The Spence School seeks an accomplished clinician to serve as Lower School Counselor who will guide positive identity development and foster the social-emotional health and well being of our Lower School students. The Lower School Counselor is integral to the daily life and functioning of the Lower School. This 10-month position, reporting to the Head of Lower School and Director of K-12 Counseling, is an opportunity to work closely with a team of passionate educators. We are committed to an environment where each child and family can thrive, knowing that they belong and their voices are heard. The Lower School counselor works collaboratively with the Lower School Leadership Team and the K-12 Counseling Team.
Provide short-term counseling and consultation for students
Provide consultation for families in a culturally responsive manner
Lead small-group sessions to support students with identified needs
Implement a consistent social-emotional learning program for each grade level
Offer parent workshops and faculty trainings on topics related to child development and social-emotional learning
Serve as a consultant and liaison among students, parents, faculty and administrators
Anticipate challenges to belonging and identify structures to strengthen equity and inclusion
Identify developmental, psychological, cognitive and behavioral needs of students in Grades K-4, and assist with planning to meet these needs
Assume a leadership role in collaborations supporting positive mental health and designing programs to meet the needs of students, families and faculty
Work closely day-to-day with the Lower School Leadership Team, Nurse and Teachers to monitor the climate of the school and respond as needed by individuals and groups
Consult and collaborate with the Director of Psychological Services, Director of Student Learning Resources, Head of Lower School, Assistant Head of Lower School and Director of Institutional Equity
Collaborate within a comprehensive K-12 counseling department
Serve on the K-12 Mental Health and Wellness Committee and K-12 Gender Diversity Leadership Team
Skills and Experience
Appreciation for the value and joy of full participation in the life of a school
Ability to apply a developmental and clinical frame for understanding student needs, while collaborating within a larger community of caring educators
Eagerness to be flexible in the delivery of support with students, embracing the notion that therapeutic encounters often reside outside of the counseling room
Appreciation for, curiosity about and celebration of the diversity of student life experiences, family structures, and human temperaments
Skills for constructive communication and collaboration with faculty and administrators
Ability to organize, plan, and implement tasks independently
Master’s Degree or higher in psychology or social work, with appropriate certification or licensure by the State of New York
Sustained counseling experience with young children and families
Appreciation for the craft of counseling, along with passion for and knowledge of elementary school life
Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively within and across multiple constituencies
Cultural competency and skills for engaging with and learning from people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences
Commitment to equity, inclusion and doing the work to maintain a strong, joyful and diverse community
Commitment to sharing clinical knowledge and perspective with faculty, administrators, families and students
Ability to lead with energy, kindness and a sense of humor
Sense of joy in working with children and as part of school life
Spence is committed to an equitable program and a diverse faculty and student body. We therefore actively seek candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Please note that the School has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires that all employees be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination.
The Spence School, founded in 1892, is an independent school for girls and young women with an enrollment of 750 students in Grades K–12. Spence is committed to an equitable and inclusive program and a diverse faculty, staff and student body. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.