Meet our school counselors, psychologist, and social worker
Beech Tree Student Services Team
A school counselor, a school psychologist, and a school social worker form the Student Services team at Beech Tree Elementary. These are highly trained and experienced people. Each discipline has unique skills and training. Together, school social workers, school psychologists, and school counselors provide a stronger team than any single profession could provide on its own. The students, parents, staff, and school benefit from the student services team.
School Counselor Services
The school counselor works directly with students in individual and group counseling sessions as well as in classroom lessons so students may:
- Adjust to a new school.
- Be successful in school.
- Establish effective study skills.
- Develop positive feelings about work, family and society.
- Build positive feelings towards self and others.
- Develop skills in interacting and communicating with others.
- Cope with change in themselves and their surroundings.
- Identify and accept their own and others’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Recognize the causes and effects of their actions.
- Become responsible for their behavior.
- Reach their highest potential.
- Receive crisis intervention when necessary.
The school counselor helps students become motivated learners and encourages them to discuss concerns with their parents or guardians. When students work through their social and emotional issues with the help of their parents or guardians and the counselor, they are able to devote attention and energy to the intellectual tasks at school
- School Counselor, ES
School Psychology Services
School psychologists consult with staff on a variety of issues, including but not limited to: finding effective solutions to learning and behavior problems, helping others to understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior, dealing with difficult issues in the classroom (illness or death of a staff member or student, bullying, classroom conflicts, etc.) and strengthening relationships between teachers, parents, and service providers in the community. School psychologists work with staff to address a variety of issues which students may confront including fears about attending school, difficulty organizing time efficiently, falling behind in school work, feeling depressed or anxious, and concerns about life experiences such as divorce or death.
School psychologists are mental health specialists with knowledge of child development, the psychology of learning, behavior management and intervention, monitoring the progress of students, and program evaluation. School psychologists apply this knowledge using a problem-solving approach to help bring about positive changes in the learning environment, attitude, and motivation. Services offered by the school psychologist may be provided directly to the student or indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and other caregivers; however, all services provided by the school psychologist are intended to enhance the academic and social-emotional success of students. Minimum requirements to be a school psychologist include a 60-hour master's degree program and a one-year full-time internship; many FCPS school psychologists hold doctoral degrees.
- Our school psychologist is Richard Amernick. He can be reached at @email.
Social Work and Support Services
School social workers focus on family and community factors that influence learning. They provide intensive services for students facing issues that pose risks to their academic success such as parent divorce and separation, poverty, truancy, chronic illness, mental health problems, conduct problems, child abuse, etc. School social workers serve alongside school psychologists and school counselors to form a mental health team. Together, they provide crisis counseling and short-term and ongoing individual, group and family counseling.
All FCPS social workers hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree; many have earned a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree. All school social workers are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. The majority of the staff is clinically licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Social Work (LCSW) or in other jurisdictions and trained to provide mental health services in any setting.
- Our school social worker is Karen Cunningham. She can be reached at @email.