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WHEREAS, Virginia’s school counselors provide critical mental health interventions, equip students and staff to engage in social-emotional learning, and selflessly offer advice and guidance to students as they navigate school and life; and
WHEREAS, many school counselors carry heavy burdens as they support students who are struggling, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated those difficulties; and
WHEREAS, comprehensive school counseling programs are an integral part of the education process and student success; and
WHEREAS, even with all of the uncertainty and obstacles school counselors have faced throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the Commonwealth’s school counselors have remained committed to keeping our students safe and ensuring they continue to receive vital services during this health crisis; and
WHEREAS, school counselors work together with parents and guardians to focus on ways to further the educational, personal, and social growth of students; and
WHEREAS, school counselors are primary partners in state and local efforts to improve the academic achievement of all students and reduce dropout rates; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is dedicated to ensuring that all students have the resources necessary to succeed in their academic careers; and
WHEREAS, National School Counseling Week is an opportunity to recognize the work of school counselors across the Commonwealth and the United States for their continuing commitment to education as well as our students; and
WHEREAS, National School Counseling Week is intended to garner public attention to the unique contributions of professional counselors within our school system;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 1-5, 2021, as NATIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.