TO THE EDITOR:
(Re: “District might cut elementary counselor,” Jan. 20, 2011) I understand that in school districts these days, it’s all about the bottom line. Budgets grow tighter each year and districts are forced to find ways to reduce the shortfall.
With that being said, this week’s headline in the Ripon Commonwealth regarding the possible loss of an elementary counselor position made me concerned for the students in the Ripon School District.
It is already disheartening to know that experience is viewed as a negative to most districts.
Gone are the days when school districts looked for the most experienced candidates for vacant positions.
Outgoing veterans are often replaced with fresh faces new to the education scene or worse, not replaced at all.
The trends of hiring those with less experience and eliminating staff do not bode well for educators upon whom more demands are placed each school year. No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Response To Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and much more require immense time and effort.
Teachers are expected to differentiate instruction, prepare students to perform well on all assessments, document interventions in the classroom, follow behavior modification plans for individual students, meet state standards and benchmarks, and be keen to bullying which may be affecting their students’ mental health.
As these demands increase, so do the complexity of the problems facing the kids sitting in those classrooms.
...If the board does indeed decide to eliminate the part-time elementary school counselor position, they then need to develop a plan as to who will pick up the slack for the programs she coordinated.
...Or do we just cross our fingers and hope that our one elementary counselor is able to reach all the children who need her services?
If we truly are a school district that wants our students to be effective learners, we need to provide the services to make that happen.
— Dawn McDonald
908 Liberty St.
To read the entire letter, see the Jan. 27, 2011 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.
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