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Guidance

The Boston Latin School guidance services begin with the Class VI orientation and extend through post-high school planning. Services are available to all students, parents and school staff in a variety of settings and are developmental, preventative, and remedial in nature. Counseling services and guidance programs are vital components of the educational process which enable students to assess their needs, recognize their abilities, and formulate strategies to achieve their potential.

School guidance counselors at all levels are certified professionals specifically trained in counseling theory and practice. The services are differentiated by attention to age-specific developmental stages of growth, tasks, and interests. School counselors guide students to self-awareness so that they can make sound decisions and become responsible, productive, life-long learners. School counselors themselves are committed to the pursuit of professional competence and continued growth and development by remaining up-to-date on trends and innovations in the profession.

Beginning in Class VI, counselors orient students and parents to the variety of counseling services available at the school and establish solid relationships which lay the foundation for continuing to work with school counselors at the next level. First and foremost, school counselors throughout the school are advocates for their students. In addition, school counselors assume a variety of roles and select the most appropriate one depending on the presenting concern.

Confidentiality

An important obligation of school counselors is to maintain the confidentiality of their relationships with students. School counselors are obliged not to disclose information that a student has shared within the context of the counseling relationship, unless such disclosures are necessary to protect the student from posing a serious threat to him or herself or to others.

The Role of School Counselor

Counseling is a helping process in which the school counselor provides a safe, nurturing environment. By establishing a trusting, confidential working relationship, students can share their feelings and develop positive solutions to personal issues. Often, the focus is on problem solving, decision making and discovering personal meaning related to learning and development. Parents, teachers, administrators, and students can initiate a referral to the school counselor. Following are some of the ways in which counselors work with the entire school community.

Working with students:

  • advocate for students
  • listen to students, assess their needs and develop realistic interventions
  • help students to cope with social/emotional pressures, set realistic goals, and become responsible young adults
  • help students to understand and accept their capabilities and limitations
  • assist students with transition issues and orientation to Boston Latin School
  • make appropriate internal and external referrals

Working with parents, teachers, and administrators:

  • provide professional expertise to staff, parents, and the community
  • provide on-going feedback to parents and teachers concerning individual student’s counseling needs
  • develop educational strategies with school personnel and community mental health specialists to meet the needs of individual students who are experiencing difficulties
  • collaborate with special educators to assist in the development of education plans that meet the needs of special education students

Working with each other:

  • design and develop a comprehensive guidance program addressing the developmental needs of all students
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the counseling services and guidance program and seek ways to improve them
  • promote an awareness of counseling services and provide information about the guidance programs within the school and community

Counselor Assignments

Students in Classes V and VI will be assigned a counselor for two years. When a student moves on to Class IV, he or she is assigned a new counselor who will work with that individual for the next four years.

Classes V and VI Counselors

The primary role is to be a student's advocate during the critical years of early adolescence when a student’s emotional, social and physical development is rapidly changing. Early adolescence brings with it problems which students often carry to the classroom. These problems may affect learning.

Specific Functions:
assist students with their acclimation to BLS

  • work closely with the school nurses in identifying and serving students in need
  • work directly with the Student Support Team to discuss at-risk students
  • meet regularly with colleagues to discuss specific students and programs and ways to maintain a healthy school climate
  • attend parent/teacher conferences and special education meetings
  • work with Class I - IV counselors to transition students

Class I, II, III and IV Counselors

The primary role is to implement a developmental guidance program that will serve the needs of all students.

Specific Functions

  • assist with new student orientation
  • assist with course selections and 4-year course planning
  • monitor students’ progress throughout the four years
  • communicate with teachers, parents, and students regarding academic status
  • work closely with the school nurses in identifying and serving students in need
  • attend parent/teacher conferences and special education meetings
  • assist with the Schawbel Guidance Center college search process
  • conduct post-high school planning
  • write college recommendations
  • arrange and post all college representative visits to the high school
  • distribute scholarship information
  • make financial aid material available
  • distribute information on English language proficiency tests for non-primary English speakers
  • distribute college admission testing materials