Southern Boone school district looks to add more counselors
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone School District is dealing with a shortage of school counselors.
This comes as housing in Southern Boone County continues to grow with more and more families are moving to Southern Boone.
"We are around 460 students [in the high school] and that's growing," said Southern Boone School Superintendent Chris Felmlee. "As housing development booms here in Southern Boone, we're just taking on more and more families."
The ratio of students to counselors has gotten more skewed over the years with housing development. The student population in Southern Boone has increased dramatically.
"We have about twice as many students per counselors with the ones we have [and] we knew we were getting behind," Southern Boone School Board President Barrett Glascock said. "The population of students has grown in the last 10 years to almost a 50 percent or 60 percent increase to what it was."
The Southern Boone primary school has one counselor, and the secondary and middle schools each have one. The high school has roughly 460 students, but only two counselors.
"We are around 460 students and that's growing," said Southern Boone School Superintendent Chris Femlee. "As housing development booms here in Southern Boone, we're just taking on more and more families."
It's not just the high school facing a shortage.
"In each building we are short and we need help in each building," Glascock said. "We are hoping to be able to raise our finances so we can hire more counselors and take the work-load off the ones we have and spread it out a little bit more. [We want to] give more one-on-one time with the kids."
According to Glascock, counselors don't fit into the district's budget as of now. However, he believes that as more businesses develop, the district's finances will increase.
"We are hoping to get more commercial businesses in Southern Boone County which will affect our tax space," Glascock said. "If that tax base raises more money it gives us more money in our budget to where we can expand and hire more teachers and hire more counselors and build more buildings."