Board Policy 6.26 Mental Health
Parental Opt-In for Mental Health Services
6.26.1 Definition of School-Based Counseling. For purposes of this policy, “school-based counseling services” include those school counseling services which are split into domains NOT requiring a mental health therapist or other mental health therapeutic license.
6.26.2 Definition of Mental Health Services and Ongoing School Counseling Services. For purposes of this policy, “mental health services” includes services treatments, surveys, or assessments related to mental health, and “ongoing school counseling services” includes those school counseling services requiring a mental health therapist or other mental health therapeutic license.
6.26.3 Annual Written Notice of Mental Health Services. Annually, the Superintendent, or his or her designee, will notify all parents and guardians of all District and school-based counseling, mental health services, and ongoing school counseling services. This annual notification will contain the following components:
a. A general description of each mental health service, including an explanation of the purpose for each mental health service;
b. An explanation of how a parent or guardian may review materials to be used as part of any guidance or counseling program for students; and
c. Information about the mechanism for parents or guardians to allow, limit, or prevent their students’ participation in these mental health programs.
6.26.4 Annual Opt-In Process.
a. As part of the notice described in 6.26.3, above, or as part of a separate document – depending on the discretion of the Superintendent, or his or her designee, the Superintendent shall require that each parent or guardian complete a written permission form prior to allowing a student who is younger than 14 years of age to participate in the District’s mental health services and/or ongoing school counseling services unless there is an imminent threat to the health of the student or others.
b. To be valid, the permission must be in writing – which may include electronic communication – and it must be obtained annually. Any parent or guardian may rescind his or her permission at any time by providing written notice to their child’s school administration.
6.26.5 Counselor Communications. For parents or guardians who permit their children to participate in mental health services and/or ongoing school counseling services as described in 6.26.2, above, the counselor providing these services must keep the parent fully informed regarding diagnosis, recommended counseling, or treatments.
6.26.6 Parental Authority. The parent or guardian of all students who have not attained 14 years of age shall have the authority to make final decisions regarding mental health counseling and/or ongoing school counseling services described in 6.26.2 and treatments even if the parent or guardian has previously opted-in for mental health services.
6.26.7 Record Keeping. The Superintendent, or his or her designee, will ensure that all records pertaining to school-based counseling, mental health services, and ongoing school counseling services are treated as health care records and kept separately from academic records.