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Where is the ‘guidance’ given?

April 29, 2016
Shepherdstown Chronicle

It is once again the time of year that I realize how inefficient our so-called school "guidance" offices are.

I have written before on the lack of interaction these "counselors" have with our students at the high school level. There have been several staffing changes at Jefferson High due to retirments, etc.-- and I must say I had high hopes that those stepping in to the positions would actually focus on communicating with the students and their parents.

As a parant of both a junior and a sophomore--I have to say, I don't know to whom these counselors speak.

I literally insisted on a face-to-face a few months ago with the counselor assigned to my girls. It took several phone calls and persuasion that I?needed to meet and make sure they were taking the classes they needed, that they were not missing things, etc. Thankfully that meeting resulted in fixing the system's inefficiency in recording summer school grades as my child's grades for summer gym had gone to the wrong high school and no one ever questioned that she had no record of completing the class or that there was an extra unknown student in Washington High's grade list.

Our counselor at Jefferson explained briefly to me that the focus of his communication is usually with seniors getting ready to graduate.

I find that dismal. If there is not communication before senior year--how will these students ever find space in a schedule to fit something they are missing?

This week, my questions revolved around the scholarship opportunities available. In prior years, there has been a "scholarship directory" avalable. Looking ahead to next year, I went in search of the most current.

Since everything revolves around the website (which is another issue for a different day), I went there. Instead of one document that could be printed, there were liteally hundreds of individual pages loaded with only a name of the scholarship listed. I would have had to open and print each one. Complete inefficiency!

Upon calling the school, I was told I could pick up a hard copy, for which I am grateful.

I asked in that same phone conversation, about SAT/ACT dates, I was told I had to visit the College Board website.

Excuse me? Is not part of the responsibility of this "guidance" office to "guide" our students by providing information?

Apparently if it doesn't involve seniors or it doesn't involve taking standardized tests, our guidance officials don't have the time or ability to deal with our students.

I would suggest that the Board of Education look at hiring addiitonal counselors or remove the office completelya as it does not function as it is meant.

Heaven help the student who actually needs some "counseling" for a significant issue or problem within their school environment.

 
 
 

 

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