Academics » School Counselor

School Counselor

The School Counselor program at Westside School is comprehensive and developmental and is based on the American School Counselor Association National Model for School Counseling Programs. The developmental approach emphasizes identifying certain life skills and experiences that students need to have as a part of their going to school and preparing for adulthood.

All students have the opportunity to participate in monthly guidance classes which cover a variety of topics, such as, study skills, violence prevention, alcohol and drug awareness, career exploration, suicide prevention and academic success.

Buffy Wall is the counselor at Westside School. Students have the opportunity to speak with Ms. Newton on an individual basis. These sessions are private and confidential. Information discussed by the student during these sessions will not be shared unless both the counselor and student feel it would be beneficial to the student or state law requires that the counselor divulge the information. Parents may call Ms. Newton during school hours to discuss their child’s progress or set up a meeting with their child’s teacher.

Contact Information:   Leidy Newton, Westside School Counselor
                                   700 Westside Street
                                   Athens, TN 37303

School Counselor Services

School Counselor Curriculum
The purpose of the school guidance curriculum is to provide all students at all levels with knowledge of normal growth and development, to promote positive mental health and to assist them in acquiring and using life skills. The counselor’s responsibility is to organize and deliver the program by teaching or assisting in teaching classroom and group activities.

Individual Student Planning
Individual student planning consists of activities directed by the counselor that help all students plan, monitor and manage their own learning as well as their personal and career development. Students evaluate their educational, occupational and personal goals and by working on an individual basis or in small groups, develop immediate or long-range plans.

Responsive Services
The responsive services component of the school counseling program consists of activities to meet students’ immediate needs and concerns. These needs or concerns require counseling, consultation, referral, peer facilitation or information. This component is available to all students and is often student initiated through self-referral. However, teachers, parents or guardians or others may refer students for assistance.

System Support
System support consists of management activities that establish, maintain and enhance the total school counseling program. School counselors use their leadership and advocacy skills to promote systemic change by contributing in the following arenas: professional development, consultation, collaboration and teaming, and program management and operations.

Topics for School Counselor Classes

Study Skills                      Test-Taking Strategies          Organizational Skills
Time Management Skills    Getting Along With Others    Conflict Resolution
Communication Skills        Character Education             Career Exploration
Health and Wellness          Manners and Etiquette

Students have the opportunity to sign up for small groups. Parent permissions is required. Some of the topics covered in groups are self-esteem, social skills, study skills, children of divorce, organizational skills.

Links for Parents

Positive Parenting – Helpful articles and ideas for positive parenting
Focus on Your Child – Information from Focus on the Family
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry – This site provides many articles on all sorts of 
     mental and social health topics.
Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem – This site provides an article about self-esteem and what parents 
     can do to develop it in their child. - This site offers info on a variety of topics of interest to parents. It also provides tips on the 40 developmental assets of teenagers.

Links for Students

How to Study – Tips for improving study skills
Math Power – Assistance with math and study skills
FastWeb – College searches and scholarship information
Tennessee Career Info – Career and secondary education information, including the interest inventory survey
Dating Tips – Dating tips and prom looks
Teenage Depression – Information related to teenage depression, including symptoms and treatment