Two Delaware schools have been awarded the Sapphire Award for Excellence in School Counseling.
Appoquinimink School District’s Bunker Hill Elementary School and Capital School District’s Kent County Secondary Intensive Learning Center were announced winners Monday in what is the state’s fourth year giving out the recognition.
The award honors school counseling programs that are comprehensive, data-informed and designed to serve all students.
“Both these schools have used data to strategically design services and interventions to improve student outcomes,” said Mark Holodick, secretary of education.
He pointed out that each program uses classroom lessons, small-group counseling and individual supports.
Brittni Piser, school counselor at Bunker Hill, said she wants her students to learn the importance of good behavior early in their school career.
She prioritizes teaching students about their emotions and how to manage them in ways that will help them to be successful through her classroom lessons and small groups, along with her check in/check out program for students who need additional support.
Andrea Woodard, school counselor at the Kent County Secondary ILC, focuses a lot of her work on getting students on track for graduation.
She provides interventions such as classroom lessons, individual planning and collaboration with others to help plan and connect school success with achieving those goals.
According to the Department of Education, school counseling programs aligned to the American School Counselor Association’s National Model improve student outcomes. These programs:
- Are based on data-informed decision-making
- Are delivered to all students systematically
- Include developmentally appropriate curriculum focused on the mindsets and behaviors all students need for postsecondary readiness and success
- Close achievement and opportunity gaps
- Result in improved student achievement, attendance and discipline
The schools will be recognized formally for the honor during the National School Counseling Week celebrations Feb. 5-9, 2024.
Bunker Hill Elementary is Appoquinimink’s first school to earn this award. The Kent County ILC joins South Dover Elementary as the second school in Capital to earn this award. Capital is the only district to earn multiple awards.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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