• Mission

    It is the mission of the School Counseling Program to provide a respectful, responsible, remarkable environment that meets the needs of all children by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program that plays an active role in school climate so that each child has the opportunity to do their personal best emotionally, socially, and academically.


    To prepare students to be college and career ready and meet the challenges of the 21st century by providing high quality opportunities to enable them to acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes to become responsible citizens, productive workers, and lifelong learners.

     We believe:

    ·      All students can learn and that the school-counseling program is an essential, integral part of the overall educational process.

    ·      All students have dignity and worth.

    ·      All students have the right to be served by the school-counseling program that provides education, emotional, and social support.

    ·      The school counselor will advocate for all students, and will uphold the rights, responsibilities and obligations of every person involved, following professional school counseling ethics and standards as advocated by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).


    Program Description 

    I) The school counseling program at A.L. Lotts is the job of one Masters level, state certified school counselor who is assigned to the school full time. At the directions of the Department of Education, the program is implementing the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model this year.  The ASCA website describes the model in detail.  Services are delivered on a Tier System in which Tier One is classroom lessons, Tier Two is small group counseling and Tier Three is short term, goal focused individual counseling.  

    II) The program consists of five components. 

         A) Classroom Lessons

             1) Each classroom in grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade receives classes during the year.  The goal currently is to teach eight half hour classes by the end of the year.  

             2) The skills addressed fulfill the state curriculum and ASCA model standards in three areas: Academic Skills, Career/College Skills and Social/Emotional Skills. 

        B) Small Group Counseling 

            1) Multiple students are seen in a group setting to focus on a shared issue and learn new skills. 

            2) Students are referred by staff (teachers, administrators, parents and the student him or herself).

       C) Individual Counseling

            1) Students are seen for individual counseling when he or she needs more help than classroom and small group interventions provide. 

            2) Referrals are made the same way as for small groups.

       D) Consultation

            1) Counselor consults with school staff and parents to increase understanding of students and collaborate in generating interventions. 

            2) Consultations may occur in conferences, in person or on the phone, will school staff, parents or other permitted adults. 

       E) Program Evaluation

           1) The counselor will evaluate the effectivenesss of the program and make as needed changes.

           2) Data used to evaluate the program may include but is not limited to surveys, analysis of time management and referral data and observations by administrators.   


    Parent Letter

    My name is Dougal McKinley and I have been a school counselor since the 2001-02 school year.  My job is to help the total child be as successful as possible. 

    There have been some questions in the past about school counseling programs.  First, referrals come from a variety of sources that include: administrators, teachers, parents and students themselves.  Parent permission is not required for a child to see the school counselor since it is part of the regular school program.  Sometimes children need support in coping with issues, such as conflcit, separation/divorce, grief, fears, and responsibility.  

    Secondly, many people confuse school counseling and therapy.  I spent eight years as a mental health therapist and I respect the difference.  Counseling focuses on issues and behaviors that arise in the course of normal growing up and life changes.  It aims to help students increase their coping skills.  Therapy tends to focus on more severe maladaptive behavior and mental illnesses.  Mental health illnesses are medical conditions and the treatment of them requires informed consent by their responsible adult. 

    I'm assigned to A.L. Lotts full time.  If you have concerns and would like to discuss it with me, please call 539-8611 or e-mail me at dougal.mckinley@knoxschools.org.  I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.  


    Audiovisual Works 

    The following videos maybe shown during teaching Guidance classroom lessons:

    Think Before You Click is a DVD on online safety

    Making the Most of Middle School

    Cliques is a DVD on friendships 

    In addition the following DVDs maybe shown while teaching lesson(s) on preventing child physical abuse.

    What Tadoo: Child Abuse Prevention (Kindergarten-Second Grade)

    What Tadoo: Child Abuse Prevention (Grades 2-4)

    When Should You Tell: Dealing with Abuse (Grades 3-5).