Counseling Department Spotlight: Here’s How We’re Supporting CUSD Students

Posted by: District 1 week, 5 days ago

Counseling Department Spotlight: Here’s How We’re Supporting CUSD Students

 At CUSD, we’re constantly monitoring the needs of our students. We work closely with the city of Coronado and our community partnerships to address our students’ mental health and emotional needs with in-depth counseling services.

These services have become even more important to our students; we’ve seen an increase in the number of students, especially those at a younger age, who are accessing counseling. We can’t say whether it’s societal pressures, students becoming more aware of their feelings, or the general acceptance and discussion of anxiety and stress that is making more students access our services, but it’s clear to us that counseling is more beneficial than ever.

 To best reach all our students with the proper counseling services and channels, we’ve based our counseling on a pyramid.

 

Tier 1

The base of the pyramid consists of the basic levels of support available to all our students and families. These services are provided by our partner agencies: Coronado SAFE, Military and Family Life Counselor Program (MFLAC), and the Coronado Police Department (CPD).

Our partners, working closely with school staff, come to our campuses and share their resources. For instance, Coronado PD has specific curriculum for our elementary school students, with presentations that cover healthy minds, healthy bodies, and student safety. SAFE also visits with class instruction that is geared towards each grade level: the “On Applebee Pond” puppet show is presented to younger students, and the SAFE presenters dive more into self worth and peer interactions when they speak with older students. 

At our middle schools and high schools, these partner programs focus on peer relationships and the influence and healthy use of social media.

 

Tier 2

The next tier in our pyramid is our general counseling, provided by clinical counselors at all sites—elementary, middle, and high school. Our clinical counseling team is a joint partnership with the city of Coronado; their services are available to all students with an interest in or need for them.

Our clinical counselors address students’ social, emotional, and guidance counseling needs. Our middle school counselors have a “Lunch Bunch” group that meets to strategize ways to make friends and get along with others. There are also girls-only and boys-only groups at our middle and high schools that focus on topics more closely related to what students go through at those ages. These groups run in six-week segments and provide students with safe venues in which to open up about their relationships with their parents, learn how to approach authority figures, build friendships, deal with difficult situations, and navigate the difficulties of adolescence in general.

This second tier of counseling also involves academic counseling for college and career readiness. At CHS, students can visit the College and Career Center, an office staffed by academic counselors who help students prepare for life beyond high school. Our counselors bring representatives, from all types of colleges as well as military recruiters, to campus so students may learn about options and opportunities available to them once they graduate from CUSD.

Our high school students also have the benefit of our Mindfulness Room, located right in the middle of campus. There’s a mural on the wall and yoga mats on the floor, so students can take five minutes from their busy day to regroup and have some quiet time. Our students may also learn to relax and de-stress through yoga (which can be taken as an elective or alternative to PE), and counselor-led mindfulness groups.

 

Tier 3 

The top level of the pyramid includes Educationally Related Mental Health (ERMHS) Counseling. This type of counseling is provided as more of an intervention service, like speech or occupational therapy would be, with a focus on education-related mental health needs.

We have crisis intervention counselors who are available on a walk-in basis whenever students need them. When students need more intensive support, we provide individual counseling sessions as needed, whether that’s once a week or every other day..

Counselors can also refer students to substance abuse resources or groups as needed.

As a district, our goal is to educate the whole student, which means we recognize that students are made up of more than just academic achievements. By providing our students with well-rounded counseling services, we’re able to prepare them for life beyond their CUSD experience. For more information on the services we provide, visit our district website.