Tri-Village News

District counselors, students confab to update standards

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The Grandview Heights City School District is reviewing and revising its guidance curriculum.

Counselors from each building made a presentation on the process during the Nov. 19 school board meeting.

The district is using standards set by the American School Counselor Association as a model, Grandview Heights High School counselor Bryan Stork said.

"The national model gives us a better plan" to revise a guidance program that allows counselors to help students with academic planning, career development and personal and social development, he said.

"The ASCA really challenges schools to audit their guidance program," Stork said. "It's an ongoing (process) to make sure we are meeting the needs of students."

The district is working toward applying for ASCA certification in fall 2014, he said.

The standards for academic planning include:

* Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and throughout life.

* Students will complete school with the academic preparation essential to choose from a variety of substantial post-secondary options including college.

* Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home and in the community.

"We're working with students and staff to relate school to life experience," Stork said.

The standards for career development include:

* Students will acquire skills to investigate the world of work in relation to knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions.

* Students will employ strategies to achieve future career goals with success and satisfaction.

* Students will understand the relationship between personal qualities, education, training and the world of work.

The standards for personal and social development include:

* Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.

* Students will make decisions, set goals and take necessary action to achieve goals.

* Students will understand safety and survival skills.

At the elementary level, "we talk about who in the school building you can trust, (the importance of knowing your) phone number and address and as they get older, who in the community they can go to seek help," Stevenson Elementary School counselor Stephanie Doran said.

At the high school, counselors and administrators are meeting with a newly created student advisory council "to get input on what they need," Stork said.

Three students from each grade level sit on the council. Teachers and staff were asked to recommend students for the group based on more than just grade-point average so there would be a diverse set of students, high school Principal Dawn Sayre said.

The standards for academic planning include making sure students acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and throughout life, Stork said.

An area of focus at the high school is student transcript development, he said.

At Edison Intermediate/Middle School, students have taken anonymous surveys to help them evaluate their behavior toward others and whether some of their actions could be considered bullying, Edison counselor Kathy Gasaway said.

The students are asked to consider what characteristics they want in a friend, what makes them a good friend and how they can improve their own friendship skills, she said.

The answers given by students on the survey have been honest and heartfelt, Gasaway said.

Stevenson staffers are working to set standards for how adults and students in the building should treat each other, Doran said.

"We believe adults should treat students with respect and honesty and nurture the uniqueness of each student," she said. "We believe kids should include and help others and stand up for each other if needed."

The third-grade student council has initiated a "Have You Filled a Bucket" program.

Students are encouraged to write a compliment for someone and place it in a bucket in his or her classroom, Doran said.

Each Friday, student council members read three "bucket fillers" during morning announcements and pass out submitted compliments at recess, she said.

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