FAQs


1. How can I get in contact with you?

You can contact me by phone at (804) 443-5301, by email at dmercer@essex.k12.va.us, or in person (please call ahead to make sure I am available). I am more than happy to set an appointment and meet individually with parents/guardians.

 

2. My family is going through a transition and I'm concerned about my child.

If your family is experiencing a transition (such as moving, changing schools, family additions, divorce), you may see some changes in the behavior of your child. This is absolutely normal! Children adjust to transitions very differently depending on the child and the situation, so don't be surprised if it takes a while. Providing stability, a nurturing and supportive environment, and a stable routine will help your child adjust to their new surroundings.

 

3. How can I talk to my child about bullying?

If your child has been bullied at school, speak to your child's classroom teacher, principal, and/or me so we can help. You can offer suggestions such as ignoring the bully, walking away, telling them to stop, using an "I" message, and going to a trusted adult (which is not tattling; this is requesting assistance with a serious problem).

The pattern of the “I-Message” is as follows:

I feel ______________ when you __________ because ______________.

4. Can a school counselor provide individual counseling?

I do see students on a 1-1 basis when self-referred, or when referred by a teacher/parent. Due to time constraints, I can only see students for a few sessions. If further help is needed I can assist you in locating appropriate local resources.

 

5. Are parents notified when a student visits the counselor?

Parent notification depends on the purpose of the student’s visit. Parents are notified and must give permission for students to participate in small groups. For behavioral support incentives and quick care meetings, parents are typically not alerted.

 

6. Is information shared with the counselor also shared with teachers?

Personal information shared with the counselor is not shared with the classroom teacher unless permission to share the information is granted by the student or the parent. Academic information applicable to classroom performance will be shared with the teacher if appropriate


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