Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Frontier for the BHS Guidance Department

As in years past the BHS Guidance staff puts a tremendous amount of focus on incoming freshman. As an incoming 9th  grader many challenges in the transition to high school can occur. Freshman deal with new challenges such as: new school, new teachers, more freedom and responsibility, etc. The Guidance staff makes every effort to be in tune with this process and to serve as a resource.

Each year Guidance Counselors meet with freshman students in small groups within the first month of school. We call students to the Guidance Office and introduce ourselves and make them aware of the many resources available to them. Although we have found this process useful, we also feel it is not enough. In fact, what we have learned from our freshman over the past two years is that they prefer to hear about graduation requirements, academic expectations, how to go about making a level change, etc.

Last year Guidance staff members met with the Burlington High School Health teachers. Our purpose was to discuss how the Guidance Department can integrate Guidance Curriculum in the classroom. After much discussion and planning, we developed guidance related topics that we felt was most applicable to freshman students. That theme was around understanding graduation requirements and knowing how to take steps when academic intervention is required.

With this topic two Guidance staff members, Ms. Diozzi and Ms. Minty, worked over the summer to develop a lesson plan. During summer professional development the Guidance Department reviewed and finalized the lesson. We are happy to say we saw all this planning come to life in freshman health classes last week. We crossed the line as Guidance Counselor to classroom teacher. As a department we are very happy to be seen in the classroom setting and hope that the freshman class found our lesson useful. Moving forward our hope is to improve and expand the classroom model and teach a lesson at each grade level.

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