Quaker Valley Counseling Lauded

By Greene, Joan | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 1, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Quaker Valley Counseling Lauded

Greene, Joan, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Countering bullies, learning to set goals, exploring careers -- these and other strategies counselors at Quaker Valley Middle School use to help students have earned the school the distinction of being the state's first with a model counseling program.

The American School Counselor Association designated Quaker Valley's counseling program as a model program after school counselors Christy Clapper and Alan Carson submitted an application demonstrating commitment and competency.

"We honestly had not even thought about being the first middle school in Pennsylvania to earn this designation,"Clapper said. "We saw the application process as an opportunity to do a really good audit of our work with kids and to make our program better for our school community.

"Earning the designation just validates our efforts," she said.

Judging looked at how well schools implemented personal/social, academic and career standards. In addition to bully-proofing, goal- setting and career-exploration strategies, Quaker Valley holds small group meetings on organization, school achievement and "For Girls Only."

In order to provide comprehensive guidance, the services offered must reach out to large and small groups, as well as individuals, Clapper said. Programming should be developed for every level.

As counselors, Clapper and Carson said, they have documented changes in students' attitudes and behavior after participating in classroom or small group instruction.

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