UHS Counselors Resume In-Person Sophomore and Junior Meetings

Alex Lindenberg, Staff Writer

UHS counselors are finally able to resume in-person meetings with their students after conducting sophomore and junior meetings online for the past two years during the pandemic.

“I am very happy to be back in person for sophomore conferences and junior meetings,” UHS counselor Angelique Strausheim said. “It is nice for everyone to be together again and it makes the meetings much easier when I can talk to students and parents in person.”

In adapting to COVID-19, the UHS counselors previously were forced to use Zoom to communicate their meeting content to students and parents.

“We placed all of the accompanying materials on grade level pages on Canvas and although we are back to conducting our meetings in person this year, we have adopted some of the technology tricks from last year that seemed to work well,” Strausheim said.

The UHS counselors certainly felt the impact of reducing the meetings to an online format.

“Sometimes things get lost in translation without the hands-on assistance and use of physical copies of transcripts and it is also difficult to truly advise students on their course selections because we cannot see what they are selecting right at the moment – a lot more follow up was necessary, both on the part of counselors and students/families,” UHS counselor Hanna Addessi said.

With each attendee’s microphone broadcasting their conversations to all those on the call, the past Zoom meetings also seemed to have a discouraging effect on communication between students and their counselors. 

“The greatest challenge was being able to have meaningful interactions with students and families because I know a lot of students and families are hesitant to ask their questions in full earshot of other students and families,” Addessi said. 

Now, UHS counselors have welcomed the transition back to in-person sophomore and junior meetings. 

“Being able to walk around a room and have more in-depth conversations is the biggest benefit of conducting meetings in person,” Addessi said. “As I mentioned, a lot of students are hesitant to answer questions in a group, and they have more privacy when we can sit down together and quietly discuss their questions specific to their unique circumstances.”

UHS counselors are grateful for all the benefits of being able to conduct their meetings face-to-face again.

“I am very happy to be back in person for this school year,” Strausheim said. “It is much easier to do my job effectively as a school counselor.”