Health Education and Counseling
College Prep's counseling and health education programs demonstrate our commitment to comprehensive support of our students. As part of this support, the school has a full-time counselor, Gabrielle Holder, who is available to students, their parents, faculty, and staff for brief counseling, referral, and consultation. The counselor works collaboratively as a participant in many aspects of school programming: health education, retreat development and implementation, the freshman Connections and Advisory Program (CAP), and sophomore health. The counselor also meets once with all freshmen and new students as part of their transition to College Prep. Students may self-refer to counseling or be referred by teachers, administrators, or advisors.
The counseling support service plays a significant role in all aspects of the School. The services the counselor provides fulfill College Preparatory School's mission to support the personal, social and emotional development of all students. The counselor works closely with the Assistant Head of School, Dean of Students, the Learning Specialist, advisors, outside professionals, families, and teachers. We believe that the collaborative team approach is appropriate to the developmental needs of our students.
The purpose of the advising system is to guarantee each student regular, close, and supportive contact with a faculty or staff member. The advisor serves to give prompt and individualized attention to each advisee’s questions, problems, and concerns, and to help advisees design programs that serve them well and keep them progressing toward graduation. Students and parents should contact advisors when questions arise about a student’s performance, progress, or program.
Freshman Connections and Advisory Program
In our Connections and Advisory Program (CAP), ninth graders meet weekly in small, freshman-only groups that are led by their advisors. During these meetings, students discuss a variety of topics in support of their academic and social development at College Prep. After the freshmen year, students are assigned a new advising group with a mixture of sophomores, juniors and seniors. These students typically remain in their new advising group after the sophomore year, but students may request a change in advisor by consulting with the Academic Dean. Parent-teacher conferences may be arranged by contacting the Academic Dean.
The sophomore program, “Informed Decision Making” gives students concrete information about a wide range of health topics that help them to make safe and healthful choices regarding alcohol, drugs, sex, and other pertinent issues. Students are also given useful tools to deal with difficult situations and to help friends who may be making difficult decisions. Sophomore year is a time when these issues are often particularly relevant. This course meets once a week during the second semester and is taught by the Health Educator/Counselor with the assistance of trained and supervised senior teaching assistants.
Senior Mentors and Retreaters help freshmen and transfer students adjust to high school life at College Prep. After all, they were freshmen or transfers once, too! At the beginning of the year, groups of seniors and new students are paired up. New students can go to these seniors with questions, to share experiences, and learn the ins and outs of life at College Prep. Our Senior Mentors and Retreaters all go through an extensive leadership training program and also help develop and co-facilitate our freshmen and sophomore retreats.
The assumption underlying the advisor system is that there are many matters concerning a student's life at school about which the student needs adult advice and that this advice is best given in a direct and personal manner. The advisor's principal tasks are: to provide comprehensive guidance, to facilitate communication among the advisee's teachers, to serve as an advocate for advisees, and to act as liaisons between parents and the school. Advisors follow the academic progress of their advisees and assist them in all areas of their relationship to the school.
Each grade level has a class advocate who helps coordinate class-wide activities and manage stress levels on a macro scale. For example, when many students are impacted by multiple exams at the same time, the class advisor will coordinate with the teachers to make changes to the exam schedule. Our advocates also play a central role in our advising program by being liaisons to the school administration, leading grade level meetings, and as a retreat participant.