For the last 17 years, I have devoted my career to advocating for comprehensive school counseling programs. This is my passion and the focus of my efforts every day. But I did not choose this career path because I had an amazing school counselor in middle school. In fact, it’s the opposite. I did not have access to a school counselor at all. I was in the academic middle and did not need school counseling. Right? WRONG! I was desperate for guidance about my future and was overlooked due to the high student to counselor ratio.
As we stand on the cusp of a new year, it’s remarkable to reflect on how sensory spaces for schools have evolved. It has been quite heartening. This shift is not merely a coincidence; rather, it is a result of the collective recognition of the crucial role sensory well-being plays in the overall development and learning experience of our students. And in 2024, I predict that more districts will fully embrace the value and develop sensory spaces in their own schools.
Belonging is a fundamental human need. We are all searching for a sense of connection with the people and places in our lives. Students and school staff are no different.
The research is clear: Connections are game changers in helping young people from low-income households achieve upward economic mobility later in life.
Equity gaps often prevent youths from accessing the care they need. It’s been reported that even before COVID-19, 1 in 5 children had a treatable mental health diagnosis but only about 20 percent received care from a provider.
Incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) throughout the school day has risen in popularity over the last few years, especially to counteract the increasing rates of anxiety and depression in students.