Department of Catholic Schools
Counseling & Guidance Services
Rooted in the mission of the church, our Catholic schools work towards offering counseling services that provide the developmental guidance and support necessary to help facilitate the intellectual, emotional, behavioral, social and spiritual growth of every child and youth served in Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of San Antonio so they can more effectively handle their lives and their interactions with others. The mission of the Catholic school counselor is to translate the mission of Catholic education and their school’s unique Catholic identity and faith traditions into a program of highly effective counseling services for students, faculty, and the school community. The primary areas of direct services include counseling, consultation, and coordination.
Counseling is provided through classroom lessons, small group meetings, and individual sessions to address a variety of issues that may include the following: character development, understanding self and others, respect and responsibility, social skills, making and keeping friends, bullying issues, coping skills, family relationships, conflict resolution, time management and study skills.
The counselor may meet with students on an individual basis when requested by parents, teacher or principal. (Parent permission/consent for counseling is obtained to continue to see a student for individual sessions on an on-going basis.). These sessions may address such issues as behavioral concerns, social or emotional functioning, attention/hyperactivity, grief and loss, signs of depressed or anxious mood, as well as coping with changes or challenges in the home, (separation and divorce, death of a loved one, military deployment, blended family, etc.) that may be effecting a student’s academic performance and behavior at school.
School counselors coordinate classroom observations of students, meetings with the teachers to develop plans to assist the student in the classroom, conferences with parents to discuss issues of concern and student’s needs, as well as to develop a “home plan” (behavior goals, academic goals, study skills) that compliment and support their goals in the classroom.
School counselors consult with staff and parents/guardians regarding the possible need for a student to be referred for services from professionals in our community. The consultation may focus on the need for testing services to assess intellectual, academic, emotional/behavioral functioning, the need for more intensive counseling or psychotherapy, or the need for other types of assessment and services, i.e., speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. Consultation may involve working closely with the parents and student throughout this process, reviewing student performance data and standardized testing, providing referrals, information about other community services, assisting the family and the school with interpretation and discussion of testing results and recommendations, and planning within the limitations of the individual school’s resources.
Phone consultation, scheduled consultation meetings, attendance at meetings with parents, teachers or students, is also available to principals, administrators, teachers and counselors. Requests may also be made for workshops or professional development presentations for faculty, on a variety of requested topics or issues of concern (effective parent-child communication, student behavioral issues, emotional/social development, bully prevention, etc.)
We are blessed to be able to offer these services to you, our Catholic school principals and teachers, and to our parents and students. We strive to further strengthen the school-parent partnership, to provide support to parents as primary educators of their children, and to continue to do all that we can to help you in working toward the formation of the WHOLE child -- ensuring their academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual development. We believe that working together with parents and students, each child can be successful!
We look forward to a great year!
|Veronica Ball, MA, CSC, LPC|
Director of Counseling and Guidance Services
|Rebecca Garza, PsyD|
Associate Counselor, Counseling and Guidance Services