324P - School Guidance and Counseling Programs


Each school shall provide the following guidance and counseling services to all students:
  1. Academic guidance, which assists students and their parents to acquire knowledge of the curricula choices available to students, to plan a program of studies, to arrange and interpret academic testing, and to seek post-secondary academic opportunities;

  2. Career guidance, which helps students to acquire information and plan action about work, jobs, apprenticeships, and post-secondary educational and career opportunities;

  3. Personal/social counseling, which assists students to develop an understanding of themselves, the rights and needs of others, how to resolve conflict, and to define individual goals, reflecting their interests, abilities, and aptitudes. Information and records of personal/social counseling will be kept confidential and separate from a student's educational records and not be disclosed to third parties without prior parental consent or as otherwise provided by law.
    Parents may elect, by notifying their child’s school in writing, to have their child not participate in personal/social counseling.
No student shall be required to participate in any counseling program to which the student's parents object.

Frederick County Public Schools prohibits the use of counseling techniques which are beyond the scope of the professional certification, licensure, or training of the counselor(s) including hypnosis, or other psychotherapeutic techniques that are normally employed in medical or clinical settings and focus on mental illness or psychopathology.

Frederick County Public Schools will annually provide written notification to parents about the counseling programs which are available to their students. The notification shall include the purpose and general description of the programs, information regarding how parents may review materials to be used in guidance and counseling programs at their child's school, and information about the procedures by which parents may limit their child's participation in such programs.

Employment Counseling and Placement Services

Frederick County Public Schools provides to secondary students employment counseling and placement services to furnish information relating to the employment opportunities available to students graduating from or leaving the schools in the school division. Such information includes all types of employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, apprenticeships, the military, career education schools and the teaching profession. In providing such services, the school division consults and cooperates with the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Labor and Industry, local business and labor organizations and career schools.

If the School Board provides access to one or more of its high schools and contact with such high school's student body or other contact with its high school students during a school or school division-sponsored activity to persons or groups for occupational, professional or educational recruitment, it provides equal access on the same basis to official recruiting representatives of the military forces of the Commonwealth and the United States.

College and Career Readiness

Each middle and secondary school provides for the early identification and enrollment of students in a program with a range of educational and academic experiences related to college and career readiness in and outside the classroom, including an emphasis on experiences that will motivate disadvantaged and minority students to prepare for a career or postsecondary education.

Each elementary, middle, and secondary school provides for the identification by all students of personal interests and abilities to support planning for postsecondary opportunities and career preparation. Such support includes provision of information concerning exploration of career cluster areas in elementary schools, and course information and planning for college preparation programs, opportunities for educational and academic experiences in and outside the classroom, including internships and work-based learning, and the multiple pathways to college and career readiness in middle and high school.

Beginning in the elementary school years, students explore the different occupations associated with career clusters and select an area or areas of interest. Students begin the development of an academic and career plan portfolio (ACPP) in elementary grades to include information about interests, values such as dependability and responsibility, and skills supporting decisions about their future interests and goals. The information contained in the ACPP serves as the foundation for creating the Academic and Career Plan (ACP) in grade 7.

In middle school, students complete a locally selected career interest inventory and select a career pathway. To support development of the ACP, students complete at least one course in career investigation selected from the career and technical education state-approved list, or a school division-provided alternative means of delivering the career investigation course content, provided that the alternative is equivalent in content and academic rigor.

The School Board may require such courses in career investigation at the high school level as it deems appropriate, subject to approval by the Board of Education. The School Board may require such courses in career investigation at the elementary school level as it deems appropriate.

All schools continue development of a personal ACP with each seventh-grade student with completion by the end of the fall semester of the student's eighth-grade year. The components of the ACP include the student's program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary career pathway based on the student's academic and career interests. In high school, a career-related learning experience is chosen by the student and documented in the ACP.

The ACP is developed in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education and signed by the student, student's parent or guardian, and school official or officials designated by the principal. The ACP is included in the student's record and is reviewed and updated annually.

Beginning in the middle school years, students are counseled on opportunities for beginning postsecondary education and opportunities for obtaining industry certifications, occupational competency credentials, or professional licenses in a career and technical education field prior to high school graduation as described in Policy LEB Advanced/Alternative Courses for Credit. Such opportunities include access to at least three Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge courses or three college-level courses for degree credit pursuant to 8 VAC 20-131-100. Students taking advantage of such opportunities are not denied participation in school activities for which they are otherwise eligible. Wherever possible, students are encouraged and afforded opportunities to take college courses simultaneously for high school graduation and college degree credit (dual enrollment), under the following conditions:
  1. Written approval of the high school principal prior to participation in dual enrollment must be obtained;
  2. The college must accept the student for admission to the course or courses; and
  3. The course or courses must be given by the college for degree credits (no remedial courses will be accepted).


Legal Reference(s):
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended Section(s) 22.1-130.1, 22.1-209, 22.1-253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:3

8VAC 20-131-140

8VAC 20-620-10

Guidelines for Academic and Career Plans (Adopted by the Virginia Board of Education September 17, 2009)


Adopted: May 7, 1996
Amended: May 20, 2014
Amended: August 15, 2017
Amended: August 21, 2018