SHS Guidance Office

 

Mission Statement

 

The Counseling Center's mission is to provide a safe place for students to express their needs and concerns. Counselors provide support services for many aspects of adolescent development including, personal, academic and career counseling.

Counseling Center Personnel

Rebecca Chaoussoglou-Rotter

Mrs. Chaoussoglou-Rotter joined Spackenkill as a school guidance counselor in 2001. She was at Orville A. Todd Middle School until transferring to Spackenkill High School in 2014. She is also the National Junior Honor Society advisor at Todd Middle School.

Grades 9 - 12: O-Z

Kathleen DeFreest

Ms. DeFreest has been the School to Life counselor since 2002. She is a graduate of Sage Graduate School with a masters degree in Guidance and Counseling.

Grades 9 - 12: J-N

Adam Hammond

Mr. Hammond, a graduate of Spackenkill, holds two masters degrees, one from SUNY New Paltz and one from Sage Graduate School. He has been a counselor at Spackenkill since 2001.

Grades 9 - 12: A-I

Pat Ryan & Jane DeChristopher

Mrs. Ryan and Ms. DeChristopher are the support staff in the Counseling Center. It is their job to make sure transcripts are sent out and report cards are sent home. In addition, they keep track of student records and make appointments for the counselors.

Our Program

Counseling at Spackenkill High School encompasses a number of activities and commitments, all of which are designed to help the Spackenkill High School student. In its simplest form counselors perform a service function, dedicated to the student and his/her life at the high school.

Counseling starts at the time students are assigned to a counselor, for that counselor is committed not only to establishing a relationship with the student, but also to orienting the student to a new academic environment. Students learn procedures and processes of "what to do" and "how to do," as they go through their daily lives at SHS. By learning the techniques of dealing with responsibilities and commitments undertaken in their high school lives, they become more effective students and satisfied human beings.

Counseling isn't only a program of activities; it is also a relationship between two individuals -- the counselor and the student. Students are encouraged to keep in close contact with their counselors who play a key role in their daily lives. The counselor may be the only adult school professional with whom the student will maintain contact from grade nine through grade twelve. It is the counselor who will advise and counsel students about concerns and questions which arise during those years. Problems students have with teachers or other adults in their lives are worked through in the counseling relationship. Pressures and tensions encountered by a student should be brought to the attention of the counselor. Issues of a social nature, e.g. peer relationships, substance abuse, and personal or family problems are also addressed. All of these matters are rightful concerns of the counselor and his counselee, and the resolution of these concerns is, in many instances, a joint effort.

Although much of the counseling at Spackenkill High School is done on an "as needed" basis, there are times when a structured contact between the counselor and student accomplishes the established objectives of the counseling program. Course planning and college selection are two examples of the structured contact. Students and their parents can also expect to meet with the counselor to review matters of mutual concern, to effect decisions related to a program of studies, and, ultimately, to decide on a list of colleges to which the student will apply. The calendar for these activities is:

  1. Orientation to the high school and review of graduation requirements - 8th and 9th grades
  2. Program planning conferences - 9th, 10th, and 11th grades
  3. Career awareness groups 9th and 10th grade
  4. Small group and individual meetings for college planning - 11th grade
  5. College selection conferences - 11th and 12th grades

A program of activities, a close relationship between counselor and students, established contacts between the student and counselor and parents are supported by another function of the guidance program - student record keeping.  The above activities and the decisions resulting from them often depend upon the availability of a student's record.  A permanent record card, which is available to the student, and a student file folder are kept in the counseling center.   Also, the official transcript which is prepared from the permanent record card is used to transmit a student's record to colleges, the military, and/or prospective employers.  Finally, and not the least important, guidance serves a liaison function.  A counselor acts as a liaison among the several components of the student's life - school and home, teacher and student, college and school, and student  program.  The continuity of the counselor/student relationship, therefore, is an important aspect of the students High School career.

A comprehensive counseling program addresses
three aspects of all students' lives:

Educational Development • Personal-Social Development • Career Development - Life Planning

The balanced program is implemented through the following four components:

THE COUNSELOR AS TEACHER
THE COUNSELOR AS CAREER ADVISOR
THE COUNSELOR AS FAMILY ADVISOR
THE COUNSELOR AS COMMUNITY SUPPORTER
Individual activities including personal growth and development.
Students find their strengths and barriers to learning.
Students and families find resources for issues.
Counselors advise on
making the school a safe and repectful place.
Small group activities including interpersonal relations and scheduling.
Counselors help students find the information they need to make good decisions.
Counselors help students find resources for personal issues.
Counselors support school activities through club advisorships and participation in school events.
Classroom or large group activities provide important information that all students must know.
Counselors help students find their best place to learn.
Counselors are there when you need someone to listen.
Counselors are a part of many Advisory Councils and Committees.
Counselors support and educate parents on the development of their child.
 Counselors work with students to help them discover their interests and aptitudes.
Counselors are a part of teams in the school that help students find their resources.
Counselors are a part of their community in service and providing information.
 Counselors provide information to students and parents through various publications.
 Counselors use various diagnositic tests to assist with post-secondary planning.
Counselors support clubs and activities that help students in school and in their personal life.
Counselors manage their program using needs assessments, setting goals, and evaluating their professional and program effectiveness.
 Counselors help staff learn new information on: personal issues, educational reform, psychological theories.
Counselors provide information on college and career paths.
Counselors work with other agencies to get the help a student or family needs,
Counselors belong to professional organizations to learn new information and support each other.

 

 

School Profile

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