HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s been about four and half weeks since Arab City Schools welcomed students back to the classroom.
Arab High School counselor Cindy Hammond has been blown away by how flexible the students have been.
“I think in general all of our students have been eager to be back,” Hammond says. “I think they have been excited to have a routine and a sense of normalcy in their lives.”
Hammond talked specifically about seniors who are in the midst of college or military applications.
“They have waited all these years and the reality is there are a lot more responsibilities and stress,” Hammond says. “Their teachers expect more of them plus they are trying to figure out what happens after high school.”
This year, the school system is making it a priority to prepare seniors for life after graduation.
“In the spring we sat down and talked about what we could do for these kids,” Hammond says. “One thing we all agreed upon was we wanted to really have time to get in and talk to seniors about things that were important to them that not every grade level needed.”
The system brought in a career coach and put together lessons. Students are taking career assessments, talking about how to choose the right college, and also learning how to recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
The career coach also helps with FAFSA and financial aid.
Hammond is confident the seniors will keep up the hard work.
“I think it’s been great seeing the teamwork and seeing the kids very receptive to the changes… and I think what has been most positive for me is seeing their resilience. They are positive. They are upbeat. They seem to be moving right along.”
Hammond also mentioned that the health and counseling department at Arab High School are collaborating a lot this year. The goal is to help students understand the relationship between physical health, stress and anxiety.
“We worked collaboratively on a lesson for students about stress and anxiety prevention, and I really think it was helpful because there were students who were more engaged than I expected,” Hammond says. “It was a great way to break the ice and really talk.”