Counseling Department

Arkansas High School Student Services Plan

Individual and Small Group Counseling (Direct Service)

Although Arkansas High School counselors work with students when they experience problems, counseling must be more than the provision of remediation and crisis intervention. Developmental counseling provides students with coping strategies before a crisis occurs. This may involve seeing students individually or in groups to help them develop skills and use their resources. Students are referred for counseling by: staff, teachers, parents, school psychologists, school administrators, peers, or themselves.

Guidance in Understanding the Relationship between Classroom Performance and Success in School (Direct Service)

The counselor assists students in understanding the relationship between school and classroom performance and their future college- or career- aspirations. This process begins in early grades and continues throughout the students’ education. Arkansas High counselors work with students individually, in small groups, and in whole classroom settings to help students see the connections.

Academic Advisement (Direct Service)

Academic advisement begins in elementary school and continues through high school. The school counselor acts as an advisor at all levels to guide students toward developing short- and long- term goals for educational decision-making including the selection of courses designed to help students prepare for college- and career- plans. Informational resources should also be available and organized in such a way as to guide students and provide information relevant to their plans. Counselors encourage students to reach their fullest potential by guiding them to take the most academically challenging coursework with a focus on interest areas.

Orientation (Direct Service)

Orientation is a process for students, teachers, parents, and stakeholders to learn about the guidance, counseling, and other student services offered to assist in the adjustment of new students to a school. Orientation is designed to help students make smoother transitions from one school setting to another. Formal programs may be used in a classroom setting for groups entering a new school after promotion. As new students enter school throughout the year, orientation may consist of individual or group sessions assisted by peer helpers.

Consultation and Coordination (Administrative Activity)

An important part of the counselor’s role is to collaborate with teachers and parents. Counselors work with teachers and administrators to help create school environments that encourage student growth and learning.

Consultation can include:

  • ●  Participating in and supporting the work of the RTI team

  • ●  Conducting professional development workshops

  • ●  Discussions with teachers and other school personnel on subjects such as suicide prevention or child maltreatment reporting requirements

  • ●  Assisting teachers to work with individual students or groups of students

  • ●  Providing relevant materials and resources to teachers

  • ●  Assisting in the identification and development of programs for students with special

  • needs; climate, and other guidance-related areas

  • ●  Interpreting student data or assessment results

  • ●  Consulting with other specialists (e.g., social workers, psychologists, representatives from

  • Community agencies)

  • The counselor can also coordinate services between the school, home, and community agencies so that efforts to help students are successful and reinforced rather than duplicated.

Parental Involvement (Administrative Activity)

  • Arkansas High counselors hold at least two workshops each year to help parents and students with completing college admission requirements. Quarterly parent meetings address topics ranging from standardized testing, the importance of attendance, helping students develop better study habits, and course selection for the upcoming year. The AHS counseling department provides newsletters and social media information for parents to keep them updated on school counseling programs, opportunities, or information on ways to support their students at home. Counselors, along with other school staff, also encourage parents to participate in volunteer opportunities within the school setting.

Utilization of Student Records (Administrative Activity)

The school counselor reviews academic records and files, and may update them for use with students and parents, as well as for their own professional use.

Interpretation of Student Assessments (Direct Services)

Counselors help students identify their skills, abilities, achievements, and interests through counseling activities and the guidance curriculum.

Interpretation of Student Assessments (Direct or Administrative Activity)

Counselors interpret standardized test results for parents, faculty, students, and community stakeholders. Working with students to interpret and understand their own standardized assessment results would be a direct counseling service.

Educational Academic Advisement, Career Counseling, Career Opportunities and Alternative Programs (Direct Service)

Counselors advise students on educational, academic assessment, and career counseling including advising students on the national college assessments, workforce opportunities, and alternative programs that could provide successful high school completion and post-secondary opportunities.

Making Referrals to School and Community Resources (Administrative Activity)

Counselors establish and maintain close working relationships with a variety of school and community agencies. These agencies include departments of health and social services, mental health centers, juvenile courts, and advocacy groups. To help students and their families cope with an array of problems, counselors identify school and community resources and support the established policies and procedures for interagency communication.

Direct Counseling Activity Examples – 75% of Time Monthly

The counselor provides direct to students at least 75% of their time monthly. Examples of direct counseling are:

  • ●  Individual social/emotional counseling

  • ●  Individual academic guidance and counseling

  • ●  Individual career education guidance and counseling and vocational decision making

  • ●  Orienting new students to the school

  • ●  Consultation with students

  • ●  Class selection discussion/academic advisement with students

  • ●  Interpretation of state-mandated assessments with students

  • ●  Review records and files while assisting students

  • ●  Small group counseling sessions

  • ●  Classroom guidance sessions

Administrative Activities Examples- 25% of Time Monthly

  • The counselor provides administrative services no more than 25% of their time monthly. Examples of administrative services are:

  • ●  Consultation services with school personnel and outside agencies

  • ●  Making appropriate referrals

  • ●  Test interpretation about students; test interpretation for parents, faculty or community

  • ●  Updating guidance/counseling records for counselor’s utilization

  • ●  Planning, managing, and evaluating the comprehensive counseling program

  • ●  Planning classroom guidance lessons

The American School Counselor Association’s Position on High-Stakes Testing and School Counseling

Career Awareness and Planning in School Counseling Programs (Direct Service)

Annotated Code 6-18-1009 states: “Each school counselor shall provide a career planning process for each student to include career awareness, employment readiness, career information, and the knowledge and skill necessary to achieve career goals. School counselors shall also encourage parents, during regular parent conference, to support partnerships in their children’s learning and career planning process.”

At the elementary level, guidance and classroom activities can focus on developing personal skills, career exploration and making the connection between them and the world of work.

At the secondary level counselors work with students to ensure that they are aware of the importance of course selection and future planning. They can help students develop their course of studies or four-year plans so that students have a map for high school coursework. Counselors provide information to and assist students in understanding how taking more rigorous classes better prepares them for college- and work- success. Information on post-secondary opportunities and institutions, and alternative career programs are shared with students. Soft-skills are developed at all levels and the connection between them and career success is emphasized.

Suicide Prevention Public Awareness Program

The Arkansas High School Counseling Department follows the TASD handbook regarding suicide prevention public awareness and contacting parents/guardians. Other resources can be obtained at:

ADE Guidance and School Counseling Suicide Prevention Resources counseling/student-support

At-Risk Students and the School Dropout Program

The Arkansas High School Counseling Department has designed a plan to track the district’s dropouts, including an exit interview, and follow-up whenever possible. We use the ADE Dropout Prevention Toolkit to help reduce the number of dropouts, the number of incidents of suspensions, school vandalism, attendance, etc.
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