School Counseling

School Counselors

Courtney Bernsen
K-2nd Grades
434-974-7777 ext. 21217

Miles A. Nelson
3rd - 5th Grade
434-974-7777 ext. 21308

The School Counseling program is an integral part of the total educational program and is designed to meet the needs of all students. The goal of the School Counseling program is to help students, parents, and teachers develop positive learning experiences through: 1) Academic Counseling & Guidance, 2) Career Counseling & Guidance, and 3) Personal / Social Counseling & Guidance. These are directed by The Standards for School Counseling Programs in Virginia Public Schools and the ASCA National Model; and are accomplished through the following activities:

Individual Counseling

Counseling is developmental and is designed to help students develop an understanding of themselves or others, define goals, and resolve conflict. We DO NOT do psychotherapy or other techniques used in a clinical setting or any that focus on mental illness. Students may self-refer by leaving a note or parents or teachers may request that we see a child to discuss a particular concern. We see students individually anywhere from one time to several weeks, depending on the topic. We do not see a student more than twice on one issue without contacting parents.

Group Counseling & Guidance

Sometimes students who share a common concern find it helpful to meet together to share ideas and support. Possible group topics are Grief, Divorce or Family Change, Social Skills, Friendship, Drugs / Alcohol Prevention, Violence Prevention, Problem-Solving, Anger, Study Skills, Career Exploration, and Classroom Issues. We do not place students in groups without parent permission.

Classroom Guidance

Each class receives classroom Guidance lessons for one or more units each year. Guidance activities are designed to help students succeed and get along in the classroom. Guidance lessons are intended for all students and do not require students to reveal any personal information.

Parents may review materials to be used in any School Counseling program by contacting us. It is the policy of the Albemarle County School Board with respect to personal/social counseling that parents must notify the School Division in writing if the student is not to participate in any such counseling program. We invite parents to contact us with concerns or questions at any time.