About Student Services
Mission Statement:The Counseling & Student Services Department of Wakefield High School will provide a comprehensive developmental counseling program addressing the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. School counselors, as a part of the Wakefield High School learning community, will advocate for all students so that they have equity and access to the tools which enable them to become responsible and productive citizens. Counselors will advocate for the success of every student so that they can effectively manage future challenge and progress confidently into an ever-changing society.
Philosophy & Vision Statement:Through the framework of advocacy, leadership, collaboration, and systemic change, the Counseling & Student Services Department of Wakefield High School will foster a learning environment in which each student is empowered to attain interpersonal, academic, artistic, athletic, and career goals. The school counselors will serve in a professional and ethical manner in order to foster an environment which results in a high standard of learning for all students.
Statement of Beliefs:The professional school counselors at Wakefield High School believe:
- All students can achieve and should be given the opportunity to do so.
- All students have dignity and worth and have a right to a safe, mutually respectful, healthy, and orderly learning environment.
- Learning involves the education of the whole person and is a continuous lifelong process.
- All students have the right to participate in the school counseling program.
- Learning requires the active participation, mutual respect, and individual accountability of students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members.
- Diversity is to be respected and appreciated as we foster unity among our students, faculty, staff, and community.
The school counseling program should:
- Be student-centered. The program will address student developmental needs and focus on primary prevention.
- Include education that extends beyond the classroom environment and allows students to develop lifelong skills which can assist them in the pursuit of their life goals.
- Advocate for all students. We consider all students’ ethnic, cultural, racial, sexual orientation, and special needs when planning and implementing the school counseling program.
- Be data-driven. Data will be used in assessing the needs and effectiveness of the school counseling program and will drive future program development and evaluation.
All counselors at Wakefield High School:
- Will be full-time employees who hold state-certification and have obtained a master’s degree in school counseling, and who will deliver the school counseling program as outlined in the Standard Course of Study.
- Will abide by the professional school counseling ethics as advocated by the American School Counseling Association.
- Will participate in professional development essential to maintaining a high-quality school counseling program.
Why High School Counselors?High school years are full of growth, promise, excitement, frustration, disappointment and hope. It is the time when students begin to discover what the future holds for them. Secondary school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community. The professional high school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with educational reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.
The Role of the Secondary School CounselorToday’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse and mobile society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, every student needs support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that impact academic achievement.
Secondary School Students Developmental NeedsHigh school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.
Meeting the ChallengeSecondary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Secondary school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help the student achieve success in school. Professional school counselors align and work with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school-counseling program. The ASCA National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs, with it’s data-driven and results-based focus serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.
Secondary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:Classroom Guidance
Academic skills support
Organizational, study and test-taking skills
Post-secondary planning and application process
Education in understanding self and others
Peer relationships and effective social skills
Communication, problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution and study skills
Career awareness and the world of work
Substance abuse education
Individual Student Planning
Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
Individual and small-group counseling
Individual/family/school crisis intervention
Consultation, collaboration and teaming
Program management and operation
Secondary School Counselors Collaborate with:Parents
Scholarship/financial search process
School-to-work transition programs
One-on-one parent conferencing
Academic support services
Peer education program
Peer mediation program
Portfolio development, providing recommendations and assisting students with the post-secondary application process
Classroom guidance lessons on post-secondary planning, study skills, career development, etc.
School-to-work transition programs
Academic support, learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically
At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success
Academic support interventions
Behavioral management plans
School-wide needs assessments
Student assistance team development
Job shadowing, worked-based learning, part-time jobs, etc.