K-12 Comprehensive School Counseling Program

New York state part 100 regulations – school counseling programs

As per the New York State Education Department, listed in Part 100 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, School Counseling/Guidance Programs are defined as follows:

  1. Public Schools: Each school district shall have a guidance program for all students.
  2. In grades K-6, the program shall be designed in coordination with the teaching staff to prepare students to effectively participate in their current and future educational programs; to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems; to educate students concerning avoidance of child sexual abuse; and to encourage parental involvement.
  3. In grades 7-12, the School Counseling Program shall include the following activities and services:
    1. An annual review of each student’s educational progress and career plans, with such reviews conducted with each student individually or with small groups by personnel certified or licensed as school counselors.
    2. Instruction at each grade level to help students learn about various careers and about career planning skills conducted by personnel certified or licensed as school counselors, or by classroom teachers in cooperation with the school counselor.
    3. Other advisory and individual or group counseling assistance to enable students to benefit from the curriculum; to help students develop and implement post-secondary educational and career plans; to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems; to encourage parental involvement, provided that advisory assistance shall be provided by teachers or counselors or by certified teaching assistants under the supervision of counselors or teachers such individual or group counseling shall be provided by certified or licensed school psychologists or certified or licensed school social workers in cooperation with certified and licensed school counselors.
  4. Each school district shall develop a district plan, which sets forth the manner in which the district shall comply with the requirements of this subdivision. Such plan should be filed in the district offices and shall be available for review by any individual. The plan shall present program objectives, which describe expectations of what students will learn from the program; activities to accomplish the objectives; specifications of the staff members and other resources assigned to accomplish the objectives; and provisions for the annual assessment of the program results. 

Comprehensive school counseling program

The Queensbury Union Free School District’s (QUFSD) K-12 School Counseling Department has developed a Comprehensive School Counseling Program. This program guide is the result of a collaborative effort put forth by counselors currently employed by QUFSD. The comprehensive model is the foundation of the district’s effort to transform its Guidance Offices to Counseling Centers, thereby promoting the unique role of the counselor to better support the needs of our students. Our comprehensive model acts as a guideline in clarifying the unique role of a school counselor.

  • K-12 Counseling Department Chairperson: Janelle Sipowicz
  • High School Counselors: Tim Diamond, Trisha Dunn, Dawn Neyhart, Janelle Sipowicz, Kevin Sullivan
  • Middle School Counselors: Rebecca Carnevalla, Michelle Sullivan, Colleen Sprague
  • WHBI School Counselor: Antoinette Donahue
  • Elementary School Counselors: Lindsay Becraft, Amy Dawkins

The comprehensive model

The comprehensive model provides a framework for the creation of a comprehensive school counseling program that: ensures all students have access to a rigorous education, clearly defines the knowledge and skills students will acquire as a result of the program, is systematically delivered to all students, is based on and evolves via data-driven decision making, and is implemented by state certified school counselors.

The process for delivery of the National Standards linked to the New York State Learning Standards is accomplished by utilizing each of the four components of the comprehensive model. The four main components of the model include the following:

  1. The foundation of the program, which addresses the belief and mission that every student will benefit from the school counseling program.
  2. The management system that presents the organizational process and tools needed to deliver a comprehensive school counseling program. These processes and tools include agreements or responsibilities, use of data, action plans, time and task analysis, and monthly calendars.
  3. The delivery system that defines the implementation process and the components of the comprehensive model (e.g., counseling curriculum, individual planning with students, responsive services and system support).
  4. The accountability system that helps school counselors demonstrate the effectiveness of their work in measurable terms such as impacts over time, performance evaluation, and a program audit.

Foundation

School district mission statement

Empower all students to be lifelong learners, inspired to pursue their dreams and contribute to the global community.

Counseling department vision statement

All students will be inspired to reach their full academic, social, emotional and career potential through vast educational opportunities, combined with our proactive, supportive approach.

Counseling department mission statement

The Queensbury School Counseling Department will provide a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate program to address college and career readiness, in addition to supporting individual personal and social needs. We will partner with teachers, administrators, community stakeholders and families to help all students be lifelong learners. We will provide students with tools and resources to assist them on their individual pathways toward graduation.

QUFSD school counselor belief statements

As school counselors we believe:

  • All students are deserving of respect and dignity.
  • All students are deserving of equality and equity.
  • All students have a inherent capacity to achieve academic success.
  • All students have the right to participate in the school counseling program regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender identity/ sexual orientation.

Our school counseling program will:

  • Be data driven;
  • Be developmentally appropriate for all students;
  • Address academic, career and social/emotional needs of all students; and
  • Be comprehensive in nature and adhere to the ASCA National Model.

As school counselors, we will:

  • Advocate, lead and be a resource for all students.
  • Align with the school’s mission.
  • Uphold New York State requirements for professional educational standards.
  • Remain current in content knowledge/pedagogy.
  • Reflect on practice to improve effectiveness.

Annual K-12 school counseling goals

The Counseling Department Goals are reviewed each year with primary focus on student academic, personal/social needs and career planning, while reflecting the district’s mission and annual goals. Each counselor has goals tied to his or her specific program and student population. These goals are reviewed annually with a collaborative focus on student needs. All goals will be approved by the K-12 Advisory Council.

These goals will include, but not be limited to:

  • Counseling Department Response to Intervention Models and changes
  • Yearly K-12 Goals

Student competencies

The ASCA Student Standards identify and prioritize the specific knowledge, attitudes and skills that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of the school counseling program. School counselors use these standards to assess student growth and development, guide the development of strategies and activities and create a program that helps students achieve their highest potential. The ASCA Student Standards are organized in three broad domains to promote behaviors that enhance the learning process: academic, career and personal/social development. These competencies reflect the school counseling program, mission and goals (ASCA, 2012).

Counselor competencies and ethics

“School counselors should possess the knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes necessary to plan, organize, implement and evaluate a comprehensive, developmental, results-based school counseling program that aligns with the ASCA National Model” (ASCA, 2012)

In their positions, counselors will reference the ASCA school counselor competencies to stay relevant and knowledgeable, and reflect upon students’ adjusting needs and best practices.

  1. Responsibility to Students
    1. Supporting Student Development
    2. Confidentiality
    3. Comprehensive Data-Informed Program
    4. Academic, Career and Social.Emotional Plans
    5. Dual Relationships and Managing Boundaries
    6. Appropriate Referrals and Advocacy
    7. Group Work
    8. Student Peer-Support Program
    9. Serious and Foreseeable Harm to Self and Others
    10. Underserved and At-Risk Populations
    11. Bullying, Harassment and Child Abuse
    12. Student Records
    13. Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation
    14. Technical and Digital Citizenship
    15. Virtual/Distance School Counseling
  2. Responsibilities to Parents/Guardians, School and Self
    1. Responsibilities to Parents/Guardians
    2. Responsibilities to the School
    3. Responsibilities to Self
  3. School Counselor Administrator/Supervisors
  4. School Counseling Intern Site Supervisors
  5. Maintenance of Standards
  6. Ethical Decision Making

Use of time

The use-of-time assessment helps the school counselor determine how much time is spent in each of the components of the ASCA National Model. School counselors at QUFSD understand the importance of providing services to students and maintaining a school counseling program that is driven by student needs. With this in mind, K-12 counselors at Queensbury will strive to complete the use-of-time assessment once per year.

Use of calendars

School Counselors use monthly calendars to organize and provide programming to all students. Queensbury High School is a Google Platform School District using comprehensive google calendars for delivery and collaboration between K-12.

Use of data

The focus and direction of the comprehensive school counseling program is based on student needs as determined through a review of the school’s data profile and counseling program results data. The district currently assesses student data through Professional Learning Communities. The K-12 Comprehensive School Counseling Program seeks to review perception data and outcome data through each program to determine and reflect upon how we meet the students’ needs in the district on a yearly basis. School Counselors will evaluate the effectiveness of the programs through this process and base new systems and programs on this data.

  • Process Data- Answers the question, “What did you do for whom?” and provides evidence that an event occurred (ASCA, 2012). Example: Sophomore Career and College Readiness Unit
  • Perception Data- What do people think they know, believe or think they can do
    (ASCA, 2012)? Example: Post-Survey for the Sophomore Career and College Readiness Unit
  • Outcome Data- Impact of program or activity, answering the question, “So What?” (ASCA, 2012). Example: Post-Secondary plans for College, employment, and military, along with graduation rates

Advisory council

The Queensbury Union Free School District Advisory Council is composed of several stakeholders from the school and community, assisting school counselors K-12 in “advising program goals; reviewing program results; making recommendations about programming; advocating and engaging in public relations and for funding and resources” (ASCA, 2012). The council is slated to meet twice a year with an agenda to discuss the yearly progress and outcome data. The advisory council’s work will be vital to the maintenance of the Comprehensive School Counseling Program and in ensuring representation of all stakeholders.

Delivery system

Direct student services

School Counseling Core Curriculum

The K-12 School Counseling Core Curriculum consists of classroom lessons and other school counseling programming. It is aligned with the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors, and is designed to provide all students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills appropriate for their developmental level.

Individual Student Planning

The New York State regulations include, in grades 6-12, all students must have “an annual review of the student’s educational progress and career plan, with such reviews to be conducted with each student individually or with small groups by personnel certified or licensed school counselors” (NYSED, 2017). All students receive grade-level conferences in high school and the middle school reviewing transcripts, course requests, programming and post-secondary goals. The 6-12 QUFSD goal is to use the student management system in reporting student’s desired Queensbury Pathways program, along with goals pertaining to post-secondary plans that are appropriate developmentally to the student’s grade level.

Responsive Services

K-12 QUFSD school counselors provide individual and group counseling to meet the immediate needs of students. The counseling is short term and solution-focused in nature and includes any necessary and appropriate referrals. Crisis support and intervention is also provided to students when needed.

Indirect student services

Referrals

Queensbury school counselors provide students and families with information about school and community resources for additional support in the academic, career and personal/social domains. This may include tutoring, career and college planning websites, and community agencies that provide personal/social and mental health support (ASCA, 2012).

Consultation

School counselors work with families, school staff and community agencies to develop interventions for students. K-12 Counselors follow a Pyramid of Intervention Model to address problems/behaviors that hinder student success. This includes advocating for the needs of students when necessary.

Collaboration

The school counselors at Queensbury work with QUFSD faculty and staff, community members and agencies, local businesses and other school and community organizations to meet the educational and developmental needs of all students.

Elementary (K-5) school scope and sequence

  • Social Emotional Learning: every month
  • Individual Counseling: every month
  • Groups Counseling: every month except July/August
  • Crisis Counseling: every month
  • Crisis Response Team: every month
  • Restorative Intervention Counseling: every month
  • CSE/504 Meetings: every month
  • Referrals: every month
  • Shared Decision Making: every month except July/August
  • Parent Meetings: every month
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences: every month
  • Kindergarten Roundup: May and August
  • New Student Orientation: August
  • Newcomers Lunch: September
  • New Student Placement: every month
  • Student Placement K-5: March, April, May, June
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters: every month except July and August
  • Career Awareness: May
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools: every month
  • Mix It Up Day: May
  • Family Life: June
  • Kindergarten Parent Orientation: May
  • Community Partner Program: every month except August
  • Open House: September
  • Social Emotional Learning: every month
  • Behavioral Intervention Team: every month
  • Referrals for Summer Programs/Camps: April, May, June
  • Home Visits: every month
  • NCBI: every month except July, August, September
  • Educational Internship Program: every month
  • Transition Day: June

Middle school (6-8) scope and sequence

  • Social/Emotional Counseling: every month except July and August
  • Home Visits: every month except July and August
  • Character Education: every month except July and August
  • New Student Orientation: September, October
  • 7 Down 6 To Go: April, May, June
  • QMS Open House Expo: September
  • 5 to 6 Transition Program: June
  • 8th to 9th Course Selection Presentations: January
  • 8th Grade Course Selection Meetings: January, February, March
  • Summer Academy Planning: May, June
  • College Career Exploration: October, December, February, May
  • Pathways Assemblies and Expo: January
  • Career Jam: October
  • Girls Go STEM: May
  • PTECH Info Sessions: January, February
  • CTE Field Trip: May
  • Career Cafe: October, January, March, May
  • Parent Conferences: every month except July, August
  • CSE/504 Meetings: every month
  • MTSS Benchmark Review Meetings: October, February, June
  • Student Support Team Meetings: every month
  • NYS Testing Program: April, May, June
  • PLUSS Club: every month except July, August
  • QMS CARES Program: every month except July, August, September
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters: every month except June, July, August, September
  • Educational Internship Program: October, November, April, May

High school (9-12) scope and sequence

  • Pers/Social Counseling: every month
  • Academic Improvement Meetings: every month
  • Crisis Counseling: every month
  • CSE/504 Meetings: every month
  • Senior Meetings: October, November, December
  • Junior Meetings: January, February, March, April
  • Soph Meetings: January, February, March, April
  • Fresh Meeting: May, June
  • SUNY Internship: every month except July, August
  • Edu Internship: every month except July, August
  • College/Career Readiness Day: every month except September
  • Fresh Parent Night: September
  • Soph Parent Night: November
  • Junior Parent Night: April
  • Senior Parent Night: September
  • Course selections: March
  • 10th Career Unit: March
  • 9th Career Unit: April
  • Fresh/New Student Orientation: September
  • Program Recruitment(CTE, ECCA, NV): November, December, January, February, March
  • NCBI: every month

Accountability system

To achieve the best results for all students, QUFSD school counselors will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the Comprehensive School Counseling Program. The K-12 school counselors will use accountability strategies to monitor student achievement, to continually evaluate and improve the Comprehensive School Counseling Program and to demonstrate the impact the program is having on students. The accountability system serves to answer the question, “How are students different as a result of the school counseling program?” (ASCA, 2012).

Data analysis

K-12 school counselors will use data from the New York State Report Card and other corresponding information to drive programming and changing needs. Areas for data analysis could look at the district school profile, Naviance post-secondary planning, Schoolzilla achievement outcomes and other student-management information. Use of time assessment will be used to gauge the alignment of the school counselor’s time related to program goals.

Program results

Goals for the program are to implement pre- and post-surveys for curriculum to inform decisions about future programming. The QUFSD K-12 Advisory Council will review the program results to assess areas that need improvement and those programs that have shown success for continued implementation.

Evaluation and improvement

The school counseling program assessment will be used to identify new program goals and modify existing goals to reflect the trends of each school year.