▶️ Bend-La Pine Schools counselor shares difficulties helping from a distance


Jess Calbreath is a counselor at Bend High School currently working from home, and trying to make the best out of a job that tends to rely on being face-to-face.

“As an educator, the same thing is happening for us,” Calbreath said. “Like I have two little kids at home, me trying to work and maintain them is like chaos.”

Calbreath says the hardest part is getting in contact with students.

“It was easier when I could just go run down the hallway and grab a kid that I needed to talk to,” Calbreath said. “Now it’s like hey, can you set up an appointment with me? Or I’m calling home and then we’re playing phone tag.”

Counselors are either reaching out directly or students can make an appointment online.

Jim Boen executive director of middle schools works closely with counselors at Bend-La Pine Schools and says lack of privacy can be an issue.

“How do you maintain those ongoing conversations you’ve had with kids pre-pandemic in your office, now that students are in their living room and you don’t know who else is in there,” Boen said. “That’s certainly a concern and a stressor not only for students but also for counselors too.”

Calbreath says students have come to her struggling with their ability to focus in an online class, lack of engagement with peers and frustration balancing school life at home.

“We’re reaching out not to be like hey, your kid isn’t doing something right,” Calbreath said. “We’re like how can we help?”

Calbreath wants students to know that they can, and should advocate for what they need.

Additional Bend-La Pine Schools mental health resources can be found here.


Join the Conversation

Top Local Stories