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A thank you letter to our counselors

All photos by Metzli Esparza

The beginning of a new school year brings lots of change. Everybody gets older and some change up their style. However, for most, the biggest change is their schedule. Before the start of the fall semester, many students check Parent Portal, hoping that their classes will be revealed. Everyone chooses the courses they plan to take toward the end of the preceding school year. The things I just mentioned are thanks to our counselors. These members of our school's staff are truly vital to the way our school runs.

As I previously mentioned, the discovery of new schedules is met with great excitement, but things can’t always go as planned. Some students get placed in the wrong elective or end up with three math classes. Having hundreds of students to work with, perfection would be an irrational expectation from the hardworking counselors.

Of course, at the sight of their imperfect schedules, students scramble to email their counselors and submit the Google forms the counselors provide to make the necessary changes. Sitting in class, they impatiently wait for a yellow slip, summoning them to adjust their schedules. However, does anyone ever consider what goes on behind the scenes?

Right off the bat, emails flood the counselor’s inboxes, sometimes even before school starts! 10th-grade counselor Ms. Mena recalls receiving over 200 emails daily, and she works with 367 students. Now, this is just the first part of changing a schedule: reaching out to your counselor. Some of these emails are only questions, so not every email leads to a class change.

Mr. Dominguez: 12th grade counselor

Still, tons of students meet with their counselors for a class change. Mr. Dominguez, the 12th-grade counselor, remembers meeting with students for the entirety of the school days during the first week of school. The counselors often end up meeting with over half of the 300-400 students assigned to them.

Mr. Wong: middle school counselor

Ms. Morales: 9th grade counselor

Sometimes, schedule changes don’t work out. Maybe they didn’t fit in with their current schedule, or maybe it wasn’t the right choice. Middle school counselor Mr. Wong mentions that to make a change, students and counselors must consider whether the class is a good fit for them and others. For example, will a class be challenging enough? Is the class too full to add more students? Additionally, 9th-grade counselor Ms. Morales mentions that graduation requirements are an essential part of the decision-making.

Ms. Mena: 10th grade counselor

I have personally experienced the schedule-changing process, and it really is quick and efficient. I requested my class change through a Google form Thursday afternoon, and the very next day during 8th period, I was able to make the change. Despite certain restrictions including the classes I was taking and class capacities, my counselor, Ms. Mena, was able to balance out my schedule and make the needed changes. This is just one example of the many, many things our counselors have done as the school year began.

Clearly, tons of work and consideration take place to get our schedules right. Because of this, we want to express our appreciation for Eagle Rock High School’s fantastic counseling team! Thank you, Mr. Wong, Ms. Morales, Ms. Mena, Ms. Amirouche, and Mr. Dominguez for all your hard work. Next time you see the counselors out and about, be sure to say hello and thank them, as they are an essential and treasured part of our school.

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