Beliefs, Mission, and Vision

Program Beliefs

  • All students can and will reach the high academic standards of Arlington Public Schools, leading to desirable post-secondary success.
  • Each student’s specific life experiences, socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, and/or special needs are considered assets, not detriments, towards his or her self- and family-defined highest academic and career achievement.
  • Student achievement and the facilitation of developmental growth are maximized when every student has access to a comprehensive school counseling program that is aligned with national, state, and local standards.
  • Childhood is a time to explore, play, make mistakes, develop social and learning skill sets, and begin to understand and develop into the adults we will become-therefore, the “whole child” is at the center of planning, delivering, and evaluating our comprehensive school counseling program.
  • The regular collection, analysis, and use of data should inform both the school counseling program’s goals for student achievement, as well as illuminate targeted opportunities for program improvement.
  • Counselors do not plan, manage, deliver, nor evaluate the school counseling program in isolation, but instead collaborate with an active advisory council comprised of parents, school staff and administrators, students, and community members who understand our students from multiple perspectives, and provide insight on how to best address student needs.
  • Counselors act as leaders and student advocates within their schools and districts, facilitating systemic change to ensure equal and equitable access to rigorous educational and personal/developmental growth opportunities.
  • By abiding by the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors, our counselors can make decisions with the highest moral integrity to best promote the well-being and optimal development of every student.

Program Mission

The Discovery school counseling program’s mission is to provide a comprehensive, school-wide, data-driven school counseling program that aligns with national, state, and district standards. Through implementation of the ASCA model, every Discovery student accesses a school counseling curriculum that develops the skills and mindsets necessary for academic, social/emotional, and college/career success; using state and school data to identify and eliminate barriers that stand in the way of our students’ academic achievement is vital to achieving this goal. Additionally, the Discovery school counseling program uses developmentally appropriate instruction, as well as targeted small-group and individual interventions, to not only educate students but also empower them to become advocates for themselves and others. As no child exists outside the framework of their environment, family, and social systems, the Discovery school counseling program aims to build meaningful and collaborative relationships with staff members and families, thereby serving the “whole child” and ensuring each Explorer can and will succeed to their highest potential.

Program Vision

All Discovery students are aspiring courageous leaders, movers and shakers, and creators of a more eco-conscious, equitable, and thriving global community. Through a comprehensive school counseling program that not only aligns with the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) Model and Ethical Standards, but also integrates grade-level curricula, all Discovery Explorers will be poised to transition fluidly to middle school, as well as succeed academically and socially throughout their secondary and post-secondary educations, propelling them into their planned and desired career paths. The Discovery school counseling program ultimately aims to provide our Explorers the skills and mindsets necessary for the lifelong adventure of continuously developing unique identities as healthy, happy, ethical, and successful 21st-century citizens and adults.