How to Provide School Counseling Resources for Distance Learning

As we are in an unprecedented time due to the Coronavirus pandemic, educators worldwide are having to get creative with developing remote learning opportunities on short notice. As counselors, this can be even more tricky. My admin's instructions were to not overwhelm parents with non-essential learning. While I certainly think counseling is essential, a big part of our programs are proactive and preventative so where does that leave us? Each district likely has different expectations of the counselor's role during this time, but here are some suggestions to get you started.

Only here for the freebies? No shame, keep scrolling :)

how to provide school counseling resources for distance learning

How to reach students with tier 1 interventions (class lessons) virtually:

  • You can send out a PowerPoint for the class lessons you had planned for parents to review with their child.

  • You can send out a parent letter with information on how to talk to their child about their feeling of anxiety, stress, and fear during this time along with some stress-reducing resources. This is the one I sent. Download a free copy here.

How to reach students with tier 2 interventions (small group counseling) virtually:

  • I don't see the benefit of sending home activities related to small groups as the point of the small group is for students to collaborate and problem-solve together. **Update: I started seeing a small group over Zoom.

  • If you’d like you can still send home some activities you were planning on doing as a group for them to do individually. You could later review the work as a group once school resumes.

How to reach students with tier 3 interventions (individual counseling) virtually:

  • You can email the parents of the students you see individually and send home some activities they can work on with their child.

  • You can use Skype or Zoom to do virtual counseling sessions over video. Be sure to check with your district's policy on video and confidentiality. ASCA is providing a free webinar covering ethical considerations on March 23, 2020. Sign up here. If you are reading this after March 23rd, hopefully, they have a recorded version.

For my complete guide on counseling during distance learning, read this blog post.

You can present this information to your admin and while it may be assigned as optional work, hopefully, it is reaching the kiddos who need it most. Mental health needs are at an all-time high in a state of crisis.

how to reach students virtually individual counseling

School Counseling Freebies

Many school counselors have offered these free resources to make distance learning more accessible.

Coronavirus Specific Freebies:

Coronavirus Stress Activities - Bright Futures Counseling

Love in the Time of Corona: A Homebound Self-Care Guide for Parents and Students - School Counselor Stephanie

A Story to Help Children Understand Coronavirus and Video - Music City School Counselor

Distance Learning Vision Board Activity - The DIY Counselor Carla

Mindfulness Choice Board - Mindful Counselor Molly

Homeschool Activity Tracker - Counselor Station

SEL Home Learning Packet - The Counseling Teacher Brandy

Student Living History Journal - Created 2 Counsel

Middle School E-Learning Resources - Kylie The Creative Social Worker

Stress Management Poster - Heart and Mind Teaching

Stress Management Coping Skills Spinner - Counselor Clique

Social-Emotional Learning Activities Bingo Board - Counselor Chelsey

Social-Emotional Learning at Home K- 2nd and 3rd-5th - Counseling with Ms. Ramirez

Calm Down Sheet - School Counseling Smart

Elementary School:

Digital Feelings Identification - Spreckled Moose Counseling

Zen Coloring Sheets - The Sunny Sunshine Student Support Store

Feelings Exploration Dice Activity - The Responsive Counselor

Getting To Know You Counseling Conversation Cube Icebreaker Dice - WholeHearted School Counseling

Good Choice or Bad Choice Behavior Maze - Whole Child Counseling

Middle and High School:

60 Free Ways for Teens and Young Adults to Show Intentional Acts of Kindness - Informed Decisions

College Cost of Attendance and Comparison Tool- Free for a limited time - The Counseling Geek

Other Resources

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Julia Cook's The Yucky Bug: This YouTube video shows students' illustrations and a read-aloud of Julia Cook’s book about the Coronavirus.

Insight Timer: This free guided meditation app has a lot of Coronavirus specific meditations to ease fear and anxiety. Great for adults too!

Hopefully, these resources make your work-from-home counseling life a little easier. Stay well.

How to provide school counseling resources for distance learning

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