Watford City Public Schools provide free, short-term school counseling services to all students. The focus of school counseling may be related to academics, social/emotional/behavioral health, or career guidance. The goal of the counseling program is to be preventative in nature. To aid with this process, the counselors may work with students on an individual, small group, or large group level. Students may be seen by the counselor based on the referral of the student from teachers, parents, school staff, or by self-referral of the student(s).
The school counselors of the McKenzie County school district abide by the American School Counseling Association guidelines along with the American Counseling Association code of ethics. We also abide by North Dakota’s Century Code 31-01-06.1 which states that “Counselors shall be immune from disclosing information given by pupils. For the purpose of counseling in a school system, any elementary or secondary school counselor possessing a valid North Dakota guidance credential from the department of public instruction, and who has been duly appointed a counselor for a school system by its proper authority, shall be legally immune from disclosing any privileged or confidential communication made to such counselor in a counseling interview. Such communication shall be disclosed when requested by the counselee.”
What that means for the student:
1) The school counselor will keep the information confidential, with some exceptions (as noted below). The school counselor may share information with parents/guardians and school personnel who work with the child on a need-to-know basis, so that we may better assist the child as a team.
2) The school counselor is required by law to share information with parents or others in the event the child is in danger of harm to self or others. The counselor will make the child aware of these limits to confidentiality and will inform the child when sharing information with others.
Scope of Practice:
These services are aimed at providing the most effective education and socialization of the child within the school community; they are not intended to substitute as a diagnosis or treatment for any mental disorder.