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School Counselor Voices: Seeking Equity Across Colorado

By CSCA Members | November 2021

Let’s start with a riddle: What is something that high school counselors do not assign and often have little formal training in that drives a significant part of their work? Here’s a hint: It is also often a system that perpetuates inequality in our schools. Got a guess? It’s grades. Critically examining our grading systems is essential to addressing racial justice, and schools and school counselors, as leaders, can play a vital role in this work. Read complete article
Cass Poncelow
School Counselor, Poudre High School
CSCA Region 7 Representative
During the 2019–2020 school year, 20 percent of Aurora Public School District’s licensed employees identified as Black, Indigenous and persons of color, while 85 percent of the student population identified as the same. Recognizing the many benefits that students can gain from having same-race teachers, this district partnered with an outside organization to reevaluate their hiring and current employee practices. Read complete article
Vicki Helfer
School Counselor, Aurora Central High School, Aurora Public Schools
CSCA Region 11 Representative
Student leadership at the high school level has long come with traditions and nuances, school pride and notions that help sustain school culture and climate. It can also sustain positional authority and assumptions that may perpetuate systems of inequity. This year at my high school, we started asking some critical questions about these traditions and the role the traditions and leadership groups are playing in sustaining the lack of access many students have to these opportunities. Read complete article
Jennifer Smela
Counselor & Student Ambassadors Co-Facilitator, Fossil Ridge High School
CSCA High School Vice President