Our goal is to help eliminate barriers to academic success.

Helen Keller Elementary's Student Counseling Program is an integral part of the success of the school environment. These counseling services support students’ academic, personal/social and career development. We achieve this by classroom lessons and individual sessions conducted by our guidance counselor, Soo Chin.

Kindergarten through second grade

Our goal at Keller is to teach students positive skills to deal with conflicts. Kelso’s Choices, a conflict management program for children, is introduced by our guidance counselor with the help of Kelso, the puppet frog. The guidance counselor meets with each class to cover various Kelso lessons on problem-solving and friendship-building skills throughout the year. These life skills are reinforced by all Keller staff.

This program teaches students the difference between "big" problems (problems they should get an adult's help with) and "small" problems (things they can solve all by themselves). The lessons empower students to make good choices and to become excellent problem-solvers.

By using these choices, we believe that our students will develop effective problem-solving skills that they can use again and again. It will help them to deal with conflict in a positive manner and to make appropriate choices. Knowing what to do will help students reduce the stress and number of conflicts they have at school and in their neighborhoods.

Third grade through fifth grade

In our continuing effort to create a safe and positive learning environment, we teach the Steps to Respect Program. We believe that children learn best when they feel safe, respected and cared for. This program is designed to prevent bullying and promote responsible, respectful student behavior. Our guidance counselor meets with each class to share the Steps to Respect lessons in a fun and interactive way for students to learn valuable skills that will prevent bullying and encourage positive behaviors. In this program they learn:

  • How to recognize, refuse, and report students bullying when it happens to them or someone else.
  • Friendship skills that reduce the risk of being bullied, including how to make friends, join group activities, and manage conflicts.
  • Emotional skills, such as understanding the feelings of others and managing their own emotions.
  • How to use positive life skills (responsibility, respect, and caring for others) as a guide to behavior.

Individual Planning

Individual planning consists of activities that help students plan, monitor and manage their academic success and personal development. Our guidance counselor meets with students in small groups and/or individual sessions to address relationship issues, personal concerns, academic or behavioral difficulties, and normal developmental challenges. Students are seen by the counselor when:

  • Parents request that the counselor meet with their child(ren).
  • Teachers, administrators or other school staff members refer the student.
  • Students request to see the counselor.

Crisis Counseling and Referrals

Counseling and support are provided by our guidance counselor to students and their families facing emergency situations. Upon request from parents, our guidance counselor provides referrals to other professional resources, such as mental health professionals, social services, special school programs and juvenile services.