Severn School Counselors believe that
- every child can succeed under the right circumstances;
- every child has the potential to learn;
- every child has the right to be recognized for his or her personal strengths;
- academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being are interrelated.
Furthermore, we believe that an effective counseling program
- benefits all students, not just those with acute needs; and
- anticipates concerns and provides interventions ahead of time and responds to concerns as they happen.
The mission of the Severn School counseling program reflects the mission of the school. We seek to provide a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate program founded on emotional wellness and healthy choices. This helps to ensure that every child meets his or her full potential as a student, a leader, and a community member. By partnering with students, families, and the school community, Counselors aim to help every student feel known and valued.
Severn’s Counselors take concrete steps to meet the school’s and department’s philosophy and mission and to deliver a school-wide and cross-divisional counseling program.
Counselors meet with students individually and in small groups for short-term counseling. In addition to helping students manage common stressors, counselors screen students for symptoms consistent with clinical disorders. When necessary, they help parents find appropriate outside mental health providers and serve as the liaison between the school and provider.
Parent education and support is a priority. The counseling department hosts both daytime parent forums and evening events focusing on topics relevant to children and adolescents. These gatherings feature an outside expert on the topic at hand and provide an opportunity for both education and Q&A. Previous topics include anxiety, resilience, talking with your child about sexuality, internet safety, and developing a healthy body image. Parent connections are further strengthened through grade-level coffees which are also attended by the respective division head and dean of students. These gatherings serve as an opportunity to address grade-specific parent questions and concerns.
Counselors consult with teachers and administrators to enhance their work with adolescents. When indicated, counselors act as a conduit between students and faculty to help mediate problems. In times of crisis, the counselors coordinate with the school and community to bring together resources. As the foundation of their work, the counselors are members of and adhere to ASCA and ACA professional and legal standards.
In addition to maintaining school-wide counseling initiatives, the Lower, Middle and Upper School counselors carry out specific roles to meet the unique needs of their respective division and student population.