School Counseling

Meet our school counseling team and learn about our services

Coates Elementary School Counseling Program

The school counseling program addresses the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students and prepares them to be responsible citizens and life long learners.  This program is implemented in collaboration with teachers and parents, through individual and group student counseling, parent and teacher consultation, and classroom lessons to promote positive student adjustment, and to assist in maximizing each student’s potential.

Our School Counselors

Coates Elementary School has two licensed, professional school counselors: Kathy Eagan and Cari Allen. The job of the professional school counselor is to plan and implement an elementary school counseling program based on the standards developed by the Fairfax County Public School system and the American School Counselor Association.

Kathy Eagan and Cari Allen implement a variety of classroom lessons and run small groups throughout the school year on topics such as bullying and harassment prevention, conflict resolution, anger management, study skills, cooperation, listening, feelings, the middle school transition, and a variety of other topics as needed.

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does the counselor know my child’s name?

School counselors work with all students unless a parent has signed the opt-out form. School counselors assist all students about how to navigate through life challenges like disagreements or conflicts with peers, managing strong feelings, family changes, etc.

My child mentioned he/she had lunch with the counselor. Is something wrong?

Students have lunch with the counselor for different reasons. Sometimes, they are invited to have a “fun lunch” with friends. This is a time for the child to interact with peers in a quieter, less restrictive environment. It is usually a one-time event and is quite popular among students. If you have not specifically referred your child for counseling or signed a permission slip, you can assume your child attended a “fun lunch.”

How does the school counselor determine which children to work with?

  1. Parents can request and indicate a need and desire that the counselor meet with their children. If you have expressed interest and your child has not been seen, please never hesitate to call or email to reiterate your interest.
  2. Students can request counseling and are able to fill out a form to let the counselor know that he/she has something to discuss.
  3. Teachers, administrators, or other school staff refers the student.

Counseling is conducted with students individually and in small groups when requested and determined appropriate. It is short-term, voluntary, and confidential. It is not intended to be therapy, nor should it be viewed as a substitute for therapy. Parental permission is obtained prior to any extended individual or group counseling.

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.

Our School Psychologist

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.

Our School Social Worker