The Staples High School community inspires learning, fosters integrity, and nurtures empathy.

About Staples School Counseling

School Counselor-Student Assignments

Students are assigned to a school counselor primarily using an alphabetical system upon entering the ninth grade. They will be assigned to the same school counselor for their four years of high school. Students may schedule a meeting using their school counselor's google calendar. School counselors are available to students for personal, academic and post-high school counseling.

Philosophy and Mission Statement

Philosophy

The Staples High School Guidance Department values every student. Our philosophy is predicated on the belief that each student is a developing, capable, and unique individual who will learn from experience and grow personally and educationally throughout adolescence. We believe helping students to understand themselves will assist them in making sound decisions today and in their future.

Mission Statement

The Staples High School Guidance Department supports our school’s mission to “inspire learning, foster integrity and nurture empathy.” Toward that end, we strive to provide each student with a developmentally appropriate program that fosters an understanding of, and appreciation for, one’s unique self. Based on the Connecticut School Counseling Association model, our counseling services are proactive, developmental, and responsive to the unique needs of every student. We cultivate balance, strength, direction, and resilience. Our specific services, delivered by way of individual and group meetings, are geared toward enabling each student to develop the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills necessary for them to achieve their goals and lead successful adult lives in an increasingly complex and diverse society.

What do School Counselors do?

Professional school counselors, formerly referred to as "guidance counselors," provide a wide range of services in the schools, based on individual student needs, strengths, interests and goals. Staples school counselors are an integral part of the total educational experience through which students prepare for meaningful and rewarding lives as productive members of a changing society. Throughout the year, school counselors see students in all grade levels with academic as well as social and emotional issues. Urgent situations may arise that are treated as highest priority. PPTs and 504s, meetings, conferring with teachers, parents, nurses and administrators, as well as phone calls and emails take time and are all necessary to do the job right. School counselors are often the first person that students, parents, and school staff come to with a question or concern. School counselors strive for personalization, are passionate about their job, and work hard to do the very best they can for their students.

Counseling Services focus on three main aspects of development, described in detail below:

  • Academic - Academic Guidance
  • College/Career - College and career awareness, exploration and planning services
  • Personal/Social - Social, emotional counseling services to students and their families

Academic Counseling

Academic counseling is available to all students to help them understand their individual strengths, set goals, and assist them in planning an appropriate program of studies. Counselors, teachers and parents work together to support and encourage all students in reaching their full potential.

Some of the areas in which a counselor can work with students and parents are:

  • Planning a high school program relevant to the student's interests, abilities, and post-high school plans
  • Checking in on each student's progress in their current courses
  • Consulting with teachers and other school staff regarding student performance
  • Counseling students experiencing academic difficulty and developing strategies for improvement, including referrals to various academic resources at the high school
  • Monitoring credit status leading to graduation

College/Career Counseling

Post-high school counseling is provided to all students through individual and group-based activities. Designed to help students identify and clarify their abilities, interests, and goals, school counselors assist students in making appropriate educational and career-based decisions. The Guidance Department follows a developmentally appropriate post-high school planning timeline, starting in ninth grade and through senior year. For a comprehensive description of the post-high school planning process through Staples High School, see the 2019-20 Guide to Post-High School Planning and College Applications.

Personal/Social Counseling

School counselors, social workers, and school psychologists are available to all students to assist them in managing developmental issues that arise during adolescence. Staff help students to enhance self-understanding and learn effective emotion management and problem-solving skills so that they are better equipped to deal with the variety of concerns that high school students encounter. When warranted, referrals may be made to appropriate community resources.

Some of the issues and concerns that may be addressed include:

  • Academic Performance
  • Peer Relationships
  • Transition / Adjustment Challenges
  • Social Pressures
  • Emotional Concerns
  • Family Conflicts
  • Community Influences

School Counseling Program Timeline

8th to 9th Grade Transition

February

  • Transition to High School Night for all 8th grade students and parents

April

  • High school counselors and Staples Student Ambassadors meet in groups with 8th graders at each middle school

June

  • High school counselors meet individually with each 8th grader to review their courses for next year.

Grade 9

August

  • Individual 9th grade tours
  • 9th grade BBQ
  • Orientation for all new students and parents for all grades

September

  • Transition to SHS meetings: small group meetings with counselors and all 9th graders
  • Ninth Grade Parent Guidance Presentation: Introduction to Staples High School
  • Club/Involvement Fair

December

  • All 9th graders complete “Do What You Are” exploring personality type and career choices using Naviance

January

  • Parents are encouraged to attend Understanding Financial Aid and Paying for College presentation

February/March

  • Course recommendations are available for viewing via PowerSchool Portal
  • Individual Educational Planning and Decision Making Meetings (includes course selection)
  • 9th graders take the PSAT 8/9

April/May

  • College Admission Testing presentation
  • College Admission Panel program with various college representatives

Grade 10

November

  • All 10th graders complete the "Career Interest Profiler" in Naviance

January

  • Parents are encouraged to attend Understanding Financial Aid and Paying for College presentation

February/March

  • Course recommendations are available for viewing through PowerSchool Portal
  • Individual Educational Planning and Decision Making Meetings (includes course selection)
  • 10th graders take the PSAT 10

April/May

  • Sophomore Parent Guidance Presentation: Introduction to Post-High School Planning
  • Counselors meet with students to introduce them to the post-high school planning process and resume builder in Naviance
  • College Admission Testing presentation
  • College Admission Panel program with various college representatives

Grade 11

October

  • PSAT for 11th graders

December

  • College Search with Naviance classroom lessons
  • Naviance Parent Workshop

January

  • College Kickoff Night for Juniors and Families
  • Understanding Financial Aid and Paying for College presentation
  • Individual Post-High School Planning Meetings begin (student/family)

February/March

  • Individual Post-High School Planning Meetings continue (student/family)
  • Course recommendations are available for viewing via PowerSchool Portal
  • Individual Educational Planning and Decision Planning (course selection)

April/May/June

  • Job Shadow Day
  • College Admission Testing presentation
  • College Admission Panel program with various college representatives
  • Classroom lessons provided by counselors to review aspects of the college search and application process
  • College Essay and Interview Workshop
  • Jump Start to the Common Application Workshop

Grade 12

September/October

  • Transcript and credit status to be checked for accuracy
  • Senior Parent Guidance Presentation: College Application Procedures and Information
  • Senior classroom lessons regarding various application components
  • Student and/or family meetings continue to discuss each student’s post-high school plans
  • College admission representative visits to Staples
  • Common Application and Coalition Application Workshop
  • College Essay Workshop
  • College Interview Workshop
  • Financial Aid/Scholarship group begins
  • Financial Aid Application Night

November/December

  • Counselors continue to meet with seniors as needed to review post-high school plans

January/February/March

  • Continue to monitor progress towards graduation
  • Meet with seniors who still need assistance with their post-high school plans
  • Ongoing individual and group support with financial aid and scholarships through College & Career Center
  • Transition to college program

April/May

  • Counselors continue to meet with any students who have not yet finalized their post-high school plans and/or need monitoring of graduation credits
  • All seniors complete Post-High School Information Survey in Naviance and review application outcomes individually with counselor
  • Senior Internship Program

June

  • Graduation