Meet our school counselors, school psychologist, and social worker and learn about our school counseling program
Washington Mill School Counselors
As elementary school counselors, their primary objective is to assist students in reaching their potential to become effective learners. Their goal is to complement the learning environment in the classroom by using a child-centered, preventative, and developmental approach.
Counseling will be conducted with students individually and in small groups, when requested by parents and teachers and determined appropriate. This service is short-term, voluntary, and confidential. Parent notification is given to any extended individual or group counseling. There will also be monthly classroom guidance lessons focusing on student success.
Please do not hesitate to contact our amazing school counselors!
School Psychology Services
School psychologists are mental health specialists with knowledge of child development, the psychology of learning, behavior management and intervention, monitoring the progress of students, and program evaluation. School psychologists apply this knowledge using a problem-solving approach to help bring about positive changes in the learning environment, attitude, and motivation. Services offered by the school psychologist may be provided directly to the student or indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and other care givers; however, all services provided by the school psychologist are intended to enhance the academic and social emotional success of students. Minimum requirements to be a school psychologist include a 60-hour master's degree program and a one-year full-time internship; many FCPS school psychologists hold doctoral degrees.
Social Work and Support Services
School social workers focus on family and community factors that influence learning. They provide intensive services for students facing issues that pose risks to their academic success such as parent divorce and separation, poverty, truancy, chronic illness, mental health problems, conduct problems, child abuse, etc.
All FCPS social workers hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree; many have earned a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree. All school social workers are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. The majority of the staff is clinically licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Social Work (LCSW) or in other jurisdictions and trained to provide mental health services in any setting.
School Social Worker
- School Social Worker
Children's Reaction to Death
Young children cannot really understand death. They may see it as reversible and may ask you over and over again when the person is coming back to school. They may believe that something they thought or did caused what happened. Their thinking is quite concrete and tends to be focused on their own needs.
Many children may want to discuss their previous experiences with death, for example, if a pet or relative has died. This is perfectly normal, and questions should be answered simply and factually.
In some children, reactions may be more pronounced and may include crying, whimpering, or regressive behaviors such as sucking a thumb, fearing to be left alone, and asking to be dressed or fed. Still others may have fears and anxieties that may include difficulty sleeping, general irritability, and sadness.
Some children may have no observed grief reaction initially and may act as if nothing happened. This is perfectly all right. Let their reactions be the key to your response.
Here Are Some Guidelines for Parents to Consider Regarding the Death of a Child
Your child may exhibit one or a number of possible reactions following this experience over the next several weeks. Reactions may include:
- Sleep problems.
- Clingy behavior.
- Somatic complaints such as: headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue.
If your child continues to demonstrate these reactions over an extended period of time or if your child's reactions are extreme at any time, you are encouraged to contact your school counselor, psychologist, or social worker.
How to Help Your Child Cope With Grief
- Allow your child to talk about the death, express fears, cry, and be sad.
- Use the deceased person's proper name and use correct terminology when talking about the death. For example, say "dead" instead of "he's passed on."
- Explain your feelings to your child, especially if you are crying. Parents are role models, and it's normal for children to see your sadness and to share your feelings