The Hermiston School District is joining other school districts in the nation in celebrating National School Counseling Week.
The district has a counselor in each elementary and middle school, and four at the high school. At the elementary level, a single counselor can work with up to 400-600 students, at the middle school up to 800 students and at the high school four counselors work with over 1,600 students.
School counselors provide individual or group counseling to teach students important social skills such as conflict resolution, anger management, and self-esteem, as well as academic and emotional support, and planning for a career post-high school. Counselors are the first to be called upon to provide emotional support in safe rooms when there is a staff or student loss or a crisis.
At the high school, counselors have the opportunity to work with students on exploring different college and career options. Students are given many opportunities to go on college visits, to attend career/job fairs, for assistance in completing the Federal Student Aid Form, to receive information on scholarship opportunities. Counselors work hand in hand with parents to motivate students to reach their potential and set goals and aspirations for themselves and their future.
Counselors often serve as a lifeline for some students and families. Students may open up to the counselor about tough situations such as homelessness, dating violence, bullying, teen pregnancy, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Counselors work with school administrators, teachers, and parents to connect the students to resources or agencies available within the community or elsewhere to help with the challenges the student or family might be facing.
The district encourages parents and community members to take a minute this week to thank a school counselor for their contribution and for the impact they are making as a result of their hard work.