NYS Education Dept
Board of Regents discusses School Counselor Certification and Comprehensive Programs
This linked memo to the Board of Regents from the NYSED Offices of Higher Education and P-12 Student Support Services was published as part of the October 21, 2013 Board of Regents agenda. NYSSCA had previously provided relevant information to these offices on student to counselor ratios, school counselor certification requirements and the importance of national standards for school counseling programs, much of which is included in the attached memo.
NYSSCA was at the Regents’ meeting on October 21st to observe the presentation by NYSED’s Ken Slentz, Deputy Commissioner P-12 Education, and Stephanie Wood-Garnett, Assistant Commissioner Higher Education. Their powerpoint is also attached. The focus of the presentation was the need to address NYSED regulations regarding school counselor preparation. The recommendations presented to the Regents were: (1) obtain data on the current state of school counseling in NYS through a state-wide survey; and (2) increase NYSED support to school counselors by creating targeted resources.
- the student to counselor ratio in NYS is too high (424:1)
- counselors need strong preparation and ongoing professional development
- school district programs need to be based on standards i.e. ASCA and NYSSCA Comprehensive Models.
We applaud NYSED’s Offices of Higher Education and P-12 Education for bringing this critical information to the attention of the Board of Regents. NYSSCA continues to offer our assistance to both Offices as they move forward to increase their support for school counselors and our role in schools in New York State.
Your NYSSCA membership counts!
NYSSCA is an active member of the NYS Education Department’s Pupil Personnel Task Force. Three times a year, NYSSCA representatives meet in Albany regarding updates on regulations, educational reform and the role of student support services in eliminating learning barriers.
Dignity For All Students Act:
Information on the Dignity for All Students Act can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/ including a link to a guidance document issued by the NYSED just last month. As regards the Act’s staffing, the new guidance document states “The Dignity Act also requires that at least one staff member at every school be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex (Education Law §13). This staff member should be referred to as the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC).” The document does recommend that “guidance counselors” be partners in the Act’s implementation, but it says the same for many different members of the school community.
Social and Emotional Development and Learning Guidelines
Newly Developed by State Ed:
Please share these with student support groups and work with your district as you implement new lessons, programs and policies. This is a great document to assist with defining how school counselors work with social and emotional areas.
NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEWS
RtI represents an important educational strategy to close achievement gaps for all students, including students at risk, students with disabilities and English language learners, by preventing smaller learning problems from becoming insurmountable gaps. It has also been shown to lead to more appropriate identification of and interventions with students with learning disabilities. Each day educators make important decisions about students’ educational programs, including decisions as to whether a student who is struggling to meet the standards set for all children might need changes in the nature of early intervention and instruction or might have a learning disability. This decision as to whether a student has a learning disability must be based on extensive and accurate information that leads to the determination that the student’s learning difficulties are not the result of the instructional program or approach. RtI is an effective and instructionally relevant process to inform these decisions.
NYS Education Department Links