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

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 

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

Texas Statutes Education Code 33.006 School Counselors; General Duties

(a) The primary responsibility of a school counselor is to counsel students to fully develop each student’s academic, career, personal, and social abilities.

(b) In addition to a school counselor’s responsibility under Subsection (a), the school counselor shall:

  • (1) participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive developmental guidance program to serve all students and to address the special needs of students:

    • (A) who are at risk of dropping out of school, becoming substance abusers, participating in gang activity, or committing suicide;

    • (B) who are in need of modified instructional strategies; or

    • (C) who are gifted and talented, with emphasis on identifying and serving gifted and talented students who are educationally disadvantaged;

  • (2) consult with a student’s parent or guardian and make referrals as appropriate in consultation with the student’s parent or guardian;

  • (3) consult with school staff, parents, and other community members to help them increase the effectiveness of student education and promote student success;

  • (4) coordinate people and resources in the school, home, and community;

  • (5) with the assistance of school staff, interpret standardized test results and other assessment data that help a student make educational and career plans;

  • (6) deliver classroom guidance activities or serve as a consultant to teachers conducting lessons based on the school’s guidance curriculum; and

  • (7) serve as an impartial, nonreporting resource for interpersonal conflicts and discord involving two or more students, including accusations of bullying under Section 37.0832.

(c) Nothing in Subsection (b)(7) exempts a school counselor from any mandatory reporting requirements imposed by other provisions of law.

Texas Statutes Education Code 33.005 Developmental Guidance and Counseling Programs

A school counselor shall work with the school faculty and staff, students, parents, and the community to plan, implement, and evaluate a developmental guidance and counseling program. The school counselor shall design the program to include:

  • (1) a guidance curriculum to help students develop their full educational potential, including the student’s interests and career objectives;

  • (2) a responsive services component to intervene on behalf of any student whose immediate personal concerns or problems put the student’s continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk;

  • (3) an individual planning system to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development; and

  • (4) system support to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.

Texas Statutes Education Code 33.002 Certified School Counselor

(a) From funds appropriated for the purpose or other funds that may be used for the purpose, the commissioner shall distribute funds for programs under this subchapter. In distributing those funds, the commissioner shall give preference to a school district that received funds under this subsection for the preceding school year and then to the districts that have the highest concentration of students at risk of dropping out of school, as described by Section 29.081. To receive funds for the program, a school district must apply to the commissioner. For each school year that a school district receives funds under this subsection, the district shall allocate an amount of local funds for school guidance and counseling programs that is equal to or greater than the amount of local funds that the school district allocated for that purpose during the preceding school year. This section applies only to a school district that receives funds as provided by this subsection.

(b) A school district with 500 or more students enrolled in elementary school grades shall employ a school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification for each elementary school in the district. A school district shall employ at least one school counselor for every 500 elementary school students in the district.

(c) A school district with fewer than 500 students enrolled in elementary school grades shall provide guidance and counseling services to elementary school students by:

  • (1) employing a part-time school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification;

  • (2) employing a part-time teacher certified as a school counselor under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification; or

  • (3) entering into a shared services arrangement agreement with one or more school districts to share a school counselor certified under the rules of the State Board for Educator Certification.

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