School counselors have long functioned as crucial educational personnel assisting students, parents, teachers, administrators and other school personnel in meeting the educational and behavioral objectives of children within and outside of the classroom.
At a special called meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education on Tuesday, Superintendent C.D. Morton made a request to the board that the high school counseling position be approved as a district itinerant position. That request was approved.
“I talked to you before about the counseling positions we have,” said Morton. “When Mrs. (Vickie) Anderson was hired as principal at the elementary school that basically created her position (as counselor) a vacant position. In order to maximize our pool of people, we went with a plan that would get us through the end of the year by shifting some duties and bringing in part time people for the counseling responsibilities at both schools. That’s worked OK.”
Morton said what gives the district the most flexibility and leverage is to “put the right people in the right places” and have both counseling positions as district positions.
“After talking to Mr. (David) Johnson, for whatever reason, our former superintendent intended to do this, but just never got around to it,” said Morton. “Now is probably the time to do this. What this will do for us for one thing is it would give us the most leverage to give some people some experience across the grade levels. My intention is to fully assign similar to what we have right now K-6 and 7-12. I would like the flexibility to move whichever person needs to be where, whatever fits best with the school for all the stake holders involved.”
Morton said currently they have only one district wide itinerant counselor and one who is not.
“I’m recommending that we make what has been the high school counseling position a district itinerant position,” said Morton.
The board also approved amending the contract of the counseling position an extra 10 days for a total of 217 days.
In other action the board:
*Approved a $9,110 match for the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) offer of assistance of $18,220. KETS highlights the integration of instruction with educational technology to transform the way curriculum is taught and provides students with ready access to technology, both inside and outside their classrooms;
*Had first reading of the certified evaluation plan. The 67-page document is part of the new evaluation system, which will be returned to the state level for approval;
*Approved a Sunshine School “Zumba Night” fundraiser;
*Approved an Energy Management Plan in cooperation with Letcher and Harlan County school districts;
*Approved transferring a $50,000 investment CD from BB&T Bank to a NOW account at the Bank of Harlan;
*Approved the consent agenda.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-909-4147 or on Twitter @Nola_hde