College

6 Things Your Teen’s School Counselor Wants You to Know

High school counselors are there to help with much more than academics— they provide college counseling, offer support and advice to students, and the list goes on. There are dozens of things your child’s school counselor is dying for you to know, both for your sake and your child’s. Check out what these counselors wish all parents knew!

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School- Alanna Barranco

  • BE INFORMED. Take time to learn about GPA, curriculum, Honors, Advanced Placement, extracurriculars, graduation requirements, and college admissions. In general, high school processes are similar to those in college, so if you have a good grasp of the information it can help later.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO MENTAL HEALTH. Mental health issues among high schoolers are real. If you notice changes in sleep, energy level, concentration, appetite, or motivation, take those concerns seriously. The easiest place to start can be with your pediatrician or family doctor. By the spring of students’ junior year, 63% of students and 51% of their parents had talked with a school counselor about options for life after high school.

Prattville High School- Lydia Thigpen

  • TRUST, BUT VERIFY. Don’t believe everything your student tells you. Students often hear what they want to hear and miss important information. When in doubt, contact a counselor by phone or email to clarify. Ninety percent of questions can be answered by searching the school website.
  • HANDS OFF. Scholarship committees know if a parent wrote an essay or if the student wrote it themselves. Allow your student to accept responsibility for academic procedures like applying for scholarships, requesting transcripts, or applying to colleges.

Saint James School- Jamie Payne

  • ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO BE ADVOCATES FOR THEMSELVES. While we as parents want to pave a smooth path for our children, it is much more important that they learn how to communicate with adults, face-to-face; that they learn how to ask for what they want or bring attention to something that is important to them; and that they learn life lessons from challenges they encounter.
  • HELP YOUR STUDENT FORM A PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR COUNSELOR. We are most effective in our role as advocates for our students when we know them personally and can speak to their individual character and work ethic.

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