The Counseling Office
Parents, if you have not yet had a student at AHS, you may think: "What do counselors do at the high school?" We hope this section will answer that question, and many others you may have about the Counseling Department. As always, please do not hesitate to call the Counseling Department to speak with your student's counselor or someone else on our team to get your questions answered. Both our secretary and our registrar are excellent resources!
The Counseling Department is an integral part of the total education process and experience at Andover High School. Utilizing a developmental and proactive approach, counselors provide academic advising, college counseling, career planning, and personal/social counseling designed to meet the individual needs of each student in grades 9-12.
Overview of Counseling Services
A support for both the student and his/her family, the counselor is often the first person a parent contacts regarding any questions or concerns about the student or about high school. Counselors welcome these calls and seek to understand the concerns a parent has for his/her child and advise accordingly. We respect the confidentiality of the relationship we form with a student and his/her family.
As a general rule to parents, if you have a question or concern about your child, contact the counselor. If the counselor cannot answer your question, he/she will direct you to someone who can.
Services by TopicSchool and college counselors are highly skilled professionals with extensive training in human development, personal counseling, interpersonal skills and college and career counseling. Our goal is to assist each student in the normal developmental tasks that all adolescents face. Planning for the future is an important aspect of counseling. This is done in a variety of ways as outlined below.
- Personal, Social, Emotional Counseling
The relationship a counselor has with his/her students is the cornerstone to the counseling program at AHS. Personal counseling is involved in all the work a counselor does. Transitional issues, adolescence, college planning, course selection are all based on the counselor’s assessment of the personal needs of each student. Students are encouraged to set up an appointment with his/her counselor to discuss problems and concerns. We value our relationship with each of our students and strive to provide individual support for all students.
Counselors are also a tremendous resource for parents. Either as counselors deem appropriate or if sought out by the family referrals for further support both inside and outside of the educational setting may be made. Should you feel your son or daughter needs support from an outside provider please contact your counselor for a specific referral.
- Academic Advising
The academic goal for all AHS students is for each student to do his/her best at the level that is most challenging and appropriate for them to be successful. Teachers make recommendations regarding the appropriate level of study for their students. Each spring counselors meet individually and/or in a group context to advice students on an academic course of study. Students are encouraged to explore their interests and talents through the elective art and technology courses offered in addition to further pursuing elective academic courses. Please refer to “Graduation Requirements” for more detailed information, for the Massachusetts Public College and University minimum admissions standards and an ideal program for entrance to selective colleges.
- College Counseling
Counselors guide students and parents through the entire college counseling process, step by step. The official commencement of the college search process begins at the start of second semester in the junior year. Counselors meet with students both in groups and individually to lead them through the application process and personally assist them with developing a college list, providing feedback on essays and personal statements, advise them on teacher recommendations, guide them on standardized college admission testing, and counsel them both through the decision process and transition issues. Counselors are invaluable resources for families helping them to focus on matching needs and interests with colleges where the student will be socially and culturally comfortable as well as academically challenged. The Andover High School Counseling Department annually presents the “College Admissions Process,” evening parent series in conjunction with the daytime program for students. This program kicks off at the conclusion of the first semester, in late January.
- Career Planning
Career counseling is an on-going process imbedded in educational and college planning. Personal career counseling is conducted on an as-needed basis. “Do What You Are” a personality type assessment system offered through Naviance guides students through the process of identifying their strengths and needs, and build a plan based on their personal profiles. Additionally there is a research-based assessment of career-relevant interests, abilities, and job values to help individuals consider career options that are a good match for them.