Lack of guidance counselors causes problems for students

Rachel Kogan and Stacey Kim, Assistant Opinions Editor and Staff Assistant

Several years ago, Schreiber had to cut a number of guidance counselor positions due to budgetary limitation.  This action has led to numerous negative consequences.

Students are not able to communicate with their guidance counselors as easily as in previous years.

The cause of this situation is that the guidance counselors are now overwhelmed from the additional work taken on by them from the previously existing positions.   Thus, the guidance counselors do not have a sufficient amount of time to properly converse with students about their issues and problems.

“I feel like my guidance counselor has too many students,” said senior Sydney Heiden. “She is never available when I go to her.”

In addition, certain classes at Schreiber High School must be taken in accordance to state laws.  The presence of such mandatory classes often times conflicts with students’ desire to take certain electives as well as higher level classes to challenge themselves.

Part of the job description for a guidance counselor includes aiding the students in creating schedules that match their academic interests. In specific cases, guidance counselors can postpone the time that the requirements are filled.

Although, some guidance counselors comply with student requests to defer requirements, others do not.

“I feel like there is practically no communication between all the counselors,” said junior Rachel Ellerson.  “I asked my counselor if I could postpone health for senior year and he said that they weren’t allowed to do that.  Meanwhile, many of my friends postponed health and I feel like that’s not fair.”

Furthermore, some guidance counselors allow students to take courses over the summer for certain cases while others do not. This gives a  narrow group of students an advantage over the rest who desired to take these classes but were not permitted to.

“It is unfair that option for summer courses was an option for some and not others,” said junior Tessa Peierls. “If it is going to be an option, it has to be available to everyone.”

Making schedule corrections or general meeting with guidance counselors take time.  In the beginning of the school year, when students had to make corrections in their schedules, some guidance counselors did not reply or took several weeks to reply.

Similar situations continued to occur throughout the school year, troubling the students.  Whenever students need assistance or try to schedule an appointment, the guidance counselors are often unavailable.

Although students have the opportunity to sign up for an appointment with their counselors, they often encounter scheduling conflicts.

“There definitely aren’t enough guidance counselors to go around,” said junior Dylan Rothman, “Every time I try to talk to my counselor, she’s busy talking to another student.”

In addition, even when the guidance couselors are available, other students have already filled up all of the existing free periods available in the scheduling book.

As a result, many of the students have to wait a few weeks in order to  simply communicate with their guidance counselors  about certain issues and problems that needs to be dealt with quickly.

“It’s nearly impossible to get a slot for guidance,” said senior Abby Harari, “I have trued numerous times to get a spot, and the only available times are about two weeks later.”

None of these problems are the fault of the guidance counselors, however.

“Health as a class is mandated by the state,” said District Director of Guidance Hank Hardy “The guidance counselors have a specific guideline by which they can act. If students have problems regarding these circumstances, they should approach their guidance counselors or me.”

The school should increase the number of guidance counselors available to students. This action would prevent many conflicts between students and their counselors.