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School Counselors

Academic Academy School Counselor Haley Grabowski - 203.574.8140 ext. 37021 Email

WPS School Counseling Program

The mission of the school counselors of Waterbury Public Schools is to empower all students to reach their full potential and to be productive life-long learners.

All graduates of Waterbury Public Schools will have the knowledge to grow, adapt, and achieve within a diverse, ever-changing global society.

Core Values:

  1. All students are unique individuals with the ability to succeed in a safe, supportive, diverse and inclusive environment.

  2. All students have equitable access to a high-quality comprehensive school counseling program; that promotes social-emotional growth, academic achievement, and college/career readiness.

  3. School counselors proactively advocate for the school counseling profession with an emphasis on the emotional well-being and developmental growth of all students.

  4. School counselors collaborate with students, families, staff, and community resources to enhance connectedness.

  5. School counselors analyze and interpret data to evaluate, drive, and improve programming in order to increase student success.

What does a School Counselor do?

Counselors provide a variety of services for ALL students.


Direct student services are provided by our school counselors while working directly with students. This face-to-face time includes individual student planning, delivering the school counseling curriculum, and responsive services. These services are data driven and meant to help promote healthy development, a positive attitude toward work and learning and help students achieve success in school as well as effectively identify post-secondary choices. Direct services can be proactive and reactive.


Session results in the development of a Student Success Plan for each student that is focused on career/education/social-emotional goals and postsecondary options. The plan is revised and modified annually throughout the student’s school career beginning in middle school and continuing throughout high school.


Classroom Lessons: School counselors, in collaboration with teachers, deliver a learning activity or unit in the classroom. The curriculum provides developmental and sequential lessons and activities in classroom and/or group settings, which address student development in academic, career and social-emotional domains. Lessons are approximately 45 minutes in length.

Small Groups: Counselors conduct groups outside the classroom to respond to students’ identified interests or needs. School counselors plan and lead structured activities that are designed to increase the skills and knowledge of student participants. Small groups will be developed by analyzing data from classroom lessons, as well as student feedback, and collaboration with staff and families. Groups may also be formed as a need arises.

School-wide Events and Activities: Designed to reinforce the concepts being taught in the classroom by school counselors. Collaborations within and outside the school community are used to address specific information relevant to students and families. Examples: academic presentations, guest speakers, career fair, financial aid night, middle/high school transitioning.


School counselors are trained and prepared to react to a crisis or immediate need experienced by a student or school community. School counselors provide supportive individual and group counseling, referral, collaboration, and consultation to help students and families overcome academic, personal-family, and socio-emotional barriers to healthy development. (CT Comprehensive K-12 School Counseling Framework Guide, November 2020)


Indirect student services are provided by our school counselors on behalf of students. School counselors take a team approach when working on behalf of students. As part of this team approach, consultation with staff, administration, and families in regard to the challenges and barriers that students face, is an important part of our school counseling framework.

Through collaboration within the school and with outside agencies, school counselors develop programming as part of the comprehensive school counseling framework that fits the needs of students, parents and community members. Collaboration also allows for the school counseling department to make connections with outside agencies to provide students and parents with a number of resources that are available to them to help with issues that are not otherwise within the scope of the school day. School counselors often become a point of contact for families within the school. By providing referrals, families are able to connect with needed services not only within the school system, but outside in the community as well. (CT Comprehensive K-12 School Counseling Framework Guide, November 2020).

SEL Resources

SEL Resources


Community Resources

graphic with a qr code for community and family resources