Providing Guidance, One Child at a Time

by Kim Ferlauto, Director of Counseling Services

The mission of the Verona Public School’s Counseling Department is to provide a comprehensive counseling program that supports students academic, career, and social and emotional development through education, prevention, intervention, and referral services. Working in collaboration with key stakeholders, we are dedicated to ensuring students gain a heightened sense of responsibility, maturity, and the skills needed to continue on their journey to becoming productive, well-ad­justed citizens. Adapted from American School Counselor Association, 2012

Greetings from the Verona School Counseling Depart­ment! During my tenure, I have been fortunate enough to work with a talented group of educators and contribute to Verona’s continued tradition of excellence through the lens of school counseling. At the middle school level, we have one school counselor assigned to each of the two “houses.” This allows school counselors to develop relationships with students and families over a four year span. These relation­ships, in addition to weekly meetings with the house teams, allow counselors to meet individual student needs and facilitate student success. In addition to individualized services, our middle school counselors implement advisory curriculum in 5th and 6th grade to assist in the transition to middle school, as well as building trust, confidence, and a sense of belonging. School counselors use a variety of resources to address advisory topics such as Study Skills, Goal Setting & Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Tolerance & Diversity, Bullying, and Career Exploration.

At the high school level, our school counselors continue to build and maintain relationships with students over the entirety of their high school career. To ensure student success, we provide both individualized and group meet­ings to students, as well as families. Every year, we schedule individual meetings with students and families to discuss personal goals, both short-term and long-term, and develop a plan to achieve those outcomes. Through small groups, held throughout the school day, as well as evening sessions, we provide information on a variety of topics, such as the transition to high school, career exploration, finan­cial aid, the college admissions and application process, and other post-secondary options. Our student assistance counselor is trained to assist students in coping with emotional, psychological, or behavioral issues. We are proud to include our therapy dog, Hetty, on our school counseling staff that serves as a calming presence for our students who are presenting with stress, nervousness, anxiety, or sadness.

We are proud to offer over 20 Advanced Placement cours­es to our students. We also offer 6 dual enrollment courses, which offer college credit to students while still enrolled in high school. Over 90% of our graduating seniors attend a two or four year college after graduation. The list of accep­tances includes over 200 schools from across the country and around the world.

The School Counseling Department incorporates the use of technology and social media to communicate with our students, families, and community members. We encour­age parents to contact us to inquire about services and counseling advice. We encourage you to view our website at and follow us on Twitter @VHSGuidance

Click here to read more articles in the Verona Public Schools Magazine 2016-2017 Edition.