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Counseling Services

Academic Counseling

All secondary schools have an Academic Counseling Program to provide students with critical supports towards school success. School counselors are professional educators with a mental heath perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total education program. The American School Counselor Association National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work.


The PAUSD School Counseling Program strives to produce high achieving learners who graduate college and career ready, 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 School Counseling Program at PAUSD middle and high schools seeks to positively impact the lives of ALL of our students by partnering with staff, parents and 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 opportunities to acquire the educational and social competencies necessary for growth toward lifelong success and effective, responsible citizenship for a diverse and changing world.

Counseling Logic Model
The PAUSD School Counseling model is 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 Board Policies.

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 students secondary experience. The PAUSD Logic Model guides and informs programs, initiatives and practices.

Secondary School Counseling Programs
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.

Palo Alto High School (Paly):
Henry M. Gunn High School (Gunn):
Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School (JLS):
Terman Middle School:(Terrman)
David Star Jordan Middle School: (Jordan)

Related Reports and Documents

Gunn High School Guidance Review Report

PAUSD Strategic Plan and Refresh Initiatives

Guidance Advisory Council (GAC) Final Report

PAUSD Board Reports for Paly and Gunn: March 19, 2013

PAUSD Board Presentation 5/6/2014


PAUSD Framework for Secondary Counseling Program Board Presentation 12/10/2013

Counseling and Psychological Services

PAUSD contracts with three mental health agencies (Cassy /Acknowledge Alliance/ Family and Children’s Services) at the elementary level and one mental health agency at the secondary level (Adolescent Counseling Services), to offer free, comprehensive site-based counseling supports to students.  These services are provided by licensed and pre-licensed mental health professionals and include, assessments, ongoing counseling, crisis intervention and treatment, mental health education and consultation to children, families and school staff.


School based counseling is described as mental health supports provided by licensed and pre-licensed mental health professionals at the school site.  Services offered are evidence based, positive and strengths focused, and include individual, group and family therapies in areas such as: stress management, coping and social skills, strategies to deal with grief and loss, anger management, conflict resolution, substance abuse therapy, and parenting skills. When needed, the school counselor may also refer the student to outside professionals if school-based counseling is not sufficient to meet a student’s or a student’s family’s needs.  Parents interested in referring their child to on site counseling services may contact their child’s counselor.


In some instances children, families and school communities need to be compassionately supported on their journey through grief so they can move toward renewed hope and meaning.  Kara offers a safe and caring environment where those coping with death and dying or other types of loss can express and normalize their feelings of grief.  PAUSD contracts with Kara to provide support in cases where the child, family or school community experiences a significant event involving grief or loss, such as the death of a student, parent, or staff or other traumatic events.  Kara services for students may be initiated by the school counselor in most cases.  For more information about Kara, please click here.


Dr. Walsh – A  Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain

Dr. Walsh – A  Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain - Feb 11, 2015

Brenda Carrillo , Coordinator of Student Services

If you have questions, contact Student Services at (650) 833-4208 or

Revised March 2015