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Student Support Programs

Jasper PALS with Head Start students at zoo



The purpose of the school guidance program is to promote and to enhance the learning process. School counselors work closely with administrators, teachers, parents, and the community to support the Plano ISD mission and accomplish goals with focus on three strands of guidance: academic success, college/career information, and personal/social development.

Comprehensive guidance and counseling is an integral part of each school’s educational program. A developmental school guidance program includes activities which are organized and implemented by certified school counselors and are based on identified student needs. Emphasis at the elementary level is on prevention of problems which might affect school work and providing classroom guidance on such topics as study skills, problem-solving, communication skills, and conflict management.

Secondary counselors assist students in educational planning, including planning for college and career, through individual academic conferences for students and parents. Middle school counselors work with students and parents in developing individual 4-year plans for high school. Programs dealing with teasing, criticism, bullying, and anger control help students deal with peer pressure and learn to make wise decisions. High school and senior high counselors monitor academic progress and work with students to achieve academic goals. The guidance program at the high schools includes the college admission process, college entrance exams, letters of recommendation, college financial planning nights, and other post secondary plans. All counselors assist students with difficulties that interfere with learning and guide them in developing effective decision-making skills.

Counselors will work with parents and teachers to assist students in developing plans for academic and behavioral success. In addition, counselors coordinate standardized testing, work with peer support groups, and provide information about community resources. Parents are welcome to consult with their school counselor about the counseling program and their child’s special needs by calling the school for an appointment.

Peer Support

Peer support groups at the three senior high schools are comprised of students who help new students feel welcome in Plano. Students within these groups work with school counselors to identify and contact students who are new to their schools. Activities for new students are organized by the counselors and peer support group members.

Personal Safety

Anti-victimization and safety programs are presented to all elementary students to help them learn how to avoid or cope with victimization. Counselor classroom presentations are available at all levels to address personal safety rules, bullying teasing, peer pressure, anger control, and making wise decisions.

Substance Abuse Prevention

Plano ISD conducts various substance abuse prevention programs throughout the district.  Substance Abuse Specialists provide student and parent education programs, employee in-service training and special programs on individual campuses. Drug and alcohol prevention and education programs are provided to students on campus. In addition, students and families are provided information and referral resources within the community. S.T.A.N.D. (Students Taking Action Not Drugs) is a prevention organization on secondary campuses. The group activities include Red Ribbon Week, campus drug education programs and alcohol/drug-free social activities or events.  Several special projects are sponsored and coordinated by Plano ISD including Red Ribbon Week and Project Prom alcohol/drug-free celebrations.  See our Substance Abuse Prevention site for more information. 

Peer Assistance and Leadership

P.A.L. (Peer Assistance and Leadership) is a state accredited, curriculum-based program offered at the secondary school level. Students selected to participate in P.A.L. are trained in communication and helping skills that are used to build an atmosphere of caring and understanding, as well as facilitate a safe and positive school experience. Students are given opportunities to work in a helping role with peers on their own campus and in the feeder middle schools and elementary schools. Students are also encouraged to perform community service projects each semester. For more information about these programs, contact Family and Social Services at 469-752-6399.  

School Resource Officer (SRO) Program

The SRO Program is an education, prevention and safety program in which uniformed police officers serve full time at each high school and senior high school campus. This program is the result of the ongoing partnerships between Plano ISD and the Plano and Murphy Police Departments and seeks to build better communication and rapport between youth and the police. Officers provide an additional layer of safety and security to their assigned campuses, counsel students to resolve problems concerning the criminal justice system, make referrals to appropriate community agencies, coordinate the Campus Crime Stoppers programs and periodically instruct on topics of narcotics/substance abuse, safety and occupational training.

Special Programs Center

Students are referred to the Special Programs Center through a central intervention team that is composed of home campus representatives, the administrator or designee of the Special Programs Center, parents, the student and other appropriate people based upon a recommendation from the student's home campus administrative/intervention team. Special Programs Center teachers seek to rebuild academic confidence while teaching classroom and social skills.

The Bird Center supports students in Kindergarten through 8th grade with behavioral or academic concerns.  The goal of the program is to have students return to their home campus with skills that will enable them to be successful.

The Guinn Center offers a variety of student-centered programs to serve the home campuses of Plano ISD and Collin County. These services include: Behavior Management Programs, Acceleration/Credit Recovery Initiatives, Dropout Recovery, GED Testing, and the Expectant Parent Program. The focus is to constantly seek ways to support students and home campuses, revitalize instruction, engage students, and increase academic success.

Discipline Management

The discipline management program was created in an attempt to better understand students and the problems they face in today’s world. The focal point of the program is the students’ awareness that a school and parent partnership is formed to address student needs and problems. The root cause of unacceptable behavior must be dealt with through the program if a change is to be brought about. When the cause is determined, a positive plan can be drawn for students to bring about change in the way they relate to others.

School Health Services

Plano ISD employs registered nurses to work with students and staff throughout the district. The focus of the school health program is the prevention of illness and absenteeism. The school nurse provides assistance to students who become ill or injured at school and works with students with chronic disabilities to enable them to function in the school setting. The school nurse presents health related programs to students at various grade levels. These programs include topics such as growth and development, drug education, nutrition and hygiene. The school nurse also serves as a resource for teachers, students and parents regarding health matters.

Texas State Law requires immunizations for all students. School nurses interpret records and work with parents to insure compliance with state laws. Vision and hearing screening is required for kindergarten, first, third, fifth and seventh graders as well as all students new to Texas schools. Scoliosis (spinal) screening is required for all students in grades five and eight. Screenings for acanthosis nigricans, a skin marker, are required for all third, fifth and seventh graders. Referrals for all screenings are made as indicated.

The goal of the school nurse is to insure every student a healthy and productive life-style during their academic years thus enabling them to become healthy, productive adults.