Dennis E. Cowan Elementary School

Counselor's Connection

 

Our Cowan counseling team consists of Michelle DeMarco and Becky Shaheen.

You can reach us at 512-841-2752 or email us by clicking our names above.

 

What Does a School Counselor Do?

Parents, the press, administrators and the general public often wonder just what it is that school counselors do on a daily basis. Gone are the days of school counselors sitting in their office simply handing out college applications, making schedule changes for students who want to drop a class or meeting with the troublemakers in the school. Today's school counselors are vital members of the education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development, ensuring today's students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. Learn more about the school counselor's role.

  • From the American School Counselor Association

 

Cowan Counselors Offer:

  • Quick Check-Ins: We will check-in or check-up on a student. This can be a one time meeting or check-in on a weekly basis for up to 3 weeks. We will visit with the student for 5-10 minutes. If there is a problem, we will make an appointment with the student to visit for a longer session.
  • Limited Individual Sessions: We offer short-term counseling to students who are in need.  We will meet with a student for up to 20 minutes a week for a maximum of three weeks. (Referrals to long-term support are available at caregiver's request.) 
  • Mentors: We look for ways to bring in our community (teachers in the school or caring adults outside of the school) to help our Cowan Coyotes succeed.  Our Bowie PALS come in once a week and play games and build relationships with their mentees.  Our adult mentors come once a week during the child's lunch time and are all vetted and background checked through APIE (Austin Partner's in Education).  If you would like to become a mentor, please contact Becky Shaheen at becky.shaheen@austinisd.org. *Please note that mentees are chosen by staff and spaces are very limited.  We continue to grow our mentor program to be able to include more Cowan students in need of this support.*
  • Academic Planning, Goal Setting, Middle School Transition: We meet with students to look for opportunities to improve attendance/grades.  We help our students set S.M.A.R.T. goals to help them strive at Cowan and beyond.  We do a career day each year with all students.  We also have presenters  from all over the job spectrum come  and meet with our 4th and 5th graders.  We help with the transition to middle school by having schools in our vertical team come and speak to our 5th graders.  We also help our students with the application process.  Please see the the menu at the top of this page to find out more about this exciting transition.
  • Small Groups: Groups of children with similar interests are invited to meet with one of us once a week for six to eight weeks. Various support groups may include families going through transitions, friendship groups, grief groups, pre-teen support groups and more. Group formation starts in October.
  • Classroom Counseling Lessons: We will visit with every classroom for 30 minutes once every 3 weeks for large group counseling. Lesson topics are chosen in collaboration with the classroom teacher and based on American School Counseling Association (ASCA), Texas Education Agency (TEA), and Austin ISD guidelines.
  • Conflict Resolution: We can support students when mediation or conflict resolution is needed to solve a personal dispute with another student.
  • No Place for Hate: We are a proud No Place for Hate school and district!  Find our more about this program at https://www.austinisd.org/cpi/no-place-for-hate.
  • Collaboration: Of course the key to success is collaboration between all members of a child's world.  School Counselors help build and support this ongoing collaboration by conferencing and giving support to teachers and families.  Don't ever hesitate to reach out.  We have many resources to offer or can just be a listening ear.
  • Beginning of the Year Mini-Meetings: We will be visiting with all students 1-on-1 during the first 9 weeks of school for "mini-meetings".  This is  just a check in to see how things are going and to make sure we begin building relationships with every Cowan Coyote! We will be dropping in to classrooms during morning meetings, as well as reaching out to families that we aren't able to connect with during that time.  We look forward to our quick chat!

 

Confidentiality:

We respect the right to confidentiality of students, teachers, parents and staff.  If you are seeking information, we will let you know what we can share and what we can not share.  We will always ask the counselee for permission to share information with others who we feel might need to know.  Disclosure of abuse, sexual harassment, bullying and/or imminent danger to self or to others are reported to the appropriate agency and/or campus administrator in accordance with school policy and the law.