Counseling Department Overview by Grade
Welcome to Irvington High School! This year, you will be assigned a new certified school counselor determined by the first letter of your last name. Freshman Year is an important time of transition into the final four years of schooling in the district. High School Counselors will work closely with you as you move over from the middle school. Don’t worry, this transitional support begins while you are still in 8th grade through student panels and an annual “Road to the Final Four” event.
Before freshman year even begins, you will meet with your counselor and participate in fun activities to welcome you. In this orientation program, you will “walk” your schedule, meet your teachers, ask any questions, and get confident for the first day of high school.
Counselors are available to meet with any freshman who needs support . However, at the five week mark your counselor will touch base with you to check in and see how the year has started. Time is spent discussing classes and getting to know you better.
Before midterm week, the counselors visit Health classes to teach mindfulness skills through fun activities. As you prepare for your first midterms, it is an opportunity to learn some tools to use (and have a little fun too!)
Congratulations, you’re not a freshman any more! This year the focus will be in careers and post-secondary conversations. In the fall, School Counselors meet with sophomores to discuss the upcoming career day event. You will be asked to do an interest inventory which will expose you to the academic and career options based on your personal strengths. In November, sophomores attend a career conference to talk with professionals about their careers, why they chose the career and what to expect.
In early spring, you and your family meet with your counselor for your Upperclass Transition meeting. This meeting offers families the opportunity to plan for the latter two years of high school and to make sure you’re are getting what you need to be prepared for your post-secondary plans. Discussion will focus around graduation requirements, SAT and ACT testing, course scheduling and how it connects to post secondary options and career interests. Naviance will also be discussed in depth.
The infamous junior year--the toughest year!!! (or so they say). Junior year is an exciting time and a busy one too! 11th grade is when it all comes together and the Post-Secondary “talk” becomes the “plan”. In the fall, juniors are give the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT (sponsored by the district). Results are sent home and scores are reviewed during our Individualized Post Secondary Planning meetings later in the year.
Our “Junior Jump Off “ event marks the beginning of the post-secondary planning process for 11th graders. This Town Hall session for students serves as preparation for your individual meeting with your school counselor. Conversation includes: testing, the college list, recommendations, and transcripts. All students complete a Corsava™ Card Sort during this time, which will provide insight and interest for college searching.
Immediately following “Junior Jump Off” , you can sign up for your Post Secondary Planning Meeting. These meetings begin in January and are a reflection of our partnership. Together, we devise a personalized testing calendar, talk through teacher recommendations, review transcripts and explore, in more detail, Naviance college exploration capabilities. The Post Secondary Planning Meetings are packed with great information that will then lend itself directly to the college process. Concurrently, the school counseling department hosts multiple evening programs open to our families to attend. We alternate our program each year so you will have plenty of opportunities for exposure to the latest college trends and information.
Our “Junior End of Year Check In” meetings are scheduled in late May. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with your counselor before the end of the year. Summer goals will be created to keep you on track for your post-secondary plans. 11th grade does not have to be the “toughest year”as long as you are informed and prepared. Our doors are always open---you have your counselor to lean on.
Senior year will be here before you know it! College applications, job interviews, recommendations, and the completion of high school requirements demand your full energy and commitment. But don’t worry...your school counselor is available to support you through it all! The year begins with an independent review of each senior’s progress towards graduation and a Town Hall Meeting to review all the steps to applying to college. At night, counselors will host their annual Moving Pieces of Senior Year event, which will present a timeline of the year, followed by a Financial Aid Workshop.
By October 1st, counselors are in full gear. Your counselor will meet individually with each of their families to support them where they are in the post-secondary planning process. This could be fine tuning a college list, reviewing an essay, or discussing strategies for developing a compelling application for the student. After this meeting, your counselor will write a recommendation for you, which will be sent to each college to which you apply. Although the formal meeting process has commenced, you’re always welcome to make an appointment with your counselor at any point in senior year. Whether it be to get more help with an application, a social struggle, or a class you need support with, your counselor is available.
The whole senior class meets back up in May, for a celebration of your success- for the annual Senior Send-Off event where students declare their post-secondary plans. Senior year is certainly a challenging one. It takes a lot of energy and persistence to keep up with the increasing rigor of coursework, while applying to college...not to mention all the outside activities students do. But with hard work, comes great reward: prom, graduation, and you’re off!