Guidance for Students and Families

Our guidance counselors help students understand their learning needs, address behavior changes and skill deficits, and develop self-confidence through weekly guidance classes. Close collaboration between teachers and guidance counselors ensures that counselors address a student’s issues in a timely and individual manner. We also provide individual sessions tailored to our students’ needs if we believe additional support would be beneficial.

Weekly group guidance classes focus on

  • developing self-advocacy skills
  • understanding learning styles
  • strengthening peer relationships and social skills
  • problem-solving

Small group work addresses issues that appear among several students simultaneously and are developed on an as-needed basis. If, for example, a group of students exhibits a similar behavior pattern—typically a social or self-regulation issue–they will attend small group sessions so they learn to navigate their challenges and enhance their social skills with their peers. Typically, small groups will meet weekly and run 4-8 weeks.

On-going family communication is integral to a student’s success. Counselors regularly post relevant information and articles for helping students on the Parent Portal and work with parents to address their children’s specific needs—whether through a weekly email or phone call, or just a check-in every now and then.

Hillside Education/Learning Parent Support Group (HELPS) —is a parent and caregiver program that educates and supports those closest to the students, and gives its participants a chance to meet each other.

Led by our guidance counselors, HELPS meets in person four times a year to discuss topics like talking openly with a child about learning disabilities, self-care for parents, and transitioning to high school. In the months that there are not in-person meetings, HELPS sends out online presentations through our Parent Portal centered around material that is both educational and supportive for our families.