Guidance and Counseling

Guiding our Children’s Futures

All students have the right to a rigorous, high-quality education which meets their individual needs. Utica Community Schools is committed to helping our students achieve their goals and prepare for their futures.

Students today are faced with many challenges as they progress through their school careers. Our professional school counselors help to ensure the academic success of our students as well as their well-being by providing them with resources vital to their future success.

Understanding the importance of focusing on the individual, UCS has implemented a comprehensive guidance and counseling program, based on the Michigan Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program, to meet the needs of the district's students. This program assures that all students will acquire and demonstrate competency in the areas of academic, personal, social and career development.

UCS counselors offer guidance and counseling services in:

  • Career Planning and Exploration through the Career Cruising Program
  • Individual Planning to help students plan, monitor and manage their own academic, personal and career development goals and progress toward them
  • Exploration of post-secondary options for students, including career/technical training, two and four-year college, military and school-to-work transitions
  • Personal and Crisis Counseling and referrals to appropriate community resources

Utica Community Schools will respect, encourage and empower each student to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of a diverse community and global society.

Elementary Counseling

Our elementary school counselors develop activities that are designed to fit the needs of the individual school and provide specific programs geared toward emotional, social, cognitive and self-development of elementary children Elementary counselors provide the following:

  • Individual, short-term counseling – designed for students with issues affecting their school performance
  • Intervention and support during times of crisis
  • Grade-appropriate classroom presentations, such as
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Bullying and Teasing
    • Anger Management
    • Career Awareness
    • Study Skills
    • Cultural Awareness
    • Friendship Skills
    • Self-Esteem
  • Large and small groups discussions, such as:
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Divorce
    • Anger Management
    • Grief and Loss
  • School-wide activities including:
    • Success Skills
    • Positive Behavior Support Program
    • Parent/Teacher Conferences

Junior High Counseling

Students in grades seven through nine receive a comprehensive guidance counseling program which provides activities to address the needs of students, teachers, staff and parents. Our junior high school counselors participate fully in school programming - including the junior high school guidance curriculum - by conducting learning activities in the classroom in cooperation with school administration and teachers.

Our counselors communicate, coordinate and work with staff to meet individual student needs by:

  • Notifying staff of group test results
  • Establishing effective liaisons with all grade levels
  • Acting as an advocate for students, as appropriate in conjunction with other staff
  • Assisting other staff in the placement of students with special needs

For students, our counselors guide and counsel both groups and individual students through the development of education career plans, including:

  • Orientation activities for new students
  • Orientation programs for parents and students
  • Transition from junior high to high school
  • Inform students and parents of test results and assist in their use for educational and career planning
  • Career exploration activities

Counselors consult with teachers, other staff and parents to meet the developmental needs of students by:

  • Participating in staff meetings
  • Conducting training programs
  • Facilitating conferences with teachers, students and parents
  • Assisting families with school-related issues.

Communicate & Coordinate

Counselors communicate, coordinate and work with staff to meet individual student needs by:

  • Notifying staff of group test results
  • Establishing effective liaisons with all grade levels
  • Acting as an advocate for students, as appropriate in conjunction with other staff
  • Assisting other staff in the placement of students with special needs

Guide & Counsel Groups

Counselors guide and counsel groups and individual students through the development of educational and career plans, including:

  • Orientation activities for new students
  • Orientation programs for parents and students
  • Assist in the transition from junior high to high school
  • Inform students and parents of test results and interpret their implications for educational and career planning
  • Assist in career exploration activities

Counsel Small Groups

Counselors counsel small groups and individual students with specific needs by conducting structured, goal-oriented counseling sessions.

Refer Students

Counselors refer students, as needed, to appropriate community agencies in consultation with their parents by coordinating efforts with in-district and community agencies. These include school psychologists, social workers, administrators and community-based psychologists, service agencies and physicians.

Consult with Teachers, Staff & Parents

Counselors consult with teachers, other staff and parents to meet the developmental needs of students by:

  • Participating in staff meetings
  • Conducting training programs
  • Facilitating conferences with teachers, students and parents
  • Assist families with school-related issues.

 

High School Counseling

At the high school level, it is essential that guidance counselors provide students with activities that address a wide variety of student needs, including information related to choices beyond graduation. The high school counselor provides a comprehensive guidance and counseling program for students in grades nine through twelve that includes activities addressing needs of students in consultation with teachers, other staff and parents. Counselors also support student success as it relates to the school's educational programs.

For example, our counselors provide students with:

  • Access to community agencies
  • Assistance to meet developmental needs
  • Educational and Career Planning (EDP)
  • Evaluation of current status and requirements of high school graduation
  • Help with individual student program needs
  • Advocate as appropriate.

Our counselors also implement the high school guidance curriculum and conduct learning activities in the classroom. They provide staff members with group test results and act as liaisons with all grade levels. They also assist staff in the placement of students with special needs.

Community Agencies

Counselors refer students, as needed, to appropriate community agencies in consultation with their parents. By consulting and coordinating with district and community agencies, the counselor can put students and families in touch with school psychologists, social workers, service agencies and/or physicians.

Developmental Needs

Counselors consult with teachers, other staff and parents regarding meeting the developmental needs of students. They participate in staff meetings, conduct and facilitate conferences with teachers, students and parents and otherwise assist families with school-related problems.

Guide & Counsel Students

Counselors guide and counsel students individually and in groups through the development of educational and career plans (EDP). They provide orientation activities for new students; participate in orientation programs for incoming parents and students; guide students in updating their EDP's.

Evaluate Current Status

Counselors assist students in evaluating their current status and requirements for high school graduation and help students take appropriate steps to implement their post-high school educational or career plans. They guide students and their parents in the use of test results and in other ways assist students develop tentative career/technical plans through resources available in the guidance and counseling office.

Individual Student Program

Counselors communicate, coordinate and work with staff to meet individual student program needs. They keep staff informed of group test results and act as liaisons with all grade levels. They act as advocates for students, as appropriate, in conjunction with other staff. They also assist staff in the placement of students with special needs.

Counsel Students With Special Needs

Counsel students with special needs, either individually or in small groups. These meetings are structured, goal-oriented counseling sessions designed to meet the identified needs of individual groups of students.

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