.e., computer, laptops, cellphones, online applications, etc.,) to harass or taunt an individual with inappropriate communications, gestures or images
Lee threatened a classmate by sending several email messages suggesting he wanted to hurt them. Consequently, the student does not want to attend school because they are afraid of Lee.  
Emotional 
Is a practice of using words or actions to influence the feelings of an individual
Kia revealed Meg's test grade to the entire class. As a result, Meg felt humiliated.  
Physical
Is a practice of hitting, kicking, fighting, etc., an individual
Bambi pushes and punches Lou when she does not get her way.
Psychological 
Is a practice of manipulating the thoughts or actions of an individual 
Ras told Aly that if she did not give him the test answers that he would fail and it would be her fault. 
Social 
Is a practice of isolating an individual based on distinguishable characteristics such as race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, customs and etc.
Minus and her friends isolate Vee from the lunch table because she is the new student.
 
Bullying Prevention
Bullying prevention are systematic routines educators employ to minimize or to mitigate the act of bullying on or off school grounds. School personnel, along with the family and the community, should collaborate to develop comprehensive procedures on how to report, manage, and spread awareness about HIB. New Jersey mandates each school to establish practices such as programming, training, and reporting to boost awareness and response. 
 
Learn to be an Upstander
An upstander is an individual who stops bullying when it happens unlike a bystander, who may watch or participate in the act of bullying. When HIB takes place, it is essential that students understand their role and responsibility. A student who observes bullying, should defuse the situation by stating "Bullying is not allowed at our school!" Then, immediately notify a trusted adult like a teacher or a parent. A synonymous catchphrase for such instances is "when you see something, say something!" Once informed, the adult, especially in the case of a teacher, must report the incident verbally and through writing to the Anti-Bullying Specialist (ABS) and/or the school principal right away. From this point, a formal investigation can begin. 
 
At-Home Interventions
At-Home interventions are strategies that the family can teach or model to their child. Some strategies include the demonstration of prosocial communication, the use of diplomatic language, positive verbal and non-verbal skills, and/or conflict resolution attributes. Other strategies include regular talks with your child about their day or social-emotional discussions to understand your child's concerns and feelings. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed an application for mobile devices to assist families to starting conversations about HIB called KnowBullying. The application is free of charge and is a practical tool to connect families with the child. For more information see https://store.samhsa.gov/product/knowbullying.
 
For more information on HIB click here.
 
 

Student Honors

Student Honors Programs 
Battle Hill Elementary School understands the importance of recognizing student achievement and development. Several programs are facilitated throughout the school year to honor students: Students of the Month, Students of the Year, National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS), and Honor's Day (each are detailed below). Student Honors is a multi-honor system that recognizes student excellence in the categories of academics, leadership, and responsibility.
 
 
Honors Function Frequency
Students of the Month  Each month teachers nominate 2 students from their classes who have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and/or positive expression of the 9 Character Traits. Once June arrives, each child in the school should be recognized.  Monthly
Students of the Year Each Grade 4 teacher recognize 2 students from their respective class who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and positive expression of the 9 Character Traits for the entire year.  Annually
National Elementary Honor Society  Grade 4 students are recognized based on showcasing achievement in the 4 domains: scholarship, leadership, responsibility, and service. Nominating students involves a rigorous procedure that includes teacher input, student performance (Grade 3 and 4 report cards), and an application process to minimize bias. Stakeholders are invited to the ceremony to celebrate our students as they are inducted into the Battle Hill Chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society. Battle Hill Elementary School holds the title of being the only elementary school in the district to implement NEHS! Annually
Honor's Day
Students (Pre-K to Grade 4) are acknowledged for academic excellence for each of the 4 marking periods. Selections for Honor's Day derive from student performance as documented on the report cards. There are three academic honors wherein students are recognized, Principal's Honor Roll, Honor Roll, and Achievement Roll. For more information about each distinction, see below.
 
Distinction 
Principal's Honor Roll-Straight A's
 
Honor Roll- A's and B's 
 
Achievement Roll- A's, B's and 1 C.
Quarterly 
 
 

Referral Services

Referral Services
Referral Services offers support to students based on the submission of a student referral form to initiate services. At Battle Hill Elementary School, referral services consist of Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS), Section 504, and Counseling. Each approach offers distinguished modes of support to respond to the needs of the child.These approaches provide strategies known as interventions to help the student to navigate towards achievement. According to the New Jersey Department of Education (2002) suggested that an intervention is "a proactive process that interrupts, alters or prevents the progression of a condition" (p. 131). The priority of referral services is to work with stakeholders to develop and implement interventions that enhance student education and development. 
 
I&RS
I&RS is an educational service that involves the engagement of stakeholders to develop academic and/or behavior interventions to support a child. There are several intervention types that are aligned to I&RS: academic, behavior, attendance, and medical. An I&RS Team is comprised of educational professionals who research and discuss research-based interventions specifically to improve student performance. 
 
I&RS initiates with a referral from a teach to report the student's needs. This process is known as the Request for Assistance, a form that identifies the area of concerns, the reason for assistance, and current classroom strategies. After the Request for Assistance has been submitted, the remainder of the 6 Phases of I&RS can begin (see Table 2). 
 
Table 2
6 Phases of I&RS
Phase 1
Request for Assistance
Phase 2 Information Collection
Phase 3 Home Notification
Phase 4 Problem Solve
Phase 5 Development of I&RS Action Plan
Phase 6 Support, Evaluate, and Continuation of the Action Plan
 
I&RS works best with ongoing school-family collaboration and communication to support the child. Such interactions take place by meetings, communications, and school involvement. Referrals for I&RS are typically made by the school professionals. 
 
For more information on I&RS click here.
 
Section 504
Section 504 was structured to ensure students with disabilities or with medical needs received equitable education. Interventions types cater to academics, behavior, attendance, and medical. To formulate interventions, a 504 Team which essentially configurates of a school principal, school nurse, teacher, school pyschologist, and the school counselor, who facilitates the meetings, collaborate to analyze the student's individualized needs and develop a plan based on these needs. 
 
Similiar to other referral services, the effectiveness of Section 504 stems from ongoing school-family collaboration, and if necessary, the involvement of the community, to extend resources and to enact shared-decision making. Cooperative relationships amongst stakeholders are paramount considering that interventions are interconnected responsibilities between the school and home. Thus, the act of shared-responsibility requires consistent communication and interaction between these institutions to propel the child to achievement.
 
Student referrals for Section 504 can be made by the school, home, or a professional member of the community, for example, a physician or a psychologist) in writing. For more information on 504, see the School Nurse's page.
 
Counseling
Counseling is another method used to support students. While three types of counseling sessions are implemented: individual counseling, small-group counseling, and classroom lessons (see Table 1), a referral form is available for individual counseling. 
 
Table 3 
Counseling Types 
 
Individual Counseling  Small-Group Counseling  Classroom Lessons
One-on-one sessions that employ solution based counseling to address student conflicts such as learning, friendships, self-control, productivity, student leadership, and HIB to name a few. Referral forms are available to schedule individual counseling session.  Involve 2 or more but no more than 10 individuals in a session to discuss a variety of topics. Small-Group Counseling occurs throughout the year to discuss synonymous concerns or trends/issues that impact school aged students.   Whole group sessions are class (Pre-K to Grade 4) lessons wherein a variety of topics such as school culture, social-emotional, HIB, and character education subjects are emphasized. Classroom lessons are scheduled throughout the academic year . 
 
References
 
New Jersey Department of Education. (2002). Resource Manual for Intervention and Referral Services. Retrieved from https://www.nj.gov/education/students/irs/manual.pdf

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title

9 Character Traits
September.........Digital Citizenship  
October....................Self-Advocacy 
November................Responsibility  
December.................Integrity 
January.....................Tolerance
February...................Kindness 
March........................Perseverance 
April...........................Courage
May............................Self-Control  
June............................Honesty  

9 Character Traits
September.........Digital Citizenship  
October....................Self-Advocacy 
November................Responsibility  
December.................Integrity 
January.....................Tolerance
February...................Kindness 
March........................Perseverance 
April...........................Courage
May............................Self-Control  
June............................Honesty  
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