Grade Level Overview of Programs
Freshman Seminar is the core of the freshman counseling program.
Through the Freshman Seminars the Deans facilitate our students' transitions into the high school. All freshmen meet with their Dean in small seminars for one period each week for the first semester of school. Seminars serve many purposes, but most importantly they enable a student and Dean to form a close relationship. Freshmen in the Civic Education program have comparable sessions built into their advisory groups.
There is a significant instructional component to Freshman Seminar. Students learn to find their way around the school and where they can receive academic or personal help. They learn about school procedures regarding, for example, course changes, progress reports, absences and lateness. They discuss extra-curricular activities and are encouraged to participate. They meet and talk with key school personnel. Discussions about adjustment and the typical problems of a freshman may take the form of role-playing and moral dilemma activities. Sensitive issues such as cheating, lying, drug and alcohol use and stealing are addressed.
Through Freshman Seminar and frequent counseling contacts, the Deans participate in the transformation of eighth graders into high school students. Deans receive copies of all progress reports, disciplinary actions, report cards and “cut” slips and thereby closely monitor the progress of their freshmen.
During the second semester, Deans meet with all freshman and their parents for a course planning conference. An overview of the courses a student will take throughout high school is discussed, as are SAT Subject Tests and the student's general progress.
Deans meet with sophomores in small Sophomore Seminars. Students discuss their personality styles, personal interests, and values as they impact on decisions. Tenth graders are not asked to decide “what they want to be when they grow up:' but rather to consider the factors that go into such choices.
Course planning with tenth graders takes place in the early spring. The Deans will forward the following information to all parents.
1. A list of the recommended courses for the next school year for parents to review.
2. Recommendations regarding SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT IIs,) if appropriate (see “College Entrance Examinations”).
Eleventh graders will take the PSAT/NMSQT in October (See “College Entrance Examinations”). The college search process officially begins in January when Deans meet with junior parents and students. Details on the college planning program are covered under “College Counseling.” Deans meet with juniors in Junior Seminar groups, which focus on the college search and application process.
During the junior year your family may experience additional stress in academic and extracurricular areas. The Deans are always available for support at this important time.
Senior year begins in a whirl. College applications, recommendations, college visits, and completion of high school requirements demand significant attention and energy.
Deans welcome the opportunity to advise, counsel and encourage seniors and their parents through this year. From the Essay Writing Workshop, continuing throughout the college application process, to the Senior Day at the end of senior year, Deans help students prepare to graduate and enter college. Our Senior Day Program deals with such issues as: separation from family and friends, social and academic pressures at college, roommates, resources on college campuses and coping techniques.