School Counselor Essentials
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School Counselor Essentials

We help school districts set up and operate effective, comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs in the elementary, middle and high schools. The best way to structure your program is to focus on three essential components — academic, career and social emotional development. RCW 28A.410.040

Academic Development – Evidence-Based School Counseling
American School Counselor Association (ASCA) sets the standards for school counselors — ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. These standards promote strategies and activities for elementary, middle and high school counseling that optimize the learning potential of each learner, and support the relationship between academic development and readiness for career, college and life.

    Performance Indicators. Elementary, middle and high school counselors use data to understand student needs and provide closing-the-gap interventions. Equity analytics for several measures of success from kindergarten preparedness to postsecondary enrollment ensures the role of evidence-based school counseling implementation for all students.

    Graduation. The Graduation in Washington Toolkit helps educators and families understand state requirements for high school graduation. Key district staff should be aware of the toolkit and what it takes to graduate. Find translations, checklists and more.

    The Washington State Board of Education (SBE) compiles everything you need to know about graduation and tracks these requirements. Of special interest to school counselors — High-quality High School and Beyond Plans and Processes.

    Graduation a Team Effort (GATE) is an initiative that aligns dropout prevention, intervention and reengagement activities across state agencies, youth-serving organizations that work statewide and regional and local education agencies. Resources for families are organized around what you need to know and what you can do, and for educators, best practice.

    Dual Credit Programs. Students take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and earn college credit through standardized examinations and enrollment in college courses. Search and compare how high school AP, IB and Cambridge exam scores will apply at Washington state colleges with the Dual Credit Look Up Tool.

Career Development – Career and College Readiness Planning for All Students
American School Counselor Association (ASCA) sets the standards nationally for school counselors — ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. These standards guide elementary, middle and high school counselors as they help students start early to develop their middle and high school and beyond planning for a successful postsecondary plan development.

    Career Guidance WA. Easy-to-use guidance curriculum for grades 6 through 12 with additional resources on the Career and College Readiness site. Consolidated into a 29-30-lessons-per-grade sequence, advisors and counselors can help teachers take advantage of content customized to the graduation and course admission requirements of Washington State.

    High School and Beyond Plan. Required for graduation, each student must create a High School and Beyond Plan that guides their career interest with high school course planning, and helps to set, visualize and work toward personal and academic goals. Find requirements, characteristics of high-quality plans and resources on the SBE website.

    Washington Career Bridge. Students can explore careers and find out what education and training will lead to specific occupations. Encourage students to take a survey that connects subjects and activities they like to do with potential career paths. Lots of useful information on occupations, job trends, and education/training — well indexed and easy to navigate on Washington Career Bridge.

Social Emotional Development – Student Support Resources
American School Counselor Association (ASCA) sets the standards for school counselors — ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. These standards provide a proven foundation to elementary, middle and high school counselors for social emotional growth that helps students manage their emotions and develop effective interpersonal skills.

    Social Emotional Benchmark Report. “Addressing Social Emotional Learning in Washington’s K-12 Public Schools” is a report by the Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup from October 2016.

    Student Support at OSPI. Student Support and Secondary Education provides a wide range of programs important to a positive K-12 educational experience for vulnerable and at-risk students as a resource for elementary, middle and high school counseling.

Academic 21st Century Community Learning CentersPrivate Education and Home-Based Education

At-risk and Vulnerable Youth Children of Incarcerated ParentsHomeless Education: McKinney-VentoInstitutional Education

Behavior and School Culture Compassionate SchoolsMulti-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Dropout Open Doors Reengagement | GATE

Foster Care Foster Care Youth

Health and Well-being Coordinated School HealthHealth Services: School Nurse Corps, Home/Hospital InstructionHealthiest Next GenerationMental Health and Schools

Military Military Kids

The School Safety Center at OSPI promotes the development of effective emergency operation/safety plans. Safety plans prevent, protect, mitigate and respond to emergency situations. Post-crisis, a school safety plan is an essential guide for recovery.

Support Resources for School Counselors

WA School Counselor Association (WSCA). Serves school counselors in WA state through leadership, professional development, and advocacy with knowledge, skill, linkages, and resources to promote student success in school.

American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Support, connection and advocacy for school counselors across the nation. Find many opportunities for professional learning, informative periodicals, publications and research on the ASCA website.

Washington State Student Achievement Council. Ready, Set, Grad is a student-friendly tool that guides education planning, encourages high-value extracurricular activities, and connects elementary, middle and high school counselors and their students with college and career readiness resources.


   Updated 5/16/2017

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