Information from the ALES Guidance Department

Welcome to the ALES Guidance Page!
My name is Mary DesMarais. I am the Counselor for PK-5th Grade. My goal as your child's school counselor is to:
  • assist them in promoting a positive attitude towards themselves and others
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • coping with change in school, their surroundings, and themselves
  • being responsible for their actions
I work with students in the classroom, small group, and individually.
In the classroom, we work together in understanding the importance of good character. There are 6 pillars of character. They are:
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Trustworthiness
  • Citizenship
These Character traits are emphasized and practiced throughout all aspects of their school day.
Every 6 weeks, one student from each class is awarded a certificate and medal for exhibiting that particular character trait for that 6 weeks during morning announcements. With parent permission, their child's picture is displayed at the Food Lion in Mt.Jackson.
Their picture is also displayed in the main hallway and grade level hall.
I also offer individual sessions. The goals of these sessions are to assist the child in adjusting to school. This may include family, friendship, academic issues, and self-esteem issues.
I am able to also offer divorce, friendship, anger management, and study skills groups. These groups provide the children the environment to work with other children who are experiencing similar issues. These groups assist students in growing self confidence, meeting new friends, and developing more positive coping skills.
Parens, students, and teachers can make referrals to see me.

Problem Solving Program
Kelso is a friendly frog who is the mascot for this program. The program assists children to:
  • understand the difference between a small and big problem
  • solve problems in a peaceful way
  • teach them to report to adults those big problems where a child may be hurt or who could get hurt
Choices for solving problems:
  • ignore (those being disrespectful)
  • share and take turns
  • walk away (from those being disrespectful)
  • wait and cool off
  • make a deal
  • talk it out
  • ask that person to please stop
  • apologize
All staff work together to enforce this program.
Parent Resource Links
General Resource
Kids Health
Love and Logic
Stop Bullying
Virginia Career View
All Kids Grieve
The Dougy Center
Self Esteem
Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem