Psychological and Counseling Program Components Counseling Counseling is provided to students of DPISD in both group and individual formats to help resolve interpersonal or family problems that interfere with school performance. In some cases, the focus of counseling is to provide training in skills such as social skills or anger management. Counseling services may also be provided help families and schools manage crises, such as death, illness, or community trauma. Consultation Staff of the Psychological Services Department collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students that strengthen connections between home and school. Collaboration might occur with:
- teachers, parents, and administrators to find effective solutions to learning and behavior problems;
- parents to assist in locating resources; or
- other professionals/agencies to provide seamless services for students.
Evaluation Certain professionals in the Psychological Services Department conduct evaluations of students. Examples of some types of assessments might include:
- Evaluation of eligibility for special services
- Assessment of academic skills and aptitude for learning
- Determination of social-emotional development and mental health status
- Evaluation of learning environments
Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) program is a federally funded entitlement. The purpose of the activities are as follows:
- Prevent violence in and around schools
- Prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Involve parents and communities
- Are coordinated with related Federal, State, school and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.
DPISD has initiated a variety of activities which meet align with the SDFSC goals including:
- Adult Mentoring
- DPISD Crisis Plan
- Drug Abuse Counseling
- Peer Assisted Leadership (PALS)
- Shattered Dreams Program
- Project Graduation
- SDFSC Advisory Meeting
- Crisis Hotline
- Drug Prevention Training
- Developmental Guidance Program
The Search Institute has outlined 40 Developmental Assets which are concrete, common sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to raising successful young people. These assets have the power during critical adolescent years to influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults.
The Developmental Asset framework is categorized into two groups of 20 assets. External assets are the positive experiences young people receive from the world around them. These 20 assets are about supporting and empowering young people, about setting boundaries and expectations, and about positive and constructive use of young people's time. External assets identify important roles that families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods, and youth organizations can play in promoting healthy development.
The twenty internal assets identify those characteristics and behaviors that reflect positive internal growth and development of young people. These assets are about positive values and identities, social competencies, and commitment to learning. The internal Developmental Assets will help these young people make thoughtful and positive choices and, in turn, be better prepared for situations in life that challenge their inner strength and confidence.
Rather than engaging in specific "Developmental Asset" activities, DPISD embraces these assets as a foundation level philosophical underpinning of its activities, collaborations and functions.
Community Youth Services
DPISD collaborates with Harris County to fund a position for a Community Youth Services (CYS) worker. CYS is a school-based crisis intervention, counseling, and case management service that provides practical assistance to families of youth who are experiencing problems. All services of CYS are voluntary and provided free of cost. In counseling families, CYS also searches among the many agencies throughout the county to locate and help clients obtain other needed social services to resolve family problems.
Truancy, runaway, pregnancy, drug, school, economic, and family problems are appropriate referrals. CYS can also assist in dealing with other youth serving agencies of the county.
Guidance Counselor Services
The primary purpose of the DPISD school counseling program is to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. Collaborating with other stakeholders to promote student achievement, professional school counselors address the needs of all students through prevention and intervention programs that are a part of a comprehensive school counseling program.
Counselors engage in a wide range of activities, including:
- participate in the planning, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive developmental guidance program to serve all students and to address the special needs of students;
- consult with a student's parent or guardian and make referrals as appropriate in consultation with the student's parent or guardian;
- consult with school staff, parents and other community members to help them increase the effectiveness of student education and promote student success;
- coordinate people and resources in the school, home and community;
- interpret standardized test results and other assessment data that help a student make educational and career plans; and
- deliver classroom guidance activities or serve as a consultant to teachers conducting lessons based on the school's guidance curriculum.