High School Counselor Week

Weekly stories, facts, trends, and other information from around the country


February 18, 2021

Big Picture

CDC Issues Guidance for Safely Reopening Schools
U.S. News & World Report – February 12, 2021
Reaction to the new guidance was swift across the education community, with superintendent, principal and teacher groups concluding – almost universally – that the CDC’s guidance, though not a silver bullet, is a welcome step to reopening schools.

What teachers, students, parents said about San Francisco Bay Area schools reopening
SFGATE – February 16, 2021
We received more than 300 messages from teachers, district superintendents, parents, students, grandparents, doctors, college professors and community members. The main takeaway from this project is that the issue surrounding whether children should be learning from home or on a school campus amid a pandemic is controversial, complicated and emotional.

Why Did We Ever Send Sick Kids to School?
The Atlantic – February 17, 2021
An overemphasis on attendance puts students’ health at risk and instills the value of working through illness. The pandemic has made it clear how dangerous that is.

Columns and Blogs

Common App Adds a Happiness Question, and Drops the Wrong One
Post – February 17, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

How you spend your summer vacation is important
Tribune News Service – February 17, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Taking the ACT and SAT Going Forward – Or Not
Tribune News Service – February 8, 2021
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy


8 Tips for School Counseling Internship Success
Confident Counselors – February 6, 2021
In this post, I share my best tips, tricks, and ideas to set the internship experience and relationship up for success. I also interview current interns and supervisors who are making the most of their virtual school counseling internships in a COVID-19 world.

Let school counselors counsel
Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV) – February 16, 2021
When I began my school counseling career two years ago, I wrote an op-ed about why we need to let school counselors focus on mental health. One global pandemic later, I’ve heard people from all corners and backgrounds unite together to express concern about the toll on mental health from social distancing, especially for our K-12 youth.

Parents Unsure About Mental Health Counseling For Kids, But Resources Available
NBC 5 (Chicago) – February 16, 2021
An increased demand for counseling for children during the coronavirus pandemic has parents and caregivers uncertain about where to turn first.


Money Matters: Planning to pay for college
WIS News 10 (SC) – February 16, 2021
As the cost of a college education continues to rise, many parents wonder how they’ll pay for it when that time comes for their children. Josh Bradley of Capital City Financial Partners offers a few helpful strategies. [Closed Captioning])


What’s the best way to know if remote learning works for a student? That depends on the student.
WCPO Cincinnati – February 17, 2021
For Carol Fiel of Oakley, watching her children suffer through shifts from in-person to remote and blended learning has been a painful experience. Five of her six children go to Cincinnati Public Schools.

How Much Should You Save For Your Child’s College Education?
Tulsa World (OK) – February 15, 2021
It’s hard to avoid the constant reminders that college in America is outrageously expensive, and that prices have been climbing for years. But don’t lose hope: It is possible to save a meaningful amount for your child’s college education, even if your budget is tight, as long as you make a plan.

Admissions Process & Strategy

The perplexing math of college admissions
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – February 15, 2021
An admissions dean says, ‘We know it doesn’t make sense’

How the Common App Saves Time (and Money) When Applying to College
KAKE-ABC (KS) – February 16, 2021
Applying to a handful of colleges might seem like repetitive work, as each school calls for identical information, high school transcripts and other materials. You could save time by using the Common Application.

Make Your Summers Shine on College Applications
International College Counselors – February 15, 2021
Things are different this year, but here are five ways students can successfully show that they’ve used their summer wisely:

Financial Aid/Scholarships

5 Things Every Family Should Know About Paying For College
NPR – February 17, 2021
For many families, paying for college is one of the biggest financial decisions they’ll make. College tuition is the highest it’s ever been — and the financial aid process is anything but clear.

How To Ask for More Financial Aid for College (and Hopefully Get It)
KAKE-ABC (KS) – February 16, 2021
Although it isn’t guaranteed you’ll get more money, filing an appeal is a straightforward process that’s worth a shot, particularly if the coronavirus pandemic or something else has affected your family finances. Here are three topics to review:

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As College Board eliminates optional tests, higher ed navigates new testing landscape
The Capital Times (WI) – February 15, 2021
These changes may end up lasting longer, as the College Board and institutions of higher education rethink traditional approaches to standardized testing.

Student Voices

College testing changes spur controversy
The Churchill Observer (Churchill High, MD) – February 15, 2021
With a rapidly changing future, mixed opinions about testing and important changes among a pandemic, there is no certain future. The extent of testing within U.S. admission and education is an ongoing question.

Test-optional policies make college admissions more holistic, equitable
Tufts Daily (Tufts University) – February 16, 2021
Proponents of standardized tests tout them as the fairest way to measure merit, serving as an impartial assessment of how hard students work. But, in reality, standardized tests are epicenters for cruel optimism and self-fulfilling prophecies.

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week
Since this information is changing rapidly, please note the date at which the information was last verified for each state.

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

ASCA Toolkit: Virtual High School Counseling
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology

College Virtual Tours
compiled by Rebecca Chabrow, M.A. with assistance from Collegewise

The impact of COVID-19 on high school counselors and the college search process: A national survey.
RNL & High School Counselor Connect (2020)