Wednesday, February 26, 2014

School Counselors Need Your Support

I love my work as a school counselor. Thanks to San Diego Bargain Mama, I was able guest post on her blog to share a few of the college admissions tips I've shared with students and parents over the years. It's so rewarding being able to help young people attain their college dreams. It's even more awesome when they come back to visit as working adults with fulfilling careers. I wouldn't trade my job for anything else in the world. 

Yet, the last few months have been challenging. Due to a contractual dispute with the Sweetwater Union High School District, counselors have decided to begin fully working to the rule. Counselor duty day is 7.25 hours including a duty-free lunch within each school-site respective operating schedule. Not staying after-school to meet with students and/or parents, not replying to emails in the evenings, and not working on planning my counseling projects from home has made me fall further and further behind in my work. 

Rapper Xhibit pretty much sums up how I've felt at work lately:

What are we fighting for? One of the most important negotiation points with the SUHSD is counselor case load. With the push for all students to be college ready and the demands of Common Core, school funding needs to give importance to the work school counselors do.

We need lower caseloads to better serve students! SUHSD counselor case load is 400 students per counselor. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to 1 counselor.

Lower caseloads can help counselors better help students in post-secondary planning, credit recovery options, and support social/emotional needs of all students. With working to the rule, I've felt strapped for face time with my students. There are so many of them and just one of me. 

The counselors of the Sweetwater Union High School District need your help. Sending an email to our school district leadership speaks volumes. Details can be found here:
I'd appreciate your help in emailing our district leadership demanding a fair contract for counselors and teachers.

Thanks for your support!

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