Thanking our school superheroes during National School Counselors Week

Thanking our school superheroes during National School Counselors Week

Ruthie Light, Reporter

The first week of February is National School Counselors Week. If you weren’t aware already, National School Counselors Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. School counselors work to maximize student success, promoting access and equity for all students. As vital members of the school leadership team, school counselors create a school culture of success for all.

To start, school counselors have many different duties like helping students achieve and plan out their goals, referrals for long-term support, and keeping track of data analysis in students issues/needs/challenges. School counselors help all students apply academic achievement strategies, manage emotions, apply interpersonal skills, and plan for post-secondary options (higher education, military, work force). They offer school counseling lessons based on student success standards, short-term counseling for students and collaboration with families/teachers/administrators/community for student access. Each and every thing listed above not only helps students achieve their goals, but they also make students feel safe with all of the programs they provide.

Next, school counselors create school counseling programs based on three sets of standards that define the profession. These standards help school counselors develop, implement and assess their school counseling program to improve student outcomes. To be delivered effectively, the school counseling program must be efficiently and effectively managed. School counselors use program focus and planning tools to guide the design and implementation of a school counseling program that gets results. This program focuses on beliefs, vision statements, and mission statements. The planning for this program contains school data summary, annual student outcome goals, actions plans, lesson plans, annual administrative conference, use of time, calendars, and advisory council.

School counselors deliver developmentally appropriate activities and services directly to students or indirectly for students as a result of the school counselor’s interaction with others. These activities and services help students develop the ASCA mindsets and behaviors for Student Success and improve their achievement, attendance and discipline. Through the school counseling program, school counselors ensure equitable academic, career and social/emotional development opportunities for all students. Direct services are in-person interactions between school counselors and students and include instruction, appraisal and advisement and counseling. Also, Indirect services are provided on behalf of students as a result of the school counselors’ interactions with others including consultation, collaboration and referrals.

To achieve the best results for students, school counselors regularly assess their program to determine its effectiveness in helping all students succeed, inform improvements to their school counseling program design and delivery, and show how students are different as a result of the school counseling program. School counselors also self–assess their own mindsets and behaviors to inform their professional development and annually participate in a school counselor performance appraisal with a qualified administrator. The ASCA National Model provides School Counseling Program Assessment and Annual Result Reports. 

To sum it up, school counselors do so many great things for the students in their district. Our school counselors carry out multiple jobs that are often swept aside and not recognized inside and outside the classroom, so use this week as an opportunity to thank our school counselors for all of the work they do! During this week make sure to thank our district counselors, which are Mrs. Audet, Mrs. Dow, Mr.McGinnity, Mr. Anthony, Mrs. Trauner, and Mrs. Hirschmann, for all of their hard work in helping out schools become better places.