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Prop S Funds the Office Remodel, Benefits Counselors

Construction+continues+in+the+front+office%2C+with+plans+for+a+new+high-tech+experience.
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Prop S Funds the Office Remodel, Benefits Counselors

Construction continues in the front office, with plans for a new high-tech experience.

Construction continues in the front office, with plans for a new high-tech experience.

Kayli Sandoval

Construction continues in the front office, with plans for a new high-tech experience.

Kayli Sandoval

Kayli Sandoval

Construction continues in the front office, with plans for a new high-tech experience.

Jazveline Martinez, Staff Writer

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   UC High’s counselors and office staff relocated to the Media Center mid-February so that Straight Line Construction Company could remodel and update the front office, thanks to funds provided by Proposition S.

   Counselors and office staff plan to return to the newly-remodeled front office this upcoming fall, according to Counselor Sherryl Godfrey.

   According to the San Diego Unified School District website, “Prop. S” is short for Proposition S and is fundings coming from a 2.1 billion dollar bond measure that was approved by 68.71 percent of San Diego voters in 2008. The district is using Prop. S Funds as an effort to repair, renovate, and revitalize district schools in each neighborhood (sandiegounified.org).

   Godfrey explained that Prop. S Funds were given to the school seven years ago and the school decided what to do with the money. “That’s how we got our new field, lots of stuff happening in classrooms, and part of the money was spent to remodel the front office,” said Godfrey. Godfrey explained, “Seven years ago, anyone in the school who was interested in working with the Prop. S funds the district gave to the school was invited to attend meetings at night. The residents also had a say; it was a community effort.”

   Counselor Shauna VanBemmel explained that a big problem with the old office was that there was no privacy for a student when meeting with a counselor. “In the old counseling offices, we had to whisper with our students, and there was no privacy. It was like everyone could hear my conversations with students and parents,” said VanBemmel.

   “[Before being located in the Media Center offices] we were out of compliance in the counseling department, because there was no confidentiality. So, whenever someone sat outside a counselor’s office, that person could hear what we were talking about. Counselors need to have confidential spaces, and there weren’t any,” said Godfrey.

   “I might be able to get an office with a window, and an office with actual walls just like the ones here in the Media Center,” said Counselor David Malo.

   VanBemmel explained that the office remodels will include counseling offices that are sealed and private, unlike the ones before. Each counselor will have an individual office.

   According to Godfrey, the office remodel includes plans to have a computer lab inside it, a place where students can come in and work on college applications. There is a whole room being built just for computers.

   “A waiting room is also being built, so parents and visitors have a place to sit and wait instead of waiting outside of a counselor’s door,” said Godfrey

   “The counseling office will be bigger, and we’ll have tables and new furniture,” Malo stated.

   “My office [in the Media Center] is very noisy at lunch because there’s always a lot of kids [in the media center] eating, so it’s difficult for me to get some stuff done,” explained Norma Smith.

   Although the move may have been a pain, some staff members seem to like it. VanBemmel said, “I really enjoy it here [in the Media Center] because I feel like I get to see my students more at the Media Center than at the attendance office.”

   “I’m really looking forward to the new office. It’s going to be really amazing,” said Godfrey.

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Prop S Funds the Office Remodel, Benefits Counselors