Parental Notification: K-12 School Counseling Services

Student Participation

A Comprehensive School Counseling Program is designed to meet the needs of all students and to be inclusive, preventive, and developmental in nature. Parents may opt-out their child(ren) from personal/social counseling to which they object.

Parents have the option to withdraw their child(ren) from the personal/social portion of the Comprehensive School Guidance and Counseling Program by obtaining an opt-out form from the school counseling office or by printing the School Counseling Services Opt-Out Form (PDF) (Regulation 651-1, Attachment I) and returning it to the school counselor. This request should be appropriately filed in the student's educational record, and school counseling staff should be advised of student non-participation.

Opt-out request shall not transfer from school to school. Parents must initiate an opt-out request form each time a student changes schools.

The opt-out provision excludes short duration personal/social counseling which is needed to maintain order, discipline or a productive learning environment. In such situations, affirmative parental consent is not required.

Requirements and Procedures

Notification to parents is published annually in the PWCS' "Code of Behavior" and shall include the following:

  1. Purpose and description of the Comprehensive School Counseling Program;
  2. Student participation and parental consent;
  3. Counseling techniques;
  4. At all levels, parental consent will be obtained before a student participates in a planned small group counseling session.
  5. At the elementary level, parental consent will be obtained before a student participates in short-term individual counseling sessions.
  6. At the secondary level, school counselors will consult with parents/guardians, as needed, about individual services rendered to support the student during the school day.

Review of Guidance and Counseling Materials

Materials used with students in the Comprehensive School Guidance and Counseling Program shall be made available for parent review and comment through arrangement with the school counselor. The selection and review of such material shall be in compliance with Regulation 653-1, Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials.

Meeting with the School Counselor

A student meets with the school counselor when he/she requests a meeting; parents/teachers, administrators, and other school staff members refer the student or the school counselor initiates contact.

Consent for Counseling

As noted is Section III of Regulation 651-1, parents may opt-out their child(ren) from counseling to which they object. Parental consent shall not be required for any counseling which is needed to:

  1. Maintain order, discipline, or a productive learning environment;
  2. Respond to a crisis situation where there exists an immediate threat to the health and safety of the student or others;
  3. Determine progress with a student who has previously participated in individual or group counseling; and
  4. Meet with a student who is suspected of being abused or neglected, as provided by VA Code § 63.2-1518.

Parental permission shall be obtained when it has been determined that a student would benefit from meeting with the school counselor to address issues that are impeding a student's progress in school.

A student may be included in a small group counseling without parental consent when the school counselor and the appropriate administrator have documented attempts to contact the parent and the parent has not responded.

Procedures for Obtaining Parental Consent

A Parental Permission Letter For Small Group Counseling (PDF) (Regulation 651-1, Attachment II) or Short-term Individual Counseling Sessions Letter (Regulation 651-1, Attachment III) shall be sent to parents and include the following:

  1. Purpose and goals of the group/individual counseling;
  2. Name of group, if applicable; and
  3. Number and length of counseling sessions.