State law requires the provision of school counseling or guidance services in elementary grade levels (K-8).
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 13. Section 1306-B. School safety and security grant program
(j) Specific purposes. — The committee shall provide grants to school entities for programs that address safety and security, including: … (15) Counseling services for students. … (19) Costs associated with the training and compensation of certified guidance counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers and school psychologists. (20) Administration of evidence-based screenings for adverse childhood experiences that are proven to be determinants of physical, social and behavioral health and provide trauma-informed counseling services as necessary to students based upon the screening results. ... (i) Increasing student and school employee access to quality trauma support services and behavioral health care, including the following: (A) Hiring or contracting with certified guidance counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists and other professional health personnel to provide services to students and school employees.
The Pennsylvania Code § 12.16. Definitions.
Student services -- Services designed by a school entity to support the instructional program and to help students attain their educational and career goals.
(i) Services may include school guidance counseling, health services (under Article XIV of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 14-1401. -- 14-1423) and 28 Pa. Code Chapter 23 (relating to school health)), psychological services, social work and home and school visitor services. (ii) School entities may supplement, but may not supplant, these services through school-based, school-linked, or coordinated services provided by locally available social and human services agencies.
The Pennsylvania Code § 12.41. Student services.
(a) Each school entity shall prepare a written plan for the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated K-12 program of the student services based on the needs of its students. The plan shall be prepared and revised in accordance with the time frames and procedures described in § 4.13(c) (relating to strategic plans). Services offered by community agencies in public schools shall be coordinated by and under the general direction of the school entity. The plan must include policies and procedures for emergency care and administration of medication and treatment under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. §§ 780-101 -- 780-144) and guidelines issued by the Department of Health. The Department of Health guidelines are available from the Division of School Health, Department of Health, P.O. Box 90, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108. A school district that operates a prekindergarten program shall address its prekindergarten program in the plan developed under § 4.13(c). A school entity shall make its student services plan available for public inspection and comment for a minimum of 28 days prior to approval of the plan by the school entity's governing board.
(b) Though the variety of student services offered will differ from school to school depending upon its size and the needs of its students, the following categories of services shall be provided by each school entity in planning its student services:
- (1) Developmental services for students that address their developmental needs throughout their enrollment in school. Developmental services include guidance counseling, psychological services, health services, home and school visitor services and social work services that support students in addressing their academic, behavioral, health, personal and social development issues.
Tools for Developing a Comprehensive K-12 Guidance & Counseling Plan
This document provides guidance to LEAs on how to effectively provide guidance and counseling supports to K-12 students. Page 1 outlines the regulation that requires schools to provide counseling support to all students.