Counselors provide academic, career, and personal/social counseling. The counselors’ mission is to support academic achievement and to facilitate successful transition to post-secondary education and career opportunities. As a comprehensive Counseling Department, we work hard to impart skills and learning opportunities in a proactive and preventive manner for all students, and maintain frequent and open communication with parents.
Throughout high school, counselors meet with students to discuss academic progress, including what courses they are taking, their grades, and extracurricular activities. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure students are on track to meet post-secondary goals. Students will review time management and study skills with their counselor in order to earn good grades. When students are not performing well in one or more courses, counselors work with students to determine what the issues are, brainstorm strategies for overcoming obstacles, and determine an appropriate plan of action. Students are encouraged to advocate for themselves and follow-up with teachers regularly, review teacher feedback and accept constructive criticism to determine how to improve. Counselors collaborate with teachers on a daily basis to assess and track any difficulties, concerns, or special considerations that may arise which are then discussed with students, parents, and administration. This allows the school to develop or modify intervention strategies that best meet each student’s needs. All international students meet with counselors to discuss a variety of topics such as adjusting to a new culture, meeting new people, and any concerns or questions regarding classes or assignments.
Students challenged by depression, stress, anxiety, or peer relationship issues may have difficulty managing the academic pressures and social stressors of school. These problems can interfere with the way students think, feel, and act. Tardiness or absences as well as poor concentration can be some of the early signs of underlying issues. Students may also appear withdrawn, silent, overly anxious, or worried. Counselors are available to meet with students whenever these warning signs arise, a referral is made, or if students request counseling services. Counselors then work with students, parents, teachers, and administrators on developing solution-focused techniques and inform parents of resources available to them. Counselors run group counseling and individual sessions to address specific and targeted interventions.
Students at Balboa School participate in a number of formal college preparatory activities beginning in middle school. These activities allow students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of themselves, their interests, and their needs so they can make informed decisions. Services include college research, college applications, scholarship searches, assistance with financial aid, and internship placement. Counselors also track academic progress and administer the PSAT 8/9, PSAT/NMSQT, and practice SAT test to assist students and teachers with appropriate remediation plans.
Career services include self-assessments, career exploration through the use of books and the Internet, and ongoing discussions that guide students in understanding the relationship between personal qualities, education and training, and the world of work. Students learn about the education and training needed for their chosen career, average earnings, expected job prospects, what the workers typically do on the job, and the working conditions. During the student’s junior and senior years, special focus is given to joining the workforce, professional development, and important life skills. Students learn how to search for jobs, write cover letters and resumes, and have the opportunity to practice their interviewing skills. Ultimately, the knowledge gained through counseling discussions and activities prepare students for future career success and satisfaction.