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A school counselor has many roles. Through the use of individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance, and collaboration/consultation, the professional school counselor is primarily focused on three areas, with particular attention to culturally-informed practices:

  • Social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health
    • Social skill learning (making healthy friendships, communication, respect, responsibility, empathy, kindness, tolerance, etc.)
    • Emotional regulation and coping skills
    • Self-esteem
    • Confidence
    • Cultural awareness
    • Social media awareness and safety
    • Bullying and harassment prevention and intervention
    • Evaluate data to make decisions regarding overall school culture and social climate
    • Other social and emotional domains
  • Academic development
    • Identify and help students overcome barriers to student achievement
    • Advocate for culturally-sensitive learning environments
    • Collaborate with parents and school staff to create the best learning supports for each student
    • Develop academic plans with students to meet their post-secondary aspirations
  • Career development
    • Help students identify their interests, skills, talents, and abilities
    • Expose students to different career options through field trips, speakers, and job shadows
    • Use culturally-appropriate career development interventions to provide students with a diverse career profile
    • Integrate career goals with academic planning

Social, emotional, and behavioral learning

Cedar Rapids Community School District emphasizes social-emotional learning through the use of the five CASEL (collaborative for academic, social, and emotional learning) standards:

  • Self awareness: Understanding personal strengths and limitations, recognizing personal emotions, personal thoughts, and values
  • Self management: Managing stress, regulating emotions, thoughts, and behavior
  • Social awareness: Empathy, perspective taking, understanding and appreciating diversity, understanding norms of behavior
  • Relationship skills: Cooperating with others, establishing healthy relationships, handling conflict appropriately
  • Responsible decision-making: Making wise choices, making decisions based on social norms, evaluating choices)

Holland codes

Third, fourth, and fifth graders complete a career counseling unit where they learn to apply their Holland codes to potential career interests.

School-based therapy

Arthur Elementary has a part-time, school-based therapist. Elizabeth Heiar is a licensed therapist through Tanager Place. She splits her time between Arthur and Grant Wood Elementary. She can be contacted at or 319-365-9165, ext. 676.


Key contact

Ellen Taylor

School Counselor