Middle Grades Counselor
The Middle School Counselor is responsible for providing a comprehensive school counseling program that is preventative in design, developmental in implementation, and supports Global Scholars Academy students in the areas of academic achievement, career and college planning, and personal and social development. The candidate also serves as a consultant to educators, families and community partners.
The candidate reports to the Head of School. Additionally, the candidate works closely with faculty and staff and various social services agencies (i.e., Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)), the Superior Court, personnel from other public school systems and parents.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The Middle School Counselor is responsible for developing, implementing and managing a comprehensive school counseling program to serve the academic, social and career development needs of students enrolled in Global Scholars Academy (GSA). The primary purpose of the comprehensive school counseling program is the support of the instructional and academic goals of GSA.
The candidate performs the following:
Development and Management
- Uses data to develop and inform the school counseling program and evaluates the program’s impact on the school’s instructional goals.
- Collaborates on the development and management of the comprehensive school counseling program with the school administrator or instructional leader.
- Communicates and shares the goals of the comprehensive school counseling program to stakeholders including students, families and community partners.
- Uses the majority of the time (80%) to provide direct services to students through preventive and responsive services, including individual student planning, and uses the remaining time in development and management, system support and accountability.
Preventative and Responsive Services
- Designs, implements and assesses the guidance curriculum.
- Utilizes responsive counseling, initiating individual and group sessions for students’ academic, social and personal concerns.
- Consults with families and staff to appraise student needs and interests and to discuss appropriate recommendations for educational options.
- Plans, coordinates and provides the classroom guidance sessions to meet the identified guidance and counseling competencies in the areas of academic achievement, career and educational development, and personal and social development to assist students in developing decision-making skills and identifying life goals.
- Assesses student needs and makes referrals to appropriate school resource personnel, social agencies, community agencies and alternative programs.
- Intervenes during crisis situations and participates on school crisis team.
Individual Student Planning
- Prepares students for the transition to the next level: high school and post high school activities/options.
- Plans and coordinates programs such as career fairs, test skills preparation, improved/perfect attendance celebrations and other extensions of the counseling program to support students’ knowledge of post-secondary options.
- Assist students in navigating their academic, workplace and community experiences, through the use of individual student planning which includes individual graduation portfolios (IGP), student interviews and other planning tools.
- Collaborates with parents/guardians and educators to assist students with educational and career planning.
- Guides, coordinates and supports other school staff in implementing school wide advisory programs.
- Uses responsive counseling strategies to establish relationships and collaborate with educators, students, families, and community partners which reflect recognition of and respect for each individual. And promotes an understanding and appreciation of diverse population and cultures.
- Assists families in obtaining services for their children through an appropriate referral and follow-up process.
- Serves as liaison between the social services agencies (i.e., Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)) and personnel from the various school systems where wards of Durham County are attending school.
- Assists teachers in understanding their students, including providing and interpreting student data.
- Provides in-service training on topics related to the school counseling program and supporting student achievement
- Conducts at minimum a yearly program audit to review the extent and quality of program implementation.
- Prepares and submits a variety of requested reports and data, to ensure fulfillment of established program requirements.
- Uses all available data, including academic grades, discipline referrals and attendance data, to identify students in need and to deliver services.
- Interprets tests, student data and other assessment results appropriately within the counseling environment for the purpose of developing and implementing academic plans for individual students.
- Commitment to Equity: Passionate about closing the achievement gap and ensuring that every child, regardless of background or circumstance, receives an excellent education.
- Leadership: Coaches, mentors, and challenges others to excel despite obstacles and challenging situations.
- Focus on Data-Driven Results: Relentlessly pursues the improvement of GSA performance and school leadership, instruction, and operations, and is driven by a desire to produce quantifiable student achievement gains.
- Innovative Problem-Solving: Approaches work with a sense of possibility and sees challenges as opportunities for creative problem solving; takes initiative to explore issues and find potential innovative solutions.
- Adaptability: Excels in constantly changing environments and adapts flexibly in shifting projects or priorities to meet the needs of a dynamic transformation effort; comfortable with ambiguity and non-routine situations.
- Teamwork: Increases the effectiveness of surrounding teams through collaboration, constant learning and supporting others; sensitive to diversity in all its forms; respects and is committed to learning from others
- Dependability: Does whatever it takes to consistently deliver with high quality under tight deadlines; successfully manages own projects through strong organization, detailed work plans, and balancing of multiple priorities.
- Communication and Customer Service Skills: Communicates clearly and compellingly with diverse stakeholders in both oral and written forms; anticipates and responds to customer needs in a high-quality and courteous manner.
- Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in school guidance and counseling.
- Meets the certification requirements for school guidance and counseling and retains a current and valid certification as a professional school counselor.
- Ability to analyze data to inform work and decision making, analyze and evaluate available data, assess student needs and develop and implement procedures and policies to support student achievement.