Office integrates new sign-in iPads to visit counselors

November 27, 2018 — by Andrew Lee and Alex Wang

Traditionally, the method for students to get in contact with their guidance counselor on campus consisted of filling out a blue slip of paper with name, reason for appointment, time preference and student ID.

But since the first week of October, the blue slips were no longer there; instead, they were replaced with two iPads, located at the corner of the guidance counter and in front of the guidance hall. Before meeting their counselors, students are required to sign up with Google Forms through the iPads.

The new system converts the same information on the slips of paper onto an electronic device, saving time for both students and counselors in organizing times for meetings.

According to guidance counselor Alinna Satake, the previous system was a lot less efficient. In the past, counselors had to copy large amounts of paper for students fill out, but the electronic system helps both the environment and organization.

“There’s no need for us to use such an archaic system,” Satake said. “I think doing it online helps us do a better job of keeping track of when students need to be seen; this way we can always refer to [the Google Form] and it can also give us a better idea of being able to track data.”

Despite the benefits of using the new electronic system, counselors have noticed that students are having trouble figuring out the new system has changed, and are potentially being turned away because of their initial confusion.

“Student needs are most urgent but we’re still early in the implementation,” Satake said. “So we’re still struggling to get kids into the rhythm of using the system.”

As the college application season is in full swing and more students require help with universities, counselors hope that their incorporation of the new system does not prevent frequent visits from seniors at this time of year.

“At first the system was kind of confusing,” senior Janice Yang said. “Many students like myself got confused, but after figuring out that the system has converted to the use of iPads, it feels a lot more efficient to schedule with my counselor.”

Guidance counselors have noticed and hope to alleviate this issue to ensure that no students are turned away. They have requested to get a more permanent stand for the iPads and brackets on the wall between Satake’s and guidance counselor Frances Saiki’s office so that they are more visible to students.

“It will probably take the rest of the school year for us to get into the rhythm, once we train the new kids that it's not the blue slip anymore, but the online appointment slip to make an appointment,” Satake said.