James Ward Elementary School

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My name is Vanessa Lopez and I serve as the Guidance Counselor at James Ward Elementary. I completed my B.A. degree in elementary education at McNeese in December, 1988. I began teaching right away in Rayne. The following year I taught 1st grade at Mermentau Elementary and stayed there for 6 years.
I decided to return to school to work toward my Masters’ Degree in Guidance and Counseling. I completed that degree in May, 1997 and began counseling at James Ward Elementary in August, 1997.
I am proud to be working with the students at Ward Elementary and will always do my best to make sure all students I come in contact with will be happy, healthy, and the best person that they can be.

The Guidance and Counseling Program at James Ward Elementary is designed to assist your child make the most of his or her educational experience. Counseling services begin with Pre-Kindergarten and extend through second grade. Services are available to all students in a variety of settings. Group counseling and individual counseling sessions are offered on an as need basis. Character Education class groups are also conducted once a month. These services assist students to make sound decisions and become responsible, productive, life-long learners.
The school counselor is an advocate for students during critical yearns when their emotional, social, and physical development is rapidly changing. Growing up brings with it problems which students often carry to the classroom. These problems may affect learning. An early detection system of counseling can assist with these concerns before they escalate. Parents, teachers, principals, and students can initiate a referral to the school counselor.
The guidance program offers the following counseling and guidance services:
• Listen to students, assess needs and develop interventions
• Provide short-term personal counseling in individual and group settings
• Report or refer a case when a student’s welfare is in jeopardy
• Provide parent and faculty education upon request
• Develop educational strategies with school personnel to meet the needs of individual students who are experiencing difficulties
• Maintain and review records and test scores


Your child will be participating in the school guidance and counseling program on a regular basis. If you have any questions about the program, please call the school for more information.