17:3005      Elementary school guidance counselors; availability; guidelines; requirements; guidance services; work time; exceptions; reporting; funding

  A. Each parish and city school board shall provide elementary school guidance counselors for all students in kindergarten through grade six in the public elementary schools in the state in accordance with guidelines as established by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Such guidelines shall require that there shall be one guidance counselor for every four hundred students.

  B. Any elementary school guidance counselor employed by a parish or city school board pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be certified as required by the state of Louisiana.

  C. Such guidance counselors shall provide preventive and developmental guidance services to all public elementary school students in kindergarten through grade six in order to prepare them for middle, junior, and senior high school responsibilities and their social and physical development. In providing such guidance services, the counselors may:

  (1) Aid children in academic development through the use and interpretation of test scores, improved pupil self-concept, and early identification and attention to problems that are deterrents to learning and development.

  (2) Serve as consultants to teachers relative to the use of test scores and improvement of the learning environment, use of out-of-state school resources and agencies, and development of a home-school liaison.

  (3) Offer services related to the identification and placement of children with handicapping conditions.

  (4) Serve as a consultant to parents, in a liaison capacity, as a resource in understanding growth and development problems, and as an aid in understanding how some nonschool factors affect learning and achievement of children.

  (5) Serve as a resource in decreasing discipline and other at-risk behavioral problems through an understanding of peer relations, teacher-pupil relations, social awareness, drug awareness, and others.

  (6) Aid in improving school attendance and retention by implementing an early identification and prevention program for potential attendance and retention problems.

  (7) Serve as a resource to parents in decreasing the incidence of juvenile delinquency by early intervention through guidance and counseling services.

  (8) Consult with teachers in implementing a career development program which, at the elementary school level, includes self-awareness, job awareness, and prevocational orientation.

  (9) Provide an available source for youngsters needing someone to "just listen" to their problems or concerns.

  D. Guidance counselors shall spend the majority of their time on providing direct counseling related to students.

  E. Nothing in Subsection A of this Section shall prohibit any parish or city school board from employing more elementary school guidance counselors than provided in Subsection A.

  F. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall annually report to the legislature on the implementation and effectiveness of the program as provided in this Section.

  G. The provisions of this Section shall become effective upon the provision of funds for this purpose in the Minimum Foundation Program.

Added by Acts 1991, No. 911, Sec. 1, eff. July 23, 1991.