Every high school is unique – in size, style, operating procedures, resources and personalities. VR counselors working in school work to develop and maintain quality connections with school staff and area service providers. The inevitable changes in personnel and staff assignments require counselors to make an ongoing effort to renew connections.
A VR counselor new to a high school begins with introductions to key school staff. Special educators are generally the best starting place and are also good mentors for getting started. There are a number of other school personnel important to the work of a VR counselor in the school such as: the principal, assistant principal, director of special education, guidance counselors, 504 case manager(s), alternative education program teachers, school nurse, and school based clinicians.
An introductory letter, including a business card and brochure about VR transition services is an effective way to initiate contact when first beginning to contact high schools. The counselor can follow up with a phone call to arrange visits. Another option is meeting with one key person, such as a special education case manager, who can assist with introductions to other staff members who are part of the team. At the same time, the counselor meets school personnel in their environment; they also become a familiar face at the school, and start to learn how to navigate the layout of the school.
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