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What does a school counselor do?

The Marshall Middle School Counseling Office's mission is to help students develop the skills necessary for successful problem solving and coping with life's hurdles.  Our duty to the students is not to provide them with answers but work collaboratively to help the student find their own answers which respect their individual cultural, social and familial values.

Role of the School Counselor

You may find yourself wondering, "just what it is that school counselors do on a daily basis?"

Today's school counselors are vital members of the education team. We work with students in the areas of academic achievement, career and social/emotional development, ensuring today's students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow.

  • We deliver curriculum on these topics through classroom lessons, small group meetings and individual counseling. 
  • We are a resource to access or identify community resources.
  • We are also responsive to acute situations or crises as they occur and work with administration and teachers to be prepared to provide support with appropriate school counseling tactics.


School counselors recognize their primary obligation regarding confidentiality is to the student but balance that obligation with an understanding of the family or guardians’ legal and inherent rights to be the guiding voice in their children’s lives (ASCA, 2016).  It is the school counselors’ responsibility to fully respect the right to privacy of those with whom they enter a counseling relationship and to provide an atmosphere of trust and confidence (Lazovsky, 2008; ASCA, A.2.). A school counselor, who is in a counseling relationship with a student, has an ethical and legal obligation to keep information contained within that relationship. Confidentiality is the ethical and legal term ascribed to the information communicated within the counseling relationship, and it must be maintained unless keeping that information confidential leads to foreseeable harm. “Serious and foreseeable harm is different for each minor in the school setting and is determined by students’ developmental and chronological age, the setting, parental rights and the nature of harm” (ASCA, 2016, A.2.e). Exceptions to confidentiality exist, and students will be informed when situations arise in which school counselors have a responsibility to disclose information obtained in counseling relationships to others to protect students, themselves or other individuals. Privileged communication between a school counselor and a student is a legal term granting protection to information shared in a counseling relationship only if said privilege is granted by federal or state statue. If privilege applies it can provide additional safeguards to confidential information.