School Counseling

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Recent research has consistently highlighted the significance of building the social-emotional competence of our students as a vital component of effective bullying prevention. The evidence suggests that when students develop strong social-emotional skills, they are better equipped to navigate interpersonal relationships and manage conflicts, ultimately reducing the incidence of bullying. Salem City Schools uses Second Step, a research based curriculum, to teach students how to recognize, report and refuse bullying.

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SCS Standards of Conduct

Bullying Prevention (CDC)

Stop Bullying Website

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Signs of Suicide (SOS) is an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program that has demonstrated an improvment in students' knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression.  The program is designed for grades 6-12. It teaches students how to identify signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their peers, while providing materials that support school professionals, parents, and communities in recognizing at-risk students and taking appropriate action. 

Signs of Suicide

SCS Suicide Prevention Policy

Social Emotional Learning is a crucial component in the development of healthy individuals. It is a fundamental process that shapes the lives of young people and adults alike. It encompasses the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable individuals to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. Salem City Schools uses Second Step, a research based curriculum  to teach social emotional learning. 

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We are pleased to share that we are offering a new resource to support mental health and wellness. is free to all staff, parents, and families in our district.

Our school counselors are committed to fostering positive educational experiences for our students, both within and beyond the classroom. Their responsibilities encompass a wide array of crucial tasks, including, but not limited to: 

  • Identifying Issues Affecting School Performance: Our counselors work diligently to identify issues such as absenteeism and other factors that may impact a student's academic performance.
  • Addressing Social or Behavioral Problems: They are equipped to address social and behavioral challenges, helping students develop strategies to overcome obstacles.
  • Developing Academic Success Skills: Our counselors assist students in acquiring the skills necessary for academic success, offering guidance and support tailored to individual needs.
  • Counseling Individuals: They provide one-on-one counseling sessions to address specific needs and concerns and connect students and families to community based services, as needed. .
  • Assessing Abilities and Interests: Our counselors assess students' abilities and interests, aiding them in making informed decisions and assisting them in the application process related to their educational and career pathways.
  • Supporting Academic and Career Goals: They play a pivotal role in monitoring students' progress towards graduation criteria and helping students set and achieve academic and career goals, providing guidance throughout their educational journey.

The school counseling curriculum for Salem City Schools is consistent with State Standards for the School Counseling Programs in Virginia Public Schools. 

The decision to exclude a student from the personal portion and/or social counseling portion of the school counseling program is left to the parent or guardian. Through written request to the principal, parents may exclude the student from personal and/or social counseling before the scheduled classroom  lessons. The principal will then make arrangements to exclude the student from the planned lessons. Alternative lessons will not be provided. Lesson plans and material to be used at each grade level are available for review.  Affirmative parental consent is not required for any student for brief personal and/or social counseling that is needed to maintain order, discipline or a productive learning environment.

Should you have any questions or require further information about our counseling services, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our counselors are dedicated to providing the best possible support and resources to help each student thrive academically and personally.

Salem Elementary Schools

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East Salem

Mary Gregory
School Counselor
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G.W. Carver

Melissa Nelson
School Counselor
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South Salem

Mandy Dallas
School Counselor
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West Salem

Allison Chester
School Counselor
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Andrew Lewis Middle School

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Kayla Basham
School Counselor
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Dr. Darryl Helems
School Counselor
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Tricia Rucker
School Counselor
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Salem High School

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Michele Arbogast
School Counseling Coordinator
Last Names M-Q
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Jenny Parrish
School Counselor
Last Names R-Z
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Sheri Smith
School Counselor
Last Names A-E
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Dr. Kristi Snow
School Counselor
Last Names F-L
Email Kristi Snow