Del Norte High School’s Counseling office is comprised of 3 Counselors, 1 Counseling Technician, a Secretary, and a Registrar. Two of our Counselors are full time at DNHS and 1 is shared with Sunset. Our Mission Statement is “The Counseling Department of Del Norte High School supports all students by providing academic, career, and social development. In collaboration with their families, other school personnel, and government and social agencies, the department provides academic and career education. Graduates will have acquired the social, personal, and problem solving skills to attain their goals.”
This year marked the first year in Del Norte High School history that the Counseling office offered the ACT test in the school day. We had 94 students test and are anxiously awaiting the results. Having more options for College entrance exams will allow our students the option of using their best score from either the ACT or SAT. In addition to this, Del Norte County School District has budgeted to pay for the in school college testing of all students. These tests include AP, ACT, SAT, and PSAT. By offering testing in the school day and paying for them, we have made it equitable for all students to test. We also continue to offer the ASVAB, the military placement exam, for free to students twice a year.
As we move towards the year 2020, we recognize that the struggles and strengths of our students are changing. Technology and social media has provided opportunities as well as trials for our students to access their education in their classrooms. It is our goal to help students find ways to overcome some of these challenges as they engage with peers and their education.
It is difficult to support students in their academic pursuits if their social and emotional needs are not met. Currently, our greatest struggle has been not having the outside resources to provide adequate emotional support to all students. Asking a student to improve their grades when they don’t have a stable home, lack proper nutrition, and are dealing with other traumatic events is insensitive and impractical. Finding ways to help support students through this and access their education is our biggest challenge.
The American School Counselor Association recommends caseloads of no more than 250 students for every 1 Counselor. We have three Counselors and their caseloads are 393, 345, and 307. Our goal every year is to meet with every student, not just the highest and lowest need students. We strive to help close the achievement gap and improve communication between students, educators, and parents/guardians.