Celebrate National School Counseling Week Feb. 6-10

National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, will be celebrated from Feb. 6-10, to build awareness about the crucial role and unique contributions of school counselors within public schools. The celebration provides an opportunity for staff, parents and the community to show their appreciation to AISD counselors for the tremendous impact they have in helping our students achieve school success and plan for a career.

AISD is proud to honor and recognize the efforts of school counselors. These professionals actively engage in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents. They work in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world and focus on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development. School Counselors also work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Most importantly, these professionals implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling and at least 2 years of teaching experience. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

Although we should express our heartfelt appreciation throughout the year, we encourage you to set aside some extra time during this special week to honor AISD school counselors for the outstanding job that they do for Austin students and families. 

Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their child’s school. For additional information about National School Counceling Week, visit ASCA's Web site at http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=271.

Here are five simple ways you can show your appreciation:

1. Present your counselors with heartfelt thank you cards, Bravo! Cards or organize a potluck style breakfast or lunch in their honor.
2. Get your school excited about each day of National School Counseling Week with these sample morning announcements.
3. Promote National School Counseling Week throughout your school by displaying a poster or banner in the front office, hallways and library. 
4. Have students develop poetry, special artwork or a short skit in honor of your counselors. 
5. Honor counselors on your marquee, website and in your newsletter.

Background: The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association, which is the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to more professional school counselors around the globe.