House Bill 64 directed the State Board of Education to develop standards for the evaluation of school guidance counselors. Just last week, the Ohio Standards for School Counselors were approved by the State Board. The standards-based framework for counselor evaluations must still be developed by the State Board of Education by May 31, 2016.By September 30, 2016, each school district board of education must adopt a school counselor evaluation policy in accordance with the framework and state law. The policy must reflect the implementation of the framework beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, and procedures for using the evaluation results beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.This will be an important subject for collective bargaining with teachers unions for the ensuing contract year.
Section 3319.61 of the Ohio Revised Code sets forth the requirements for the standards.The standards as approved by the State Board of Education and released last week outline the roles and responsibilities of school counselors, in general, and there are a total of six (6) standards upon which guidance counselors are to be evaluated. Those standardsare: comprehensive school counseling program plan; direct services for academic, career and social/emotional development; indirect services including partnerships and referrals; evaluation and data; leadership and advocacy; and professional responsibility, knowledge and growth.
Each standard as adopted contains the overarching goal and theme that provides a framework for effective practices, a narrative summary, and elements that define the various skills and characteristics that demonstrate effectiveness within the standard. Each element has an indicator which is an observable or measurable statement that provides evidence of the standard and the elements in action.
Click here for Ohio Standards for School Counselors