School board making changes to counseling program

New Hanover County School Board discussing changes to counseling program.
New Hanover County School Board discussing changes to counseling program.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - School counselors not only guide students through their academics, but often help students through emergency situations.

The New Hanover County School Board is looking to make some changes to their counseling programs to ensure students are getting the help that they need.

The school board is looking to increase the amount of time counselors spend with their students. The school board's proposed changes would require every high school student to meet with their counselor for a personal session once a semester.

Lisa Burriss, the lead social worker and school counselor for New Hanover County Schools, said students see their counselors often, but usually in group settings and not necessarily one on one.

The changes were also brought on to be in line with  the American School Counseling Association National Model which suggests counselors should spend 80% of their time with their students.

"A lot of what we provide students in high school is how do they deal with disappointments and how  they prepare for their future," Burriss said. "Certainly we have some students who are facing some real tragedies in their lives, and to have someone that they can go to and speak in confidence, and figure out what steps to take to address those issues is really important."

The proposed changes will be discussed at the next school board meeting in April.

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