Posted by Kathy Leonard, a member of the Charlotte Wood Middle School community, on Feb 23, 2009 at 8:46 am
I am writing today to express my concerns about the SRVUSD budget cutbacks particularly in the area of counseling. I am the mother of an 8th grade student at Charlotte Wood Middle School and I would like to showcase what I think is a crucial component of the academic success in the SRVUSD.
In the 7th grade the counseling department met with each student individually and completed a very comprehensive review regarding progress toward promotion/graduation from middle school and their goals for career planning as they relate to specific test scores, grades, strengths, challenges, and interests. The students were made aware and given an overview of the proper courses to prepare for college preparatory programs at the high school level. Each student came home with a folder of personal records (containing numerous counselor hand written notes), test scores, conference forms and a compilation of information with reference guides in all areas of education and career planning.
In the 8th grade the counseling department gave a presentation in each student’s classroom, and handed out and did some exercises in the booklet “Getting Ready for High School”. They also covered HS graduation requirements; information on passing the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), college entrance requirements; types of jobs i.e. minimum wage, trades, college required careers; salary ranges and looked at the website www.cacarrerzone.org that talked about the cost of living. My son came home from school and immediately opened the website and figured out what certain lifestyle choices cost; really opened his eyes! Mine, too!
I cannot even begin to tell you how effective and crucial this information is to my son and all of our students’ success. The information was presented in an interesting way and sparked my son’s imagination by planting the seed of the all important “future awareness”.
Because educational paths and career strategies have become increasingly challenging and complicated, counseling is absolutely key for the future. The years of academics, art, music and physical education that go into making our students unique and ready to take on the world will be wasted if there aren’t counselors guiding the students and their families in the right direction for success.