3 Ways for School Counselors to End the School Year on a High Note

What seems to have been the longest school year is finally coming to an end. But us counselors know just how manic things get towards the end of May and in early June. Suddenly there's so much to do and so little time, and we could all do with a little help now, couldn't we? This is why I decided to write this blog post that would aid you with putting your year-end procedures in place, seamlessly.

1. Terminate your individual and group counseling sessions

The time for goodbyes is here. I have to admit, earlier in my career, I found termination a little too sentimental than I'd like to admit! After 6-12 weeks of meeting students regularly, goodbyes are bound to be bittersweet, for both counselors and their clients. What we need to remember as counselors though, is that this is actually a celebration of sorts. Your kiddos are in a much better place now, equipped with the skills and strategies they need, that they can apply to real-life situations, even without you around to help them. If you need more support on how to terminate individual and group sessions successfully, check out this blog post.

2. Work on your End of the Year Report

Data, data, data! You can never have too much of it! While you've probably collected data from all three tiers of your counseling program this year, what's important now is what you do with all this data. A game-changer in advocating for your role and the services you provide would be your End of the Year Report that shines a light on the hard work, time, creativity, and expertise you've put into serving your school/students over the past year.

Wondering what goes into your EOTY report? Don't forget to include the following:

  • Number of students served (broken down into individual and small groups)

  • Time spent with students (average minutes per session over the total number of weeks)

  • Class guidance lesson topics covered and how frequently you taught them

  • Character education school-wide activities you hosted or implemented

  • IEP, SST, etc meetings that you attended (include how many hours)

  • PD, conferences, or trainings you attended or presented at

In order to put this report together, you'd need to collate data from the following sources:

  • Student self-assessments

  • Teacher/parent feedback

  • Observations

  • Pre and post group surveys

  • Progress monitoring scales

Does creating this report sound overwhelming? Check out my editable End of the Year Report template that will give you some inspiration and structure and would help you get started with your own report.

Apart from using this EOTY report to share with stakeholders and thereby advocate for your role, I believe it's a great way to self-reflect on your areas of strength and your areas for growth for the coming school year and to plan your next steps accordingly.

3. Send home SEL-based summer activities

One of the things that isn't necessary but would definitely be worth your time and effort would be to send home SEL-based activity packs for your students and their families to use over summer break. In my experience, families are highly appreciative of gestures like this, as is one's school admin.

Activities you send home could include anything from mandala coloring sheets and SEL craft-ivities like self-regulation cootie catchers or peace bracelets to puzzles and in-house SEL booklets. If you don't have much time on hand to prep kits like this, you might be interested in this Countdown to Summer Break School Counseling Activity Pack which covers 20 different elementary school counseling topics. This summer-themed activity pack includes games and activities related to anger management, coping strategies, self-control, mindfulness, and stress management, among a plethora of others. The interactive calendar (similar to an interactive notebook page) is for students to discover which activity they get to do by lifting a flap or opening a foldable shape! Your students are sure to love it!

What are some procedures and protocols you follow before school closes for summer? Let me know in the comments!

And finally, to every school counselor reading this, here's to completing another school year successfully! I hope you get in enough downtime because you truly deserve it! Thank you for all you do in making a difference in your students' lives!

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