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Intervention Counselor Frequently Asked Questions
What is an intervention counselor?
Intervention Counselors are case managers that work with a smaller caseload of
students, their teachers and families. Every student has an school counselor, but not
every student at Berkeley High has an intervention counselor. The average caseload for
an school counselor is 1:450 students, compared to the average caseload of an
intervention counselor is 1:100 students. The students are selected by the middle
school teachers and counselors during the transition to high school to receive this extra
resource. Intervention Counselors provide school and therapeutic services and
coordinate services with the school counselors, teachers and families.
What is the difference between Intervention Counselors and School
Intervention Counselors are funded through the LCAP plan (or local control
accountability plan). This is state funding that every district receives to provide
additional services to students who are considered “unduplicated”. Unduplicated
students are (1) English learners, (2) meet income or categorical eligibility requirements
for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, or (3) are
foster youth. Intervention counselors are funded to provide school and therapeutic
services and coordinate services with the school counselors, teachers and families
of primarily unduplicated students as part of the Local Control Accountability plan
created by the district. School counselors are provided through general funding to
support all students.
What is a focal student?
Focal students are selected by the middle school teachers and counselors during the
transition to high school to receive extra support during the transition from middle school
to high school.
What is the caseload for the intervention counselor?
Each intervention counselor carries a caseload of 100 students.
What is the educational background of the intervention counselors?
Intervention counselors hold a Pupil Personnel Services Credential as well as a masters
degree in a therapeutic field i.e: Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, Masters in
Social Work or a Masters in Counseling.
Can a student be changed to a focal student or added to an intervention
Most students are determined “focal” in 8th grade before starting at BHS. At the end of
each year, the U9 teaching staff nominates students who they feel would benefit from
support from intervention counseling. Students who are considered “unduplicated” or
came to Berkeley High from out of district are given priority. The caseloads are set and
capped at 95 so consistent and quality services can be provided. There are a number of
other resources at Berkeley High including the health center, college and career center
and academic guidance counselors that all students can access for additional support.
How do the intervention counselors work?
The services provided by the intervention counselors are student based and student
directed, meaning that their frequency will be determined by what each student is
requesting/ needing. Some students request quarterly check-ins, while others may
prefer weekly. Students are pulled out of class, with prior permission from teachers, and
counselors do their best to meet the students' needs in a timely fashion that gets them
back to class with minimal disruption.
What services do intervention counselors provide?
Intervention counselors provide direct, group, coordination, consultation and home
support services. Direct services can take the form of academic check ins, mental
health therapy as needed, in classroom support, observations, crisis management and
much more. Therapeutic groups are offered for a number of topics throughout the
school year. The intervention counselors also take students on field trips. We aim that
every student is offered the opportunity to go on either a college tour or career
exploration field trip. The field trips change every year based on our student’s
interests. We coordinate with teachers, administrators, counselors and other school
staff on behalf of the student. And stay connected with our students' home community
via mail, phone and in person meetings.
How can I help?
Our mission for this program is to change the narrative around the achievement gap
and instead focus on the opportunity gap. It truly takes a village to raise a child and here
are some ways you can help support this unique to Berkeley High program:
★ Host a field trip to your workplace so our students can learn about different
career fields. Many of our students are unsure what their post high school plans
are and these field trips in different fields help expose our students to different
★ Be a career guest speaker to share what you do for work with our students or
organize a panel discussion with fellow colleagues to share you passion with our
students. You may inspire them to pursue the same work!
★ Donate food or gift cards for our different incentive programs to improve
students attendance, grades, reward their improvements, etc..
★ Send a cash or check donation to Attention “intervention counselors” to help
cover the cost of our field trips. One bus for a college trip costs us $1200 per trip.
All our field trips are funded through grants and personal donations. Any
assistance is greatly appreciated!
★ Join the PTSA or the PAC to advocate for the intervention counseling program.
Our program is funded through soft money, which means we have to advocate to
keep the program going every year. Parent and community support for the
program has been instrumental in its continued success.
Where do the intervention counselors work?
Ms Malhi is located in G104F, Ms. Jessie is located in G104B, and Ms Nashwa can be found in G104A.
The best way to reach us is via email.
Ms. Malhi- Jasdeepmalhi@berkeley.net
Ms. Nashwa- Nashwaemam@berkeley.net
Ms. Jessie- Jessicalevin@berkeley.net