California Educator

August 2014

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The school day has just begun, and students are already queuing up outside the office of counselor Christine MacInnis at North High School in Torrance. They need information about college applications and scholarships. A few need to drop or add a class. It's likely that one of them is feeling depressed — or even suicidal — and needs someone to talk to. With assembly line efficiency and warmth, MacInnis offers each student a few minutes of individual attention, advice, resources and encouragement. COUNSELORS CRUCIAL TO STUDENT SUCCESS New legislation and education funding formulas may increase the number of school counselors. That can't happen soon enough. By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin compared with the national average of 477:1, ranking California last in the nation. Twenty-nine percent of California schools have no counseling programs at all, according to the California Department of Education. IN CALIFORNIA, THE STUDENT-TO- COUNSELOR RATIO AVERAGES 945:1 P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N THE AMERICAN SCHOOL COUNSELOR ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDS 250 STUDENTS PER COUNSELOR. Christine MacInnis Feature 9 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 1

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