Concerning the Roundup article on counselors at PUSD. Three items bear clarification. Subsequent to my “deposing” as high school principal, Mrs. Ketchem pulled a counselor half-time to teach a job skills class at the Payson Center for Success.
This was taking a counselor who serves 700 students at PHS, for half of each day to teach 48 students at PCS which already had the highest staff to student ratio; a poor use of human resources.
Secondly, concerning the schedule; we had been developing a “block” schedule offering students more opportunities during their four years.
Again, Mrs. Ketchem unwittingly sealed the deal on a six-period day, thus cutting the number of opportunities over four years from 28 to 24. This decision will eventually limit scholarship opportunities because it limits both the master schedule and whether a student can fit a class into their schedule.
Fewer students will be able to take as many rigorous Advanced Placement courses (some require two-hour blocks) allowing them to compete with students from larger schools. I made this abundantly clear to Superintendent O’Brien.
Finally, five years ago we met extensively with a community committee to develop counseling goals, many of which we implemented. I’m sure Mr. Heizer still has a copy of these recommendations. Institutional memories being as they are (short!) the last school board and current district and high school administration have marginalized or altogether abandoned any prior recommendations.
Thus illustrative of shortsighted, inexperienced decision making that ultimately affects the quality of your child’s education.