Comprehensive School Counseling Plan


The Cohoes City School District is located in the City of Cohoes, which is situated on the banks of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers. The district is located about 10 miles north of the city of Albany in Albany County. About 2,000 students attend the Cohoes City Schools. The school district has three elementary schools for students in grades K-5: Abram Lansing School, Harmony Hill School and Van Schaick School. Cohoes Middle School serves students in grades 6-8 and secondary students attend Cohoes High School.  Some of the many programs that the Cohoes City School District offers include a full-day kindergarten, computer instruction at every grade level, peer tutoring, opportunities to participate in music education, a variety of extra-curricular activities, honors and advanced placement classes, opportunities for college credit through high school courses, and several athletic teams.

Board of Education Mission

The mission of the Cohoes City School District, a partnership of schools, parents and the community, is to prepare its students for success in tomorrow’s world.

K-5 School Counseling Overview

Elementary students will have access to social workers, psychologists and teachers in assisting them with academic concerns, behavior, information on college and careers, and social and emotional learning. School counselors will be integral members of this team. Additionally, the district will promote partnerships to support students’ growth and development in academics, college, careers and social emotional learning whenever possible and where appropriate.

Counseling 6-12 Department Overview

The Cohoes City School District 6 – 12 Comprehensive School Counseling Program is aligned with New York State standards as well as the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. The program is delivered by highly trained professional School Counselors possessing a wide range of skills and competencies.

6 – 8 School Counselors: Blain Goverski and Laurie Monast

9 – 12 School Counselors: Chris Fournier, Lea Miller and Amanda Gebur

School Counseling Program Requirements

As per the New York State Education Department, listed in Part 100 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, school counseling/guidance programs are defined as follows:

Each school district shall develop a district-wide and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance plan which set forth the manner for compliance with this subdivision. Such district and building level plans shall be updated annually, available for review at the district offices and each school building, and made available on the district’s website. The plan shall present program objectives, which describe expectations of what students will learn from the program; activities to accomplish the objectives; specifications of the staff members and other resources assigned to accomplish the objectives; provisions for the annual assessment of the program results.

New York State Education Department Career Development and Occupational Studies

The New York State Department of Education outlines learning standards to promote exploration and research of career interests including, career development, integrated learning, universal foundation skills, and career majors.

ASCA Comprehensive​ ​Model

The comprehensive school counseling program is a framework for the systematic development, implementation, and evaluation of school counseling programs. The process for delivery of the National Standards linked to the Common Core Standards is accomplished by utilizing each of the four components of the comprehensive model: school counseling curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support. The comprehensive model identifies the competencies for students and uses varying strategies to deliver the content of the program to every student. Most importantly, the comprehensive program links school counseling to the total educational process.

The ASCA’s National Model for School Counseling Programs incorporates the national standards, the comprehensive process and results-based accountability, while considering the developmental needs of every student.

The four main components of the model are:

  1. The​ ​foundation​ of the program which focuses on student outcomes, teaching student competencies that are delivered professionally.
  2. The management system highlights the process and tools needed to deliver a comprehensive school counseling program. These processes and tools include: annual agreements, use of data, action plans, time and task analysis, monthly calendars and advisory councils.
  3. The delivery system speaks to how the comprehensive program is implemented from start to finish. This includes but it not limited to: guidance curriculum, individual planning with students, responsive services, system support and indirect student services.
  4. The accountability system helps school counselors show the effectiveness of their work in measurable terms. School counselors use data to show the impact of their school counseling program on attendance, student achievement and behavior.

ASCA Student Mindsets/Behaviors

The National Model for School Counseling Programs speaks to the importance of accountability and having a framework that documents and demonstrates “how students are different as a result of the school counseling programs.”

  • The ASCA “Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career Readiness for Every Student” describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to achieve academic success, college and career readiness and social/emotional development. The standards are based on a survey of research and best practices in student achievement from a wide array of educational standards and efforts. These standards are the next generation of the ASCA National Standards for Students, which were first published in 1997.
  • The ASCA School Counselor Competencies outline the knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes that ensure school counselors are equipped to meet the rigorous demands of the profession and the needs of pre-K–12 students. These competencies help ensure new and experienced school counselors are equipped to establish, maintain and enhance a comprehensive school counseling program addressing academic achievement, career planning and personal/social development.
  • ASCA Ethical Standards: Professional school counselors are advocates, leaders and collaborators whose professional responsibility extends to students, parents/guardians, colleagues and the Cohoes community. The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors were developed in consultation with state school counseling associations, school counselor educators, school counseling state and district leaders and school counselors across the nation to clarify the norms, values and beliefs of the profession.

Cohoes City School District’s 21st Century School Counseling Plan

School Counseling Program vision, mission and goals:

  1. All students will be supported to meet high expectations and graduate citizen and career ready, and college-ready as an option for all.
  2. In support of the district’s mission and goals, the Cohoes Counseling Department’s mission is to advocate for students and provide access to a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate school counseling program that is aligned with New York State Learning Standards, American School Counselor Association Standards, and New York State School Counselor Association standards. Our program addresses the academic, career and personal/social needs of all students.

Cohoes School Counseling Belief Statements

Counselors at Cohoes believe that students learn best when:

  • Counselors serve as active, positive role models following ethical standards
  • Counselors advocate for all students
  • Counselors are responsive to student’s developmental needs
  • Personal responsibility for learning is cultivated and developed
  • Encouraged to be empowered, self-directed learners
  • Their individual strengths and efforts are encouraged and recognized, and specific and timely feedback on their performance is provided
  • Surrounded by a school community where respect, acceptance for differences, and civility are modeled by all
  • Families are encouraged to take an active, supportive role in their education and preparation for the future
  • Data is used to inform decisions
  • Counselors help students overcome barriers by providing the strategies and tools for success

School​ ​Counseling​ ​​Domains​ ​and​ ​Standards

The National Standards for School Counseling Programs facilitate student development in three broad areas: academic development, career development and Social-Emotional development. Following are the nine national standards adopted by New York State.

Academic​ ​Development

Standards guiding school counseling programs to implement strategies and activities to support and maximize each student’s ability to learn.

Career​ ​Development

Standards guiding school counseling programs to help students:

  • understand the connection between school and the world of work.
  • plan for and make a successful transition from school to postsecondary education and/or the world of work and from job to job across the lifespan.
  • meet high expectations and graduate citizen and career ready, and college-ready as an option for all.

Social-Emotional​ ​Development

Standards guiding school counseling programs to help students manage emotions and learn and apply interpersonal skills.

Annual Goals

Program goals are developed annually in alignment with the vision, mission and the goals of the district, school and department. The goals will serve to guide the curriculum and corresponding action plans.

Cohoes City School District School Counseling Department Management System

The management system, incorporates organizational processes and tools to ensure that the Cohoes school counseling program is organized, concrete, clearly delineated, and reflective of the school’s needs.

Program implementation –  Each counseling department level in collaboration with the building principal will decide how students will be assigned to counselors to ensure that each student has full access to the counseling program. In addition, counselors will allocate time to:

  • deliver guidance lessons
  • provide individual student planning
  • provide responsive services
  • manage system support

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

Use of Time –  District counselors recognize the value of delivery of  services to students. It is recommended that school counselors spend 80% of their time in Delivery of Services to Students. The remaining time is spent for Foundation, Management & Accountability.

Middle School: Direct Delivery of Services – 70 to 90%, Indirect Delivery of Services – 10 to 15%, Foundation – 5%, Management – 10 to 15%, Accountability – 5%

High School: Direct Delivery of Services – 70 to 90%, Indirect Delivery of Services – 10 to 15%, Foundation – 5%, Management – 10 to 15%, Accountability – 5%

Use of Calendars – Monthly calendars are used by counselors to guide program delivery. The Cohoes School Counseling Department’s annual calendars reflect the school’s mission and the vision of having a comprehensive school counseling curriculum. The annual calendar provides a framework for the school counseling programs and helps guide the counselors in their individual daily and weekly calendars.

Use of Data – A comprehensive school counseling program is data driven.  School counselors must show that each activity implemented is part of the program, and was developed from analysis of the students’ needs, achievements, and/or related data. To do this, school counselors need to evaluate process, perception, and results data.

At each level (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, standardized test scores, and post graduation outcomes. For every desired competency there must be a plan for how it will be achieved. Each action plan 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, and expected results.

Advisory Council – Each school district shall establish a comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program advisory council to be comprised of representative stakeholders (such as parents, members of the board of education, school building and/or district leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors and other pupil personnel providers in the district including school social workers and/or school psychologists). The advisory council shall meet no less than twice each 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.

The​ ​plan​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​reviewed​ ​annually​ ​by​ ​the​ ​school​ ​counselors,​ ​and​ ​revisions​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​made​ ​as​ ​necessary. The Cohoes City School District School Counseling Plan will be provided to the Board of Education annually.

Cohoes City School District School Counseling Department Delivery System

Direct Student Services

The counseling curriculum provides developmental activities that address academic, career and personal/social 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.
  • Program Maps: the Cohoes counseling department has developed detailed program maps that identify desired results, assessment evidence, and a learning plan.  The program maps are active and ongoing documents with annual updates recommended.

Indirect Student Services

  • Referrals: School counselors provide families with a variety of resources, both inside and outside of school, to better serve students.
  • Consultation: School counselors collaborate with families, school staff and community agencies to develop interventions for students.
  • Interdisciplinary Activities: School counselors collaborate with school staff to implement curriculum across content areas.

Individual Student Planning

Counselors monitor students’ progress so they may achieve success in academic, personal/social, and career areas. This may be accomplished through:

  • Individual or Small Group Appraisal: Work with students in analyzing and evaluating abilities, interests, skills, and achievement.
  • Individual or Small Group Advisement: Work directly with students on achieving success in personal/social, academic, and career areas.
  • Case Management: Monitor individual student’s progress.
  • Placement: Collaborate with school staff in determining the best educational setting for students as they meet their academic and social goals.

Responsive Services

School counselors provide support and interventions 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.
  • Crisis Counseling: Short term counseling that is provided to students, families or staff as an immediate intervention to a crisis.

System Support

School counselors assess the effectiveness of the counseling program. 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 Promotion: School Counselors provide orientation and information regarding the 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.

Counseling Department Accountability System

To achieve the best results for students, Cohoes City School District school counselors, in collaboration with the building principals, will regularly evaluate the program to determine its effectiveness. Cohoes school counselors and building principals will implement strategies to monitor and evaluate the school and district counseling program. The school counseling program components will focus on student achievement, student engagement in college and career opportunities, and social emotional learning. These components will be monitored through data analysis and program results. The program will be evaluated annually and recommendations for improvement will be made. Data analysis, program results and recommendations will be shared bi-annually with the Cohoes Advisory Council.

Data Analysis – Counselors, in collaboration with the building principals, will collect, analyze, and report data. The use of data will guide the school counselor, building principal and student support staff in planning and delivering programs that maximize academic and college and career opportunities, and ensure social emotional learning support for all students.

Program Results – Counselors, in collaboration with the building principals, will analyze the school counseling program to identify trends, areas of success, and areas in need of improvement.

District-Wide Counseling Scope and Sequence

Elementary Scope and Sequence

Elementary Counseling Scope and Sequence

Middle School Scope and Sequence

Middle School Counseling Scope and Sequence

High School Scope and Sequence

High School Counseling Scope and Sequence

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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