My name is Jade Volchoff and I would like to welcome you to Howard Gardner MI Charter School’s Guidance Office!
About the Howard Gardner Guidance Office
- Resource for all students. Supportive atmosphere to reinforce skills and positive behaviors.
- Focus on the academic, personal/social and career areas.
- Solution focused counseling is predominantly used. Students focus on their skills, strengths, and supportive relationships to work on their concerns.
- Safe and open space for students, staff, and parents alike!
Individual Counseling: These sessions will be for students to assist with a variety of educational, career and personal (social and emotional) concerns. The purpose of these sessions are to talk about the concerns, make a plan of action, and to help the students follow through with their plan. If a student is in need of more intensive counseling, I will refer the family to private counselors and encourage the family to use community resources.
Group Counseling: In some instances students help each other out by working in groups led by the counselor. A lot of times students feel supported by working with other students that are experiencing the same problem. Group counseling will usually meet once or twice a week for a specific number a sessions. Depending on the topic, there are typically 6-8 sessions lasting for 30-45 minutes. Advantages of group over individual counseling are that students often do not feel singled out and they tend to gain social skills and personal confidence by learning to empathize and help one another. Some topics that might be addressed in Group are Self Esteem, Handling Emotions, Divorce, and Social Skills.
Classroom Guidance: The topics presented in classroom guidance will largely be driven by what the teacher feels the needs of the classroom or school are. In the past I focused on delivering character education and created lessons based on the particular problem the classroom may have been facing.
Referrals: An important role for the school counselor is to serve as referral agents when students and their families require assistance from other programs and services. In this case I would work closely with the faculty, parents and Vince in this process.
Consultation: This is and has always been a huge part of my role. Students develop to their fullest if everyone works together. So often I will work with the teacher and the parent to better address the needs of the student. Typically consultations will focus on the individual child, but this may also include workshops or presentations to parents or teachers on a particular topic. For example I may speak at a faculty meeting about PSSA’s, or mandated reporting or give a presentation to parents about bullying.
Coordination: I currently hold regular meetings with Lawrence Baracaia, our Special Education teacher, Jeri Hubbard, Title I teacher, Rita Williams, School Psychologist, and Director Maria Rozaieski to coordinate our efforts to best serve the students. I will be working closely with Lawrence and Jeri in meeting the academic needs of our students. I also coordinate with Faculty on the Child Study team. We meet weekly to discuss students that may be struggling academically, socially, or emotionally.
This will be my fourth year as school counselor at Howard Gardner.
I received my Bachelors of Science Degree from the College of Education at Penn State University in Rehabilitation Services and my Masters of Education in Elementary School Counseling with a Secondary School Counseling Certification from West Chester University. I am currently pursuing my professional counseling license at West Chester University.
During my graduate studies at West Chester, I was a Graduate Assistant for Residence Life working as an Assistant Residence Hall Director and serving on the University’s Judicial Board .
Prior to graduate school, I gained experience in the mental health field from 2002-2006 working for Allied Services as a mental health caseworker.
Before joining the Howard Gardner Faculty, I had been working as an elementary school counselor in the Poconos for 4 years. I worked with a diverse population of over 900 students in a district that houses over 10,000 students.
I currently reside in Scranton with my husband Jaden and son Flynn, 4, and daughter, Adelaide who will be 3 in November.
If you feel that you need to contact me for any reason please feel free to do so. We have told the students that they may tell their teachers, leave a note or ask that their parents contact me by phone or email.
My email address and phone number are listed below. You may also call the Main Office or leave a note for me with the school secretary.
To schedule an appointment, calling or emailing works the best. Occasionally I will be available to meet without an appointment, but I strongly recommend contacting me ahead of time.
PSSA: Pennsylvania System of School Assessment
This year students in grades 3 through 8 will be given the PSSA. I am listed with the state as Howard Gardner’s Assessment coordinator.
The PSSA calendar for the 2015-2016 school year is as follows:
April 11th-April 27th
If you have any questions about the PSSA please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer your questions.Click here for PSSA Test-taking Tips!
As a counselor, I will protect the privacy of my students and treat each individual with respect . The law states, if during a counseling session anything is said that tells me that a someone is hurting the child, they plan on hurting someone else or themselves, that I must share it with the proper authorities for the child’s protection.