Much of our work as school counselors is evolving this school year.

On Aug. 19, the Education Professional Standards Board approved our Kentucky School Counseling Standards of Preparation. This document helps graduate schools know what to teach future school counselors.

I’ll meet with the Kentucky Board of Education in October in order to get our Kentucky School Counseling Standards of Practice approved. This document helps show current school counselors best practices in our field.

Much of this work is aligned to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). As a result, with each Counselor Connection newsletter you receive this year, I will offer at least one recommendation that aligns to our state standards or the national model.

By this time, you are making sure all schedules are in the system, starting to balance your classes and ensuring that there are no schedule gaps in Infinite Campus. You are most likely getting emails from teachers, students and parents/guardians about class changes. If you are an elementary school counselor, you are working hard to make sure your students are getting acclimated to school and completing your minute meetings in order to get to know your students. While this is an unbelievably busy time for school counselors, let’s start thinking about where we are going for the entire year.

Consider the following items as to-dos during late August and early September based on the ASCA National Model: “School counselors meet with the administrator and complete the annual agreement within the first two months of school” (ASCA, page 58, 2019). Not only will this activity help you clarify your role to your principal and assistant principal(s), it will help guide your program!

As a reminder, part of this task is to identify how you plan to spend your time. Section 3(e) of KRS 158.4416 (Kentucky’s School Safety Act of 2019) specifically discusses the role of school counselors. This section states that no later than Nov. 1, the local school district superintendent shall report to the department the number and placement of school counselors in the district. The report shall include the source of funding for each position, a summary of the job duties and work undertaken by each counselor and the approximate percent of time devoted to each duty over the course of the year.

Completing this agreement, along with your data-driven growth plan, should help you identify how to best spend your time this school year.