January 28, 2011
Guidance Counselors Make a Difference for Students
February 7-11 will be celebrated as National Guidance Counselor Appreciation Week in the Klein ISD. The district offers a comprehensive guidance program with at least one counselor at each elementary school and the number of counselors determined by enrollment at secondary schools.
While parents and community members may recall counselors as the persons at the intermediate and high school levels who assisted in course selection, that narrow description hardly scratches the surface of what Klein counselors do to help students. Elementary counselors go into classrooms to provide lessons to help students gain social skills and be good citizens. At the intermediate and high school levels, character development continues and counselors hold a key role in bully prevention programs that are planned for the school. Extracurricular activities are places where students continue this growth process and actually have an opportunity to display the characteristics that they have learned through the years.
Character education is an area of responsibility for which the district provides on-going professional development for guidance counselors. Counselors and staff members from their schools take training in peer mediation as a tool for decreasing anger and retaliation. Elementary counselors have received training to encourage children to make wise choices to remain safe on the way to and from school and at home. Donna Clark Love has trained all KISD counselors and other staff members in bullying prevention. In other training sessions, counselors have learned about the addiction cycle, gangs, diversity issues, dropout prevention strategies, developmental assets, and Internet safety.
Student services officer Jeannie Connors noted, “Klein guidance counselors are the best. With a well developed guidance program, the district provides training and direction so that counselors are prepared to meet the needs of 21st century students. The KISD guidance program assists students to develop the skills that they need to enhance their personal, social, educational and career development.”