The counselors at Excelsior Academy strive to serve as consultants and partners in helping students, parents, and teachers to better understand how they can help to effectively address each individual child’s unique learning profile. In doing so, counselors help guide students to identify and utilize their strengths in order to overcome their areas of weakness. Excelsior Academy counselors provide services in four domains: academic, career, social and emotional.
In order to address our students needs, we have created a counseling program that is able to adapt to each individual student and their family. Individual counseling programs can consist of any of the following supports:
- Individual Counseling: provided in 30 minute increments, typically provided 1-2x/week with their assigned counselor
- Group Counseling: provided in 30 minute increments 1x/week led by both counselors. Staff (and sometimes parents) collaborate with counselors to target specific areas of need and counselors assign students to groups accordingly
Counselors attend weekly and biweekly divisional and consultation meetings with Excelsior Academy staff in order to stay current with student needs and to help identify areas of need amongst the student population. In the past, group counseling sessions have covered topics such as: self-esteem, conflict resolution, bullying, peer pressure, trauma, anxiety, depression and sexual health and reproduction. Excelsior Academy counselors work within their areas of expertise and refer students out for specialized services as necessary.
How does my child qualify for counseling at Excelsior Academy?
A referral may be made by counseling staff, Excelsior Academy staff, district personnel and/or parents. Excelsior Academy counselors will then observe the student in the school setting and consult with necessary personnel prior to qualifying student for counseling support services. Parents and families must consent to counseling services.
Why does my child need counseling?
It is the belief of Excelsior Academy that all students can benefit from counseling support services, whether in the group or individual setting. These supports can come in the form of group counseling where students work on peer mediation, conflict resolution and positive communication, or individual sessions where students are able to process through events 1:1 with a counselor. Research has shown that having a comprehensive school counseling program has a positive and long lasting effect on students and the classroom environment (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cg/rh/counseffective.asp).
I feel that my child needs a referral for outside services but I don’t know where to start, what do I do?
Contact an Excelsior Academy counselor for support and guidance.
Meet our Counselors:
Ms. Mairen Ruiz joined the Excelsior family in 2014. She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Brandman University, and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC). She has worked in the classroom as an Instructional Assistant for the school district, as well as a Therapy Assistant in an Adult Day Center. Besides caring for her two sons, she loves rock music and anything related to Comic-Con.
Ms. Jesica Lee comes to us from New York City, where she earned her Masters Degree in Counseling at NYU and also holds a PPSC. As a former first grade teacher, Ms. Jesica is happy to continue to work with students and work with them in a personal, therapeutic setting. She joined EA in 2015, and comes with a breadth of experience as a counselor in the New York City school system. She loves the hiking here in San Diego, and kicking back while reading or drawing.