Historically, schools have long been aware of the need to respond to the nonacademic needs of children. Confronted by environmental stressors on learning and behavior, public schools have traditionally sought to lessen the impact and address the consequence of those stressors on students.

To varying degrees, professionals working in public education have changed, adapted and adopted educational reform while trying to maintain their historical roots and professional identities. This significantly impacts the culture of schools and communities in which they exist.

Today through Friday, the district will celebrate National School Counseling Week. School counselors in the district help students reach their full potential. They are committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents, as these traits relate to career awareness. They aid our parents in focusing on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children. They work with our teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves.

They seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs and help students become more productive members of society. Counselors in the district play an important leadership role in their efforts to connect school and community. At the same time school-community partnerships can support and enhance the mission of school counselors to foster academic, career and personal-social developments.

“Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow” is the designated theme for Career and Technical Education Month. Leaders in business and industry nationwide report increasing challenges related to the skills gap and connecting qualified professionals with available careers in critical growing Career and Technical Education related fields including health care, energy, advanced manufacturing and information technology. CTE prepares students for these and other fulfilling careers by offering integrated programs of study that link secondary and postsecondary education and leads to the attainment of industry-recognized credentials. An example of this link is College of the Mainland’s CTE Academy where our high school and alternative campus students are offered an opportunity to acquire and graduate with a technical certification.

Career and Technical Education offers students the opportunity to gain academic, technical and employability skills necessary for true career readiness. Students in technical education programs participate in authentic, meaningful experiences that improve the quality of their education and increase student engagement and achievement.

CTE provides students with career exploration opportunities earlier in their educational experience, which enables them to make informed and beneficial decisions about their academic coursework as well as a pursuit of established programs of study and career pathways.

District counselors and Career and Technical Education teachers work together to ensure that employers have access to a qualified workforce, which is a crucial step in promoting productivity among the business and industry communities, as well as ensuring continued American economic growth and global competitiveness.

Please join me in thanking our counselors and Career and Technical Education educators in helping to prepare our students for life outside and beyond high school.

Patti Hanssard is the assistant superintendent for human resources and the public relations officer for SFISD.

Patti Hanssard is the assistant superintendent for human resources and the public relations officer for SFISD.

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