Welcome to the Birches Counselors' Corner!School CounselorSchool counselors have Master's Degrees and are professionally trained in the three domains of school counseling: academic success, career readiness, and social/emotional development. Click here for the American School Counselor Association description of the elementary school counselor.Mission Statement
The mission of the WTPS's Elementary Counseling Department is to provide a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses positive character traits, as well as social, organizational and problme solving skills. The school counselor will work in partnership with administration, other educators, parnets/guardians, and the community to help students meet their academic potential.Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC)
Click here for the Association of the Student Assistance Professionals of New Jersey roleAccording to the Federal Regulation (42 CFR Part 2), the Student Assistance Coordinator cannot disclose to anyone information that a student discusses with them without the permission of the student. There are only two exceptions to this law. The first is in instances where the student expresses the desire to hurt himself/herself or another person. The second exception involves situations of abuse. In both cases the SAC is obligated to inform school or legal personnel. However, there are a few exceptions to this law. If a student tells the SAC that he/she wishes to hurt himself/herself or anyone else, actions must be taken to prevent this from happening. Also, if a student discloses that abuse is happening to him/her, the SAC has the obligation to report the abuse. With this confidentiality law, students feel comfortable disclosing information to their SAC.
All About Our Staff!
Phone: 856-232-1290 Ext. 3032
Degrees and Certifications:
BA, Elementary Education - The College of New Jersey MA, Counseling Psychology - Rutgers University
Mrs. Kelly Chropka, School Counselor
My professional experience includes over 20 years of both teaching and counseling work with elementary children. I have earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University. I look forward to working cooperatively with the students, parents, and staff this year to help our students to experience personal success and confidence.
Below you will find information about some of the counseling services that I will provide. Please call or email me with any questions or concerns regarding your child's academic, social, or emotional development.
Students are referred to see the counselor by parents, school staff, or often seek counseling on their own. Children receive support from the counselor on a variety of topics such as making friends, social skills, conflicts with peers, family changes, problem solving, grief, anger management and self esteem.
If a child would like to see the counselor they may ask their teacher or put a request in the guidance counselor's mailbox. Parents may call the guidance office to conference by phone or in person regarding concerns about their child.
Mrs. Chropka offers a variety of counseling groups throughout the school year. These groups generally meet once or twice a month and are designed to be fun and educational. The children learn together through discussions, activities, and role playing. Parents are contacted by letter before the group begins for permission for their child to participate. Some topics that are often addressed in groups are: Friendship Skills, Anger Management, and Divorce/Separation in families.
The counselor teaches lessons in each classroom on a regular basis . The lessons are based on the Birches Ten Pillars of Character Program and are tailored to the social and emotional needs of the students in each class. Some of the topics included in the lessons are: identifying and expressing feelings, communication skills, problem solving techniques, friendship skills, and anger/stress management.
Please see my individual web page for more information. I look forward to working with you and your child this year.
Phone: Ext. 5022
Degrees and Certifications:
BS, Social Work - Slippery Rock University Certification: SAC
Mr. Michael Petticrew, SAC
Mr. Petticrew is originally from Philadelphia and currently resides in Cherry Hill with his wife Laura and his grandchild Biana. He obtained his BS in Social Work from Slippery Rock State College in Western PA in 1980. He later received his SAC (Substance Awareness Coordinator Certificate) from Rowan University in 1995. He has been working with youth for the past 35 years in many roles including relief houseparent, alternative school counselor, and residential home coordinator. Prior to him coming to Township as a Student Assistance Coordinator and boy's soccer coach, he spent twelve years in the Palmyra School District in Burlington County in those same roles. Mr. Petticrew is at Birches usually on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon. He provides individual and group counseling at all grade levels. He assist students with their social, emotional, and character development. He also is the Anti-Bullying Specialist for the school. Outside of work he enjoys traveling, rooting for the local sport teams, playing with his grandchildren, and being with his family at the beach.