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School counselors work with all students in the building by teaching classroom lessons and providing individual and group counseling. The school counselor helps remove barriers that may stop a student from reaching their full potential in school and works with educational staff, administration, parents, students, and outside agencies to help meet the needs of the students.

All students receive biweekly classroom counseling social/emotional, academic, and career lessons based on the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) behavior and mindsets.

Group counseling ranges from six to eight weeks and is typically a group of four to eight students with similar needs. Group counseling builds skills with peers who have similar needs (i.e. social and classroom skills, emotion regulation, relational aggression, handling difficult situations). If a student is recommended for group counseling, a note will be sent home with details. If parents do not wish for their student to participate in group counseling, they can contact the school counselor.

Students may also participate in individual counseling. Oftentimes, students self-refer for small problems, such as recess or friendship issues. Unless there is a concern, parents will not be contacted if a student has met with the school counselor. However, if students refer often or if there is a larger concern, such as self-harm or threatening self, parents will be contacted.

Due to time constraints, the ASCA recommends that students meet with the school counselor no more than six times on the same topic. If the student is still showing a need beyond this, outside therapy may be beneficial.

Local resources


  • Food assistance (Mobile Food Pantry), WIC, child health, maternal health, breastfeeding support, child care nurse consultant, Medicaid/Hawk-I, 1st Five, Head Start/Early Head Start, energy assistance/LIHEAP, I-Smile oral health, affordable housing, homelessness
  • 319-393-7811 ext. 1001

DHS food assistance

  • Access to food through increased benefits for current and newly eligible applicants, food assistance auto-recertification, suspension of food assistance work requirements, online options to purchase food, emergency food assistance and home-delivered meals
  • or 515-281-4848

United Way 211

  • Free, confidential information and referral helpline and website serving 42 counties in Iowa. Trained 211 professionals access a statewide database of agencies and resources to connect you to essential health and human services in our community. Multilingual assistance available.
  • Landline: 2-1-1; mobile: 319-739-4211; toll free: 1-866-469-2211; text your zip code to 898211

Shelters and homeless/displaced support

Waypoint Services Madge Phillips Center for Homeless Women and Children

  • Shelter for single women and families with children. No fees. Structured, goal-oriented program. Services include access to a daytime resource program, laundry facility, short-term counseling, assistance with housing and employment search. Capacity is 16 private living units. Unit availability is based upon family configuration.
  • 318 5th Street SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
  • For openings call 319-366-7999 (24 hours a day)
  • helter intake hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Resettlement agencies

Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement

  • 601 Grand Avenue, Des Moines
  • 515-237-5095
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • 1200 University Avenue, Suite 205, Des Moines
  • 515-528-7525

Refugee service centers

Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services

  • 1914 Carpenter Avenue, Des Moines
  • 515-875-5600
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa, Refugee Connection Center
  • 3200 University Avenue, Des Moines
  • 515-271-7335
  • U.S. Immigration Office
  • 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines
  • 515-564-4700

Ethnic community based organizations (ECBOs) in central Iowa

African Community Institute

  • 515-322-5661

African Immigrant and Refugee Transition Service

  • 515-204-1715

Africans in Iowa for Empowerment

  • 515-339-6697

Al Exito!

  • 515-480-0904

Angelo Othow Foundation, United Upper Nile South Sudanese Community

Angkor Wat Friendship Association

  • 515-247-0189

Bhutanese Community in Iowa

  • 515-418-9718

Bor Women Association
Bosnian American Association in Iowa

Child Futures International


Congo Progress

  • 515-865-4491

Congolese Youth Connect

  • 515-783-2728

Dream Iowa

  • 641-229-1419

Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC)

  • 515-286-3928

Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association, Iowa

  • 515-953-8104

Genesis Youth Foundation

  • 515-710-6838

Hindu Cultural and Education Center

  • 515-505-5538