Remote Guidance Counselors


Adrian Linares

Guidance counselors serve an important role. Many students may be used to popping in before class or after class for school advice to change a class. Until further notice, Kearny Highschool will function remotely which impacts the way students reach out to guidance counselors. Luckily the Kearnian was able to conduct an interview with KHS’s counseling department and this is what they have to say: 


  1. Now that school is virtual how has it changed the way students come for guidance and resources? 


Students rely on the Counseling department more than ever to answer questions for them about things they need to know that they normally might just ask a teacher in class or a friend when they see them at school. Students probably don’t feel as comfortable asking questions about non-academic matters in front of a virtual classroom, so they send us an email instead to ask privately. I also believe the students are a bit inundated with technology right now and so many different platforms they are asked to use to get their work done and communicate that it can get confusing, so they turn to us as counselors to help them sort through it all. There is no longer just the option to “pop in” to a counselor’s office for help, so students are currently forced to send an email for all needs. We are also now navigating issues such as trying to get in contact with the families of students who are not signing into their structured classes/not getting their work done and trying to find out why along with being a point person to communicate with teachers when someone’s Chromebook or WiFi is malfunctioning. We are still helping to solve problems on an everyday basis but they are of a different nature right now.


  1. Are students able to schedule a meeting 1-1 with their counselor via google meet or is everything strictly email? 


They can definitely schedule a 1-1 meet with us! We have been letting everyone know that during our grade level group meetings and as we have started our individual Senior interviews.


  1. How have you been adjusting to the new format?


Since we have been at this since mid-March, we’ve become more accumulated to this new life. We think it has been a far greater adjustment for the teachers who have had to shift to a totally live format while teaching on structured days, trying to reach students in the class who may or may not be listening to them!


  1. Will any counselors be using the Remind app?


No, we will be utilizing Google Classroom pages, one for each grade level. They will be constantly updated with important Counseling Department news.


  1. Is there going to be a class page for counselors? 


Check your email or google classroom, there should be an invite to join your respective counseling class page. 


  1. How has quarantine impacted the way Freshmen meet with their counselors? 


We still conducted our normal Freshman Group meetings as we would do during the first few weeks of September, but did them via Google Meets. The same information was disseminated that we would normally share regarding graduation requirements, credits, attendance policy, and athletic eligibility.


  1. (for new counselors only) How has quarantine impacted the way you adjust to KHS  and meet Students?


We are just as eager to get to know the students, despite this virtual world. When reaching out via email, we always introduce ourselves as a new counselor. We try to schedule virtual meetings to discuss needs rather than strictly email. We meet with each grade level of students to introduce ourselves and disseminate information. While it is a little more difficult to build relationships, we are trying our best to show support and remind students that we are here for them.


  1. How did Freshman-Senior Check-ins go (since they’re virtual)? 


Unfortunately, we had many no-shows to ALL grade-level meetings, but the individual Senior Interviews have been going a bit better. 


  1. Whatever else you’d like to add. 


We as counselors know that remote learning is not ideal and can be extremely stressful and isolating for many students. It’s so difficult not being able to physically be your classmates and teachers on a daily basis and get that social interaction that is such an important part of everyday life as a teenager. We want KHS students to remember that we are here to support them and provide them with whatever resources they may need to make their way through this “new normal” until we are back together again. We are all in the same boat, as long as we stick together we are Kearny strong. We are always here to help and support you in any way we can. If any student needs to reach out to us, we are here for you. 🙂