• Birmingham City Schools comprehensive school counseling program is dedicated to preparing students socially, academically, and emotionally for present and future challenges and success. The program seeks to provide students with opportunities to gain an understanding of self and others, to participate in educational and occupational exploration, and to pursue career planning opportunities in an environment that is safe, caring, and encouraging.  The Birmingham City Schools’ school counseling program is an essential integrated component of the total instructional program through which students have maximum opportunity for academic, career, and personal/social development.
      The school counseling program involves a planned, purposeful, and sequential program of activities that begins in kindergarten and continues through twelfth grade.


    • The Counselor's Role
      School Counselors assume many roles and they assist in a variety of ways.  Counselors are an integral part of the school community, working with students, teachers, other school personnel, and parents.  By providing a nurturing and caring environment for students, their needs are met through prevention, early at-risk identification, and intervention services.

    • Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitude, and life skills necessary for children to become healthy, productive adults.  Secondary years set the tone for college and/or career. Support is provided to guide students toward good life choices. With a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counseling program, counselors help lay the foundation for personal, social, and academic success throughout school.  

    • How Can We Help?
      Each counselor is the nucleus of their school campus. Counselors are advocates and work in collaborative partnerships with students, educators, parents, and community members to educate and empower students to maximize their unique potential.
      School counselors help children feel valued, accepted, and safe while at school.  We also want to help them learn positive coping skills and character values.  As a result, this will enable them to make good choices when they face challenges involving friends, peer pressure, bullies, self-esteem, feelings, academic difficulties, and/or family concerns.  

      Counselor Services Include:

      • Individual counseling (1-on-1 with the child)

      • Small peer groups for related issues

      • Classroom guidance lessons and career exploration activities

      • College planning 

      • School crisis intervention as needed

      • School-wide character education programs and state initiatives throughout the year (EX: Peer Helpers, Character Strong, Red Ribbon Drug Awareness Week, etc.)

      Counselors Work with School Personnel to:

      • Identify and help struggling learners

      • Decrease classroom disturbances

      • Promote positive behavior

      • Increase school morale

      • Recognize early warning signs for students at-risk

      • Implement safety and violence prevention programs

      • Plan with problem-solving teams

      Conversations with a counselor are typically confidential with the exception of situations in which the student has authorized the counselor to speak to someone else. In addition, there are a number of special situations which limit confidentiality, including:

      • Threat of harm to oneself

      • Threat of harm to another

      • Any report of abuse or neglect or suspected abuse or neglect

      • Reports or indications of behavior which could reasonably put the individual at risk of harming himself or others.

      • Court orders which compel sending records or appearing in court.

    • Collaboration
      The counselor collaborates with district staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and community partners to address the needs of students. Counselors collaborate with other counselors in their grade band or feeder pattern to support students as they matriculate from one school to the next. Counselors collaborate with district leadership for professional development and to learn about various district initiatives. 


    • Communication
      The counselor communicates with district staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and community partners to address the needs of students. Counselors communicate with students through various means to make them aware of opportunities that are available to them. The district leaders use this website as a means of communication for all stakeholders. 


    • Consultation
      The counselor consults with parents/guardians, in collaboration with the teacher, to address any concerns they may have regarding their child’s education. The counselor consults with administrators, teachers, and staff members to ensure a positive educational experience for all students. The counselor may also consult with community partners that provide services and support to the local school.

    • Coordination
      Counselors serve as the first responders and coordinate more in-depth services with District personnel and community agencies when the need arises. They serve as the local school point of contact. Counselors facilitate contact with district employees, to include the Mental Health Coordinator, Social Worker(s), and Prevention Specialists. Counselors also facilitate contact with community agencies that support our schools through special services not related to special education. 

    • In the fall of 2022, the Alabama State Department of Education established a law requiring parents to “opt-in” or grant permission for their scholars to receive targeted services and/or participate in specific activities. For information about the "opt-in" forms, contact the local school counselor.

    • Our counselors are frequently involved in the coordination and leadership of other activities within the school. These may include PBIS, advisory activities, and working with students on course selection and scheduling.


    Counselors may be contacted via the main office at any Birmingham City School.


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