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

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

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

Virginia Administrative Code 8VAC20-620-10. School Guidance and Counseling Services.

A. Pursuant to the Standards of Quality, each school shall make reasonably available, with available resources, to all students the following guidance and counseling services:

  1. Academic guidance which assists students and their parents to acquire knowledge of the curricula choices available to students, to plan a program of studies, to arrange and interpret academic testing, and to seek post-secondary academic opportunities;

  2. Career guidance which helps students to acquire information and plan action about work, jobs, apprenticeships, and post-secondary educational and career opportunities;

  3. Personal/social counseling which assists a student to develop an understanding of themselves, the rights and needs of others, how to resolve conflict and to define individual goals, reflecting their interests, abilities and aptitudes. Such counseling may be provided either (i) in groups (e.g., all fifth graders) in which generic issues of social development are addressed or (ii) through structured individual or small group multi-session counseling which focuses on the specific concerns of the participant (e.g., divorce, abuse or aggressive behavior).


Code of Virginia § 22.1-253.13:2. Standard 2. Instructional, administrative, and support personnel.

H. Each local school board shall employ, at a minimum, the following full-time equivalent positions for any school that reports fall membership, according to the type of school and student enrollment:

  1. Principals in elementary schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students; principals in middle schools, one full-time, to be employed on a 12-month basis; principals in high schools, one full-time, to be employed on a 12-month basis;

  2. Assistant principals in elementary schools, one half-time at 600 students, one full-time at 900 students; assistant principals in middle schools, one full-time for each 600 students; assistant principals in high schools, one full-time for each 600 students; and school divisions that employ a sufficient number of assistant principals to meet this staffing requirement may assign assistant principals to schools within the division according to the area of greatest need, regardless of whether such schools are elementary, middle, or secondary;

  3. Librarians in elementary schools, one part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students; librarians in middle schools, one-half time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 1,000 students; librarians in high schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 1,000 students. Local school divisions that employ a sufficient number of librarians to meet this staffing requirement may assign librarians to schools within the division according to the area of greatest need, regardless of whether such schools are elementary, middle, or secondary; and

  4. Guidance counselors in elementary schools, one hour per day per 100 students, one full-time at 500 students, one hour per day additional time per 100 students or major fraction thereof; guidance counselors in middle schools, one period per 80 students, one full-time at 400 students, one additional period per 80 students or major fraction thereof; guidance counselors in high schools, one period per 70 students, one full-time at 350 students, one additional period per 70 students or major fraction thereof. Local school divisions that employ a sufficient number of guidance counselors to meet this staffing requirement may assign guidance counselors to schools within the division according to the area of greatest need, regardless of whether such schools are elementary, middle, or secondary.

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