School counselors take to video chatting to reach students

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Amidst social distancing and closures left and right, school counselors have had to take to video chatting to meet their students’ needs. While it’s been challenging, Jackson Public Schools has been powering through.

“We’re still doing our check ins with students helping them to get through those coping strategies,” Amanda Thomas, Executive Director of Climate and Wellness said. “Whatever problems they were having prior to the extended break, we’re just using different outlets in order to do that.“

Just a few miles up the road, Madison County Schools are doing the same thing.

Stephanie Permenter, Director of Student Services and Data said that the biggest challenge so far for her district has been maintaining students’ privacy.

“You don’t know who is in the room on the other side,” Permenter said. “So the confidentiality piece is such a huge part of being a counselor. It’s a place where students can express themselves.”   

Both counties’ representatives say that not being able to meet in person is an obstacle, because counseling is most effective that way of getting through to their students, but that this is merely a test.

“Our counselors have met the challenge,” Permenter said. “They’re doing a great job.”

“I think we’ll come out stronger, Thomas said. “I really do.”

Thomas and Perementer said they are always looking forward to getting back to school, even though the future is uncertain.

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