Geary USD 475 has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund six elementary school counselors.
The district has 14 elementary schools and zero counselors for those schools, according to Mary Kay Stauffer, Director of Innovation in Schools and Communities for Geary USD 475.
Stauffer said that the counselor’s primary goal when hired will be to work with students impacted by the military,” We’ll be looking at having those counselors do focus groups with the youngsters and working with all the different aspects of how military family’s are impacted.”
The district is finding it difficult to hire the counselors, ” We’re struggling some because we’re advertising now for elementary counselors, and we just received notification that we received this grant about a month ago, but that’s late in the school year to begin hiring personnel.” .
Once the counselors are hired they will begin the three year pilot project. Stauffer feels that the project will offer tremendous benefits,” I think that the opportunity for children to be able to interact with someone in that type of role is tremendous, because our social workers have primarily combined not only with their social work responsibilities but counseling things as well. This will help lessen the numbers in those case loads.”