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Guidance Programming

High School Guidance and Counseling Overview

The High School Guidance Program supports student learning by providing academic, social and emotional skills to students in order to maximize their potential for success. The developmentally based program provides all students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make well-informed post-secondary decisions based on their interests and abilities. College and career preparation are an integral part of the high school guidance program. These services are provided through the classroom setting, small and large group settings, individual meetings with counselors and various other related activities.

Various school programs such as suicide prevention, transition to high school, abuse awareness week and at risk student group take place each year for the benefit of students in grades 9-12.

The guidance curriculum focuses broadly on the following topics over through out grade 9-12. Some of the activities students will explore with guidance are listed with each grade level.

A. GRADE 9

Transition from middle school begins for freshmen by helping them to becoming an active participant in his/her education by taking a challenging academic curriculum, becoming involved in co-curricular activities and accessing educational supports such as tutoring, extra help, etc. when needed. School counselors meet with every freshmen through a series of guidance lessons.  Assisting with the transition to high school and increased demands, topics center around the following: study skills, organizational skills, time management tools, goal setting, personal responsibility and self advocacy. Additionally, counselors meet with students to discuss any issues the student may be experiencing in and out of the classroom setting affecting their learning. Students begin their post secondary planning by exploring the Naviance computer based program.  They complete a personality profile, goal setting and individual success plan. During course selection time, students meet individually with their counselors to review their class recommendations for the upcoming year and discuss their four year academic plan.

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B. GRADE 10

Career Planning is an important component of the guidance curriculum for sophomore students. Students meet with counselors to begin exploring their career interests and abilities through the Naviance computer based program. This program matches students’ interests and personality with career clusters and potential jobs based on their answers to a number of assessments. Naviance then provides them with information about formal education and training required for various professions. Convenient for both parents and students, Naviance is a computer based program that is accessible from home. Based on the sophomore students’” results, the careers of most interest will be represented by professionals for a series career speaker sessions in the spring.  During these sessions students will have the opportunity to ask questions and make connections in order to more fully explore various career options in depth. We would offer students to explore shadow opportunities in a particular career they may be interested in during this year. Sophomore students have the opportunity to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in October at the high school. The PSAT is primarily designed for junior students as a preparation for the SAT in the spring. 

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C. GRADE 11

College and Career Planning becomes the major focus for junior students within the guidance department. In September, counselors meet with students to begin the college and career planning process. Students are taught to match colleges to their career interests as well as considering other factors such as location, size, faculty, etc. It is recommended that juniors take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, (PSAT) in preparation for the SAT in the spring. Counselors meet with junior students in early College representatives are invited to come to the high school during October to impress upon students the importance of maintaining high academic standards for themselves during this year. Guidance counselors meet with their students in small group settings to discuss the post-secondary planning process in detail. .  Through the on line Naviance students are able to build upon their portfolio from grades 9 and 10.  Naviance provides student with many resources to begin researching colleges with the goal of visiting colleges in the spring and summer.  Parents can access to this program as well as guidance counselors to work cooperatively to support students' post secondary plans.  The guidance staff sponsors a College Information Evening in late winter to share this information with parents as well. Counselors follow up in the spring with individual student appointments to create a plan specific to each student.  Junior students are invited to participate in a "job Shadowing" experience as another opportunity to explore career choices.  Increased communication among student, parent and counselor is encouraged during the junior year to help ensure that the college exploration process is as productive and enjoyable as possible. Juniors have the opportunity to attend the National College Fair in April each year with their counselors during the school day.

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D. GRADE 12

College Admissions and Career Planning begins in early fall when students return to school. Students meet with their counselors individually and in small groups. Completing college applications and essays through Naviance, obtaining teacher and counselor recommendations, and meeting deadlines while maintaining high academic standards become the focus for these meetings.  Most applications are sent electronically through the secure portal that Naviance offers. The guidance staff works closely with seniors throughout the year to coordinate the college application process. Many college representatives visit the high school and students have the opportunity to meet with them during the “college mini-fairs” in October offered in the cafeteria. Parents are invited to a workshop in early fall to meet with a college representative and the guidance staff to review the college application process. Guidance staff work with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Agency to sponsor a “Financial Aid Workshop” for parents in early December to discuss college funding from a state and national perspective. The guidance staff provides information about and oversees the application process for scholarships that are made possible by local individuals and organizations. Information on these scholarships is mailed home to families in late winter.

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