High School Counselors Provide More Than Academic Support

Article excerpt

Byline: Kirstin Finneran

Anyone who has ever been a high schooler knows that when you enter the school every morning there is a lot more to deal with than history, geometry and English.

There are many distractions that can impact academic performance.

To help Dundee-Crown High School students deal with the pressures from peers, stress, grief, their futures, and more, there is a team of guidance counselors to help them focus on what they are there for - to learn.

What's different this year is the result of the recently passed referendum. For the first time, the guidance team is offering support groups in the areas of stress management, anger management, and grief and loss.

"We are moving toward the developmental model at this point in time," said Gail Blanchard, who has been a counselor at Dundee- Crown for eight years. "That is intended to give us the ability to focus more greatly on the personal/social needs of our students in addition to academic and vocational or career needs.

"The referendum passing last year allowed us to add two counselors and that made it so we could reduce our case loads from about 450 to about 350 students per counselor. That gives us a little more opportunity to address these personal/social needs."

As Blanchard went on to explain, the developmental model asks counselors to address needs in three domains: personal/social, academic, and vocational/career. These new groups will help the counselors do more to support the students in the area of personal/social. In the past, the personal and social needs of the students were addressed either on an individual basis, or in small groups that were organized sporadically.

The stress management group was the opening group and started during the second term. The group was a success due to the acceptance and interest of the students, and as a result will be offered again in this the third term. …