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Maureen Manzo, School Counselor

What do school counselors do? Are we there for only the emergency crisis situations? No! Counselors are there for the everyday needs of students. Counselors support and encourage students as they navigate both the joys and the frustrations which can be a part of growing up and being at school.

What does a school counseling program provide to the students? A school counseling program is preventative and developmental in nature to meet the needs of all students. A visit to the school counselor is not a bad thing! We are here to encourage students to be life-long learners and help students to recognize and build on their own unique strengths. We provide training on the skills that children need to be successful with both academics and in social areas.

The counseling program has three components:

  • Classroom guidance lessons meet at least once a month and are lessons that incorporate the character education traits of respect, responsibility and caring.
  • Small group lessons usually meet once a week for 30 minutes over a period of 5-6 weeks. Parents, teachers, students, or administrators may request that a student join a particular group. Parent permission slips will be sent home before the group begins.
  • Individual counseling is provided but is short-term and brief.

Some topics that may be discussed with students are:

  • Understanding self and developing a positive self-image.
  • Showing respect for the feelings of others.
  • Understanding the decision-making process and how to set goals.
  • Maintaining effective relationships with peers and adults.
  • Developing effective organization and study skills.
  • Being prepared to make the transition to intermediate school.
  • Gaining an understanding of the world of work.

To find out more about the Guidance program in Fairfax County Public Schools, visit
FCPS Office of School Counseling Services.