Lower School Counselor

  • Trinity Episcopal School
  • Charlotte, NC, USA
  • Apr 03, 2024
Full time Counseling

Job Description

Trinity Episcopal School is seeking a Lower School Counselor for the 2024-25 academic year to support grades K-4 by ensuring the social and emotional needs of students are being addressed. The Lower School Counselor is a faculty member and reports directly to the Head of Lower School. Some responsibilities will include working directly with individual and small groups of students, consulting with parents and teachers, teaching life skills and wellness classes, coordinating parent/family education programs, serving as a liaison for community referral resources, and providing support to the advisory groups in lower and middle school. The Lower School Counselor supports the work of the School by promoting the mission, values, and policies of Trinity Episcopal School.

Primary Responsibilities: The Lower School Counselor’s primary responsibilities include the following:

Students:

  • Personal counseling of individual students and students in groups: The counselor will be available for personal and interpersonal counseling, as well as problem-solving regarding academic, social, and emotional issues. In cases of long-term or complex counseling needs, a resource outside of the school will likely be recommended. Specialized groups may include groups for students who experience worry or anxiety, groups for students with divorced parents, social skills groups, friendship groups, and others based on the unique needs of students in the School.

  • Teaching wellness and life skills classes: In collaboration with the Middle School counselor and Healthy Living (PE) team, the Lower School counselor will develop the curriculum, plan lessons, and teach wellness and life skills classes as assigned by the Head of Lower School. The same guidelines and expectations relating to educational philosophy and classroom management, utilized by all teachers, will also apply to this role.

Teachers and Parents:

  • Consulting with teachers and parents: The counselor will be an objective, available resource to the adults in the community, even though students are the counselor’s primary constituents. The counselor may be involved with test interpretation and/or assisting with educational, personal, or social factors affecting academic progress, especially in collaboration with the learning catalysts and chaplains.

  • Functioning as a resource for faculty and staff: The counselor will be available for consultation to provide faculty/staff with information necessary for them to be successful in their roles and will provide professional development/in-service training for faculty/staff on topics deemed important by the division heads, community life deans, chaplains and head of school.

  • Coordinating Parent/Family Education Programs: The counselor will work with the heads of lower and middle schools on the development, implementation, and improvement of parent/family education and orientation programs for the School. In particular, there should be an emphasis on developing programs focused on students developing healthy lifestyles. Topics should include drug/alcohol education, human development, gender identity and sexuality, interpersonal relationships (including cyberspace conduct), adolescent development, and parenting issues.

  • Serving as a liaison for community referral resources: The counselor will be familiar with and be prepared to recommend local resources (educational, psychological) that might be helpful to families. Referral to outside agencies shall occur after campus resources have been exhausted and then with great discretion. The counselor will also follow up on such appropriate referrals and function as a liaison between the professional or agency and the school community. The counselor shall be familiar with public law regarding child abuse and neglect and with appropriate procedures to be followed by the School should such cases come to the School’s attention.

Professional/General:

  • Maintaining confidential student records: The Counseling Office will be the central repository of student records regarding social and emotional issues. They will work with the heads of lower and middle schools to maintain, manage, and secure those records. The counselor will also assist in maintaining and managing other confidential student records.

  • Professional Involvement: The counselor will be considered a professional resource in the School. As such, the counselor shall exhibit professionalism through care in communicating, maintaining objectivity, and discretion regarding the use of privileged information, in essence, to adhere to the established Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association. The counselor will also serve on various school committees.

  • Serving as a member of the Student Support Team: The counselor will attend bi-cyclical Student Support Team meetings with each grade level in the Lower School to discuss students' needs, create a plan for success, and implement strategies that support those students. Learning Catalysts facilitate these meetings, which are also attended by the division head, academic dean, grade-level teachers, and community life representatives.

  • Serving as a member of the Community Life Team: The counselor will assist in the development of a K-8 social-emotional curricular plan in cooperation with community life deans and chaplains and will work with the division heads to ensure smooth transitions and coherent policies coordinating special programs between divisions, as appropriate.

  • Contributing to Tribes: The counselor will support the curricular efforts of the 3-5 12 Tribes of Trinity program in collaboration with the LS Dean of Community Life and Head of Lower School. This position will provide support for the structure, information, and overall program and offer assistance to individual Tribe leaders regarding specific topics or specific students.

  • Working in collaboration with the 5-8 School Counselor to support the social-emotional needs of students as required by the Mission and program of the school.

  • All other duties as assigned by the Head of Lower School

The successful candidate will have the following qualities:

  • Familiarity with and a commitment to the mission of independent schools and Trinity Episcopal School, and a commitment to our three primary values of scholarship, diversity, and spirituality is a must

  • A love for students and a willingness to go above and beyond in the best interests of students

  • Integrity, sound judgment, self-confidence, maturity, and a sense of perspective

  • A high level of energy and ability to work on multiple tasks/projects

  • Ability to model, promote, and provide opportunities for students to live into the Trinity Honor Code

  • Demonstrated sensitivity to students, faculty, and staff of varying racial, ethnic, religious, gender, cultural, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds

Education and Work Experience

  • A Master’s Degree in school counseling or a related field is required.

  • Successful experience counseling and teaching elementary and middle school students, preferably in a constructivist or progressive education environment

Skills and Qualifications

  • Ability to create and maintain a differentiated environment in content, process, and product to help each child reach his/her fullest potential

  • Ability to partner and collaborate with a grade-level team to successfully plan for the individual needs of students and the grade level as a whole.

  • A commitment to our service learning initiative and ability to integrate service learning into the classroom curriculum

  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation, writing, organizational, and communication skills, including basic technology competencies

  • Ability to be a self-starter and initiator, and ability to effectively work independently and be a contributing team member

  • Become involved in the mission and life of the school beyond the primary responsibilities outlined.