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Duval County School Board Receives 2012 Advocacy Award

Duval County Public Schools

Duval County Public Schools

The Duval County School Board has been named the recipient of the 2012 Florida School Counselor Association School Board Advocacy Award. The district was nominated for the award by Joni Shook, Elementary District-Level Guidance Counselor, and Nan Worsowicz, Supervisor of Guidance Services, on behalf of the district's school counselors.

District officials will be presented with the award during the Florida School Counselor Association awards dinner on Friday, November 2, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Florida at the organization's annual convention.

The Board was selected for the award because of their commitment to the counseling needs of students.

"We all recognize the need to have the right people and resources in place to ensure overall student success," said Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals. "When students have a solid support system at school, it makes it an ideal place to learn and grow."

The Board added 39 additional school counselor positions for the 2012-13 school year. The Board also requires that every elementary school have one full-time counselor and every middle school have at least two. They worked to set ratios for high school counselors based on student population at each school.

"We want to ensure that our students are equipped to succeed," said Board Chairman Betty Burney. "This type of success happens when we choose to recognize the needs of students and counselors, and take action to consistently put their needs first."

The Board supported the implementation of a district-wide school counseling plan that aligns with the Florida school counseling framework and the American School Counselor Association National Model. In addition, Board members supported the district's decision to remove testing duties from school counselors allowing them to focus on the unique needs of the whole student.

The School Board continues to demonstrate their commitment to students by fully understanding the impact that adequate school counseling services would have on students. The Board serves as a model for school districts throughout the state.