A full-time guidance counselor is on staff at The Hillside School to provide on-going support to students, parents, and teachers. Professional assistance is available through programs that focus on education, counseling and consultation. Guidance support is focused on helping the student with a learning difference succeed academically and socially both at Hillside and in future settings.
Weekly guidance lessons emphasize and celebrate individual differences through helping the student identify their unique strengths as well as areas of need and learning styles.
Affective education, social skills development, and problem-solving are also areas of focus. As students prepare to transition to other schools self-advocacy and qualities which enhance academic success are emphasized.
Students at The Hillside School also may receive individual counseling as the need arises, especially during times of adjustment and transition. Peer interactions, problem-solving and self-understanding are often areas of students concern. In addition, the counselor may assist parents in identifying the need for outside counseling.
Throughout the school year the guidance counselors conduct small counseling groups to address particular student needs. These groups, planned in consultation with teachers, enable students to work through a variety of issues including those related to learning differences, communication, and social relationships.
Parent Support Group
Weekly meetings held early in the school year focus on education regarding learning differences and also provide a source of parent interaction and support. The topics for these sessions include the Hillside difference, child temperament, understanding learning differences and common social and behavioral issues. Hillside specialists also have the opportunity during these sessions for presentation and discussion of their areas of expertise.
Parent Exiting Meetings
Meetings are held in the fall and winter to assist parents in the transition process when Hillside students are moving to other academic settings. These meetings focus on identifying schools which are a good fit for students, both academically and socially. The process of evaluation, educational planning and transition issues are discussed. Parents of students who have previously exited The Hillside School provide parents with additional information and support at these meetings. The guidance counselors are also available on an individual basis to discuss issues of transition.
In keeping with the holistic philosophy of The Hillside School counselors also consult regularly with parents and professional staff. Discussion and problem-solving with those involved in the student’s life are integral components in meeting the goal of helping the child who learns differently succeed.
The Hillside School guidance counselor welcomes further questions and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.