The School Counseling Group is a close-knit team of professional colleagues dedicated to understanding and meeting each client’s unique needs. Our goal is to match appropriate, excellent schools, programs or colleges to the individual, recognizing the primacy of a well-considered, well-led placement process as vital to a successful outcome. Offering school and college placement services since 1979, we also support adolescents and young adults experiencing emotional and behavioral problems, identifying specialized schools and programs to assist these students and their families to make necessary and positive changes in their lives.
Ethna Hopper, who founded The School Counseling Group in 1979, is lauded as a visionary educational counselor, having guided thousands of families with her rare combination of compassion, creativity, integrity and practiced good judgment. This balanced approach remains a hallmark of The School Counseling Group under the leadership of Peter Sturtevant, who became Director in 2000. The School Counseling Group offers families the most comprehensive, dynamic and personalized education consulting services available in the Greater Washington DC area, with a satellite office in Charlotte, NC.  We are consistently recognized for our client-centered, process-driven and relationship-grounded approach.

Client-Centered Focus
A unique, professional relationship begins with a confidential, empathetic analysis of needs and shared goals without judgment. Our vast experience and professional objectivity allows us to assess each situation uniquely and accurately, and to understand what level and type of support and structure will be most helpful. We search the deeper meanings beneath success or failure as possible clues to personal growth and self-fulfillment, and we undertake this journey in partnership and discovery. Accurate, nuanced assessment is perhaps the most important aspect of our work with you as we maintain that there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to “fitting” a child or young adult to the right environment.

Team Approach
Educational consulting is an individual endeavor led by a particular consultant matched to your individual needs. However, we take pride in our ability to leverage our team’s collective years of varied experiences as teachers, administrators, and counselors; you will work under the leadership of one primary consultant, but each professional relies on the experiences and proficiency of the team as we conceptualize a case and seek the best possible outcomes. Because we work together as a group, you can generally schedule an appointment with one of our consultants within a week of your initial call and often more quickly if there is true urgency.

Perhaps the most important distinguishing factor of The School Counseling Group is the people you’ll encounter here. We realize that these are very important and stressful decisions and we are committed to helping you through this process with kindness, integrity, discretion and thoughtfulness. We are honest in our assessments though never judgmental, and honor all information with utmost care. We value, with an open mind, parent experience and perspective, and ask to validate your good instincts. Our job is to help you to understand your options and partner with you through the placement process.

Ongoing School Visits
School Counseling Group consultants make it a priority to visit and revisit all of the schools and programs to which we refer. It is essential that we have the most recent and accurate information about schools and programs in order to find the best fit for your child. The visits help us to clarify each school’s student population, the overall culture of the school and to understand recent changes that may influence the fit. We are pleased to recommend schools and programs with which we have ongoing relationships and first-hand experience. As an organization which has placed thousands of children in hundreds of schools and programs spanning 35+ years, we are blessed with deep and thriving relationships in the industry.

Community and Professional Relationships
School Counseling Group consultants have spent decades establishing and nurturing educational and therapeutic relationships in the Washington, DC region, as well as nationally and, in some cases, internationally. We maintain relationships with admissions and other key professionals in the organizations with which we work. Though of course we cannot guarantee admission and we never receive any compensation from schools or programs, our relationships are valued and trusted. Our integrity and the quality of our insights are our gold standard. Admissions professionals know us and trust that we believe in matching the right student with the right school. We are mission, not profit, driven.

Experience and Professionalism
Collectively, our consultants have served for decades in a variety of settings as teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches. After 35+ years in operation, we have helped thousands of families find the right placements or solutions for their children. Our consultants have earned at least one advanced degree in fields related to education or counseling. We belong to professional associations and maintain a strong, active presence in the industry. As a group, we have amassed thousands of hours spent visiting and investigating colleges, schools and specialized programs and we continue to seek out new resources as they become available. Our goal is to provide you with clear and accurate information and to clarify nuanced differences that may be difficult to discern.