Don't Believe the Counselors, Just Watch!

Liliana Silva Diaz and I have been heading the SUHSD Counselor Standards Committee for over a year now.

A year ago, the SUHSD had left out school counselors in their Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) in 2014. The LCAP is basically a school district's plan on how to support student achievement, especially for at-risk populations like English Language Learners, Foster Youth, and etc.

The SUHSD 2014 LCAP included teachers, parents, and other support staff, but no mention on school counselors.

Because of our efforts, and the team of awesome counselors from all over the district who sit on our committee, we were able to work with the SUHSD to include school counselors in the LCAP, thus lowering counselor caseload from 400 to 360 to one counselor to best support graduation and college-going rates. This is the lowest caseload in San Diego county and below the average in California.

Over the next year, we will also be spearheading the standardization of counseling practices such as 6-year plans and parent workshops across the 24 high schools and middle schools in our district that serves over 41,000 students.

Today we presented at our quarterly district counselor in-service. We shared successes and facilitated discussions on potential standardized practices across the district.

Here's our powerpoint:

We have lots to celebrate, but lots of work still to do. We didn't want our presentation to be all serious pump up all of our counselors, Liliana and I called on our friend Bruno Mars to help us with a little song and dance!

Although our teacher counterparts in being leaders in curriculum and professional development are compensated, Liliana and I are not. It is our hope, that in the next year, we prove the investment in standards development for school counselors will be seen as important, and compensated fairly.

In the meanwhile, "don't believe me, just watch"!