As we start a new month at APS, I want to call special attention to National School Counseling Week, February 1-5, 2021, which is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association. Having served as a middle school counselor early in my career, I understand the essential role our counselors play in helping our students succeed in school and plan for their future. We should all take a moment to shine a spotlight on our school counselors.
Rare has been the moment that we have needed school counselors more than we do today. We need their wise counsel, their support, and their unique blend of love and care as we continue working, teaching, and learning through this pandemic. This year’s theme – “School Counselors: All in for All Students” – could not be more fitting for APS at this time. We have made equity and social justice a top priority for our district which means that we must engage in strategic decision-making to remedy opportunity and learning gaps and create a barrier-free environment, enabling all students to graduate ready for college, career, and life. We must all be “All in for All Students!”
We rely heavily on approximately 110 counselors in our traditional schools and 30 in our charter and partner schools to ensure that our students achieve success and remain mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy in safe and secure learning environments. Because they do their jobs so well, I trust that many of you, too, have benefited directly from our school counselors. Intently, thoughtful, compassionate, and resourceful – they often are not only counseling students but the adults as well. I am pleased that we have a week that gives special recognition to this critical work and the people who perform it. Please join me in thanking our school counselors!