State law requires the provision of school counseling or guidance services in elementary grade levels (K-8).
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-42-7. County Board of Education Responsibilities.
7.4. County boards of education must provide student services to ensure that students are able to participate in and benefit from a high-quality education program. These services include, but are not limited to: guidance and counseling, health services, school psychological services, special education and related services, social services, attendance services, transportation services, and nutrition services. 7.4.b. School Counseling Program -- See W. Va. Code § 18-5-18b, Policy 2315, and W. Va. 126CSR114, WVBE Policy 5100, Approval of Educators Preparation Programs.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-1. General.
1.1. Scope. -- W. Va. 126CSR67, West Virginia Board of Education (hereinafter WVBE) Policy 2315, Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (hereinafter Policy 2315), sets forth requirements for Pre-K-12 Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (hereinafter CSCP) in West Virginia schools. This policy outlines a comprehensive system to enhance academic and learning development, career development and life planning, personal and social development, and to build global citizenship skills for all students.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-10. Glossary.
10.1. Annual CSCP Plan - Each school annually develops a CSCP plan to outline priority goals and strategies to attain goals. The counselor(s), school leadership, and school counseling advisory council members review relevant data to guide development of the annual plan. This data will include results of the CSCP Audit, the school counselor self-reflection completed by the counselor as part of the performance evaluation, student and staff needs assessments, other school data (various student assessments, attendance, discipline, dropout rates, etc.) and community data (disasters, crime, poverty, domestic violence rates, etc.). The annual plan addresses the five school counselor performance Standard: Program Planning, Design and Management, Program Delivery, Data Driven Accountability and Program Evaluation, Leadership and Advocacy, and Professional Growth and Responsibilities. The CSCP Plan identifies priority student WVSSS objectives to be addressed in each of the four program delivery systems described in Section 5. 10.2. Collaboration - Collaboration is a partnership in which two or more individuals or organizations actively work together on a project or problem. School counselors collaborate with various educational stakeholders to develop and deliver the CSCP to support the success of all students. 10.3. Confidentiality - Each student and family has the right to privacy and the expectation that the school counselor/student relationship complies with all laws, policies, and ethical Standard pertaining to confidentiality in the school setting. The counselor has a duty to ensure that personal information shared by the student and/or parents/guardians with the counselor remains confidential unless the information pertains to harm to self or others. School counselors are required to adhere to FERPA guidelines and the ASCA Code of Ethics to protect confidential student information. 10.4. Consultation - Consultation refers to a process in which parents/guardians, teachers, other educators, and community agencies receive information regarding strategies and resources to help students and families. Counselors exchange strategies, information and resources with stakeholders to meet individual student needs. During the consultation process, school counselors serve as advocates for students to promote well-being and success in school. 10.5. Crisis Response - Crisis response provides prevention, intervention, and follow-up to individual and school-wide crises that impact students, staff, or families. Crisis response is normally temporary in nature and includes a variety of research-based interventions to support individuals or group needs. School counselors should adhere to W. Va. Code §18-9F-1, et seq. in relation to the school crisis plan. Long term reactions to a crisis may result in a referral to appropriate community or school-based resources and follow-up interventions. 10.6. Early Identification - A systemic, structured process in which schools use various data points to identify at-risk students early in order to refer for screening or support services. 10.7. Equity and Access - A process to ensure that all students have equal access to relevant programs, courses, resources and activities regardless of ethnicity, social class, family background, ability, sexual orientation, or gender... 10.11. Group Counseling - Counseling is provided for small groups of students experiencing similar difficulties that impede school success and may include relationships or other personal concerns, behavioral issues, school adjustment issues, attendance problems, academic concerns, or developmental issues. Small-group counseling is skills-based, aimed at helping students with similar concerns develop strategies that improve personal and school success. Small group counseling normally occurs during non-instructional time or is staggered between class periods, minimizing absences during instruction while building coping and school success skills. Group counseling in schools is short term in nature and normally occurs for 30-50 minutes once a week for 4-7 weeks. Students needing more intensive therapeutic counseling should be referred to school and/or community mental health professionals. 10.12. Individual Counseling - Individual counseling refers to a helping process implemented by a professional with a certification in counseling who uses a variety of evidence-based techniques and strategies to help individual students explore academic, career, and personal/social issues impeding healthy development or academic progress. Individual counseling aims to assist students with addressing barriers and improving school success, home, and community living. Individual counseling in the school setting is short term in nature. Students requiring more frequent or intensive counseling should be referred to appropriate mental health professionals. 10.13. Informed Consent - Informed consent involves seeking written permission from parents of minors for services typically not provided by certified school staff and is required when students receive services from non-school employees. Students under the age of consent may assent to school counseling services without parent permission because the comprehensive school counseling program is a required school component of Policy 2510. Therefore, school counselors are not required to seek parental permission for students to benefit from any component of the school counseling program as defined in this policy. As best practice, counselors may inform parents if students will be missing significant, ongoing instructional time for such activities as group counseling, educational programs outside the school, or peer helping training programs... 10.16. Certified School Counselor - West Virginia school counselors hold a master's degree in school counseling from an accredited university and certification in school counseling from the WVDE per Policy 5202. 10.17. West Virginia School Counselor Performance Standard (hereinafter WVSCPS) - The WVSCPS describe the essential skills, knowledge, dispositions, and behaviors all West Virginia school counselors must possess. These performance Standard describe evidence-based best practices and guide school counselors to improve program effectiveness, student success, and career readiness. The Standard include performance level rubrics that guide school counselors in becoming accomplished in all the major facets of effective school counseling practice.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-2. Purpose.
2.1. Policy 2315 defines the core components of the CSCP in West Virginia schools, establishes the West Virginia Standard for Student Success (hereinafter WVSSS) as the foundational Standard for the CSCP, and outlines both county board and school responsibilities for implementing the CSCP.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-3. Comprehensive School Counseling Program Description.
- 3.1. The CSCP is an integral part of the total school program and is aligned with the school's mission. The CSCP is a proactive, systemic approach to assist students with the acquisition of attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to maximize student success and preparation for a variety of postsecondary options. The CSCP provides universal prevention for all students, targeted interventions for at-risk students, and intensive interventions for the most at-risk students. The CSCP is Standard-based and designed to developmentally and sequentially address the WVSSS within each programmatic level. The CSCP utilizes school and community data to identify student needs in relation to the CSCP and to set annual priorities for the WVSSS. A certified school counselor, in collaboration with school and community stakeholders, will develop an Annual CSCP Plan in order to coordinate and implement a CSCP designed to address student needs. The CSCP contains four distinct delivery systems.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-4. County Board Responsibilities.
4.1. Each county board of education shall ensure that the CSCP: 4.1.a. is proactive and preventive, comprehensive in scope, and developmental in nature, and enhances opportunities for every student to achieve school success through academic, career, and personal and social development experiences, preparing all students to become globally responsible citizens; 4.1.b. provides all Pre-K-12 students opportunities to achieve the foundational Standard established in the WVSSS; 4.1.c. provides an organized, integrated, and planned approach that is sequential, needs-based, and integral to the educational process; 4.1.d. utilizes student, school, and community data to identify student needs and implement evidence-based practices to address identified needs; 4.1.e. is aligned with the West Virginia School Counseling Model, a three-tiered system of student support that provides universal prevention, targeted interventions, and intensive interventions; 4.1.f. is aligned with applicable WVBE policies [W. Va. 126CSR114, WVBE Policy 5100, Approval of Educator Preparation Programs (hereinafter Policy 5100); W. Va. 126CSR142, WVBE Policy 5310, Performance Evaluation of School Personnel (hereinafter Policy 5310); W. Va. 126CSR99, Policy 4373, Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools (hereinafter Policy 4373); W. Va. 126CSR0444, Policy 2520.19, West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Dispositions and Standard for Student Success for Grades K-12 (hereinafter Policy 2520.19), and W. Va. 126CSR42, Policy 2510, Assuring the Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs (hereinafter Policy 2510)]; 4.1.g. is coordinated by a certified school counselor as defined in W. Va. 126CSR136, WVBE Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advanced Salary Classifications (hereinafter Policy 5202) and delivered collaboratively with school and community professionals; 4.1.h. includes the four program delivery components identified in Section 5 of this policy; 4.1.i. adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. §1232g, 34 CFR Part 99) (hereinafter FERPA), guidelines, the American School Counselor Association Ethical Standard, confidentiality laws/guidelines, and informed consent as defined in Section 10: Glossary; and 4.1.j. is supported and monitored by the principal who ensures that the school counselor and leadership team develop an Annual CSCP Plan that is aligned with requirements set forth in this policy.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-5. Delivery Components of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs.
5.1.c. Responsive Services are provided when events and situations in students' lives or in the school climate and culture impedes student success. Responsive services offer preventive activities and programs to address the identified needs of students in each school, as well as evidence-based interventions to address targeted student needs. The services include working with at-risk students to provide the help and support needed to ensure grade level success. Usually short-term in nature, responsive services include individual and small group counseling, academic and behavior intervention plans, crisis prevention and response, consultation with parents/guardians and other school staff, and referrals to school and community resources. Some students may require an immediate and expert response to assist with an academic, emotional, or behavioral crisis. In cases where students require ongoing support or therapy, the counselor makes appropriate referrals and works with families to secure appropriate resources within the school or community. Schools identify who will coordinate and follow-up on each referral. The school counselor collaborates with stakeholders to create a school-wide, prevention-based approach to individual and school crises and has a crisis plan in place to address the mental health component of common school-wide crises. The school crisis team educates other stakeholders to assist with school-wide crisis preparedness, prevention, intervention, and response, outlining responsibilities and best practices in the school crisis planning and response.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-6. Counselor Qualifications, Use of Time, and Program Monitoring.
6.1. School counselor qualifications are defined in Policy 5202. 6.2. School counselors spend their time planning, designing, managing, facilitating, delivering, and evaluating a comprehensive school counseling program that benefits all students in accordance with the West Virginia School Counseling Model, Policy 5100, and W. Va. Code § 18-5-18b. 6.3. The CSCP is monitored by the county board of education, and each school's principal evaluates the school counselor in accordance with Policy 5310.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-7. Responsibility.
7.1. The WVDE shall ensure that professional learning opportunities are provided for counselors and principals. WVDE and its designees shall provide technical assistance and other support to each county board of education with policy revisions and with the development and implementation of the CSCP upon request. 7.2. The WVDE shall be responsible for the development and distribution of the school counseling program model and the school counseling program audit template to be utilized by counties as resources in professional development and program planning. 7.3. Each county board of education shall revise and submit for approval to the WVDE a CSCP policy for schools aligned with requirements set forth in this policy. The initial and subsequent revisions will be submitted to the WVDE by October 1 of each school year.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-8. Incorporation of the West Virginia Standard for Student Success (WVSSS) by Reference.
8.1. The WVSSS, found in Policy 2520.19, serve as foundational Standard for all West Virginia Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. Copies of these Standard can be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State and on the WVDE website under State Board Policies.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-67-9. Summary of West Virginia Standard for Student Success.
9.1. The WVBE has the responsibility to establish high quality Standard pertaining to all education programs. The WVSSS outline the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential to support all students in achieving everyday school success and in being college and career ready. The principal and school staff must utilize an intentional process to engage all school staff and ensure the WVSSS are integrated within each programmatic level through the use of the developmentally appropriate methods. Policy 2520.19 includes the WVSSS in three programmatic levels: Early Learning Programming, Middle Level Programming, and Adolescent Level Programming, to assist with developmentally appropriate implementation within each programmatic level. 9.2. The WVSSS are foundational Standard for all students and shall be collaboratively delivered, using a coordinated approach, in both the PreK-12 comprehensive school counseling program and the teacher-led student advisory system in all West Virginia middle and high schools, as per Policy 2510. 9.3. The WVSSS have been developed with the goal of preparing students for school success and a wide range of high-quality post-secondary opportunities. Specifically, college- and career-readiness refers to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to be successful in higher education and/or training that lead to gainful employment. The WVSSS establish a set of knowledge and skills that all individuals need to transition into higher education or into the workplace, as both realms share many expectations. All students, throughout their educational experience, should develop emotional and social competence and a full understanding of the career opportunities available, the education necessary to be successful in their chosen pathway, and a plan to achieve their goals.
West Virginia Code 18-5-18b. School counselors in public schools.
(a) A school counselor means a professional educator who holds a valid school counselor’s certificate in accordance with §18A-1-1 of this code. (b) Each county board shall provide counseling services for each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county. (c) The school counselor shall work with individual pupils and groups of pupils in providing developmental, preventive and remedial guidance and counseling programs to meet academic, social, emotional, and physical needs; including programs to identify and address the problem of potential school dropouts. The school counselor also may provide consultant services for parents, teachers, and administrators and may use outside referral services, when appropriate, if no additional cost is incurred by the county board. (d) The state board may adopt rules consistent with the provisions of this section that define the role of a school counselor based on the “National Standard for School Counseling Programs” of the American School Counselor Association. A school counselor is authorized to perform such services as are not inconsistent with the provisions of the rule as adopted by the state board. To the extent that any funds are made available for this purpose, county boards shall provide training for counselors and administrators to implement the rule as adopted by the state board. (e) Each county board shall develop a comprehensive drop-out prevention program utilizing the expertise of school counselors and any other appropriate resources available. (f) School counselors shall be full-time professional personnel, shall spend at least 80 percent of work time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils, and shall devote no more than 20 percent of the work day to administrative activities: Provided, That such activities are counselor related. (g) Nothing in this section prohibits a county board from exceeding the provisions of this section, or requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.
West Virginia Code 18-5-18b. School counselors in public schools.
(a) A school counselor means a professional educator who holds a valid school counselor’s certificate in accordance with article three of this chapter.
(b) Each county board shall provide counseling services for each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county.