Counselor Corner offers weekly help during lunches

Junior+Nina+Honda+turns+in+her+volunteer+log+form+to+the+Building+6+guidance+office.+After+visiting+Counselor+Corner+the+previous+week%2C+Honda+wasa+able+to+get+each+form+signed+and+approved+by+her+respective+counselor+and+learn+about+the+Bright+Futures+volunteering+requirments.+

photo by Sophia Canabal

Junior Nina Honda turns in her volunteer log form to the Building 6 guidance office. After visiting Counselor Corner the previous week, Honda wasa able to get each form signed and approved by her respective counselor and learn about the Bright Futures volunteering requirments.

The start of a new school year brings countless students to the guidance offices in search of answers, whether it be regarding college applications, online course registration, or volunteer hour forms.In light of these concerns, administration established the Counselor Corner, where counselors can be found in the cafeteria during first and second lunch to answer questions and provide information to students. The event will be held every other Wednesday, starting Sept. 15. 

“Sometimes people don’t come to our offices or don’t necessarily have the time, but most students can be found around the cafeteria so it’s easier for them to pop in and ask a quick question,” counselor Michelle Cortes said. “This makes it easier for students to get their questions answered.”

Counselor Corner is an annual activity, but it holds a new importance this year as COVID-19 restrictions have prevented many students from obtaining information and booking appointments with their assigned counselors. 

“Last year it was a challenge to meet with students because we had to know who was at school, who was home, who we were going to see, and what time they booked,” counselor McKenzie Kaplan said. “It was just a mess.”

Although counselors have become more accessible with face-to-face schooling, students like junior Nina Honda were still at a loss when it comes to obtaining volunteer log forms. As upperclassmen face upcoming SATs, college applications, and scholarship opportunities, obtaining information from their respective counselors becomes increasingly important. 

“I went through the Counselor Corner so that I could figure out how to get my volunteer forms filled out and signed,” Honda said. “It was really helpful.”

Since the end of the previous school year, during Seminole County’s COVID-19 lockdown, administration has made efforts to overcome a disconnected student body that resulted from online learning. 

“The Canvas page started last year because that was the best way to distribute information to students,” Kaplan said. 

The Student Services Canvas page has been useful in providing students with deadlines and school events, as Canvas is already one of the most frequently used applications among students. 

“When I would have to book an appointment, it would be difficult to find a time that works for me,” Honda said. “Counselor Corner has given me one-on-time with my counselors without missing out on personal time.”

Counselor Corner will continue throughout the remainder of the year, and administration intends to continue increasing availability. 

“By being out there, we feel like we can be more available,” Kaplan said. “We’re hoping that we can help our students and answer questions a lot less formally.”

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