At St. Anne's-Belfield School, counseling is a pro-active process, with the primary goal being to help students make effective changes for a healthier life.
The counseling office is located on the second floor of Randolph Hall, just off the landing. Students and parents can contact Mrs. Speidel, the School Counselor, by leaving a note under the counseling office door, a voice-mail or email message, or dropping by the office at any time. Mrs. Speidel provides a listening ear and offers support for students' personal concerns and problems that may include issues revolving around academic and school-related pressures, relationships, family, substance use and abuse, eating disorders, self image, transition, grief, and any issue that interferes with the students daily functioning. In addition to in-school support, Mrs. Speidel provides appropriate outside referrals to families when needed.
In addition to meeting with individuals, STAB counseling activities include educational programs that provide students in all school divisions with information and skills needed for personal growth, such as:
- Lower School friendship and social skills groups
- Middle School discussion groups on topics such as friendship, social skills, bullying, and harassment
- Middle School advisory discussions with Peer Mentors on body image, eating issues, stress management, friendship, and internet safety
- Freshman and Sophomore Seminar, a nine-week human development course
- Upper School support groups on topics such as grief and transition
- Parent Education programs on internet safety, underage drug and alcohol prevention, and adolescent development
Upper School students with a particular interest in adolescent health issues may apply to serve as a Peer Mentor to work individually and in small groups with middle school students, addressing on adolescent, social and academic issues. Peer Mentors are trained in effective communication skills and serve as mentors to their middle school "buddies". Since peer influence is at its height during the middle adolescent years, the Peer Mentor program is an effective way to help young people learn leadership skills, share age-appropriate information, and make healthy decisions, as well as providing an avenue for middle school students to connect with an older student who is available to listen and be a friend.
Angie McHugh, St. Anne's-Belfield School's Educational Consultant, has an office in the Lower School wing of the Learning Village, directly across from the Kindergarten classrooms. Mrs. McHugh is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work with Lower and Middle School students. She works with the School Counselor to help meet the social and emotional needs of students in all school divisions. In addition to providing consultation and co-facilitating support groups, Mrs. McHugh works directly with students individually or in small groups. Referrals to the educational consultant are usually made through the Heads of the Middle or Upper School and teachers, or parents may contact her directly.