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Mr. Kirwan

School Counselor


Welcome to the Bear Tavern school counselor web page! This page will provide information about programs offered at Bear Tavern as well as links to useful information. 


What is a school counselor?


    A school counselor is a teacher, a helper, and a listener. I work with all students, regardless of grade level. The Hopewell Valley Regional School District follows a developmental guidance program meaning counselors develop strategies and supports based on the developmental needs of students. In my role as school counselor, I teach classes, run groups, and meet with students individually. It is my goal to be visible and accessible to all students so should they ever need my help, I am a familiar face.


When and why would you meet with a student?


   I meet with students for a variety of reasons. Sometimes our meetings are the result of a parent or teacher request. Other times a student asks to meet with me.


Are parents always notified when counselors meet with students?


   My goal is always to work with families. Rest assured I would always make you aware of anything urgent regarding your child. However, sometimes I help students resolve simple conflicts with friends and in these cases, you may not hear from me. Disagreements with friends happen from time to time. Often, I am simply helping students have a conversation with one another in an effort to solve a problem.


When and why should I call the school counselor?


   If you have concerns about your child I am always here to help. Please call any time for any reason. No concern is too large or small.


What is Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)?


   I&RS is a general education service available to all students. It is a collaborative group that brainstorms strategies to support student success. The members of the committee include the principal, school counselor, learning consultant, a special education teacher, a regular education teacher, and the school nurse. Depending upon the student's needs, the committee develops a plan of strategies and interventions. Once the plan is initiated, the I&RS committee continues to monitor student progress to assess whether the strategies are working or if additional intervention should be considered.