I have been a School Counselor since 2003, beginning the first two years of my career at the Reading School District, before moving in 2005 to work as a school counselor at an elementary school in Wicomico County, MD. Eight years later, I returned to PA to work at my alma mater, Twin Valley School District, as the school counselor at Robeson Elementary Center.
I graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Child Development/Psychology in Education. Two years later, I graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a M.Ed. in Counselor Education. I hold current School Counselor certifications in MD, DE, and PA.
I am a current member of professional organizations such as the National School Counselors Association and Chi Sigma Iota (an international honors society for professional counselors).
Please feel free to contact me via email, by phone at REC (610 582 9580), or by phone directly (610 286 8600 ext. 3222) if I can be of service to you or your children.
-Ms. Karen Richards-Schmitz
What does a School Guidance Counselor do?
At Robeson Elementary Center, the school counselor supports students, families, and school staff. School counselors promote academic, career, and social/emotional success for all students. Counselors may provide short term counseling or crisis intervention at school. Some students may be engaged in short term small group counseling or individual counseling on a variety of topics, including the development of positive peer relationships and social skills, self-control, improving friendship skills, etc. School counselors provide referrals to community resources that treat mental health issues. All students are supported through direct insruction/classroom guidance lessons that promote positive healthy behaviors. The social emotional learning framework includes increasing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. Lessons in 3rd and 4th grades also include career development.
The school counselor supports families by assisting parents in the process of identifying children with special abilities and/or needs through coordinating special education and gifted referrals. The Child Study Team will identify students who require additional interventions in order to be successful. The Student Assistance Program will identify students' families who could benefit from additional supports. The counselor may guide you through referrals to outside counseling services or wrap around services, such as those listed on the previous page. School counselors advocate, coordinate, and collaborate with teachers, parents, and specialists about how to best meet a child's needs.