Effective School Counselor Notes Templates

School counselors and school social workers have demanding and critical roles that require them to support caseloads of up to 250 students at a time. 

In some schools, counselors and social workers work together to holistically support students. As a result, they may use similar intake forms, assessments, and case note frameworks to evaluate student needs.

In this article, we’ll provide examples of some key templates for school counselor notes:

But first, let’s define some of the key differences between school counselors and social workers.

Effective School Counselor Notes Templates

The Role of a School Counselor VS. a School Social Worker

While school counselors focus on helping students overcome personal, emotional, mental health, and social challenges so they can succeed academically, school social workers examine factors beyond the classroom. Social workers help evaluate other areas that can greatly influence a student’s performance, including family dynamics, poverty, food availability and nutrition, housing stability, and even cases of neglect or abuse. As a result, school social workers may need to work directly with family members, as well as local and state social services agencies to support their students.

School Counselors VS. School Social Workers: What’s the Difference?

School Counselors
  • Focus on academic planning
  • Help students set individual goals
  • Provide short-term counseling
  • Refer counseling services if needed
  • Advocate for student well-being
  • Aim to improve equity and opportunities for all students
  • Help students regulate emotions and develop healthy coping strategies
  • Address interpersonal and social conflicts that pose a risk to the health and safety of students and staff
  • Help school staff understand cultural, societal, economic, health, and social factors affecting performance
  • Report child abuse and neglect
  • Advocate for new resources and services to better help students and their families
  • Help students plan for postsecondary and career options
School Social Workers
  • Interview families to assess needs and challenges
  • Help families access community resources, such as financial aid or housing assistance, if eligible
  • Conduct behavioral and mental health assessments
  • Develop interventions aimed to improve academic achievement
  • Help school staff understand cultural, societal, economic, health, and social factors affecting performance
  • Report child abuse and neglect
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Deliver case management for students and families in need of community resources 
  • Advocate for new resources and services to better help students and their families

Downloadable School Counselor Notes Templates

Counselor Progress Notes Template

School counselors use progress notes to document session details, including how the student behaved during the session, their presentation, relevant symptoms or concerns, and what the counselor and student discussed. 

FERPA Considerations When Writing School Counselor Notes

In some cases, school counselors detail more sparse notes – recording just enough information to capture important features of the session and jog their memories during the next visit. But in cases where a student is experiencing a crisis, more detailed notes may be warranted. Under FERPA, a school counselor’s notes are not deemed education records as long as they serve as a memory aid strictly for individual use by the counselor, are not shared with others, and only include the counselor’s observations and professional opinions. It’s important to note that in most states school counselor notes can be subpoenaed.

Counselor Progress Notes Template

Student Standards Assessment Checklist & Quick Reference Guide

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Student Standards help school counselors evaluate and support key mindsets and behaviors aligned with a student’s readiness for college, career, and life responsibilities. There are 36 ASCA Student Standards that can be applied to three areas: academic development, career development, and social or emotional development. 

School counselors follow a 10-step process to implement the ASCA Student Standards while instructing, advising, and counseling their students. 

Want access to the student standards assessment implementation checklist for school counselors? Fill out the form below to get a fillable copy for yourself that you can start using today.

Student Standards Assessment Checklist
& Reference Guide

It’s time to start evaluating student progress, managing cases, and generating detailed reports with clarity and ease. 

CaseWorthy’s flexible platform adapts to countless case note configurations and workflows for school counselors and social workers. With CaseWorthy, school counselors can easily:

  • Identify and track referral services that are conveniently located close to the student’s home or school. 
  • Track activities and build workflows based on student needs and progress.
  • Securely manage and document incidents.
  • Generate customizable reports in an unlimited variety of formats.
  • Create and organize student visit summaries and progress notes digitally.
  • Send highly secure encrypted email messages via CommHUB, or SMS messages with CommLINK.
  • Set up parent Web Portals, where they can track attendance. 
  • Maintain records as needed for a whole family – including siblings at other schools – using the Families View.
  • Monitor eligibility and frequency of various social services assistance, such as free lunch or other programs.
  • Create custom ID badges with barcode scanner technology for secure school entry.
  • Document family member, teacher, and student perspectives on goals and progress via CaseWorthy’s Portal and CommunityLink features.

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