Sponsored by the American School Counseling Association, the National School Counseling Week highlights the impact school counselors have on helping students to achieve school success and plan for a career.
Rockwood School District director of differentiated services Jane Brown said counselors are a first line of effort for career planning and prevention work with students.
Shonda Ambers-Phillips, coordinator of prevention and guidance services, said the week is about highlighting the tremendous impact counselors have on helping students' achievements in school success and planning careers.
"We would like to recognize our counselors, who are actively involved and engaged in helping students examine their abilities to balance stress, interests and talents," said Ambers-Phillips. "They also work in partnership with our parents, and we celebrate their working toward positive ways to enhance students' social, personal, educational and career development activities."
Brown said Rockwood has a total of 66 in the district's overall guidance department:
- Elementary Level – 25 counselors
- Middle School Level – 14 counselors
- High School Level – 17 counselors
She said there are 56 counselors, in addition to four A+ coordinators—one per high school—and six college and career specialists (two each at Lafayette and Marquette high schools; one each at Eureka and Rockwood Summit high schools) that work out of the counseling offices.
Brown tells Patch the college and career specialists were added eight or nine years ago when Lafayette and Marquette high schools had more than 2,200 students, while both Eureka and Rockwood Summit were "much, much smaller."
Over the past four to five years, as the shift of enrollment has significantly changed, so too was the district beginning to experience tighter budgets, Brown said, thus additional specialists positions for the other two high schools never got added.
She said the original intent of Rockwood Board of Education directors was to add the specialists positions. "Dialogue about this has been off and on, with much attention to this matter this fall again. Back in late November or early December of 2012, the decision was made that for 2013-14 school year, the district would support six positions that would be equally divided across the four high schools," she said.
"This means that each school will have 1 and 1/2 specialists supporting their students in their respective high school."
A Rockwood School District proclamation for this week reads as follows:
WHEREAS School counselors...
...are employed in public and private schools to help students reacher their full potential;
...are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development;
...help parents focus on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children;
...work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves;
...seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs and help students become productive members of society.
The proclamation also states comprehensive developmental school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process that enables all students to achieve success in school.