As school counselors, we are typically among the minority when it comes to our professional roles as staff members within our school. Due to this, it can be quite difficult to effectively communicate and demonstrate school counseling department information, news and activities. A well designed and maintained school counseling department website is a great way to develop correspondence on all fronts from the school counseling office. Here are a few general ideas of what can be included on your school counseling website: School Counselor Introductions Use your website to introduce yourself to the students, parents, and staff of your school. Keep it general and professional! Include information such as a relevant past employment history and your schooling. This is your chance to brag about all of your past accomplishments which prepared you for your current role as a school counselor! The Role of the School Counselor Clearly explain your role within the school. This will help bring some clarity and understanding in regards to what exactly it is that you do. Yes, of course, you know, but others don’t. So, inform them! This is a good way to take a proactive approach to eliminating the thought that school counselors sit behind a desk all day. Contact Information How can anyone contact you? This is important information for anyone viewing your website. Make sure everyone understands the processes and avenues in place for you to be easily contacted. Be sure to post your phone number and e-mail address. Remember, we want it to be easy for students, parents, and staff to contact us. So, make it easy! Important Forms Websites are a great way to distribute important forms that your office may require. This can be especially true at the high school level. In the past, we stored these vital forms in our office, but now a website can host the forms providing easy access to those who made need them. Additionally, many of the forms we send home may not make it to mom or dad. Therefore, posting the same forms on the website gives them an opportunity to access the missing forms without hunting the original forms down. Announcements Do you have an upcoming event or activity that you would like everyone to know about? Use your website to promote it. If you are really tech savvy, you may want to even create a registration process for this event! Keep the posted announcement short and simple. If you want to include additional information, create a link which will provide the specifics of the event. This will help you avoid cluttering your website, which makes it difficult for users to navigate through it. Data Reports Use your website to brag about student outcomes as a result of your actions. Including data reports on your website will be informative for all stakeholders and may provide you with some well deserved recognition. Good, you earned it! While these are pretty general suggestions, they do outline essentials for a school counseling department website. It is also important that you customize your website to meet the needs of your students and school, as a whole. Now is a perfect time to get started on creating or updating your website. Your students, parents, and staff will be happy that you did!
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