These days, the Paly guidance office seems to be dishing out less guidance and more avoidance. At the beginning of the school year the guidance office literally barred its doors to students: a wall was set up, and administrators screened any incoming inquiries. For the first two weeks of school, indeed the two most frenzied weeks of the academic year, setting up an appointment with a guidance counselor was a Herculean task. As fewer and fewer people began requesting class changes and the student body got into regular school habits, the barricade was miraculously lifted, and it was once again feasible to request and receive an appointment with a guidance counselor.
The Campanile is displeased with the behaviors exhibited by the Paly administration in regards to setting up guidance appointments. Ignoring students’ requests is not only negligent, but also disrespectful and begs the question: why? Student requests do not have to be honored if they are deemed unreasonable by professional counselors, but what is the basis for ignoring these appeals altogether? Even more troubling is that this pattern is neither new — a similar guidance office barricade was also set up last year during the first two weeks of school — nor clandestine.
The beginning of the school year is a difficult time for everybody, from the freshest freshman to the most ancient administrator. However, that difficulty is greatly exacerbated when there are limited guidance counselors to aid the clueless on their quests to have a quality high school experience. It is the duty of the guidance department to deal with problems, even if those problems devolve into crises, and The Campanile would like to stress that. If past serves as prologue (as it usually does), the beginning of the second semester will be as frustrating for students as the start of this semester was. In light of this, The Campanile would like to propose the following amendments to the guidance department’s current practices:
1. Respond to student emails, even if your answer is “no” or “maybe later”.
2. Handle schedule changes promptly and without complaint.
3. If necessary, hire more staff members.
The Campanile strongly encourages, for the sake and well-being of Paly students, the District to consider our recommendations. Paly students rightfully expect and deserve to have their questions and concerns addressed promptly.