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Garden City and North View awarded professional designation for outstanding counseling programs

Two District 279 schools have become some of the first in Minnesota to be recognized by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) for their delivery of exemplary school counseling programs! North View Middle School was honored with a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation, and Garden City Elementary was named a RAMP School of Distinction.

RAMP honorees are awarded for aligning their programs with nationally recognized criteria that include demonstrating best practices, creating a data-driven program and closing the achievement gap. An emphasis is placed on all students having access to comprehensive academic, social/emotional and college/career counseling.

In a school year like no other, school counselors have seen the demand for their support rise. “With everything going on in the world right now, including COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd and racial injustices in our community, the need for more school counselors and better counselor-to-student ratios is more apparent than ever,” says North View school counselor Kaylee Herlofsky. What makes our district’s counseling program particularly beneficial, explains Garden City Counselor Rachel Lund, is that it supports students from elementary school all the way through graduation. “In Minnesota there are so many students without access to school counselors, especially at the elementary level. Because we have counselors in kindergarten through grade twelve, we are able to collaborate to create a truly comprehensive school counseling program.”

Despite this demand across all grade levels, it can be easy to underestimate the pivotal role counselors play in a school community. “It’s challenging to show the larger community what kind of an impact school counselors have because of the confidential and sensitive nature of our jobs,” explains North View Counselor Shanna Schroeder. “Having the RAMP designation pushes us to make our work more visible and highlights the benefits of students having access to a comprehensive school counseling program.” 

Both North View and Garden City will be honored at a recognition ceremony at ASCA’s annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 13, 2021. The designation is valid for five years. Congratulations!