District Counseling Plan for Queens South


Vision and Mission

The New York City Department of Education is committed to creating and supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City. We believe all students benefit from diverse and inclusive schools and classrooms. We strive to welcome and support all students, families, and school staff.

Chancellor’s Priorities:

  • Priority 1: Accelerate Learning and Instruction. Provide inclusive, rigorous instruction to every child, in a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment.
  • Priority 2: Partner with Communities. Improve every community’s experiences with the DOE. Empower families with a shared mission for student success and equitable outcomes.
  • Priority 3: Develop People. Cultivate a learning culture by valuing and developing individuals and teams.
  • Priority 4: Advance Equity Now. Transform outcomes by tackling inequities in all forms throughout the system

Queens South Borough Office, Dr. Mauriciere de Govia, Executive Superintendent 

Our Vision: To become an excellent NYC Department of Education Borough Office that supports every student, every staff member, and every family.

Our Mission: To ensure every student achieves grade level expectations in order to be ready for college, careers, and life, by embracing diversity, nurturing learning environments, creating environments of high accountability, and encouraging community.

Goals : By 2023, we will achieve the following:

  • 80% On-time Graduation Rate
  • Two-Thirds graduate ready for college, careers and community service
  • 85% 1st graders reading on grade level
  • 75% 3rd – 8th graders demonstrating demonstrable improvement (scale score growth) each year on NY State Assessment
  • 95% of 5th graders promoted to 6th grade with skills ready to engage in pre-Algebra
  • 75% 8th graders taking and passing Algebra I Regions Exam
  • One quarter of high school graduates earn 16 college credits
  • Two-Thirds of Multi-Language Learners will progress one level on English Proficiency Exam
  • Two-Thirds of Special Education Learners will transition to spending more time in general education classroom/program
  • Two-thirds of middle schools and high schools will engage in Restorative Practices drawing on SEL competencies to help students learn strategies and skills to better equip scholars to manage their responses and improve student outcomes.

Our Theory of Action: IF every school, through an instructional leadership team, leverages advanced literacy as the gateway to establish clear instructional priorities through 

  1. core instruction, 
  2. assessments, 
  3. curriculums, and 
  4. professional learning opportunities;

THEN every student in every classroom every day will engage in rigorous, authentic, and culturally relevant learning experiences; realizing the vision of the NYC Graduate, a young person who is prepared for college, career, and life.

Accelerate Learning and Instruction: (Advance Equity Now)

  • Gradual Release
  • Small group instruction {Supporting learners personalized academic needs}
  • 6+1 Traits of Writing {Writing Across the Curriculum}
  • Improving academic vocabulary
  • Multi-Tiered System of Supports (Response to Intervention)
  • Instructional Rounds Teams
  • Gifted and Talented programming (Advance Placement & Concurrent Enrollment)
  • Advance Placement
  • Concurrent Enrollment
  • Talk, Read, Talk, Write (Using Brick & Mortar Words)
  • Unpacking Standards
  • Develop Learning Targets
  • Develop Demonstrations of Learning
  • Develop Success Criteria
  • Middle School Scholars Taking Regents Exams
  • Social Emotional Learning Strategies
  • Anchor Charts
  • Instructional Absolutes

Partnering with Communities: (Advance Equity Now)

  • School/Community Partnerships (3) {Community School} – Community Education Councils (CEC), City Agencies (Police Department, Mental Health Organizations, Administration for Children’s Services) and Elected Officials
  • Increase parental empowerment
  • Adopt a School {Businesses and Schools encouraged to establish partnerships to strengthen and enhance learning experiences
  • Parent & Community University

Develop People: (Advance Equity Now)

  • Engage teachers and administrator collaborators
  • Establish Summer Learning Opportunities (New Staff Institutes)
  • Instructional Rounds Teams
  • Teacher Collaborators

NYCDOE School Counseling Vision Statement

We believe in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional and physical well-being (ASCA, 2014, Mindset 1).

NYCDOE School Counseling Mission Statement

In order to provide all students with equitable supports, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. The program is grounded in social/emotional development and is focused on fostering positive and supportive relationships with the goal of providing each of our students with academic supports, resiliency and coping skills, and access to resources in an environment where students know they belong. Our commitment is to provide students with the scaffolds they need for their academic, career and college readiness and social/emotional development while preparing them to be responsible members of society.

The NYCDOE’s counseling program is grounded in American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model where school counselors are provided with prevention, interventions, system supports and activities to meet the needs of all students. The counseling program is also grounded in NYCDOE’s Supportive Environment Framework which recognizes the importance of acknowledging, responding to, and celebrating cultures and offering equitable access to education for a diverse group of students. It is aimed at offering a welcoming and affirming environment to students and their families coupled with individualized mental health supports and referrals; in an effort to provide students with appropriate intervention and staff with appropriate resources that lead to student success. NYCDOE will support schools with ongoing professional development and resources on Supportive Environment Framework to ensure the safety and restorative approaches to behavior, develop collaborative and trusting relationships, promote equity and student voice, and cultivate equitable access for emotional, mental and physical wellness.

Lastly, our current global situation has also highlighted the importance for schools to create comprehensive counseling plans that attend to our students and families’ emotional wellness. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and social justice unrest, many of our students and families are struggling with racial trauma, losing loved ones, losing employment, and significant adjustments to their routines such as home confinement and school closures. All students will need consistent counseling support that include universal interventions for every student to help them process their experience, promote resilience to adversity and help our students and families cope from COVID-related and race-based stress and trauma. Comprehensive counseling plans and programs ensure that students experience safe, welcoming, and culturally responsive environments and ensure supports are consistently available to all students for each phase of the re-entry and recovery process.

Administration and Executive Superintendent School Counseling SupportsRichard Carranza, Chancellor

  • Donald Conyers, First Deputy Chancellor, Office of First Deputy Chancellor
  • LaShawn Robinson, Deputy Chancellor, Division of School Climate & Wellness
  • Karin Goldmark, Deputy Chancellor, School Planning and Development
  • Josh Wallack, Deputy Chancellor, Early Childhood and Enrollment
  • Linda Chen, Chief Academic Officer
  • Adrienne Austin, Acting Deputy Chancellor, Community Empowerment, Partnerships, and Communications
  • Mark Rampersant, Senior Executive Director, Office of Safety and Youth Development
  • Dr. Mauriciere De Govia, Executive Superintendent Queens South Borough Citywide Office
  • Juan Mendez, High School Superintendent Districts 27, 28 and 29
  • Jennifer Ambert, Superintendent, District 27 Community Schools
  • Tammy Pate, Superintendent, District 28 Community Schools
  • Beverly Mitchell, Superintendent, District 29 Community Schools
  • Marlene Wilks, Executive Director, Queens South Borough Citywide Office
  • Rachelle Lewis, Student Services Director, Queens South Borough Office
  • Natasha Eastman, Counseling Manager, Queens South Borough Office
  • Tariq McKay, Counseling Manager, Queens South Borough Office


We would like to acknowledge the writing committee who assisted in the preparation of this plan: Borough/Citywide Office (BCO) Director of Student Services and Counseling Managers, Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) and Office of First Deputy Chancellor (OFDC) central team, United Federation of Teachers representatives and Dr. Carol Dahir from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). We would like to give special thanks for the suggestions and structural guidelines that were provided.

NYSED Comprehensive School Counseling Program and Plan

NYSED School Counseling Regulations 100.2(j)

New York State has legislated the most comprehensive and innovative expectations that affect both K-12 school settings and institutions of higher education which initiates in July 2019. These amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations related to school counseling were adopted by the Board of Regents effective, July 1, 2017. The amended regulations impact the comprehensive developmental school counseling program beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and are available at NYSED school counseling web page.

In June 2018, the New York State Education Department released a guidance document that is intended to provide additional direction for school districts as they implement the amended regulations. The introduction to the Guidance Programs and Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling/Guidance Programs Commissioner’s Regulation §100.2(j) states the following:

The New York State Education Department (“The Department”) amended the school counseling regulations in an effort to help increase opportunities for all students to be successful. It is important for students to have access to a certified or licensed school counselor in the early years to help inspire young students to strive for success and consider college and career opportunities. Access does not necessarily mean that every school must hire a full-time counselor; but requirements such as core curriculum instruction do require that the time of a certified school counselor be included in the counseling program. Every school district will need to make personnel decisions based on student needs and current staffing configurations. It is important to emphasize the positive effects that school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors, school nurses, health educators, teachers, and parents have on student success when they collaborate and work as a team, offering their respective professional expertise to support the “whole child” (NYSED, Jun 3, 2018).

Below summarizes the amendments to Part 100.2(j) of the Commissioner’s Counseling Regulations, as per the New York State Education Department, to take effect commencing with the 2019-2020 school year*.

The Program

  1. Each school district shall have a comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program, for all students in Kindergarten through grade 12.
  2. Each school district shall ensure that all students in grades Kindergarten through 12 have access to a certified school counselor(s).
  3. For all grades Kindergarten through 12, district and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance programs shall prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs as age appropriate.
  4. Additionally, the program shall be designed to address multiple student competencies, including career/college readiness standards, and academic and social/emotional development standards.

The Services

Grades K-5

  1. In grades Kindergarten through 5, the program shall be designed by a certified school counselor in coordination with the teaching staff, and any appropriate pupil personnel service providers.
  2. The program shall be designed for the purpose of preparing students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs, to provide information related to college and careers, and to assist students who may exhibit challenges to academic success; including, but not limited to attendance or behavioral concerns.
  3. The program shall also, where appropriate, make a referral to a properly licensed professional and/or certified pupil personnel service provider, as appropriate, for more targeted supports.

Grades 6-12

  1. For students in grades six through twelve, certified school counselors shall provide an annual individual progress review plan, which shall reflect each student's educational progress and career plans.
  2. For a student with a disability, the plan shall be consistent with the student’s individualized education program.

All Students

  1. School counseling/guidance core curriculum instruction shall be for the purpose of addressing student competencies related to career/college readiness, academic skills, and social/emotional development by a certified school counselor(s).
  2. For a student with a disability, the plan shall be consistent with the student’s individualized education program.

The plan:

  1. Each school district shall develop district-wide and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance plans which set forth the manner in which the district shall comply with the requirements of the regulations. In the case of NYCDOE, DOE shall submit separate plans for each Executive Superintendent.
  2. Such district/building level plans shall be developed by, or under the direction of, certified school counselor(s) and be updated annually, available for review at the district office and each school building, and made available on the district’s website.
  3. Each district/building level plan shall be developed annually and shall include program objectives, activities, program development and maintenance planning, school counseling curriculum, professional development planning, evaluation methods based on data analysis of program results and closing-the-gap analysis reports to inform program improvement, and assessment of the resources necessary to support positive student outcomes.

School Counseling Advisory Council:

  1. In accordance to NYCDOE’s school support structure, each Executive Superintendent shall establish a School Counseling Advisory Council at the district level. The school counseling advisory council is a representative group of stakeholders that reviews and advises the implementation of the school counseling program. The council is to be comprised of representative stakeholders (such as parents, school building and/or district leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers in the district, including school social workers and/or school psychologists).
  2. The School Counseling Advisory Council shall meet no less than twice a year for the purpose of reviewing the comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program plan and advising on the implementation of the school counseling/guidance program.
  3. The Advisory Council: provides feedback on student outcome goals (developed and explained by school counselors) reviews program results (based on data presentations by school counselors) makes recommendations about the school counseling program.
  4. The School Counseling Advisory Council shall create and submit an annual program report to the NYCDOE’s School Chancellor.

Comprehensive School Counseling Program Based on the ASCA National Model (2019)

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and its state chapter, the New York State School Counselor Association (NYSSCA) have published models of professional practice shifting attention away from the school counselor’s role to the impact school counselors have on issues including student achievement, school safety, and the academic mission of the school. The National Model for School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2019) describes how school counselors can measure their impact on these areas. The New York State Model for Comprehensive K-12 School Counseling Programs (NYSSCA, 2005) further describes the school counselor’s work to New York State Educational Standards, at that time and to the ASCA National Model (2005).

The ASCA model provides an organizational framework for the systematic development, implementation, and evaluation of school counseling programs. It helps to demonstrate “ how students are different as a result of the school counseling programs.” The process for delivery of the ASCA National Standards is accomplished by utilizing each of the four components of the model. The four main components: define, deliver, manage, and assess.

A. Comprehensive Model: DEFINE (formerly called Foundation)

School counselors create comprehensive school counseling programs that focus on student learner outcomes, based on national standards and data driven decisions. The mission and vision statements guide the development of an effective comprehensive school counseling program while the national standards and student competencies guide and support student development in the academic, college and career, and social/emotional domains. The foundation provides and serves as the solid ground on which the rest of the program is built. The foundation is considered “the what” of the program which defines the student knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are learned because of the school counseling program” (ASCA, 2019).

B. Comprehensive Model: DELIVER (formerly known as the Delivery System)

Deliver describes how school counselors deliver a balanced and effective program. The scope of the program may differ across from the elementary level to middle school through high school as it is adjusted to meet students’ developmental needs. NYCDOE school counselors aim to deliver a program that is balanced and focused on academic and social/emotional development and career and college readiness.

  1. Direct Student Services: In-person interactions with students, individually or in groups. The school counseling program provides developmental activities that address academic, college and career readiness, and the social/emotional needs of students K-12. This is accomplished through:
    • Classroom Activities: school counselors present lessons in the classroom.
    • Group Activities: school counselors conduct group activities outside of the classroom to address student’s particular needs.
    • Individual and group counseling
    • K-12 NYCDOE Counseling Curriculum Scope and Sequence
    • Individual Progress Reviews: Grades 6-12 (see Appendix 6)
  2. Indirect Student Services:  Services provided on behalf of students, such as:
    • Referrals: School counselors provide families with a variety of resources, both inside and outside of school, to better serve our students.
    • Consultation: School counselors collaborate with families, school staff and community agencies to develop interventions for students.
    • Collaboration: School counselors collaborate with school staff to implement the school counseling curriculum across content areas.

Prevention, Intervention, and Responsive Services

School counselors provide prevention and interventions supports and activities to meet the needs of students. This is accomplished through:

  • Individual and Small Group Counseling: Counseling is provided for students experiencing social/ emotional, personal, or academic difficulties.
  • Classroom activities
  • Crisis counseling: Short term counseling that is provided to students, families or staff as an immediate intervention to a crisis.

System Support 

School counselors participate in many school-based programs and activities as members of the school. This is accomplished through:

  • Teaming: School counselors participate in district wide and building committees.
  • Professional Development: School counselors regularly participate in training, conferences, and meetings to update knowledge and skills.
  • Program Information and Promotion: School Counselors provide orientation and information regarding the school counseling programs to the greater community via websites, counseling newsletters and presentations.
  • Program Management and Evaluation: School counselors regularly collect and analyze data to evaluate the program and continue updating program activities.

Using Supportive Environment Framework and Multi-Tiered System of Supports to Meet all Students' Needs

A growing body of empirical research shows that a sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and academic achievement, as well as the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for students to be responsible and productive members of society (National School Climate Council, 2007). NYCDOE’s Supportive Environment Framework (SEF) describes the elements of making a school environment truly “supportive.” Anchored in evidence-based research about effective best practices for school climate, social/emotional learning, and culturally responsive education (CRE), this Framework will support schools and district stakeholders in understanding all aspects that contribute to a Supportive Environment, key structures that support those indicators, and expected outcomes for implementation.

Supportive Environment, like all components of the NYCDOE’s Framework for Great Schools, represents content that is best organized and executed through a larger Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). In other words, the content of the Framework represents what schools with Supportive Environments do, with an MTSS framework outlining how they do it. As it relates to content of the Supportive Environment Framework, that means that schools are implementing high quality, evidence based universal, targeted, and intensive interventions for each dimension with fidelity and using integrated data and assessment systems to inform decisions at each tier. New York State Education Department (NYSED) indicates that “Using Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) such as Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) enables schools to proactively provide universal interventions for all students, and to customize interventions that address academic and behavioral challenges for at-risk students (secondary interventions) and high need students (tertiary interventions). It is an important means of addressing equity and most importantly, ensures that all young people are provided with the kinds of supports they need to thrive.

Counseling Services are delivered at the three different tier levels:

  • Tier 1 reflects the school counselors’ approach to providing a quality school counseling curriculum to every student in grades K-12 and an individualized progress review to all 6th through 12th grade students. School counselors use Tier 1 to provide universal interventions and activities such as advisory, restorative circles, wellness and mindfulness activities in collaboration with teachers and staff that benefit all students.
  • Tier 2 targets students in need of additional support and focuses on specific needs. Tier 2 interventions are often delivered to small groups of students and can include group counseling in addition to Tier 1 activities.
  • Tier 3 is focused support for students who require mandated counseling as per their IEP, and other students who can best benefit from individual counseling in addition to the scheduled Tier 1 and 2 activities.

Differentiating Counseling Delivery Means

TierStudentsSchool Counselor Delivers
1: Universal, Preventative, and Proactive InterventionsAll

School counseling curriculum, individualized progress review grades 6-12

2: Supplemental, Strategic InterventionsSome

Group counseling (mandated and non-mandated for students with disabilities), specialized group activities

3: Intensive, Individual InterventionsFew

Individual counseling ( mandated and non-mandated for students with disabilities), referrals to mental health counseling supports

For more information, read page 8 of NYSED’s Social Emotional Learning, and refer to NYCDOE’s Supportive Environment Framework (SEF) resources on WeTeach.

C. Comprehensive Model: MANAGE (formerly known as the Management Component)

Effective programs require strong organization and effective management. The management system, incorporates organizational processes and tools to ensure that the NYCDOE school counseling program is organized, concrete, clearly delineated, and reflective of the school’s needs (ASCA, 2019)

Program implementation: School counselors in collaboration with the building principal determine how students will be assigned to counselors to ensure that each K-12 student has access to the comprehensive school counseling program. In addition, counselors will allocate time to:

  • deliver school counseling/guidance lessons (K-12),
  • provide individual progress reviews (Grades 6-12),
  • provide prevention, intervention and responsive services, and
  • manage system support services.

During the school year, school counselors should monitor their time and determine the percentage of time spent in each component of the school counseling program.

Use of Time: NYCDOE school counselors recognize the value of delivery of services to students. It is recommended that school counselors spend the majority of their time in direct services to students and remaining time in indirect services to students (ASCA, 2019, page 63).

Use of Calendars: NYCDOE school counseling weekly and annual calendars reflect the school’s mission and the vision of a comprehensive school counseling program activities are on a calendar that is available in each school building. (ASCA, 2019, page 68).

Use of Data: A comprehensive school counseling program is data driven. School counselors must show that each activity implemented is an integral part of the program, is aligned with the ASCA Mindset and Behavior Standards, and was developed from analysis of the students’ needs, achievements, and/or related data. To do this, school counselors need to evaluate outcome data. (ASCA, pages 32-33; NYSED, 2018, pages 9 and 11).

At each level (elementary, middle, and high school), school counselors will review and discuss data driven needs for the student population. This may include review of graduation rates, attendance, behavioral incidents, and standardized test scores. For every standard/competency and result, there must be a plan how this will be achieved. Action plans should include competencies addressed, description of activity, timeline in which the activity will be completed, who is responsible for delivery, means of evaluating student success, expected results. The school counselors will decide on a plan of action to meet student needs. School counselors, building principals, and the Executive Superintendents will collaborate to determine how the comprehensive school counseling is made available to all general education and special education students.

Program Mapping: The school counselors annually participate in a program mapping to identify Tier 1, 2 and 3 activities, review indirect and non-counseling activities and identify program gaps that need to be addressed around academic and social/emotional development and college and career readiness (Appendix 7, 8. (NYSED, 2018, page 20)

School Counseling Curriculum Scope and Sequence: The NYCDOE’s scope and sequence for the K-12 curriculum is based upon the ASCA Mindsets and Behavior Standards used by the school counselors for program delivery in 2020-2021 (NYSED, 2018, page 8).

D. Comprehensive Model Part 4: ASSESS (formerly Accountability System)

Assessing the program provides evidence of program accomplishments or student gains as a result of intentional efforts by the school counselors by using data to identify program outcomes and effectiveness. School counselor program assessment answers the question “what is the result of these efforts”? Through the delivery of a comprehensive school counseling program, NYCDOE school counselors assist students in identifying strengths and assessing weaknesses and help them utilize this information with career and college readiness planning. Most importantly, the program intends to support basic needs including safety, security, and feelings of belongingness, which allows students to be engaged in learning. The NYCDOE comprehensive school counseling plan is an integral part of K-12 student development. The school counselors annually evaluate the impact of the program’s effectiveness through data analysis, program results, and program outcomes.  

Data Analysis: School counselors collect, analyze, and report data to ensure that decisions about student instruction and learning, student social/emotional needs, and college and career readiness are driven by school based data for every subgroup (ASCA, 2019, pages 32-54; NYSED, 2018, page 6).

Program Outcomes Report: The program outcomes report focuses on the district and building goals which are addressed by the comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program and includes academic and social/emotional development, as well as college and career readiness. Program activities and resulting outcomes can target school data including school climate, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, attendance improvement, academic success, behavioral and/or adjustment services program data as well as other specific district, building or program goals. This report helps the district determine how well the program is able to address student needs and identify resources, program development, and professional development (ASCA, 2019m pages 88-89; NYSED, 2018, pages 14 and 21). The Executive Superintendent School Counseling Advisory Council will review the programs to identify trends and areas of success and areas in need of improvement (Appendix 10).

School Counseling Advisory Council Membership: The School Counseling Advisory Council is a representative group of stakeholders that reviews and advises the Executive Superintendent on the implementation of the district’s school counseling plan. Members provide feedback on student outcome goals, reviews program results, and makes recommendations about school counseling program. Lastly, the Executive Superintendent’s School Counseling Advisory council shall create and submit an annual program report to the NYCDOE’s School Chancellor (see Appendix 9).

The Advisory Council for Queens South may include but is not limited to:

  • five parents (representing each district in Queens South)
  • three counselors (representing the elementary, middle, and high school levels)
  •  three school building administrators (representing the elementary, middle, and high school levels)
  •  two counseling directors from the Borough Office Student Services Team
  • two members of the Office of Mental Health.
  • Two Student Representative from the Borough Student Advisory Council
  • one member of the following Borough Office Support Teams: ELL, Special Education, STH

NYCDOE K-12 Counseling Program Overview

Role of Counselor

The role of the school counselor has changed drastically over the past thirty years; the responsibilities and tasks assigned have expanded exponentially to meet the needs of our diverse student population. School counselors are not only expected to assist with programming and career counseling needs, but are also expected to assist students with facilitating social/emotional growth, developing healthy self-concepts, maximizing academic potential, and engaging in career exploration and development. School counselors also participate in various meetings, keep current with educational practices and changes, and collaborate with staff and faculty, and network with stakeholders in the counseling field. (See Benefits of Comprehensive School Counseling Appendix 4).

Student Access to a Certified School Counselor and the Comprehensive School Counseling Program

Queens South Borough Citywide Office is committed to having all K-12 students and schools have access to a certified counselor. The Queens South BCO works internally and with schools to ensure each school has access to counselors and counseling services and actively monitors movement and attrition to ensure services are consistent and fluid throughout the year. The school counselor’s role includes individual and group counseling, at-risk counseling, mandated counseling, delivering academic and social-emotional guidance lessons, providing individual academic reviews, providing prevention, intervention, and responsive services, ensuring equitable access to college/career readiness options as well as providing specific student supports and professional development for faculty and parents. 
The school counselors are committed to supporting students’ social/emotional needs promote a positive environment that enhances students’ ability to properly manage the social/emotional demands of their lives and actively advocate for them. In addition, they provide access and opportunities that maximize their academic potential, and deepen their college and career readiness and development. The school counselors design and deliver an individual school comprehensive school-counseling plan dedicated to successful student outcomes. The school counselor along with the counseling managers will regularly assess the effectiveness of the school’s comprehensive school program by examining data and measuring student impact ensuring implementation of best practices.

K-12 School Counseling Program Overview

The school counseling program in NYCDOE is committed to providing every K-12 student with a comprehensive school counseling program that delivers academic, social/emotional and college and career development.


The elementary years are the time when students begin to develop their sense of self and belonging in their school environment. These are vital, formative years as students are developing a variety of skills that include decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students shape and acquire attitudes toward school, academic learning, self, peers, social groups and family. The elementary counseling program aims to develop character values, decision-making skills, and communication skills. School counselors work with children to support them as they integrate into the school community.

The elementary K-5 school counselor delivers a comprehensive, developmental, and systematic program of services based on ASCA’s Mindset and Behavior standards. The program sets the foundation for developing the knowledge, attitude and skills in academic, career and social/emotional development necessary for children to become healthy, competent, and confident learners. All students have access to the school counselor through ongoing classroom lessons and activities, and our / Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) program which include Response to Intervention and Positive Behavior intervention Supports.

The Elementary School Counselor:

  • Provides immediate, short-term individual, group, and crisis counseling
  • Works collaboratively with teachers, staff, school psychologists, school social worker, and administrators
  • Takes a leadership role in designing the school counseling curriculum development based on student needs
  • Provides classroom lessons on academic and social/emotional development and college and career readiness in collaboration with classroom teachers and student services providers
  • Consults with families

Middle School

Each student is assigned a certified school counselor who provides social/emotional development, academic support, and career and college awareness throughout the middle school experience. The school counselors fill multiple roles for parents, students and staff, as sources of information, resolvers of conflicts, integral team members and as the primary point of contact between home and school. The school counselors exemplify the school's commitment to maintaining a vital and human connection between adults and young adolescents. They guide, counsel, redirect and set limits for behavior, while helping students to channel their energies in productive and positive directions.

The school counselors understand that each year of middle school is unique and that the changes from sixth to seventh to eighth grade are profound and must guide the nature of adult interactions with students. They meet with students on an ongoing basis, individually, in small groups, though classroom visits, and the Individual Progress Review. Relevant topics such as transitioning to middle school, scheduling, stress management, digital citizenship and appropriate technology use, bullying, career planning and interest exploration, mindfulness and wellness as well as planning for high school are important components of the program. School counselors strive to help our students accept and embrace their individuality, while learning how to communicate and plan effectively for their future educational and post- secondary success. 

High School

High school provides support for the transition into adulthood, postsecondary opportunities and education and/or the world of work as students begin exploring and defining their independence. The comprehensive high school counseling program supports individualized student needs and personal goals. The program provides the knowledge and skills that students need as the foundation for future success through equitable access to academic and social/emotional development, prevention and intervention activities, and college and career readiness.

High school counselors are educators uniquely trained in child and adolescent development, learning strategies, self-management and social skills who understand and promote student success. Through the high school comprehensive school counseling program, all NYCDOE high school students will achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, establish informed college and career goals and realize their full academic potential to become productive citizens.

NYCDOE School Counseling K-12 Scope and Sequence

In an endeavor to have a unified and cohesive counseling vision for NYCDOE students, Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) and Borough/Citywide Office (BCO) Counseling Managers developed a K-12 Scope and Sequence for the Core Counseling Curriculum. Using the ASCA Mindset and behaviors and grade level goals as a framework, NYCDOE has vetted several existing national, state and citywide curriculum with sample activities, lessons and resources designed to assist students in achieving the desired competencies and goals below.

This curriculum should be infused throughout the school’s overall curriculum and is presented systematically through K-12 classrooms as well as individual student planning and group activities. Comprehensive prevention programs that focus on areas such as bullying, mental health awareness and suicide prevention and child protection is also important to the school community. To emphasize these school-wide programs, the counseling curriculum should not be solely delivered by certified school counselor(s).

Lastly, the K-12 Scope & Sequence is intended to support counseling curriculum lessons - it is not meant to be prescriptive, but rather a resource that is dynamic, and builds on current curriculum and practice that exist in NYCDOE schools. This scope and sequence will be reviewed annually to revise and include additional resources and standards as part of the comprehensive school counseling program. The goal is for each school’s counseling program to meet the needs of their students within their building system and structure.

2020-2021 NYDOE School Counseling Program Priority for Grades K-12

The ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student (2014) describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to achieve academic success, college and career readiness and social/emotional development. These standards were developed as a result of a survey of research and best practices in student achievement from a wide array of educational standards and efforts educational standards and efforts and are the next generation of the ASCA National Standards for School Counseling Programs which were first published in 1997.

The following ASCA Mindset and Behavior Standards were adapted and selected by NYCDOE’s Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) and Borough/Citywide Office (BCO) Counseling Managers as the priorities for the comprehensive school counseling program delivery for 2020-2021 school year. These will be reviewed annually to revise or include additional standards as part of the comprehensive school counseling program. Full list of ASCA’s mindset and behaviors can be found on the ASCA website.

Category 1: Mindset Standards

School counselors encourage the following mindset for all students: Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional and physical well-being

Category 2: Behavior Standards

Students will demonstrate the following standards through classroom lessons, activities and/or individual/small-group counseling.

  • Learning Strategies:
    • Demonstrate critical thinking skills to make informed decisions (LS1)
    • Use time management, organizational and study skills (LS3)
    • Apply self-motivation and self-direction to identify long and short term academic, career, and social/emotional goals (LS4 and LS7)
  • Self-management Skills
    • Demonstrate self-discipline and self-control (SM2)
    • Demonstrate effective coping skills and personal safety skills when faced with a problem (SM7)
    • Demonstrate ability to manage transitions and ability to adapt to changing situations and responsibilities (SM10)
  • Social Skills
    • Use effective oral and written communication skills and listening skills (SS1)
    • Create positive and supportive relationships with other students and adults (SS2)
    • Demonstrate empathy (SS4)
    • Demonstrate advocacy skills and ability to assert self (SS8) 

NYCDOE K-12 School Counseling Goals

  • Kindergarten: Students will learn to separate from family and actively participate in school-community environment.
  • Grade 1: Students will develop a positive attitude toward learning and interacting with others.
  • Grade 2: Students will demonstrate self-control and self-awareness to make good decisions.
  • Grade 3: Students will demonstrate empathy to foster understanding of others in the school community.
  • Grade 4: Students will be able to make responsible decisions and understand the consequences of choices on self and others.
  • Grade 5: Students will develop academic and social awareness in order to participate in the greater school community.
  • Grade 6: Acclimate to the middle school setting while gaining an understanding of academic and social responsibilities and career opportunities.
  • Grade 7: Students will develop self-awareness and responsibility for their choices both academically and socially.
  • Grade 8: Students will value positive relationships with students and adults while learning self-advocacy regarding their future.
  • Grade 9: Students will make a positive transition to high school. They will acquire coping skills, conscious decision-making, resiliency, and acquire self-advocacy skills.
  • Grade 10: Students will implement acquired academic and social/emotional skills through self-advocacy and self-awareness. Students will engage in self-exploration and identify college and career-focused interests.
  • Grade 11: Students will identify strengths and weaknesses through self-assessments and college and career exploration.
  • Grade 12: Students will successfully utilize acquired academic and social/emotional skills to implement their post-secondary plans.

All students in grades 6-12 will complete the required Individual Progress Review with their school counselor annually.

Comparison of Part 100.2 (j) Regulation

This information was updated September 2020.

General Scope

Each public school district shall have a guidance program for all students.

Public school districts shall:

  • Have a comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program
  • Ensure all students K-12 have access to a certified school counselor (or licensed guidance counselor for Buffalo and NYC)
  • K-12 district and building programs shall prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs as age appropriate, be designed to address multiple student competencies including career/college readiness standards, and academic and social/emotional development standards, and include the activities described below.

Requirements for Low to Middle Grades


In grades K-6, the program shall be designed in coordination with the teaching staff to:

  • prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs,
  • help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems,
  • educate students concerning avoidance of child sexual abuse, and
  • encourage parental involvement.

In grades K-5, the program shall be designed by certified school counselor(s) in coordination with teaching staff and any appropriate pupil personnel service providers to:

  • prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs,
  • provide information related to college and careers,
  • assist students who may exhibit challenges to academic success including but not limited to attendance or behavioral concerns,
  • where appropriate make a referral to a properly licensed professional and/or certified pupil personnel service provider, as appropriate, for more targeted supports.

Requirements for Middle to Upper Grades


In grades 7-12, the guidance program shall include:

  • an annual review of each student's educational progress and career plans, with such reviews to be conducted with each student individually or with small groups by personnel certified or licensed as school counselors;
  • instruction at each grade level to help students learn about various careers and about career planning skills conducted by personnel certified or licensed as school counselors, or by classroom teachers in cooperation with school counselors;
  • other advisory and individual or group counseling assistance to enable students to benefit from the curriculum, to help students develop and implement postsecondary education and career plans, to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems and to encourage parental involvement, provided that advisory assistance shall be provided by teachers or counselors, or by certified teaching assistants under the supervision of counselors or teachers, and that such individual or group counseling assistance shall be provided by certified or licensed school counselors or by certified or licensed school psychologists or certified or licensed school social workers in cooperation with school counselors; and,
  • the services of personnel certified or licensed as school counselors.
In grades 6-12, certified school counselor(s) shall provide an annual individual progress review plan provided by certified school counselor(s) which shall reflect each student’s educational progress and career plans (where relevant, consistent with IEP).

Plan Development

1978–2017 2017–Present

Each school district shall develop a district plan which sets forth the manner in which the district shall comply with the requirements. Such plan shall be filed in the district offices and shall be available for review by any individual.

The plan shall present:

  • program objectives, which describe expectations of what students will learn from the program;
  • activities to accomplish the objectives;
  • specification of staff members and other resources assigned to accomplish the objectives; and
  • provisions for the annual assessment of program results.

The plan shall be reviewed annually by the school districts, and revisions shall be made as necessary.

Each school district shall develop district-wide and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance plans. Plans shall be:

  • developed by or under the direction of certified school counselor(s),
  • updated annually, and
  • available for review at the district offices, at each school building, and on the district’s website.

Plans shall include:

  • program objectives, activities, program development and maintenance planning, school counseling curriculum, professional development planning, evaluation methods based on data analysis of program results and closing the gap analysis reports to inform program improvement and assessment of the resources necessary to support positive student outcomes,
  • program outcomes report that includes analysis of systematic components of a comprehensive school counseling/guidance program annually presented to the board of education, and
  • the establishment a program advisory council comprised of representative stakeholders, meet at least twice a year for reviewing the program plan and advising on implementation of the program, and submit annual report to the board of education.

Non-Public Schools

1978–2017 2017–Present
Each nonpublic secondary school shall provide a guidance and counseling program for students in grades 7-12. Each nonpublic secondary school shall provide a guidance and counseling program for students in grades 7-12.

School Counselor Professional Standards and Competencies

The NYCDOE school counselor will reference the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards and Competencies (2019) as a resource of the knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes necessary to plan, organize, implement, and evaluate their comprehensive, developmental, results-based school counseling programs.

Student Competencies

ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success (2014)

The ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to achieve academic success, college and career readiness and social/emotional development.

New York State Social and Emotional (SEL) Learning Benchmarks

Research suggests that student learning benchmarks (or standards) may increase the likelihood that students will receive better instruction in social/emotional learning (SEL), experience improved school connectedness, and become better learners (Osher & Kendziora, 2008 and Jones & Bouffard, 2012).

To enable students to take full advantage of educational opportunities throughout their school experience in grades K-12 and, equally important, to prepare them for college and/or career, the School Climate and Student Engagement Workgroup of the New York State Safe Schools Task Force have identified the following goals to guide SEL benchmarks for New York State schools:

  1. Develop self-awareness and self-management skills essential to success in school and in life.
  2. Use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships.
  3. Demonstrate ethical decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.

For more information, refer to SEL Benchmarks and guidance and resources on NYSED website.

New York State Career Development & Occupational Studies (CDOS) Student Standards

The Learning Standards for Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) include key ideas, performance indicators describing expectations for students, and sample tasks suggesting evidence of progress toward the standards.

The Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Resource Guide with Core Curriculum is a companion document to the CDOS learning standards. It further develops the core content for each learning standard and career major. The document is also rich with teacher developed classroom activities that help students achieve the CDOS standards.

Benefits of a Comprehensive School Counseling Program

Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs positively impact students, parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, boards of education, and other student services personnel, school counselors, business, and industry. The benefits to each of these groups include the following:

Benefits for Students

  • Establish effective study skills.
  • Develop positive feelings about work, family and society.
  • Build positive feelings towards self and others.
  • Develop skills in interacting and communicating with others.
  • Cope with change in themselves and their surroundings.
  • Develop resiliency skills.
  • Identify and accept their own and others’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recognize the causes and effects of their actions.
  • Become responsible for their behavior.
  • Engage in facilitative, cooperative peer interactions.

Benefits for Parents/Guardians

  • Provides support in advocating for their children’s academic, college and career readiness, and social/emotional development.
  • Supports partnerships in their children’s learning and career planning.
  • Ensures individual progress reviews in grades 6-12.
  • Ensures access to school and community resources.
  • Helps to understand their children’s progress in school.
  • Develop realistic goals with their children.
  • Become actively involved in their children’s school life.
  • Understand the educational program K-12.
  • Ensures every student participates in the School Counseling curriculum.

Benefits for Teachers

  • Promotes an interdisciplinary team approach to address student needs and educational goals. 
  • Increases collaboration between school counselors and teachers. 
  • Supports development of classroom management skills.
  • Provides a system for co-facilitation of classroom lessons. 
  • Supports the learning environment.
  • Promotes teaming to increase student achievement.
  • Analyzes data to improve school climate and student achievement.
  • Provides consultation to assist teachers in their guidance and advisement role

Benefits for Administrators

  • Aligns the school counseling program with the school’s academic mission.
  • Provides a school counseling program promoting student success.
  • Monitors data for school improvement.
  • Articulates a process for evaluating a School Counseling program. 
  • Uses data to jointly develop School Counseling goals and School Counselor responsibilities. 
  • Provides a proactive School Counseling curriculum addressing the students’ needs and enhancing school climate.
  • Provides a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the school counseling program.
  • Enhances community image of the school counseling program.

Benefits for the DOE

  • Provides rationale for implementing a comprehensive developmental counseling program in the school system.
  • Provides assurance that a quality school counseling program is available to every student.
  • Demonstrates the necessity of appropriate levels of funding for implementation.
  • Supports appropriate credentialing and staffing.
  • Furnishes program information to the community.
  • Gives ongoing information about student acquisition of competencies and standards through school counseling program efforts.

Benefits for School Counselors

  • Provides a clearly defined role and function in the educational system.
  • Eliminates non-counseling functions.
  • Ensures direct services to every student.
  • Provides a rationale for program management and using data for program improvement.
  • Enhances the role of the school counselor as a social justice advocate.
  • Ensures involvement in the academic mission of the school.
  • Places school counselors in a leadership role to close the achievement, information, and opportunity gaps.

Benefits for Student Services Personnel

  • Provides school psychologists, social workers, and other professional student services personnel with a clearly defined role of the school counselor.
  • Clarifies areas of overlapping responsibilities.
  • Fosters a positive team approach, which enhances cooperative working relationships.

Benefits for Business and Industry

  • Increases opportunities for business and industry to participate actively in the total school program.
  • Provides increased opportunity for collaboration among counselors, business, industry, and communities.
  • Provides a potential workforce with decision-making skills, pre-employment skills, and increased worker maturity.

Benefits for the Community

  • Provides an increased opportunity for collaboration and participation of community members with the school program.
  • Creates community awareness and visibility of the school counseling program.
  • Connects the community to the needs of the school and the school to the needs of the community.
  • Enhances economic development through quality preparation of students for the world of work.

Adapted from the ASCA National Model (2005); New York State Comprehensive School Counseling Program “A Guide to K-12 Interpretation of Comprehensive, Developmental School Counseling Programs 2005.” The New York State School Counselor Association); Phi Delta Kappan 99 (7), 35-39.

For additional research and resources on school counselor effectiveness visit the ASCA website.


The NYCDOE Comprehensive School Counseling program is developed in accordance and consultation with the following:

  1. The amended Part 100 & 100.2(j) of the New York State Commission of Education Regulations
  2. The amended New York State certification requirements for School Counselors
  3. American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs
  4. American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success
  5. American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Ethical Standards
  6. American School Counselor Association (ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards and Competencies
  7. New York State CDOS Learning Standards
  8. New York State SEL Benchmarks
  9. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  10. NYCDOE Supportive Environment Framework (SEF)

Sample New York State School District Comprehensive Programs/Plans

Sample Documents and Templates

Download the package of sample counseling program templates. The package includes:

  • Sample School Counseling Lesson Plan Template
  • Sample Individual Progress Review Template (Grades 6-12)
  • Sample School Counseling/Guidance Program Delivery Map
  • School Counseling Advisory Council Sample Agendas
  • Annual School Counseling Program Outcomes Report Guidelines
  • School Counseling Program Assessment
Back to Top