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Are counselors stretched too thin to meet students’ social-emotional needs?

Education Dive – Jay Mathews

“Few would argue that dedicated, qualified school counselors can have long-term advantages, not only for students, but for the community. For example, since 2008, Colorado has spent $60 million in grants, from the Colorado School Counselor Corps, to hire 270 counselors and provide professional development at 365 low-income middle and high schools. The wager that counselors can bridge the growing achievement gap in this increasingly diverse state appears to be paying off.” (more)

How Bibliotherapy Can Help Students Open Up About Their Mental Health

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“Mental health concerns, like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, can affect a student’s ability to concentrate, form friendships and thrive in the classroom. Educators and school counselors often provide Social and Emotional Learning programs (SEL) in order to help these students, as well as school-based therapeutic support groups. However, even in these forums, getting teenagers to speak about their problems can be challenging, especially when they feel like outsiders and worry about judgment from their peers.” (more)

How high school counselors can prepare now for next year

Education Dive – Kaitlin Levesque

“The role of the school counselor is demanding, particularly because of the variety of competing needs that arise throughout the year. Balancing the needs of stakeholders, while addressing unforeseen obstacles and crises, puts additional stress on school counselors. Creating systems to assist with the post-secondary process can eliminate some of the competing demands, and mitigate some of the unintended consequences of simultaneously dealing with the needs of multiple individuals, particularly at the end of the school year. Counselors can use several strategies to optimize their time and direct their attention to meaningful and impactful tasks.” (more)

Careers guidance at school: how to make it work for your students

The Guardian – Tristram Hooley

“How are schools doing on careers advice for their students? This is the question we posed for the new State of the Nation 2017 report, published by social enterprise The Careers & Enterprise Company. Our findings are based on 600 schools completing a self-assessment tool, giving us insights into their delivery of careers provision.”(more)

School Officials, Counselors Slam ’13 Reasons Why’ for Glorifying Teen Suicide

The U.S. News and World Report – Lauren Camera

“A popular new Netflix show about a teenage girl who is raped, bullied, dismissed by her high school guidance counselor and who ultimately commits suicide is challenging school officials, teachers, mental health experts and others concerned that the series glorifies suicide. At least one school district superintendent is linking the new series, called “13 Reasons Why,” to an uptick in dangerous behavior among students. “As a father of a teenager and tween, I am very concerned about a dangerous trend we have observed in our schools in recent days,” wrote Robert Avossa, the superintendent of the Palm Beach County schools in Florida, in a letter sent to parents informing them that school personnel have observed increased levels of self-mutilation and threats of suicide at the elementary and middle school level.”(more)

Don’t Call It ‘Guidance’ Anymore: A Talk With The Nation’s Top School Counselor

NPR – Elissa Nadworny

“Counselors play a big role in helping students succeed: They help with scheduling, college applications and with issues like mental health. Since 2015, first lady Michelle Obama has honored a school counselor of the year in a ceremony at the White House. Friday, the honor goes to Terri Tchorzynski of the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Mich., where she works with 11th- and 12th-graders drawn from 20 public high schools in Calhoun County. Tchorzynski started her career as a high school English teacher, before getting her master’s degree in counseling — a role she says she “always knew she wanted.” NPR Ed caught up with Tchorzynski about her work in Michigan and the important role she sees counselors playing in schools.”(more)