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Posted: March 20, 2024

Zia Elementary Recognized for Data-Informed Approach to Counseling

Principal says RAMP Designation highlights school’s commitment to equity.

Jessica Cásarez - Zia ES Counselor

Jessica Cásarez - Zia ES Counselor

Zia Elementary School has received the coveted RAMP designation for its data-informed approach to counseling.

It's one of two APS elementary schools recognized this year by the American School Counselor Association, a national school counseling group.  RAMP stands for Recognized ASCA Model Program.

“It really highlights our school’s commitment to equity,” Zia Principal Erika Montaño said. “It means that we know we can always do things better and are actively working to improve. We’re really proud that our Zia community is being recognized for our support of our students through the counseling program.”

The RAMP designation recognizes schools that are committed to delivering an exemplary school counseling program. To qualify, a counseling program must be aligned with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, a framework for a data-informed school counseling program.

School counseling programs that take this approach are associated with a range of positive student educational and behavioral outcomes.

Zia counselor Jessica Cásarez said earning the RAMP designation takes at least a year.

“The bulk of the work starts with doing a deep dive into our attendance, achievement, and discipline data and disaggregating that to find trends in inequity,” she said. “I then set goals with stakeholders to address those trends and collect data on the various interventions that were used throughout the year.”

That, she said, is followed by a portfolio of work with reflection on how to improve for the coming school year.

“It feels really nice being designated as a RAMP school because it really celebrates the community of Zia but I think it’s even more exciting to see how the school counseling program has improved this year after completing the process last,” Cásarez added. “Our students matter the most so the more that I can improve my counseling program to meet their needs, the better.”

Zia Elementary and Comanche Elementary, the other APS school earning the RAMP designation, will be honored at a recognition ceremony at ASCA’s annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 15.

RAMP applications are reviewed once a year. Since the program’s inception, more than 1,200 schools have earned the RAMP designation.