West Salem Elementary School Counseling

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Recent research has consistently highlighted the significance of building the social-emotional competence of our students as a vital component of effective bullying prevention. The evidence suggests that when students develop strong social-emotional skills, they are better equipped to navigate interpersonal relationships and manage conflicts, ultimately reducing the incidence of bullying. Salem City Schools uses Second Step, a research based curriculum, to teach students how to recognize, report and refuse bullying.

Visit Second Step

SCS Standards of Conduct

Bullying Prevention (CDC)

Stop Bullying Website

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Signs of Suicide (SOS) is an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program that has demonstrated an improvment in students' knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression.  The program is designed for grades 6-12. It teaches students how to identify signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their peers, while providing materials that support school professionals, parents, and communities in recognizing at-risk students and taking appropriate action. 

Signs of Suicide

SCS Suicide Prevention Policy

Social Emotional Learning is a crucial component in the development of healthy individuals. It is a fundamental process that shapes the lives of young people and adults alike. It encompasses the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable individuals to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. Salem City Schools uses Second Step, a research based curriculum  to teach social emotional learning. 

Visit Second Step

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We are pleased to share that we are offering a new resource to support mental health and wellness. ParentGuidance.org is free to all staff, parents, and families in our district.

West Salem Elementary School Counseling Department

520 North Bruffey Street
Salem, VA 24153

Phone - 540-387-2503
Fax - 540-389-4923

Our office hours are Monday – Friday 7:40 am to 2:15 pm.

If you feel in danger of harming yourself or others, please call 911. Other resources are Carilion Connect (540-981-8181), Lewis-Gale Respond (540-776-1100) and the National Crisis Line (1-800-784-2433). If you feel you are being physically harmed by a caregiver, you may call Child Protective Services at (1-800-552-7096).

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Allison Chester
School Counselor
Email Allison Chester


The 2019-20 school year will be my seventh year as a professional school counselor and I couldn't be more excited to be at West Salem!

After receiving my bachelor's degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech, I completed a master's degree in Counseling and Human Development at Radford University. I have experience advising for Radford's College of Business and Economics, providing group counseling to Western Virginia Regional Jail inmates, and leading in parent education courses. I have spent the last five years as a high school counselor with Botetourt County Schools.

My husband and I have lived in the Roanoke area for the last seven years. In addition to our three year old daughter Claire and three month old daughter Lucy, we have a 100+ lb boxer mix named Hines (who thinks he's a lap dog!), fluffy yellow cat named Luey, elderly cat named Burger, and a 24 year old ball python named Oscar.

 I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone at West for what I know will be a great school year!

-- Mrs. Allison Chester

chester family
allison chester family guidance counselor

Allison Chester
Email : achester@salem.k12.va.us
Phone : 540 . 387 . 2503
Office hours : 7.40a -3p

COVID-19 Encore Information


*AT THIS TIME, EMAIL IS THE BEST WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH ME.** please email me at achester@salem.k12.va.us if you have questions or concerns.

Classroom Guidance

Classroom guidance is part of your child's 8 day Encore schedule.  During guidance we will cover topics including:

  • Character Education
  • 6 pillars of character
  • Bully Prevention
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Internet Safety
  • Decision Making/Goal Setting
  • Career Education
  • Study Skills
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Problem Solving
  • Personal/Social Skills
  • Growth Mindset

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is available to all students and can be requested by parents, students, or staff members.

Individual counseling offered by Mrs. Chester is a short-term, limited intervention.  She is available to meet with students one-on-one to resolve problems and developmental concerns, enhance decision making skills, and/or build coping skills.

Community Resources

Child Parent Relationship Therapy:

  • Wednesdays 9a-11a
  • Must be enrolled to attend
  • Sliding scale and grants available
  • Call 540.795.4661 for more information

Parent Support

Mrs. Chester supports West Salem parents and families through the following activities:

  • Attending parent/teacher conferences when requested
  • Participating in Child Study/Eligibility/Student Support meetings
  • Providing referrals for community resources
  • Assisting with crisis intervention
  • Meeting with parents and families when requested
  • Enhancing communication between parents, students, and teachers