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OHS Counseling Gets Social

POSTED January 22, 2013 10:52 p.m.

The Oakdale High School counseling department is looking for people to “like” them.

On Facebook, that is.

The counseling department went live with its Facebook fan page in December and hopes to get the word out and get more students and parents to click on the Like icon. As a fan page, in Facebook lingo, they would be “liked” instead of being added as a “friend.”

Since one goal of the counseling department is to have good communication with the school community, the idea to create a Facebook account to reach students and parents was born.

“We wanted to use social media but weren’t sure which way to go…We were thinking initially of a counseling blog,” explained OHS counselor Nancy Morales. “Then we asked our T.A.s (teaching assistants) if they’d look at a blog. They said ‘no’ but they said they’d check Facebook… We discovered other counseling offices use it.”

She added that UC and CSU schools also use Facebook to communicate.

While student clubs on campus and booster clubs have Facebook pages associated with OHS, the counseling department is the first school district entity to develop and use a Facebook page.

“It’s good if we are getting information out there on multiple levels… and reach students in the way they receive info nowadays. And parents – we actually had them ‘like’ us,” Morales said. “I’m hopeful that we reach more people… It was really a surprise that parents added us (to their likes).”

She reported that the counselors in the department all check in with each other and post school counseling information on Facebook a couple of times per week.

“We currently use the school bulletin and the website to disseminate information, but we felt the Facebook page added another layer to that communication,” she said. “Available on the page is information regarding counseling events, important deadlines, college/career/scholarship information, and links to other educational resources.”

Morales added that the counseling department currently tracks usage through their number of likes.

“To date we’ve had 67 likes; it seems to be growing as the word spreads,” she said. “It’s our expectation that the popularity of this site will continue to grow as more and more families embrace this technology.”

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