Meet our school counselors, psychologist, and social worker
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For elementary school counselors, the primary objective is to assist students in reaching their potential to become effective learners. Their goal is to complement the learning environment in the classroom by using a child-centered, preventative, and developmental approach.
Counseling will be conducted with students individually and in small groups, when requested by parents and teachers and determined appropriate. This service is short-term, voluntary, and confidential. Parent notification is given to any extended individual or group counseling. There will also be monthly classroom guidance lessons focusing on student success.
Please do not hesitate to contact our amazing school counselors:
Beth Mertens, e[email protected]
Shari Hirsch, @email
Mental Health Resources
Mental health has been a “hot button” topic in our country over the past few months. School counselors are excited to share a new mental health resource site for our Chantilly community. As elementary, middle, and high school counselors continue to work with families in each school, we felt it necessary to share similar information and resources with everyone in grades K through 12. The Chantilly Pyramid’s comprehensive Google site link can be found below. Feel free to access the site on your own. If you have specific questions or needs, contact your child’s school counselor directly.
School Psychology Services
School psychologists are mental health specialists with knowledge of child development, the psychology of learning, behavior management and intervention, monitoring the progress of students, and program evaluation. School psychologists apply this knowledge using a problem-solving approach to help bring about positive changes in the learning environment, attitude, and motivation.
Services offered by the school psychologist may be provided directly to the student or indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and other care givers; however, all services provided by the school psychologist are intended to enhance the academic and social emotional success of students. Minimum requirements to be a school psychologist include a 60-hour master's degree program and a one-year full-time internship; many FCPS school psychologists hold doctoral degrees.
Our school psychologist is:
Farah Fazel, f[email protected]
Social Work and Support Services
School social workers focus on family and community factors that influence learning. They provide intensive services for students facing issues that pose risks to their academic success such as parent divorce and separation, poverty, truancy, chronic illness, mental health problems, conduct problems, child abuse, etc.
All FCPS social workers hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree; many have earned a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree. All school social workers are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. The majority of the staff is clinically licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Social Work (LCSW) or in other jurisdictions and trained to provide mental health services in any setting.
Our social worker is:
Ashley Pontera, a[email protected]