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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Campaign on Behalf of Elementary Counselors

From a reader:

We are organizing a letter-writing campaign on the counselors issue, since we have limited opportunities for public comment before the RIF. Basically, we are asking people to write letters to Dr. Enfield, cc'd to the Board, with two basic sentences:

Our counselor has helped our child by ____. To pay for elementary counselors, I think we should cut ____.

Please join the fray and forward to other parents who would be interested!

Dr Enfield - saenfield@seattleschools.org
School Board - schoolboard@seattleschools.org

10 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Yes! I'll do it. I remember the board committee meeting where DeBelle said "some principals don't want counselors, let's give them the option by giving them an allocation to use as they wish". How about ask the consumer?!

KG said...

Mirmac,
The reason some principals may not want counselors is because they do
not live in a world where the only help they may be able receive is through a school counselor and their specialized training. They are disconnected from kids at times sitting in their offices. Just like their counterparts in Central admin. Administrators will never agree to cutting administrators as they are to close themselves and their peers.
Good idea, the district needs to ask the sonsumer not the principal.

Anonymous said...

Duh, let me guess, what would a principal spend the money on? Little Johnny who's struggling with blending into a new school and acts out in class; or a bigger photocopy budget.

grumpy

Anonymous said...

Well, if parents are to make the tradeoff, what would they choose?

Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

For example, in a previous thread, the vote was for elementary counselors versus the myriad of "coaches."

zb said...

"For example, in a previous thread, the vote was for elementary counselors versus the myriad of "coaches.""

But that's 'cause we don't know what the coaches do. That might mean that they don't do anything useful. But it might not.

Someone mentioned a number of 78 non-classroom coaches. It doesn't seem like an unreasonable request to hear what each of those 78 coaches do.

I think KG is right that principals are biased towards protecting the people they work with, but I think parents are also biased towards protecting the people they work with.

I myself, having met a coach, but never a counselor have some sympathy towards what that person seemed to do (which is try to coordinate teachers and act as teacher support). It seemed, however, that it's not a function well integrated into the practice of teaching as it now works (since teachers seem to function isolated in their own classrooms). I think more collaboration and coordination among teachers (especially in subject areas and in high school) would be an excellent thing. But, my preferred model would be to have teachers rotate through a "chair" position that would have performing coordination functions for their department.

KG said...

Most employees and parents know what a counselor does for the school environment.

Most employees and parents do not know what the coaches do.

By this observation, this means let the coaches go.

If most do not know what they are doing then how could they be missed?

laura b said...

The situation is grim – Losing so many valuable people will have a negative impact on all of our children. An elementary counseling program reduces violence and incidents of bullying, increases academic engagement, and improves school climate. When implemented with fidelity (i.e. with a solid curriculum), the program improves academic outcomes for all learners. Counselors are in the classroom, running small groups, coordinating interventions, and dealing with students in crisis. Counselors provide a safe haven for students and adults in crisis, collaborating with community agencies ensuring students and families receive needed mental health counseling and social services. Working with the Special Education staff and school psychologists, school counselors coordinate student support teams, streamlining student services and interventions (both academic and behavior). School Counselors are worth their weight in gold - impacting every student in the school. We need this campaign. If you have a moment, please send in your "vote" for our Counselors.

Jason Paskowitz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KG said...

JASON,

You obviously have $ to send your child to private school. Good for you. No way on a voucher for you though. Whom here is hurling insults at teachers? What does Woodt Allen award have to do with anyone in counseling? Are you a homophobe? If so please go to Mississippi where your people meet.
You know nothing about the District here, keep your thoughts in New Jersey.