Counseling Corner Highland High Counseling Team

Welcome Freshmen, New Students and Returning Students!

We are excited for this upcoming school year, and we are so glad that you're all here at Highland High! For our new students, starting at a new school is an exciting opportunity to meet new friends and share unforgettable experiences, but it can also be overwhelming. There is a lot to learn: where your classes are located, classroom policies, how to make new friends, and how to prioritize schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and time with friends and family. Whatever your needs, the counseling team is here to help you along the way. Counselors are available to help with academics, social & emotional issues, and college and career planning. If you need help with something specific or just an ear to listen, stop in any time. Many times your counselor will meet with you on the spot, but there are a lot of you (1870 to be exact) so you may also fill out a purple request slip at the front desk and your counselor will call you down. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment to ensure availability.

College and Career Planning

The goal of high school is to prepare students for college and a career. A high school diploma is the first step, but that is just the beginning. The majority of careers now require more advanced education: a 1-year certificate, 2-year associates degree, 4-year bachelors degree or more (College = 1, 2, 4, or More). Counselors will meet with students individually and in groups to develop a College and Career Readiness Plan (CCR). This plan will set a goal for a career or career pathway, the education necessary, and the coursework that will support those goals. The good news is that some certificates and college credits can be completed while in high school for little to no cost. What's important is that students and families know that the path starts now. Work with your counselor and parents to develop a plan that's right for you.

Senior College & Career Presentations are scheduled for September 5 & 6. The presentations will take place during the senior language arts classes. Students and parents may contact their counselor in order to discuss questions about college and career planning one-on-one.

Group Sophomore College & Career Planning (CCRs) will take place October 28th - 30th.

Individual Freshman College & Career Planning (CCRs) will take place in November. Letters will be sent home toward the end of October with individual appointment times. IB Students will be scheduled separately.

Individual Junior College & Career Planning (CCRs) will take place in March. Parents will be notified closer to that time.

If parents are unable to attend meetings during the day, counselors will be available during Parent/Teacher Conferences, September 25 & 26.


1. Investigate careers and their educational requirements

2. Be aware of Grade Point Average (GPA) - used to determine college admission & scholarship awards

3. Plan to take the right classes and challenge yourself with Honors, AP, IB and CE classes

4. Get Involved - Join school clubs, after school programs and look for volunteer opportunities

5. Start early by preparing for the ACT (college readiness exam) and looking for Scholarships

Attendance Matters

As already mentioned, we are excited about our students - the ones we know and the ones we will soon meet. We hope to see each of your faces in school everyday - making us laugh, keeping us on our toes, and teaching us more and more about the world around us. But attendance isn't just about us; It's about you too.

Chronic Absence = Missing 2 or more days of school per month (excused or unexcused)

Students who are chronically absent are at risk of not graduating. Because lessons build on each other, even students who were doing well academically in middle school can fall behind by missing school. Missing a couple of days a month may not seem like a lot but it matters. Make sure to not miss more than 9 days of school per year in order to stay on track.

Therapeutic Services

Behavioral Health Services

If you are seeking therapeutic services for your child the counselors are here to help and can provide information on services within the community.

VOA Skills Group

The Volunteers of America (VOA) team is excited to run skills groups with Highland students starting the third or fourth week of September. Groups can support a student who is:

  • Looking for community connection and positive peer relationship
  • Seeking positive adult support
  • Struggling in school or lacking interest in school
  • Seeking opportunities to practice leaderships skills
  • Experiencing a major life transition
  • Or has a history of personal or family substance use

If your child would benefit from this, please let their counselor know.

College Preparation


The PSAT will take place on October 16. It is available to 10th and 11th grade students. The cost is $22. To register, pay the test fee to the Treasurer or online at MySchoolFees.

*Juniors: PSAT is used by the National Merit Scholarship Program to look for eligible students.

Paying for College

Scholarship Information Seminar - Thursday, September 26 - 6:00PM - Highland Library

PACE Scholarship Program - A scholarship program geared toward 9th grade students who need additional support in order to attend college. Applications will be available after first term.

College Fair

RMACAC College Fair will take place at Juan Diego Catholic High School on Saturday, September 7, 1:00PM-3:30PM. Colleges from across the country will be in attendance.

Help is on the Way!

Counselors - Talk with your counselor to get help or more information.

  • Claudia Kassner, A-D
  • Mary Akers, E-G and IB Students
  • Mia Naddeo, H-Ma
  • Sierra Collins, Mb-R
  • John Vallentine, S-Z

Freshmen Success & Youth Advocates - Available to students for academic support

Tutoring Available Monday thru Thursday in Room E216, 2:30PM-4:00PM

College Access Advisor - Katie Dickson

Scholarship Coordinator - TBD


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