Changes Come to Guidance Counseling

Alton High School counselor area

Alton High School counselor area

Sage Lauck, Reporter

From managing schedules to giving students library passes, being a school counselor can be extremely busy. “Our job does not stop just because of summer,” school counselor, Kayla Hanson said. 

Alina Scoggins, the sophomore counselor, is new here at Alton High and will be experiencing the challenges of being a school counselor. They work throughout the summer to get students on track for the next year, dealing with problems throughout the entire school year.

But things have changed this year. In past years, every counselor would be working with students whose last names started with the letters they were assigned to. This way, they are always assigned to the students they had the previous year, allowing them to be familiar with their students’ issues and challenges.

This new guideline has changed a lot of things. This year, every guidance counselor is assigned a grade level. Every year all of the counselors will be going up a grade so they can stay with the same students. But this change has been somewhat overwhelming for the counselors, only being educated on this change one month before school started.  Cindy Pollard, the junior counselor, says that they aren’t afraid of working harder, but it will be a challenge.

The freshman school counselor is Kayla Hanson. Hanson has worked with freshmen for a few years now. Next year, due to the new system, she will be going up from a freshman counselor to guiding sophomore students. Pollard said that this change has been stressful for Hanson.

Tami Williams, the senior counselor this year, said these new criteria are a big change because they have already built relationships with students they have worked with and their families. Having so many seniors to take care of on your own makes it easier to make mistakes when planning for each student. Having to guide every senior student can be a very difficult job because there are a lot more plans you have to make in their path moving forward after high school. 

According to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), the recommended school counselor-to-student ratio is 250 students assigned to one counselor. Williams has around 450 students to work with.