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unnyside school counselors report on student efforts

Sunnyside School District counselors are working on ensuring each school has a counseling model that focuses on academic achievement, personal achievement and career planning.

Counselors from various Sunnyside schools appeared before the Sunnyside School Board yesterday (Thursday) to report the efforts the counseling department has made during the year to improve the school environment. They said they are developing a system that will allow counselors to meet the needs of all students, instead of just the high need students.

Some of the work the counselors have put into their model includes conducting lesson plans with an academic, personal or social, and career focus. In addition, the counselors are still making themselves available for students with personal crises.

At the elementary level, counselors revealed that their focus has been less on career planning, as one would find at the middle and high schools, and more on academic achievement planning.

The counselors have also been working on recognizing students in their efforts and conducting cooperative learning opportunities.

At the middle schools, counselors are working hard to impact student grades.

"We are making a focused effort to affect their academic achievement," said Sierra Vista Middle School Counselor Angela Gonzalez. She revealed that students in her All Hands on Deck program have seen a drastic improvement with their F grades. In the first quarter of the school year, her students alone had earned 31 F grades. In the second quarter, those same students had dropped that number to eight.

The high school counselors revealed they are working hard to boost academic achievement at the school as well as assist the staff in doing the same.

They said the counseling staff has worked with students in groups and one-on-one, and have been acting as co-facilitators during in-service days.

Members of the board thanked the counseling staff and commended them for their efforts. Director Michelle Perry said, "I really appreciate all the work you do, and respect it."

The board agreed, but Director Miguel Puente added, "We need to think about how to include parents as a partner in the work you do."

- Emma Fierro can be contacted

at 509-837-4500, or email

EFierro@DailySunNews.com

Emma Fierro/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside school counselors visited the school board yesterday (Thursday), where their work was praised by the board, but the school board was also commended for its work. Administrators from each school showed up at the meeting, bearing gifts for the board members for School Board Appreciation Month. Here, board member Rocky Simmons admires a framed sketch of Sunnyside High School as it was before construction began. The members also received a brick from the soon to be completely demolished 200 building.

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