Riverbend School, Natick, MA
Riverbend School is an innovative Toddler-8th Grade Montessori community located in Natick, MA. Our community of faculty and staff embrace teaching the whole child and commit to their own ongoing growth and development as educators and as human beings. Riverbend prides itself on its diverse and gender-inclusive staff and student population, and welcomes candidates from a variety of races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
Reports to: Director of Elementary and Middle School
Scope of Work: Social emotional, behavioral, and counseling support for toddler through grade 8 students and their teachers
- At least three years of experience in a similar role
- Experience working with children and adolescents in diverse and culturally responsive settings
- Knowledge of or commitment to developing capacity in trauma-informed care
- Expertise in the ethical, legal and confidentiality considerations related to counseling practices, specifically in independent schools
- Experience in/familiarity with Montessori setting, and/or a strong desire to learn
- Confidence in creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment for all, and in addressing systemic barriers to equity and inclusion at the school
- Recognition of the significance of social and emotional learning and mental wellbeing to the development of an excellent academic program and the development of compassionate, well-adjusted human beings
- Understanding the impact of social media and technology on young people and their families and the importance of cultivating ethical digital citizens
- Well organized, timely, and empathetic communication with faculty, staff, students, and parents
- A professional, collaborative, team-oriented style characterized by empathy, flexibility, and patience
- An ability to build trusting relationships with children and adults alike
- A genuine appreciation of and respect for children; energy and enthusiasm for all aspects of school life
- Comfort and experience presenting in front of small and large groups
- Warmth and a good sense of humor; patience and persistence; sense of curiosity and a love of learning; the desire to have fun!
At a minimum, a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work or related field. A LICSW or comparable license is strongly preferred but not required.
Riverbend School seeks a highly skilled mental health practitioner to join a diverse and collaborative team of professionals to support the social and emotional wellbeing of our community’s students, families, and teachers. Our inaugural school counselor will play a central role in attending to the mental health needs of children by working collaboratively with students’ families and divisional student support teams to advocate for students’ mental health and educational needs. The school counselor will provide a safe, accepting, non-judgmental space for students to discuss personal and academic issues, support student and family access to treatment, work across the school community to foster a culture of wellness, and help to maintain an emotionally healthy, productive and safe school environment.
The school counselor is a member of the Riverbend faculty and reports to the Director of Elementary and Middle School. The person in this role will also work closely with the school’s Children’s House (toddler through kindergarten) Director, learning specialists, and classroom teachers.
Work with Students
- Lead one-on-one, small group or whole group sessions for students in toddler to eighth grade on topics such as peer relationships, coping and soothing strategies, effective social and problem-solving skills, and conflict resolution, to name a few.
- Observe students in the classroom and develop behavioral plans in partnership with teachers, division directors, and other members of the student support teams.
- Commit significant time to building relationships with students when there is not a crisis, both in the classroom as well as in less-structured environments such as recess and lunchtime.
- Help students develop their understanding of ‘self’ as it relates to ‘others.’
- Work collaboratively to refine and implement a Social Emotional Learning curriculum.
Work with Colleagues
- Meet regularly and work collaboratively with the Director of Elementary and Middle School, Children’s House Director, learning specialists and other members of the divisional student support teams on issues related to the mental health of the community.
- Work with classroom teachers to develop students’ social skills and peer relationships; develop and support behavioral plans for individual students.
- Work collaboratively with the learning specialists and division directors to develop and lead professional workshops for Riverbend faculty and staff on relevant topics and best practices in the field.
Work with Families
- Design parent education workshops in consultation with the Head of School and division directors.
- Consult with families and provide referrals, when needed, to outside mental health services.
- Participate in meetings with families and caregivers at the request of the division directors, classroom teachers, or learning specialists.
- Partner with families to develop and implement behavior plans and offer support and resources as needed.
- Develop collaborative professional relationships with outside therapists, social and emotional learning experts, and other health and wellness professionals.
- Create and maintain a diverse list of clinical referrals and serve as a liaison between the school and outside providers.
- Maintain records of all counseling sessions and family communications.
- Collaborate with division directors, teaching teams and learning specialists to support the student transition process each year.
- Recognize the potential to be a thought leader on the cutting edge of preventative mental health care in our community and enact initiatives when appropriate.
- Model lifelong learning by actively seeking professional growth opportunities.
- Attend in-service trainings as provided by Riverbend.
- Attend conferences each year, when possible, to further professional development.
- Articulate and work throughout each year to accomplish established goals.
- Observe in classrooms at Riverbend and at other Montessori schools.
- Demonstrate a strong commitment to professional ethics.
- Model the Montessori values of grace, courtesy, respect and empathy in visible daily actions.
- Demonstrate commitment to open communications and conflict resolution efforts across the school community.
- Protect the privacy and confidentiality of each student, family and staff member.
- Willingly help with other duties when asked.
- Present at conferences.
- Teach an afterschool enrichment class or lead a club.
- Participate on a committee.
It is expected that all staff will function as self-directed members in a team effort. All activities and performances should meet appropriate professional standards and adhere to the philosophy and mission of the Riverbend School.
Commitment to DEIJ:
Riverbend School is committed to becoming an anti-bias and anti-racist community. All candidates must be committed to furthering this work by embracing differences; exploring and affirming the identities and intersections of all which include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomics, social class, family structures, learning differences, and differences in ability. Candidates must be comfortable working in a culturally diverse environment.
We strongly encourage applications from people of color, LGBTQIA+ educators, or educators from communities that are historically underrepresented in independent schools.
Riverbend School is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment. Riverbend strictly prohibits discrimination or harassment of any kind based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, veteran status, or any other class protected under applicable federal, state or local law.