Program Goals

Pasco County School Counselors
To provide a comprehensive developmental school counseling program that is data driven and will assist all students in their academic, career and personal/social development, providing all students with the skills needed to reach their highest potential and to achieve college, career and life readiness.



The Pasco County School District adheres to the belief that the School Counseling Program is an essential and integral part of the overall education process.  The comprehensive program is coordinated by a state certified professional school counselor and based on the American School Counseling Association National Standards for Students.  This program is built on the assumption that educational, career and personal objectives are attainable when guidance for all students is provided.  This implementation acknowledges that key stakeholders are involved in the coordination of a data-driven program that is research and evidence-based.  Growth and learning are developmental; therefore, the School Counseling Program must be developmental and sequential.


Why Middle  School Counselors 
“Today’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders and citizens, every student needs support, guidance and opportunities during childhood, a time of rapid growth and change. Children face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement.”

– “Toward a Blueprint for Youth: Making Positive Youth Development a National Priority,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Middle School Students’ Developmental Needs
The middle years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.

Meeting the Challenge
Middle school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Middle school counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. ASCA’s National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2002), with its data-driven and results-based focus, serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.

Middle School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:


  • Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
  • Goal setting and decision-making
  • Career awareness, exploration and planning
  • Education on understanding self and others
  • Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
  • Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Substance abuse education
  • Multicultural/diversity awareness
  • Individual student planning


Academic planning

  • Goal setting/decision- making
  • Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Transition plans

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small-group counseling
  • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consultation/collaboration
  • Referrals

System Support
Professional development

  • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
  • Program management and operation

Middle School Counselors Collaborate with:
Parent education
Academic planning
College/career awareness programs
One-on-one parent conferencing
Interpretation of assessment results

Classroom guidance activities
Academic support, including learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically
Classroom speakers
At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success

School climate
Behavioral management plans
School-wide needs assessments
Student data and results
Student assistance team building

Peer education
Peer support
Academic support
School climate
Leadership development
Job shadowing, service learning
Crisis interventions
Parenting classes
Support groups
Career education

**These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive

Middle school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.

(copied from the ASCA website)





Students will acquire the academic preparation essential to chose from a variety of educational, training, and employment options upon completion of secondary school.

Students will investigate the world of work in order to make informed career decisions.

Students will acquire an understanding of, and respect for, self and others, and the skills to be responsible citizens.

  • KA.1:  Recognize responsibilities of being a student worker in school.
  • KC.1:  Identify areas of interest.
  • KC.2:  Develop awareness of careers in the community.
  • KP.1:  Recognize and appreciate one’s unique abilities.
  • KP.2:  Identify and understand the meaning of various feeling words.
  • KP.3:  Develop awareness of empathy.
  • KP.4:  Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in school.
  • KP.5:  Use appropriate communication skills to ask for help when needed


  • 1A.1:  Develop skills and positive work habits (including task completion) to successfully meet school requirements.
  • 1A.2:  Understand that mistakes are essential to the learning process.
  • 1A.3:  Understand the importance of goal setting.
  • 1C.1:  Develop an understanding of roles and contributions of workers in school, home, and community.
  • 1C.2:  Identify personal skills, abilities, and interests in the areas of academic, career, and personal/social development.
  • 1P.1:  Describe how to express feelings in constructive ways (i.e. “I statements.”)
  • 1P.2:  Develop an awareness of the importance of personal safety (i.e. Know telephone number, home address, emergency contact information, Stranger Danger).
  • 1P.3:  Identify situations requiring adult professional help.
  • 2A.1:  Develop awareness of goal-setting steps.
  • 2A.2:  Recognize the relationship between goal setting and accomplishing work.
  • 2A.3:  Work independently to achieve academic success.
  • 2A.4:  Identify and utilize test-taking skills.
  • 2C.1:  Learn about the variety of traditional and non-traditional occupations in a changing work place.
  • 2C.2:  Identify resource people in the school and community and understand how to seek their help.
  • 2P.1:  Identify forms of communication (e.g., listening, speaking, body language, etc.)
  • 2P.2:  Develop awareness of individual differences.
  • 2P.3:  Define “friend” and describe what is meant by “friendship.”
  • 2P.4:  Recognize how personal behavior affects group dynamics.
  • 2P.5:  Recognize peer pressure and bullying situations.
  • 2P.6:  Recognize different coping strategies to deal with situations.


  • 3A.1:  Set realistic short-term goals.
  • 3A.2:  Recognize the relationship between learning/achievement and personal effort.
  • 3A.3:  Identify and utilize study, organizational, and test-taking skills.
  • 3A.4:  Display a positive work ethic (persistence, self-motivation, punctuality, etc.)
  • 3A.5:  Identify how group participation contributes to learning.
  • 3C.1:  Demonstrate how a positive outlook regarding self, education and work enhances potential and increases productivity.
  • 3C.2:  Recognize that skills, abilities, and interests are considerations in the choice of careers.
  • 3C.3:  Understand that jobs with similar characteristics may be grouped as job families or career clusters.
  • 3P.1:  Identify different modes of interpersonal communication (verbal, non-verbal).
  • 3P.2:  Positively communicate thoughts, feelings, and needs to others in a variety of situations.
  • 3P.3:  Demonstrate and accept responsibility for individual behavior and how it affects others.
  • 3P.4:  Demonstrate self-control.
  • 3P.5:  Demonstrate how to communicate positively in a conflict situation.
  • 3P.6:  Explain the skills needed to function effectively in groups.
  • 3P.7:  Identify the decision-making process.
  • 3P.8:  Understand that diversity exists in the United States of America and appreciate the similarities and differences of all ethnic backgrounds.
  • 4A.1:  Identify and describe how decision-making, problem-solving, and coping skills support or interfere with academic achievement.
  • 4A.2:  Identify and utilize effective test-taking skills.
  • 4A.3:  Demonstrate time management and organizational skills.
  • 4A.5:  Understand how personal learning styles can impact school achievement.
  • 4C.1:  Identify hobbies and interests.
  • 4C.2:  Relate each step of the decision-making/problem-solving process to career development (awareness, exploration, and preparation).
  • 4P.1:  Evaluate methods of expressing feelings.
  • 4P.2:  Identify and describe the steps in a decision-making/problem-solving process.
  • 4P.3:  Identify factors that influence personal decisions.
  • 4P.4:  Generate alternative solutions to problems and consider/evaluate consequences.
  • 4P.5:  Demonstrate the decision-making process.
  • 4P.6:  Recognize that group members may have differing opinions.
  • 4P.7:  Demonstrate different coping strategies for various situations and life changes.
  • 4P.8:  Identify factors that impact personal safety and well-being (i.e. substance abuse, etc.).
  • 4P.9:  Demonstrate self-reliance.


  • 5A.1:  Set realistic long-term goals.
  • 5A.2:  Apply personal learning style.
  • 5A.3:  Recognize the benefits of individual initiative and teamwork.
  • 5C.1:  Compile a list of personal abilities.
  • 5C.2:  Describe how personal strengths in school work affect future goals and career options.
  • 5C.3:  Understand that the changing workplace requires lifelong learning and acquiring new skills.
  • 5C.4:  Acquire employability skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and organization.
  • 5C.5:  Identify career choices through various means of exploration.
  • 5C.6:  Describe changes as inevitable and necessary to adapt to new situations, (e.g., middle school).
  • 5P.1:  Describe how verbal and non-verbal behavior influence interpersonal relationships.
  • 5P.2:  Demonstrate how to communicate with others.
  • 5P.3:  Demonstrate appreciation and respect for similarities and differences in opinions.
  • 5P.4:  Describe strategies for getting along with others.
  • 5P.5:  Demonstrate how to disagree with other without provoking them.
  • 5P.6:  Demonstrate appropriate responses to ease a conflict situation.
  • 5P.7:  Demonstrate effective responses to peer pressure and bullying situations.
  • 5P.8:  Identify and analyze group dynamics in a variety of situations.

Counseling Services


Individual Counseling 

Individual counseling is a service offered to all students.  Students may be referred for counseling by a parent, a teacher or themselves.

The Counselor meets a student in a safe, positive, and confidential setting to address issues that ‘get in the way’ of’ school achievement.

Topics are based on the needs of the student and may include: understanding feelings, changing families/divorce, grief, stress, social skills, academics, bullying, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Many times, students will request a visit with the counselor regarding a situation at school and we will meet briefly to try to resolve the situation, particularly if there has been a problem on the classroom/hallway/lunchroom with another student(s). These types of visits do not require prior permission from a parent, however we encourage students to go home and share with parents and guardians that we spoke and explain why we met.

If the problem situation resulted in some type of consequence, the student will meet with the Principal.  The counselor does not see students for discipline, but rather to assist in conflict resolution so that the student may return to class and have productive work time.

Serious behavior problems or certain family issues may require more in-depth counseling with a licensed professional counselor at an outside agency. Your school counselor can assist you with more information about resources in the community for counseling.

Small Group Counseling 

(Small group counseling is a service available to all students).

We offer small group counseling sessions throughout the year for students in grades sixth through eigth grade.  The small group experience is an enjoyable way for students to benefit from personal growth as well as to gain support from peers with similar needs.  Groups are typically arranged through parent and teacher referrals.  The small groups usually meet for four to six week sessions.  Groups are created as needed according to varying topics.

Small groups may focus on confidence building, anger management, changing families/divorce, friendship, social skills or school success skills.

Each year is a bit different and the needs of the current groups usually dictate what types of groups are offered.  I will always ask for written parent permission before including a student in a small counseling group.

Confidentiality is an important part of small group work, but it can be a difficult concept for kids.  In order to avoid the problems that arise when students go home and tell their parents they can’t share anything about group because “it’s a secret,” I usually explain it like this: each student can feel free to share what the topic was in group or what he or she said in group but not what other students have shared.  

Students who break the confidentiality of group and discuss things outside of group with others may be asked to leave the group.  Small groups are for sharing and problem solving and all students should feel safe in their group.


Classroom Guidance Lessons

Planned, educational groups designed to help students understand and deal with normal developmental tasks and issues.

Examples include:
Safer, Smarter Teens
Character Education
Peer Relationships
Conflict Resolution
Bully/Cyberbully Prevention
Suicide Prevention/Awareness

These lessons are provided for all students through a collaborative effort by the counselor and teachers.  They also provide an important opportunity for non-referred students to interact with the counselor.

FL School Counseling Framework

Counselor News/Parent Activities

Safer, Smarter Teens Classroom Presentation:

MS_ParentLetters_English_1    (6th graders)

MS_ParentLetters_Spanish_1    (6th graders)

MS_ParentLetters_English_3[1]  (7th & 8th graders)

MS_ParentLetters_Spanish_3  (7th & 8th graders)

Red Ribbon Week Videos:

Monday –

Tuesday –

Wednesday –

Thursday –

Friday –

Teens Guide to Mental Health Information:

Parent Resources

This page contains hyperlinks to one or more external web sites.  Accuracy and quality of information obtained from either internal or external sources cannot be guaranteed.

Parenting Websites
Scream- Free Parenting
Keep Kids Healthy/Parenting Styles & Discipline
List of Children’s Books dealing with Counseling topics
Stress-Free Kids 

Florida Abuse Hotline – You can also call 1-800-962-2873
2-1-1 Guide – Community resources for Pasco County
Florida Kid Care – Health coverage for kids ages 5-18
Suicide Prevention Lifeline – You can also call 1-800-273-8255

Minimizing Summer Learning Loss:
Positive Parenting Tips for Summer: American School Counselor Assoc.
Minimizing Summer Learning Loss: MSNBC
101 Worthwhile Summer Activities:

Back to School:    
Back to School Readiness Checklist
Printable (morning routine checklist)

Pacer: Kids Against Bullying 


Internet Safety:
Common Sense Media Internet Safety (partner of Nat’l Center for Missing/Exploited Children)
Connect Safely

Cyberbullying Guide for Parents:

Study Skills:
How To
Good Homework Habits 

Diverse Populations/ Special Needs:
Friendship Puzzle (Autism)
CHADD-Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder

Military Active Duty/National Guard/Reservist Family Support:
Military One Source (MOS) -free counseling, legal, accounting, clergy services, etc.
Our Military Kids -provides $500 grant for extra-curricular activities

All Kids Grieve
HPH Hospice Children’s Assistance Program – Contact your school counselor for a referral

Transitioning to Middle School:
PBS Kids: Middle School Transitions
Smoothing your Child’s Transition to Middle School Making the Transition to Middle School

Website Resources for Kids:
The Feelings Game  
Kidvision Feelings-Fun

Character Education
“Bucketfillers 101”: Kindness and Respect
Teaching Tolerance: Diversity Acceptance

Counselor Resources: 

Career Website for Kids
A fantastic site from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Click on your favorite academic subject (math, social studies, etc.), and it’ll show you information about jobs, salaries, educational requirements, and lots of additional information!  Fourth grade students also work with this site during the Career part of Classroom Guidance.


Another great career site. Students are able to select an interest area and then have access to detailed descriptions of all of the occupations matching that interest area.

Education Trust Website
This is a great site if you want information about “No Child Left Behind,” as well as transformations in school counseling programs nationwide.

No Child Left Behind
This is the official government website for “No Child Left Behind.”