About the School Counseling Program
The School Counseling program will provide comprehensive, developmental, and professional counseling services for all students in Roanoke County Public Schools.
As an integral part of the community, School Counseling Services seeks to facilitate the healthy development of all students in their educational, career, and personal lives through intentional efforts of supportive quality services.
- Student counseling is a right and will be available to all students in grades K-12.
- Students shall have access to a professional school counselor.
- The School Counseling Program shall be proactive and consistent with the developmental stages of learning.
- The School Counseling program activities shall be determined and planned by the local school counseling staff in concert with the needs of the school community within the context of the Virginia Standards of Learning.
- The School Counseling program shall be managed by licensed professional school counselors using a collaborative approach.
- A comprehensive developmental school counseling program has instructional activities based on the needs of the students. It is an integral part of the student's total educational experience. It provides a vital link to the total instructional program of the school.
- The School Counseling program provides an opportunity for small group participation which is a component vital in a comprehensive developmental school counseling program.
- An ongoing system of staff development and professional school counselor competency renewal is necessary to maintain a quality school counseling program.
- The School Counseling Program contains measurable student outcomes, which address the needs of all students at all educational levels.
- The School Counseling Program shall be regularly evaluated based upon current best practices and student competencies.
- The professional school counseling staff will follow the ethical standards as prescribed by the professional organizations -- American Counseling Association, American School Counseling Association, Virginia Counseling Association, and Virginia School Counseling Association.
A comprehensive, developmental school counseling program:
- Assumes that students can make decisions for themselves.
- Is an on-going experience.
- Has content as well as process.
- Involves the local community, especially parents.
- Depends upon the support and collaboration of administrators, teachers, other school personnel, students, parents and the community.
- Provides access to professional school counseling personnel.
- The professional school counseling staff will have the necessary financial and logistical support to carry out the guidance and counseling program standards.
Role of the Professional School Counselor
The Professional School Counselor, as an integral part of the school staff, is dedicated to enhancing and enriching their personal development. It is through a respectful, accepting, non-judgemental relationship that students are better able to understand themselves and their environment.
The Professional School Counselor is a specialized position. The School Counselor has earned a Master's Degree and is licensed to provide counseling services in a school setting by the state of Virginia. The major concern of the School Counselor is for the healthy developmental needs of all students in the school. The School Counselor coordinates and provides a program of prevention and intervention services using counseling, consulting, coordinating, and conducting guidance activities.
Description of the School Counseling Program
A Developmental School Counseling Program assists students in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for healthy development. Through three program components -- academic, career, and social/emotional (click here for link to state standards) -- a developmental school counseling program recognizes that parents, school personnel and the community each have important roles to play and valuable resources to contribute.
Delivered by licensed school counselors, developmental school counseling programs include the following components:
Counseling: Counseling is the process through which the professionally trained school counselor employs specific helping techniques in a confidential setting. The setting permits students and parents to establish a relationship with the counselor characterized by respect, understanding, openness, acceptance, and trust. Counselors work with students individually and in small group settings. Such factors as the nature of developmental tasks, personal concerns, and motivation and maturation levels determine the length frequency and number of sessions required by individual students.
Guidance Curriculum: Counselors help students develop their educational potential through skill-based lessons and units that assist in developing competence in essential life skills such as self-confidence, motivation, decision-making and goal-setting, communication, interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, and responsible behavior.
Responsive Services: Counselors intervene on behalf of students whose immediate personal concerns or problems put their continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk. Counselors' primary tasks are to provide counseling to students individually or in group settings. They also consult with teachers, parents, and administrators on behalf of students.
Individual Planning: Counselors advise students and parents/guardians as they plan, monitor, and manage the student's own educational, career, personal, and social development. Counselors assist students with personal planning, transition activities, and goal setting.
System Support: Counselors do not assume the role of teacher or administrator. Counselors support school staff, the efforts of parents, as well as the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students. Counselors are specifically trained to use their expertise to plan and manage their programs, coordinate services, and should not assume the role of teacher or administrator.