February 6, 2023. Fort Smith, Ark. - Fort Smith Public Schools joins the state and nation in celebrating National School Counseling Week, February 6-10, 2023. This week, FSPS proudly recognizes four schools and five counselors for becoming the first in Arkansas to achieve a nationally recognized counseling designation.
During the 2021-2022 school year, five Fort Smith Public Schools counselors took part in and achieved the prestigious RAMP designation from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The RAMP (Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Program) certifies schools and their counselors that successfully employ the ASCA national model framework. The national model framework establishes a comprehensive, data-driven program resulting in improved student outcomes. This program helps equip students with the skills they need to reach their full potential and become productive members of society.
Across the United States, only 1,200 schools have earned the RAMP designation. The following FSPS schools (and corresponding school counselors) are the first in Arkansas to receive this national certification:
Darby Middle School (Cherri Byford and Cassidy Hodge);
Barling Elementary School (Kandace Weisenfels);
Fairview Elementary School (Ginetta Tipton); and
Woods Elementary School (Hannah Massey).
FSPS Executive Director of Student Services, Dr. Michael Farrell reacted to the news about his staff. "I am very happy for them, fully cognizant of the extra hours and data collection they undertook to fully define, manage, deliver, and assess their school's counseling program. That commitment to strive for the highest national recognition available for school counselors speaks to their passion to serve the individual students in their schools. This accomplishment demonstrates how educators in Fort Smith Public Schools are putting students first."
The FSPS school board plans to recognize the schools and their counselors at the February 27, 2023, school board meeting.
Media Contact: Shari Cooper, Director of Communications