Definition of the OPUSD K-12 School Counseling Program

The OPUSD K-12 school counseling program is comprehensive, developmental and systematic in nature, sequential, clearly defined and accountable. The program is integral to the educational process, proactive and preventive in its focus. It employs strategies to enhance academics, provide career awareness, develop employment readiness, encourage self-awareness, foster interpersonal communication skills and impart life success skills for all students.

  • Is similar to other educational programs, inclusive of curriculum, standards, and assessments.
  • Is developed by design, focusing on needs, interests, and issues related to the various stages of student growth.
  • Promotes more effective and efficient student learning.
  • Expresses a commitment to individual uniqueness and maximum development
  • Is integral to school planning, school programs, and the school environment
  • The school counselor:
  • Is a trained, credentialed professional.
  • Is not the school counseling program.
  • Is part of a collaborative team.
  • Facilitates communication and establishes linkages for the benefit of students, with teaching staff, administration, families, student service personnel, agencies, business and other members of the community.
  • Is recognized as an indispensable partner of the instructional staff in the development of good citizens and leaders.

Our educational system is being challenged by the growing needs of today’s students and the rising expectations of society. Some of our children attend school with emotional, physical and interpersonal barriers to learning as a result of societal and other factors. However, all students require systematic support for their development. Therefore, in a comprehensive school counseling program, less emphasis is placed on crisis-oriented services. The emphasis is on development for all students. An effective school counseling program begins when students enter the school system and continue as they progress through the educational process. School counseling is an integral part of the total educational enterprise.

The primary goal of the K-12 school counseling program is to promote and enhance student learning. Recognizing that all children do not develop in a linear fashion according to a certain timetable, there is intentional overlapping among grade levels (elementary, middle school and high school). The OPUSD school counseling program reflects the progression of student development throughout the K-12 experience. It is understood that mastery of basic skills facilitates the mastery of higher-order skills in each area of development. Our counselors utilize a variety of strategies, activities, delivery methods and resources to promote student development. Our school counselors’ responsibilities include the design, organization, implementation, and coordination of the program.