Northumberland school board considers hiring an additional counselor at elementary level

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

CLARAVILLE—Northumberland Elementary School (NES) counselor Lynne Haynie again requested the school board hire an additional elementary school counselor during the board’s second public hearing on the 2020-21 budget.

“You just can’t build a relationship unless you have the time and attention to spend with them, and with large caseloads it’s difficult for that to happen,” Haynie said.

The elementary and middle schools in Northumberland both currently employ one full-time counselor at each school, and share an additional counselor, Beverly Donovan, who works part-time for both schools.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends schools maintain an average of 250 students per one counselor, though the Virginia Department of Education’s standards of quality only require one counselor per 500 students. There are 541 students currently…