Let’s Acknowledge Our PSA Counselors!

We interviewed the PSA counselors, and we found out how hard they work. PSA stands for Pupil Services and Attendance. According to the LAUSD, a PSA counselors are “child welfare advocates who utilize a three-tiered model (prevention, early intervention, and intensive intervention) to improve individual and system-wide student attendance, engagement, achievement, and graduation.”The PSA’s at Manual Arts are Toni Banuelos and Aurora Villanueva.

We wanted to know what they did here at Manual Arts inside the offices. Ms. Villanueva answered,”We do a lot. We actually work with students who are in advanced and proficient band in attendance. We work with the students who have basic attendance and who have below and far below attendance. For our proficient and advanced students, we do universal activities. For examples, we just celebrated with a ice cream party.”

Ms. Banuelos said,”Overall, our goal is to remove any barriers that prevent kids from coming to school. So for some kids, we have a high population of foster youth and homeless students. So something as simple as transportation can be actually difficult for these students.”

Krystal Ortiz

We also wanted to know if this was their dream job. Villanueva said,”Yes, for me it is because I did teach for 10 years and my dream was to be able to help students on more of a one to one basis versus being in a classroom with a group of students 26 to 1.  I think outside the classroom gives me that opportunity to better help our students.”

Banuelos said, “For me, yes it my dream job. I always wanted to be a social worker, and as a PSA I’m able to utilize my expertise as a social worker and help students every day so sometimes that looks like giving direct services linking them to services. The piece I enjoy more about my job is that we get to celebrate our students success on a monthly basis.”

We all appreciate what the PSA’s do for Manual Arts High School the teachers and students all appreciate it because they help us a lot. We know that Ms.Toni Banuelos is out on emergency leave, but we all wish her happy holidays. We hope she recovers so that she can come back healthy and strong in January ready to help us all with our attendance.