Bryan holds a M.A. of Education degree from Lenoir Rhyne University. He is a strong advocate for play therapy and arts-based therapeutic approaches. As the psychologist Jean Piaget noted, "Play is the work of childhood." Also, as Fred Rogers observed, "Play is often talked about as a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning." Think about the ways in which you most love to learn, and you 'll see that this is true for most humans!
In addition to being our school counselor, Bryan is our 504 coordinator.
504 plans are formal plans that schools develop to give kids with disabilities the support they need. That covers any condition that limits daily activities in a major way. These plans prevent discrimination, and they protect the rights of kids with disabilities in school. They are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This is a civil rights law. If you believe that your student may be eligible for a 504 plan, please reach out to Bryan.
Our school counselor is available to help support all students and their families meet their social, emotional and academic goals.
As a part of the educational team, the school counselor collaborates with all community stakeholders to address barriers to learning and academic success.
Individual counseling services:
are accessed by student request and referrals from teachers, administrators, or parents free of charge. Because our school counselor is responsible for supporting all students at our school, individual counseling is time-limited. The school counselor is available to help connect families and students to outside mental health providers whenever a student’s mental health needs exceed the scope of our school counseling services.
All students have access to individual counseling with the school counselor unless the student’s guardian opts out of this free resource. Under most circumstances the school counselor maintains a strict confidentiality policy. Nevertheless, guardians will always be notified if the student has expressed thoughts of self-harm or harm to others. Also, the school counselor is a mandated reporter and is therefore required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect directly to the Department of Social Services.
Small counseling groups:
are supplemental interventions offered to approximately 20% of our students. The school counselor collects data from school-wide needs assessments and referrals from teachers, administrators, and families to create small counseling groups. Small counseling groups usually consist of about six students and the topics may include: social skills training, family changes support, grief counseling, anger and stress management, confidence building and organization skills.
Classroom counseling lessons:
are proactive, whole class interventions offered to all students at FernLeaf. Our school counselor collaborates with classroom teachers to provide rich social-emotional learning opportunities for students at each grade level. These lessons typically focus on teaching empathy, emotional regulation skills, goal setting, creating and maintaining positive peer relationships, and responsible decision-making.
is a reactive measure used to support the well-being of our community in the aftermath of an emergency. In the event of an emergency, our school’s administrative team and our school counselor will collaborate with other area charter schools and their mental health teams to best meet the needs of the community.