Opinion: RHS lacking counselors and quality time for students

Feature Photo By:  Lily Eberly- Evan Passmore checks an email from Mr. Hirsch. Emails from the counselors are sent every so often which include information about college and counseling. These emails can help students think about their future.

By: Lily Eberly, Review Staff

School counseling is helpful to many students. Whether or not they get in touch with the counselor first, someone is usually there to help any student. However, not enough is done for us to feel connected with the school counselors.

In a place where connecting with students is a main priority, the counselors aren’t always speaking to us or connecting with us outside of counseling, which is something that would help many students, and many would say this is because RHS counselors are simply too overloaded with work and students.

In the U.S., about 20% of teens have mental health issues.

At times, my friends talk to me about their inconveniences; but do they ever go to a counselor themselves or if I recommend them to go to one? Or even if they did, would there be an available counselor?

No, not all of the time. Even at the mention of counseling, my friends and I shrug our shoulders; I suspect that we feel uncertain about what help we would be receiving. I have to force myself to go talk to a counselor.

Feeling uncertain could be because of the initial act of contacting a counselor and creating an appointment; or due to the fact that students aren’t comfortable opening up to someone they barely know.

At Rangeview High School, there are five counselors who are present to help any student who needs it from 7:25 to 3:25, other than Tuesday afternoons due to department meetings.

Furthermore, the Counselor of the Day is usually available, meaning students don’t need planned appointments with them, but they could potentially be with another student. At the beginning of every year, the freshmen are told about what the counselors are here for.

“They said they were here to help; they can help you with classes and schedules,” said freshman Kayla Faustino, who spoke to the counselors on her first day here at RHS. “If you need help with bullies and stuff; they’re there for you.”

Students walk past the counselors’ office on their way to class. A big sign hangs above heads, pointing to the office. (Lily Eberly)

In my experience, when students get time to talk to a counselor, the help they receive can be amazing. Though it may take some time to schedule an appointment, the counselors should get with the students who request for help.

“My counselor really listens and is an understanding person,” Lauren Homstad, a sophomore, said. “There are a lot of really sweet people in the counseling office.”

Then, there are students like sophomore Eliana Casias and I who feel that there needs to be an attempt from counselors to talk to us before we even contact them.

Casias said, “I get emails from my counselor, but it’s mostly just about college stuff…nothing really about going to the counselors.”

Many RHS counselors send these types of emails to all students. The emails can be helpful, but if the students aren’t interested in what they’re about, there’s a good chance they won’t reply to it. Not all students, including me, email their counselors back.

Two years ago, there actually was a time where the counselors connected with freshmen for a whole class period.

“We wish we could actually interact with students more,” school counselor Linda Moriarity said. “We would like to have days where we could actually work with the students.”

Of course, not being able to get to know the students isn’t particularly the counselors’ fault. This year, there are five counselors for almost 2,400 Rangeview students, meaning the five RHS counselors have an average of about 475 students each.

Counselors having face-to-face time with students is a key component to establishing a strong school environment (nprEd). This is exactly what we need.

School counselors here should have at least a day where they connect with students of each grade. They can get to know us, or to at least make us feel comfortable with coming to them. They want us to trust them, but just holding the title: “school counselors” isn’t enough.

The counselors do so much for us already, but would just one day to connect hurt? This time of connecting will not take away from learning. It is just as important. Rangeview needs to make this student-counselor time a priority again. There is nothing more valuable that could be done.

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