Submitted by District 202:
As the world gets more complicated every day, one simple fact remains: teens need support and guidance to succeed in school and beyond.
Plainfield South High School’s Student Services Department has been recognized for its exemplary support and guidance of students, being named a Model National program by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
PSHS is one of only 71 schools nationwide to achieve Model Program status this year, and one of only 400 nationwide since the ASCA created the honor 10 years ago.
Over the last four years PSHS completely reorganized its Student Services department to align with the ASCA’s standards, said PSHS Principal David Travis.
As part of that work, the department worked with assorted school, district and community leaders to build a five-year “Cradle to Career” transition program. “This program is already paying tremendous dividends for both our students and the community,” Travis said.
PSHS Student Services staff also:
- Created a College and Career Counselor position to better facilitate post secondary transitions for PSHS students;
- Developed a proactive four-year developmental College and Career Readiness program to address career development, academic readiness and social/emotional health;
- Implemented a monthly four-year group guidance program aligned to ASCA guidelines focusing on successful post-secondary advancement;
- Worked with about 35 community partners who have hosted site visits, job shadowing, and internships for PSHS students;
- Implemented a bi-monthly freshman advisory program facilitated by PSHS Leadership Corp students to help underclassmen successfully transition to high school;
- Implemented a comprehensive Parent University program emphasizing college and career readiness, the financial aid process, college search and applications and advanced placement and dual credit, among other key topics.
Proof of the new program’s success is easy to see, Travis said.
Four years ago, only 40 percent of PSHS graduating seniors completed the post-secondary application process. That number is now at 70 percent.
“This statistic is especially important when 80 percent of the opportunities that will be available to our graduates require some post-secondary education,” Travis said.
Re-structuring and re-focusing the Student Services department has also boosted academic success, lowered discipline referrals and increased standardized test scores, Travis said.
“I am very proud of this recognition of our work, however I am even happier that our students will continue to benefit from the care and dedication of the staff members who strive every day to help every student achieve his or her dreams,” Travis said.