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Viewing Policy: BP 6140 – Guidance/Counseling Services

BP 6140


Guidance/Counseling Services


The San Benito Board of Education (County Board) recognizes that a structured, coherent and comprehensive counseling program promotes academic achievement and serves the diverse needs of all San Benito County Office of Education (SBCOE) Alternative Education students.  Counseling staff shall be available to provide students with individualized reviews of their educational progress toward academic and/or career and vocational goals and, as appropriate, may discuss social, personal, or other issues that may impact student learning.


The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all persons employed to provide school counseling, school psychology, and/or school social work services shall possess the appropriate credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing authorizing their employment in such positions.  Responsibilities of each position shall be clearly defined in a job description.


Responsibilities of school counselors include, but are not limited to:


  1. Engaging with, advocating for, and providing support for all students with respect to learning and achievement


  1. Planning, implementing, and evaluating programs to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of all students, including students from low-income      families, foster youth, homeless youth, undocumented youth, and students at all levels of    academic, social, and emotional abilities


  1. Using multiple sources of information to monitor and improve student behavior and achievement


  1. Collaborating and coordinating with school and community resources


  1. Promoting and maintaining a safe learning environment for all students by providing restorative justice practices, positive behavior interventions, and support services


  1. Intervening to ameliorate school-related problems, including issues related to chronic absences


  1. Using research-based strategies to reduce stigma, conflict, and student-to-student mistreatment and bullying


  1. Improving school climate and student well-being


  1. Enhancing students’ social and emotional competence, character, health, civic engagement, cultural legacy, and commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of        high-quality educational programs


  1. Providing counseling interventions and support services for students classified as English learners, eligible for free or reduced-priced meals, or foster youth, including enhancing equity and access to the education system and community services


(cf. 0460 – Local Control and Accountability Plan)

(cf. 6173 – Education for Homeless Children)

(cf. 6173.1 – Education for Foster Youth)

(cf. 6174 – Education for English Learners)


  1. Engaging in continued development as a professional school counselor


Educational Counseling


Beginning in grade 7, parents/guardians shall receive a general notice at least once before career counseling and course selection so that they may participate in the counseling sessions and decisions.  (Education Code 221.5)


The educational counseling program shall include academic counseling in the following areas:  (Education Code 49600)


  1. Development and implementation, with parent/guardian involvement, of the student’s immediate and long-range educational plans


  1. Optimizing progress towards achievement of proficiency standards


  1. Completion of the required curriculum in accordance with the student’s needs, abilities, interests, and aptitudes


  1. Academic planning for access and success in higher education programs, including advisement on courses needed for admission to public colleges and universities,     standardized admissions tests, and financial aid


  1. Career and vocational counseling, in which students are assisted in doing all of the following:


  1. Planning for the future, including, but not limited to, identifying personal interests, skills, and abilities, career planning, course selection, and career transition


  1. Becoming aware of personal preferences and interests that influence educational and occupational exploration, career choice, and career success


  1. Developing realistic perceptions of work, the changing work environment, and the effect of work on lifestyle


  1. Understanding the relationship between academic achievement and career success, and the importance of maximizing career options


  1. Understanding the value of participating in career technical education and work-based learning activities and programs, including, but not limited to, service learning, regional          occupational centers and programs, partnership programs, job shadowing, and mentoring            experiences


(cf. 6178 – Career Technical Education)

(cf. 6178.1 – Work-Based Learning)


  1. Understanding the need to develop essential employable skills and work habits


  1. Understanding the variety of four-year colleges and universities and community college vocational and technical preparation programs, as well as admission criteria and      enrollment procedures


The Alternative Education’s educational counseling program also may include, but not be limited to, identification of students who are at risk of not graduating with the rest of their class, development of a list of coursework and experience necessary to assist students to satisfy the curricular requirements for college admission and successfully transition to postsecondary education or employment, and counseling regarding available options for a student to continue his/her education if he/she fails to meet graduation requirements.


The Superintendent or designee shall establish and maintain a program of guidance, placement, and follow-up for all high school students subject to compulsory continuation education.  (Education Code 48431)


No counselor shall unlawfully discriminate against any student. Guidance counseling regarding school programs and career, vocational, or higher education opportunities shall not be differentiated on the basis of any protected category specified in BP 0300 – Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities.


(cf. 0300 – Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)


In addition, counselors shall affirmatively explore with students the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that student’s sex. (Education Code 221.5)


For assessing or counseling students, the SBCOE shall not use testing or other materials that permit or require impermissible or unlawful differential treatment of students.  (5 CCR 4931)


Colleges and prospective employers, including military recruiters, shall have the same access to students for recruiting purposes.  (Education Code 49603; 10 USC 503; 20 USC 7908)


Personal or Mental Health Counseling


A school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker may provide individualized personal, mental health, or family counseling to students in accordance with the specialization(s) authorized by his/her credential. Such services may include, but are not limited to, support related to the student’s social and emotional development, behavior, substance abuse, mental health assessment, depression, or mental illness. As appropriate, students and their parents/guardians shall be informed about community agencies, organizations, or health care providers that offer qualified professional assistance.


Written parent/guardian consent shall be obtained before mental health counseling or treatment services are provided to a student, except when the student is authorized to consent to the service pursuant to Family Code 6920-6929, Health and Safety Code 124260, or other applicable law.


Any information of a personal nature disclosed to a school counselor by a student age 12 years or older or by his/her parent/guardian is confidential and shall not become part of the student record without the written consent of the person who disclosed the confidential information. The information shall not be revealed, released, discussed, or referred to except under the limited circumstances specified in Education Code 49602.  (Education Code 49602)


A counselor shall consult with the Superintendent or designee and, as appropriate, with the SBCOE’s legal counsel whenever unsure of how to respond to a student’s personal problem or when questions arise regarding the possible release of confidential information regarding a student.


Crisis Counseling


The County Board recognizes the need for a prompt and effective response when students are confronted with a traumatic incident.  School counselors shall assist in the development of the comprehensive school safety plan, emergency and disaster preparedness plan, and other prevention and intervention practices designed to assist students and parents/guardians before, during, and after a crisis.


(cf. 0450 – Comprehensive Safety Plan)


In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall identify crisis counseling resources to train SBCOE’s staff in effective threat assessment, appropriate response techniques, and/or methods to directly help students cope with a crisis if it occurs.


Early identification and intervention plans shall be developed to help identify those students who may be at risk for violence so that support may be provided before they engage in violent or disruptive behavior.


Legal Reference:


221.5  Prohibited sex discrimination

44266  Pupil personnel services credential

48431  Establishing and maintaining high school guidance and placement  program

49600-49604  Educational counseling

51250-51251  School age military dependents

51513  Personal beliefs


6920-6929  Consent by minor for treatment or counseling


124260  Mental health services; consent by minors age 12 and older


11166-11170  Reporting known or suspected cases of child abuse


5850-5883  Mental Health Services Act


4930-4931  Counseling

80049-80049.1  Pupil personnel services credential

80632-80632.5  Preparation programs for pupil personnel services


503  Military recruiter access to directory information


1232g  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

7908  Armed forces recruiter access to students and student recruiting information


99.1-99.67  Family educational rights and privacy



Policy Adopted: 5-15-1988

Policy Revised: 2-8-18