A Comprehensive School Counseling Program

The Basalt Middle School Counseling Program provides all students support for academic growth, career planning, and personal/social development. Students and families are encouraged throughout the year to contact the school counselor to address any areas of concern. The school counselor utilizes multiple formats to provide support, outreach, prevention/intervention services and guidance curriculum to all students.

The Goals of the Basalt Middle School Counseling Department Are:

--To assist students with educational, personal, career and goal planning.

--To help students understand themselves and others.

--To assist students in identifying and dealing with problems.

--To provide crisis intervention when necessary.

--To coordinate referrals to school and community support services.

--To serve as a resource to students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

Some Reasons to Contact Your Child’s School Counselor Are:

--Any time you want to say hello

--Academic skills support

--Career preparation

--School adjustment issues

--Coping, problem-solving,decision-making concerns

--Organizational, study and test-taking skills

--Peer relationships and conflict resolution problems

--Divorce, separation and family changes

--Experiencing loss, death and grief

--Substance abuse awareness

--Multicultural/diversity awareness

--School-based and community resources information or referrals.

An overview of Mental Health programming at BMS

BMS addresses student mental and social emotional wellbeing in a variety of ways.

At BMS, we are deeply invested in the overall wellbeing of our students and in ensuring our students have access to support and mental health resources.

Curriculum: Our school offers: Crew classes 4 times a week. A big component of Crew is building personal relationships and connections, checking in with students, and helping them navigate through challenges while building social-emotional and Habits of a Scholar skills.

Social-Emotional Curriculum. Within Crew, we teach specific social-emotional curriculums including Second Step and No Bully. We also use restorative and trauma-informed practices. Learn more here.

BMS Counseling Office: Parents who have student concerns should email Principal Ellsperman at (970) 384-5900.

The BMS Counseling Office offers include: The BMS Virtual Calming Room. This website offers tools to help manage stress and other emotions and includes a resource page with local, national, and crisis information. Students and parents can access it at any time. https://sites.google.com/rfschools.com/bms-virtual-calming-room/home

Small group counseling with Mrs. Jeanette Bullock. These small group sessions cover a variety of topics including:

-- Stress management

-- Managing attention, focus, and distraction challenges

-- 8th grade leadership group

Coming soon: small groups around topics like Habits of a Scholar intervention groups, girls group, boys group, friendship group, problem-solving, art therapy group, etc. Contact the BMS counselor for details.

Individual Counseling with the BMS Counselor. These sessions include check-ins as needed and the opportunity to meet regularly for 30 minutes for up to 6 sessions. If the student needs or wants additional counseling, we will discuss whether they should see The Hope Center counselor based in the school (Jeanette Bullock) or an outside counselor.

Home Visits Home visits can be conducted to develop a partnership between the school and the family and to increase connections and a feeling of belonging. These can be requested and arranged by the school or by parents. Parents may reach out to have a home visit to help clear up confusion with distance learning and make sure a student is accessing their education. Home visits provide the opportunity to get to know families and students better and brainstorm to work together towards positive solutions. Two staff members usually attend a home visit. Sometimes the Crew teacher and counselor or an administrator and sometimes two teachers are part of the visit. Currently, home visits are conducted outside the home due to Covid-19 precautions. Contact any staff member or the front office to schedule a home visit.

Referrals The BMS counselor can connect students and families with school-based and community resources and supports, including but not limited to:

The Hope Center offers diverse services to families ranging from crisis intervention to referrals to individual counseling. School-based Hope Center clinician Mrs. Jeanette Bullock offers individual, small group, and art therapy options. The Hope Center’s website is: https://ourhopecenter.org/ and phone number is (970) 925-5858

Family Resource Center / Family Services Department. The family services department /Family Resource Center of the Roaring Fork Schools is available to connect families to community resources and provide case-management. FSD offers parent support counseling, community resources for basic needs (food, housing, financial insecurity, health care access, etc.). The Family Liaison for BMS is Conchita Ramirez: Email: cramirez@rfschools.com, Phone: 970-384-5909, Website: https://www.rfsd.k12.co.us/family-services

Pathfinders is a Colorado non-profit, psychosocial support program for cancer and chronically-ill patients, those suffering from grief and loss, caregivers, family members and the community. They offer virtual and in-person individual and small-group counseling sessions around loss and grief (including covid-19-related) for students, parents, and teachers/staff. Website: https://www.pathfindersforyou.org/. Contact the BMS counselor for more information and referral.

Mountain Family Health Center: MFHC is a school-based health clinic that offers behavioral health sessions for students in addition to other services. , website: https://www.mountainfamily.org/, Contact the BMS counselor for more information and referral.

The Buddy Program empowers youth through mentoring experiences in several different programs. Website: https://www.buddyprogram.org/. Contact the BMS counselor for more information and referral.

Safe-2-Tell. We encourage families to use Safe-2-Tell to anonymously report concerning student behavior. Reports immediately come to school administration and counselors and are acted upon with the information provided. Website: https://safe2tell.org/, Phone: 1-877-542-7233

The BMS Website offers diverse resources for families including the BMS Counseling Page and the Family Support Resources page with resources on bullying, substance use, social media concerns, suicide prevention, risky behavior and more: https://bms.rfsd.k12.co.us/en-US/parent-resources-eade51b6

Counseling Services

The BMS school counselor offers individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom guidance to students. The counselor consults/collaborates with students, teachers, parents, administrators and community agencies.

Referrals for school counseling are accepted from students, parents, school staff, and community resources. The length of individual sessions is based on a student's need, but generally sessions don't exceed 30 minutes per meeting/session. Group counseling meetings generally are 30-45 minutes long for 4 to 6 weeks. School counseling is brief and students requiring long-term counseling will be referred to outside agencies.

There is not a fee associated with any school counseling services provided by the school counselor.

Individual Planning Individual planning for academic, career or personal/social needs is available all year to all students. Students may seek academic advising or support for personal/social concerns by coming to the school counselor office and/or teacher and parent referrals. Students are informed and reminded about the confidentiality statement (see below).

Small Group Support Small groups are need-based support or service learning opportunities with students experiencing similar concerns or interests. Based on referrals, student request and/or survey data, groups are created to meet the needs of students at BMS. Small groups are voluntary and typically meet once weekly for six to eight weeks.

Career Development In collaboration with the CREW Curriculum, a program for career development and future planning is under development.

Confidentiality Statement

The information shared with BMS counselors is treated with the greatest respect. Generally, information shared in counseling will not be shared with anyone. As required by law, however, there are several limits to confidentiality. These limits include threat or harm to self or others, suspected child or elder abuse or neglect, and by court order. Additionally, information may be shared with a school administrator if behavior reported is a violation of school policy and must be reported; if counselor needs advice and needs to consult with a fellow counseling professional; if informing an administrator or classroom teacher is in student's best interest; if making parents aware of certain situations shared in counseling is in student's best interest and if student request counselor tell someone else. In the latter situations, sharing of information will be discussed with the student and will only be shared on a need to know basis in an ethically and helpful manner. In group counseling, the expectation of confidentiality is shared with students and students are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. However, confidentiality in a group can be difficult to maintain. As such, students are encouraged to share certain information with the counselor in individual meetings.