Counseling services for students continue to be available during virtual school. School counselors in each division are available to meet for brief, supportive check-ins with students and/or parents on Zoom or by telephone. The best way to contact the school counselor in the division is through email or by calling their office phone. Counselors are available during the virtual school day, and in the Middle and Upper School, it is possible to schedule meetings before or after the school day until 5:30 p.m. Students should be reminded that virtual school rules apply regarding location, backdrop, and dress, with one difference being an added importance to there being a private location for students in counseling meetings. Counselors will do everything possible to support confidentiality by wearing headphones and maintaining private settings. However, counselors acknowledge the privacy challenges in these extraordinary circumstances in terms of possible interruption or unintended viewers or audio in the students’ home, and they will work with students and parents to address these challenges as they arise.
As always, please note that school counseling is not a substitute for care provided by community therapists and providers. Students and families are encouraged to continue to work with community providers, and the school counselors are ready to connect families with appropriate professionals. The school counselors recommend limiting children’s exposure to news media, providing calm and reassurance, and helping children address their fears. In this unprecedented time, we hope that families embrace the opportunity as much as possible to enrich connection and communication, and we are ready to help.