Here when you need us
Connecting with your counselor early and often is key to staying on track and achieving both personal and academic success. We employ a grade-level advisory program to provide you with information in the areas of career awareness and post-secondary education. In addition, we use the University of Minnesota's Ramp-Up to Readiness curriculum, which focuses on social-emotional readiness, academic activities, admissions readiness, career readiness and financial readiness.
Course Selection & Career Planning
With so many courses to choose from and career options to explore, making decisions can be difficult! We are here to help you brainstorm, imagine possibilities, strategize your curriculum and, ultimately, create a plan that fulfills your personal goals. Each trimester, you have the flexibility to build a schedule with 5–6 courses. While some courses last one trimesters, others take two or three trimesters to complete. Ideally, your schedule will include a combination of required and elective classes each trimester to ensure progress toward graduation. We recommend meeting with your counselor prior to registration to talk through your course selection.
Common advising topics
- Selecting courses
- Dropping/adding courses
- Planning for graduation
- Exploring careers
- Preparing for college
Every individual learns differently and experiences unique challenges on their academic path. We are dedicated to helping you identify and find solutions for learning barriers as they arise. The following list illustrates common issues that may affect your learning.
Discomfort, both physically and mentally, can detract from your academic experience and may require visits to doctor's offices or clinics that disrupt day-to-day life. Examples of such conditions include:
- Hunger / Low blood sugar: can reduce concentration
- Anxiety / Depression: can reduce motivation, cause tiredness, irritability or distraction
- Injury / Illness: can cause intense discomfort, inability to focus, tiredness, etc.
Factors such as temperature, sound, accommodations and external distractions are important to consider in your learning environment. An ideal environment will have minimal distractions, a quiet atmosphere, comfortable temperature and appropriate furniture to support your work. If it important that during school instruction and activities students are not be expected to perform any other duties (i.e., picking up the phone, doing chores, etc.) at the same time. Supportive and encouraging communication should be prioritized throughout each school day.
Lack of Confidence
Lack of confidence occurs in response to many factors such as previous bad experience, fear of failure and resistance to change. In academic situations, lack of confidence typically manifests in two ways:
- Lack of confidence in performance: taking tests, completing projects, speaking in front of others
- Lack of confidence in their existing skills: "I've always been bad at math" or "I'm just not very good at working in groups"
Students may feel self-conscious in their learning environment due to shyness or worry about not learning as quickly as others. In such cases, our teachers are trained to be responsive and open to feedback. Online instruction is designed to be adaptable so that you can get your needs met. No student should have to feel isolated or frustrated.
Social & Emotional Support
Students who feel connected at school are more likely to succeed. However, we understand that school may invite stress and social pressures into your life, which can feel both overwhelming and distracting. Whatever concerns you have, we are here to listen and help you navigate difficult relationships. Our professional staff are trained to support you through periods of emotional and social growth and offer strategies for overcoming challenging circumstances.
Students with strong and healthy relationships on average demonstrate more consistent school attendance, achieve higher grades, perform better on tests and stay in school longer. The more a student feels connected to school, the less likely they are to engage in risky behavior such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, becoming involved in violence and participating in other dangerous activities. Hence, building these relationships between students and teachers, students and parents, and students and peers is important. Listening, adopting a positive attitude and embracing diverse perspectives, beliefs, and cultures are the first steps toward interpersonal success.
Connecting School & Home
High academic achievement is directly correlated with the strength of relationships students share with their parents and school staff. According to research* conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, students who perceive their teachers and school administrators as creating a caring, well-structured learning environment in which expectations are high, clear and fair are more likely to be connected to school.
*Reference: Blum, Robert, School Connectedness: Improving the Lives of Students, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore Maryland, 2005.
Practicing Cyber Safety
Relationships forged over the internet can be especially difficult to navigate. The internet is a vast and powerful tool, and it is critical that students understand how to conduct themselves safely online. To learn more about our online safety guidelines and access our recommended materials, please visit our page dedicated to cyber safety.
- Build Resilience
- Take a Breath
- Practice Gratitude
- Get Moving to Feel Better
- Practice Mindfulness & Self Care
- Maintain Positivity
- Reduce Anxiety
Resilience is our ability to bounce back from the stresses of life.
Take a Breath
Got 19 seconds of spare time? Good. Let's practice a quick breathing exercise to help bring you back to the present moment.
- Take a slow and deep inhale through your nose for a count of six while keeping your shoulders relaxed. Pay attention to how you are breathing. No keeping your tummy sucked in! You want your abdomen to expand with the inhale. You know you are inhaling properly if your tummy ruses with the inhale and your chest barely moves.
- Hold the breath for a count of two.
- As you exhale for a count of 8, keep your jaw relaxed while you purse your lips just slightly. The effect is similar to how a musician's lips are positions when playing the flute! That soft whooshing sound you h ear as you exhale is totally normal.
- Repeat this breathing exercise once more before taking stock of how this positively powerful technique has helped reduce your stress levels.
Additional Breathing Exercises:
When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.
Get Moving to Feel Better
Practice Mindfulness & Self Care
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.
- What is Mindfulness & Self Care?
- 5 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Your Life - Article by psych2go
- Virtual Calming Corner - GoNoodle Activities to do right now
- 10 Tiny Self Care Practices To Try Today - Article PsychCentral.com
- Benefits of Mindfulness
- 6 Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Mindfulness Tools to Support Youth
- Self Care for Parents, Educators, Caregivers
- First Nations Ceremonial Practices
- CNN Health: The power of family dance parties when the world is falling apart
- Affirmations for Difficult Times
- Tips from a Therapist for Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
- Experiencing Insomnia? Insomnia In Times of Stress
- You’re Allowed to Grieve the Year that Would’ve Been
- 7 Reasons Some People Actually Feel Better and Happier During the Pandemic
- 50 Simple Ways to Connect With Your Kids - list
- 7 Habits to Nurture a Positive Mindset - Article by psych2go
- Alicia Keys sings “Good Job” - Video CNN
- Make a Classroom or Family Mix Tape
- Regulating Emotions in a COVID-19 World
- 5 Important Brain Facts Every Parent Needs To Know - Article
- Do Nothing for 2 Minutes Soundtrack
- That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief - Article
- Coping Skills for Reducing Anxiety - Article by Gary Loch
- How to Help Students Manage Anxiety - Article SELSkills.com
- How to Build Resilience From the Stress of the Coronavirus - Article AARP.org
- How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine - Article AdultMentalHealth.org
- One Tool for Managing Anxiety During Covid and Beyond - Article Psychcentral.com
- Reframing Existential Anxiety - SELF.com