California - School Counseling—elementary grade levels (K-8): Programs and Services

Programs And Services
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State law encourages the provision of school counseling or guidance services in elementary grade levels (K-8).

California Education Code 49600 Educational Counseling

(a) The governing board of a school district may provide a comprehensive educational counseling program for all pupils enrolled in the school district. It is the intent of the Legislature that a school district that provides educational counseling to its pupils implement a structured and coherent counseling program.

(b) For purposes of this section, "educational counseling" means specialized services provided by a school counselor possessing a valid credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services who is assigned specific times to directly counsel pupils.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that school counselors do all of the following:

  • (1) Engage with, advocate for, and provide support for, all pupils with respect to learning and achievement.
  • (2) Plan, implement, and evaluate programs to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of all pupils, including pupils from low-income families, foster youth, homeless youth, undocumented youth, and pupils at all levels of academic, social, and emotional abilities.
  • (3) Use multiple sources of information to monitor and improve pupil behavior and achievement.
  • (4) Collaborate and coordinate with school and community resources.
  • (5) Promote and maintain a safe learning environment for all pupils by providing restorative justice practices, positive behavior interventions, and support services.
  • (6) Intervene to ameliorate school-related problems, including issues related to chronic absences.
  • (7) Use research-based strategies to reduce stigma, conflict, and pupil-to-pupil mistreatment and bullying.
  • (8) Improve school climate and pupil well-being.
  • (9) Enhance pupils' social and emotional competence, character, health, civic engagement, cultural literacy, and commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of high-quality educational programs.
  • (10) Provide counseling interventions and support services for pupils classified as English learners, eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or foster youth, including enhancing equity and access to the education system and community services.
  • (11) Engage in continued development as a professional school counselor.
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