The counselors consult and collaborate with parents/guardians, staff, and community agencies regarding strategies to help students and families. Parents are invited to make an appointment with the counselor via email or by calling the school.
New Student Orientation
When new students come to Nottingham they are given a Nottingham Knight button so staff and other students realize a particular student should be introduced and made to feel welcome. In September the counselors and school psychologist organize a "Welcome New Nottingham Knights" get together for new students in grades 1-5. Pictures are taken of new students and staff and displayed on a bulletin board to facilitate students and staff learning their names and knowing who may need support because they are new. Students are given "New Student Survival Kits" with items that convey our support of them (example, a small stuffed toy when they are feeling lonely). Each student receives a "Passport" to facilitate them meeting many staff that assist all students and get prizes from a counselor upon completion of the passport activity. If new students experience any difficulty becoming part of the school community, they are invited to participate in a friendship group.
The counselors are available to talk at PTA meetings, answer questions at chats organized by the principal, lead discussion of parenting ideas at a book discussion, or present formally on a requested topic. Two parent information sessions on Steps to Respect were presented in October 2008. A Family Event for 5th graders and their parent/guardian on alcohol awareness is held annually. On the opening morning of school in 2010 the pupil services staff presented a workshop on transitions. In spring 2011 the counseling program jointly sponsored a presentation on internet safety with the PTA. On the opening morning of school in 2011 the counseling program jointly sponsored a Boo Hoo Breakfast for parents of kindergarteners and students new to Nottingham.
Transition to Middle School
The counselors will work with fifth graders, their parents, and counselors at the Middle School to facilitate a smooth transition to the next level. This includes an orientation by the counselors, a visit to Nottingham by the Middle School counselor, and a visit by all fifth grade students to the Middle School.
"Nottingham School Counseling Program News" is an online newsletter. The focus of the issues is determined in the annual plan for the program.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention Program
During the 08-09 School Year Nottingham piloted a school wide bullying prevention program using materials from the Committee for Children and children's literature. The program is referred to as Steps to Respect, based on the grade 3-5 materials, but Nottingham is implementing a literature based bullying prevention program in kindergarten through grade 2 as well. Since the 09-10 School Year the program has been fully implemented.