Texas has an average of 449 students per counselor. Citing school safety concerns, one public school district in the state is looking to change that ratio.
Frisco ISD will add 44 counseling positions next school year, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The new staff members are expected to take over standardized testing duties and oversee services for students with disabilities. The hope is that these new counselors will make it possible for existing counselors on staff to spend more time focusing on the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.
“Where we can really make a difference is in personnel,” Frisco ISD Director of Security Kevin Haller said, estimating that the change will create an extra 27,000 minutes of available counseling time per year per campus.
A NACAC report backs up this assertion.
Counselors’ time commitments shape their ability to advise students on the transition to college. According to the report, about 16 percent of counselors feel that college readiness, selection, and applications take up 10 percent or less of their departments’ time; 38 percent estimate it takes 11 percent to 20 percent; and 46 percent put that figure at more than 20 percent.
NACAC also advocated for the addition of school counselors as a policy recommendation in its recent statement on school violence.
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.