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National School Counseling Week underway

EUREKA- The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a proclamation on Tuesday that would make this week National School Counseling Week in Humboldt County.

"A school counselor plays a vital role at a school.  Not only are they there to develop relationships with families and students, they're there to be student advocates and help students succeed for their future," said Jovianne Pereyra, a School Counselor at Lafayette Elementary School in Eureka.

The American School Counseling Association highlights the first week in February to demonstrate the ways school counselors help students achieve success.  Elementary school counselors mainly focus on fostering positive behaviors in children and high school counselors mostly help students in career development. 

"Our job is to make sure things are going well in the students' academics, make sure they're getting along with their teachers.  The teenage years are a challenging time for parents and students so if we're doing our job well, we're actually not supposed to be the focal point, we're supposed to be helping the students solve their problems and pick their direction," said Monica Rivera, a School Counselor at Eureka High School.

Eureka City Schools did not have Elementary School Counselors until three years ago, when the district was awarded an Elementary School Counseling federal grant.  School officials say data shows there has been a “substantial increase in student achievement and attendance” since the grant was awarded, as well as a “significant decrease in suspensions, discipline referrals and truancy rates.”

The Proclamation that the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve on Tuesday also recognizes that School Support Services Personnel is vital to schools in Humboldt County.  Student Support Services Personnel is a collaborate effort throughout the county, made up of school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers.  The organization has the goal of pursuing excellence for all students in Humboldt County.