Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Counseling Program strives to produce high-achieving learners who graduate college, are career-ready, and well-prepared to meet the challenges and high expectations of a diverse and changing world. All students participate in quality opportunities for self-directed personal growth supported by the comprehensive School Counseling Program. The School Counseling Program facilitates strategic partnerships between the school, family, and community to develop successful, life-long learners and productive citizens.
The Counseling Program at the middle and high schools seeks to positively impact the lives of all our students by partnering with staff, parents, and the community. Our program offers comprehensive planning and guidance services addressing student academic, diverse career and college goals, as well as personal and social development. We work to give all students the opportunity to acquire the educational and social competencies necessary for growth toward lifelong success and effective, responsible citizenship for a diverse and changing world.
Important Information Regarding the Confidentiality of School Counseling Records:
Per Section 49602 of the California Education Code, any information of a personal nature shared by a student age 12 or older in the process of receiving counseling from a school counselor as specified in Section 49600 of the California Education Code is confidential.
Likewise, any information of a personal nature disclosed to a school counselor by a parent or guardian of a student age 12 or older and who is receiving counseling from a school counselor as specified in Section 49600 of the California Education Code is confidential.
This means that the information shared does not become part of the student's/pupil's record (as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 49061 of the California Education Code) unless the person who disclosed the confidential information (be it the student and/or the parent/guardian) otherwise states in writing. The information, therefore, shall not be revealed, released, discussed, or referred to,
Except as follows:
With psychotherapists as defined by Section 1010 of the California Evidence Code, other health care providers, and/or the school nurse, for the sole purpose of referring the student for treatment;
- To report child abuse or neglect as required by Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11165) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the California Penal Code;
- To report information to the principal or parents of the student when the school counselor has reasonable cause to believe that disclosing the information is necessary to avert a clear and present danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the student or the following other persons living in the school community: administrators, teachers, school staff, parents, students, and other school community members;
- To report information to the principal, other persons inside the school, as necessary, the parents of the student, and other persons outside the school when the student indicates that a crime, involving the likelihood of personal injury or significant or substantial property loss, will be or has been committed;
- To report information to one or more persons specified in a written waiver after the written waiver of confidence is read and signed by the student and preserved in the student's file; with other school staff, as appropriate, regarding modification of the student's academic program; with law enforcement agencies when ordered to do so by order of a court of law;
- To aid in the investigation of a crime; and/or when ordered to testify in an administrative or judicial proceeding.
A school counselor shall not disclose information deemed to be confidential pursuant Section 49602 of the California Education Code to the parents of the student when the school counselor has reasonable cause to believe that the disclosure would result in a clear and present danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the student.
No person required by Section 49602 of the California Education Code to keep information discussed during counseling confidential shall incur any civil or criminal liability as a result of keeping that information confidential.
The term "information of a personal nature" does not include routine objective information related to academic and career counseling.
The District's School Counseling Service uses Counseling Logic Model as a blueprint for learning and evaluation that provides a common language and point of reference for counseling activities and outcomes related to students. The model is based on best practices as defined by the American School Counselors Association, as well as guided by PAUSD's Guidance/ Counseling Services Board Policy.
The Logic Model illustrates what activities counselors engage in to promote student success and how student success is defined and measured. Long-term outcomes are defined as outputs that every student receives at graduation, while interim and short-term outcomes occur throughout a student's secondary experience. The PAUSD Logic Model guides and informs programs, initiatives and practices.
If you have any questions, contact the Student Services Office at (650) 329-3769.
Secondary schools offer robust School Counseling Programs that provide a wide range of services and supports to promote student success. For specific information about school counseling programs, please visit the links below.