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Attendance Information

If you are absent due to illness or a medical appointment, please bring a note from your parents/guardian or doctor's to the counseling office when you return to school, so that we can excuse your absence. Place in the box on Ms. Lai's desk. 


Your absence note must include the following:

1) Student's Name, Grade, Homeroom

2) Dates and reason you were absent

3) Parent Signature and phone number

If you are late to school, please report to the counseling office upon your arrival.


Parents may call our counseling secretary if your child is absent: (415) 759-2773. However, only written documentation will excuse absence(s).

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  • 415-241-6085

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Counseling Department

Our School Counseling Team


Class of 2018 Counselor: Ms. Allyson Lau

BA: S.F. State University, Child & Adolescent Development - Youth & Family Services

MA: University of San Francisco, Counseling Psychology

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Email: laua3@sfusd.edu

Google Classroom: Class of 2018 Google Drive


Class of 2019 Counselor: Mr. Joaquin Jang

Alma Mater:

BA: The George Washington University

MA: University of San Francisco, Counseling Psychology

Hometown: Bodega, CA

Email: jangj1@sfusd.edu


Class of 2020 Counselor: Ms. Elena Carnes

Alma Mater:

BA: San Francisco State University

MA: University of San Francisco, Counseling Psychology

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Email: carnese@sfusd.edu


Dean: Mr. Jonah Backstrom

Alma Mater:

BS: University of Massachusetts 

MS: San Francisco State University, Counseling 

Hometown: Boston, MA

Email: backstromj@sfusd.edu



2017-2018 USF School Counseling Interns


Mr. John Fernandez (Tues/Thurs)



Ms. Emily Baize (Tues/Wed/Fri)



Ms. Gurneet Pannu (Tues/Thurs)



The Role of the School Counselor

The counselor works in collaboration with school staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and community members to be an advocate for students in order to maximize student potential and academic achievement, so that students may be healthy and productive members of society. The school counselor assumes a leadership role in the development of an appropriate program of guidance for the school site.

Services Offered

  • Collaboration and consultation with students, teachers, families, and other providers to identify strategies to help student(s) in areas of academics, behavior, and social-emotional well-being.
  • Serves as a resource in the area of student intervention using researched and evidence-based practices.
  • Provides personal counseling on 1:1 basis
  • Collaborate with Restorative Practices team for peer conflict
  • Provides targeted small group counseling 
  • Provides crisis support with school team
  • Promote high school, college & career readiness 
  • Assists students in scheduling matters

Counseling Office Hours

8:10AM - 11:50AM

12:50PM - 4:00PM

Counseling Office: 415.759.2773

Attendance/Counseling Secretary: Karen Lai x3130

Dean: Jonah Backstrom x3137

Joaquin Jang: x3127

Elena Carnes: x3331

Allyson Lau: x3131


How do I see my counselor?

Find us during lunch or passing period, get a pass from your teacher first, set an appointment, or email us!

Counseling Locker

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