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Student Success Plan

Annual individual meetings are held to review a student's academic progress, explain and answer questions regarding course selection and ensure students are taking the proper credits toward graduation.

Simsbury High School Program of Studies and Student Learning Cluster booklet
(Go to SHS website and click on "Documents & Links.")

Grading Portal

The Student Success Plan is a collection of programs and services that addresses academic, personal/social, and career topics for students in grades 7 - 12.

The purpose of the Student Success Plan is to:

  • Set personal and academic goals
  • Support rigorous high school expectations
  • Explore postsecondary education and careers

The Student Success Plan incorporates 21st Century Skills, essential skills that the district is currently working to identify.

Success Plan Components by Grade Level

Grade 6

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Personal Learning Plans (A, P/S, C)

Every student in grade 6 develops a Personal Learning Plan with the assistance of their sixth grade teachers. Survey questions prompt students to identify strengths and weaknesses to develop short and long-term personal and academic goals and steps to reach these goals. The plan will be utilized by counselors and teachers to help them work towards achieving their goals.

6th Grade Open House for Parents/Guardians (A, P/S)

Sixth grade parents are invited to visit HJMS in late winter. Parents will hear about seventh grade curriculum and afterschool activities. Current grade 7 Leadership Academy students will provide a panel of their personal experiences and be available to answer questions.

HJMS Staff Visits to Elementary Schools (A, P/S)

Administration and counselors visit all elementary schools in the spring. Students have the opportunity to hear about upcoming activities and ask questions in order to ease their concerns.

Elementary Schools Visit HJMS (A, P/S)

Students participate in tours of HJMS in the spring led by Leadership Academy students. Administration and teachers provide additional information about scheduling and activities. Seventh grade students share their transition concerns and successes.

HJMS Counselors Visit Elementary Schools (A, P/S)

School counselors meet with future caseload to discuss daily life at HJMS and answer questions regarding school culture.

Transition Conversations (A, P/S)

Counselors, psychologists and social workers meet with colleagues from the elementary schools to discuss student concerns.

Summer Orientation (A, P/S)

All incoming 7th grade students are invited to a summer orientation in late August. Leadership Academy students help facilitate activities, including opening lockers, understanding the schedule etc.

Grade 7

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Orientation (A, P/S)

To help navigate the transition to middle school, the School Counseling Department supports adjustment and paves the way for a successful year.

The following are offered:

  • 6th Grade Open House for parents
  • Spring visits to elementary schools
  • Elementary schools visit HJMS
  • Counselors meet with their future students at elementary schools
  • Summer orientation program for all incoming 7th graders

Summer Orientation for Students New to Simsbury (A, P/S)

Students new to Simsbury Public Schools participate in a welcoming program to assist in the transition to HJMS.

8th grade Leadership Academy students connect with new students to familiarize them with the HJ community, expectations, resources and opportunities.

New Student Individual or Group Meetings (P/S)

Counselors meet with students new to Simsbury Public Schools to acquaint them with HJMS and ease their transition.

  • Review schedule, policy, and procedures
  • Allow the students the opportunity to meet and discuss transition with other new students
  • Familiarize students with available resources at HJMS
  • Individual planning to facilitate academic and personal goal-setting

Developmental Guidance Lesson (A, P/S, C )

Lessons delivered in a variety of settings including: homerooms, full class periods, team meetings and small groups.

  • Successful transitions
  • Goal setting and course selection
  • Career exploration
  • Test-taking and study skills
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Appreciation of diversity
  • Bullying and teasing

Hands-up Team Meetings (A, P/S)

Counselors meet with each team weekly to discuss all students’ challenges and successes. Team members identify student concerns (academic, personal/social, and behavioral) and develop appropriate interventions. This is also a forum where we recognize and celebrate student successes.

Small Group Counseling (A, P/S)

School counselors offer groups as needed during the year that address a variety of topics including: stress management, anger management, coping with divorce, death, etc. Students may refer themselves or be referred by a parent/guardian or faculty member.

Learning Styles Inventory (A, P/S, C)

7th grade students complete the Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) as part of a homework assignment in order to discover each student’s learning and working style. We encourage and help students to know themselves – strengths, challenges, and goals – so that they can make more informed decisions about academics, activities, and eventually careers. The LSI provides one of those building blocks by helping each student to identify as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. Students can then begin to understand how to use that knowledge to self-advocate and to apply the student’s personal learning and work styles in and out of the classroom.

Personal Learning Plans (A, P/S, C)

Every student in grades 6, 7, and 8 develops a Personal Learning Plan with the assistance of school counselors. Middle school students answer survey questions through the online program called Naviance Family Connection. The questions prompt students to identify strengths and weaknesses, to develop short and long-term personal and academic goals, and steps to reach those goals.

The program will be utilized by counselors, administrators, families, and students throughout their middle and high school careers.

Course Selection Process (A)

Students receive the HJMS Program of Studies and options for world language and music electives for grade 8.

Counselors meet with students as needed to address their questions and concerns.

Responsive Services (A, P/S)

Middle School students often have concerns about their transition, family, and friends. Students are encouraged to speak to their counselor one-on-one, as they are trained to give assistance on these issues. School counselors respond to the social emotional needs of all students as needed through several types of services.

Through responsive services, school counselors partner with Henry James students to establish connections, meet their challenges, and develop their character. Counselors also work collaboratively in consultation with outside support persons to provide as safe and productive a school environment as possible.

Lunch ‘n Learn (C)

Spring activity collaborated with the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce to expose students to a variety of career possibilities. Students eat lunch with community mentors and learn about their careers.

Grade 8

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Summer Orientation for Students New to Simsbury (A, P/S)

Students new to Simsbury Public Schools participate in a welcoming program to assist in the transition to HJMS.

8th grade Leadership Academy students connect with new students to familiarize them with the HJ community, expectations, resources and opportunities.

New Student Individual or Group Meetings (P/S)

Counselors meet with students new to Simsbury Public Schools to acquaint them with HJMS and ease their transition.

  • Review schedule, policy, and procedures
  • Allow the students the opportunity to meet and discuss transition with other new students
  • Familiarize students with available resources at HJMS
  • Individual planning to facilitate academic and personal goal-setting

Developmental Guidance Lesson (A, P/S, C )

Lessons delivered in a variety of settings including: homerooms, full class periods, team meetings and small groups.

  • Successful transitions
  • Goal setting and course selection
  • Career exploration
  • Test-taking and study skills
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Appreciation of diversity
  • Bullying and teasing

Hands-up Team Meetings (A, P/S)

Counselors meet with each team weekly to discuss all students’ challenges and successes. Team members identify student concerns (academic, personal/social, and behavioral) and develop appropriate interventions. This is also a forum where we recognize and celebrate student successes.

Small Group Counseling (A, P/S)

School counselors offer groups as needed during the year that address a variety of topics including: stress management, anger management, coping with divorce, death, etc. Students may refer themselves or be referred by a parent/guardian or faculty member.

Personal Learning Plans (A, P/S, C)

Every student in grades 6, 7, and 8 develops a Personal Learning Plan with the assistance of school counselors. Middle school students answer survey questions through the online program called Naviance Family Connection. The questions prompt students to identify strengths and weaknesses, to develop short and long-term personal and academic goals, and steps to reach those goals.

The program will be utilized by counselors, administrators, families, and students throughout their middle and high school careers.

Strength Explorer (A, P/S, C)

8th grade students take this survey to find out about the unique strengths each student possesses and how to use those gifts to create a personalized path to success. After completing Strengths Explorer each student receives information about their specific categories of strength and what they indicate. The program focuses on what is right with each student from a strengths perspective rather than on areas of weakness. For young people, learning about how their talents affect their performance enables them to transfer that self-knowledge to the goals they want to accomplish in the future.

Course Selection Process (A)

Counselors present information to all eighth grade students to explain their level recommendations and help them to make elective requests.

Counselors familiarize students with the SHS Program of Studies, Student Learning Cluster booklet and graduation requirements to enable them to plan an individualized course of study.

Individual follow-up meetings are held to verify course requests and answer student questions.

Lunch ‘n Learn (C)

Spring activity collaborated with the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce to expose students to a variety of career possibilities. Students eat lunch with community mentors and learn about their careers.

Transition Programming for High School (A, P/S)

To help navigate the transition to high school, the School Counseling Department encourages the following
  • Attendance for students and families at the SHS 8th grade Course Selection Program
  • Students should verify courses and electives with their school counselor
  • Attendance at back-to-school activity in late August for freshmen to receive their schedule, locker and orient themselves to the building

Middle school counselors meet with SHS counselors and administration to provide insight and information for a successful transition.

Responsive Services (A, P/S)

Middle School students often have concerns about their transition, family, and friends. Students are encouraged to speak to their counselor one-on-one, as they are trained to give assistance on these issues. School counselors respond to the social emotional needs of all students as needed through several types of services.

Through responsive services, school counselors partner with Henry James students to establish connections, meet their challenges, and develop their character. Counselors also work collaboratively in consultation with outside support persons to provide as safe and productive a school environment as possible.

Grade 9

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Personal Learning Plans (A, P/S, C)

The PLP is an online tool for students to plan, organize, track and reflect upon goals and achievements. Learning plan questions address the following:

  • Academic plans
  • School and community activities
  • Personal and social goals
  • Future plans
  • Career interests
  • SHS adult connections
  • NavianceFamily Connection

College and Career Center (C)

The Counseling and Career Center (CCC) is located in the School Counseling office and offers students an array of printed and electronic information on summer opportunities and/or career exploration programs.

Individual Meetings with Counselors (A, P/S, C)

Individual conferences are held to begin developing a relationship with your counselor. Since counselors work with the same student for four years, there are many opportunities to initiate appointments to discuss academic, career and personal issues.

Course Selection/Credit Checks (A)

All students will meet with their counselor to review progress toward established graduation requirements and complete individual course selection accordingly.

Simsbury High School Program of Studies and Student Learning Cluster booklet are available on the SHS website (click on "Documents & Links")

Grading Portal

SHS Connect (A, P/S)

SHS Connect is a program started in 2009 where grades 9-12 are assigned to small groups with a faculty mentor. The time frame and small group environment provides an opportunity to develop a stronger connection with an adult and peers in the building (who they may or may not already know) in order to discuss current topics of interest or concerns.

Grade 10

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Personal Learning Plans (A, P/S, C)

The PLP is an online tool for students to plan, organize, track and reflect upon goals and achievements. Learning plan questions address the following:

  • Academic plans
  • School and community activities
  • Personal and social goals
  • Future plans
  • Career interests
  • SHS adult connections
  • NavianceFamily Connection

Individual Meetings with Counselors (A, P/S, C)

Individual conferences are held to begin developing a relationship with your counselor. Since counselors work with the same student for four years, there are many opportunities to initiate appointments to discuss academic, career and personal issues.

Course Selection/Credit Checks (A)

Annual individual meetings are held to review a student's academic progress, explain and answer questions regarding course selection and ensure students are taking the proper credits toward graduation.

Simsbury High School Program of Studies and Student Learning Cluster booklet
(Go to SHS website and click on "Documents & Links.")

Grading Portal

Resume Builder (P/S, C)

Online resume builder allows students to sytematically build a resume by adding new activities each year.

Naviance Family Connection

Do What You Are (C)

Juniors complete an inventory in Family Connection that identifies their personality type and links it to careers with people who have similar personality preferences.

Naviance Family Connection (Look under "About Me" and click "Personality Type.")

Career Interest Profiler (C)

Online tool that can help students discover the types of work activities and careers that match their interests.

Naviance Family Connection

Career Resource Center Resources and Programs (C)

The College and Career Center (CCC) is located in the School Counseling office and offers students an array of printed and electronic information on summer opportunities, employment, and career resources. The CCC also hosts a variety of speakers throughout the year, from college admissions representatives to working professionals sharing career experiences.


Testing Information (A)

Students are engaged in a variety of testing during the sophomore year, some required and some optional. All students take the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), in Science.

Some students may want to consider the following optional assessments based on individual readiness:

Counselors and teachers can help students determine their readiness to complete these tests successfully.

Individual Meetings with Counselors (A, P/S, C)

All students will meet with their counselor to review progress toward academic, personal/social, and career goals.

Grading Portal

Course Selection/Credit Checks (A)

All students will meet with their counselor to review progress toward established graduation requirements and complete individual course selection accordingly.

Simsbury High School Program of Studies and Student Learning Cluster booklet are available on the SHS website (click on "Documents & Links")

Grading Portal

OPTIONAL Programs

Mock College Admissions (A, C):

College admissions representatives facilitate an exercise that simulates what happens with student applications during the admissions review process.

  • Student and parent groups act as admission committees
  • 15+ colleges participate

College Fair (A, C):

The college fair is hosted in the spring by the guidance departments of Simsbury High School and Avon High School. The event, held at The Hartford in Simsbury, draws 100+ colleges.

  • Students can gather information about prospective colleges.
  • Students have the opportunity to speak with admissions representatives.

Grade 11

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Junior Groups/Post High School Planning (A, P/S, C)

Juniors meet in small groups several times with their counselor to learn how to plan for the future. Topics include:

  • Post high school options
  • College admission criteria
  • Standardized testing
  • Timetable for college planning
  • Developing a resume
  • Writing a college essay
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Visiting colleges
  • Financial aid

Junior Questionnaire (A, P/S, C)

Juniors complete a questionnaire in Family Connection to help them reflect on "who they are" and identify their future goals. This questionnaire assists juniors as they prepare for the college essay, college/employment interviews, and helps counselors write letters of recommendation.

TCCI Family Connection (Look under "About Me" and click "survey history" to access the Junior Questionnaire.)

My Game Plan (A, P/S, C)

Juniors complete a series of questions in Family Connection that help them define their "game plan." The questions are related to goals, college interests, college athletics, and people who will write their references

Naviance Family Connection (Look under "About Me" and click "Game Plan.")

“Do What You Are” (P/S, C)

Juniors complete an inventory in Family Connection that identifies their personality type and links it to careers with people who have similar personality preferences.

Naviance Family Connection (Look under "About Me" and click "Personality Type.")


Resume (A, C)

Juniors write drafts of resumes to be used in future interviews and in the college application process.

Naviance Family Connection (Look under "About Me" and click "resume" to access the resume builder.)

Career Interest Profiler (C)

Juniors complete an interest inventory to learn about themselves and careers that match their interests.

Naviance Family Connection (Look under "About Careers" and click "Career Interest Profiler.")

Individual Meetings with Counselor (A, P/S, C)

Juniors meet individually with their counselor to discuss post–high school options. A list of colleges and/or other educational options will be developed.

Meetings begin immediately after return from Winter Break and run through March.

Testing Information (A)

Juniors receive information about standardized testing used for college admission. Dates of the exams, testing sites, registration procedures, and exam uses will be explained.

Course Selection/Credit Checks (A, P/S, C)

Juniors meet with their counselor to discuss current and future course choices. Graduation credit requirements are monitored.

Simsbury High School Program of Studies and Student Learning Cluster booklet are available on the SHS website (click on "Documents & Links")

Grading Portal

New Panel

Optional Programs

Athletes in College Admissions (A, C)

A local college athletic director discusses the high school athlete recruiting process and NCAA requirements.

NCAA website

Mock College Admissions (A, C)

College admissions representatives facilitate an exercise that simulates what happens with student applications during the admissions review process.

  • Student and parent groups act as admission committees
  • 15+ colleges participate

College Fair (A, C)

The college fair is hosted by the guidance departments of Simsbury High School and Avon High School. The event, held at The Hartford in Simsbury, draws 100+ colleges.

  • Students can gather information about prospective colleges.
  • Students have the opportunity to speak with admissions representatives.

College Visitation (C)

Colleges offer open house and other visitation opportunities for interested students. Information about such options can be found posted in Naviance under "Bulletins." Information will also be posted outside the School Counseling Office and in the College and Career Center.

Grade 12

Student Success Plan Components

Experiences that incorporate 21st Century Skills into the academic (A), personal/social (P/S), and career (C) domains

Senior Groups/Post secondary planning (C)

In the fall, counselors meet with all seniors in groups to describe the post–high school planning process and to provide timely information about applying to college.

Individual Meetings with Counselor (A, P/S, C)

Counselors meet individually with all seniors in the fall to focus on post–high school planning. Each student's specific needs are addressed.

  • Exploring options
  • Planning for college, the military, employment, a gap year, etc.
  • Reviewing timelines

Testing Information – SAT, ACT, ASVAB, AP (A, C)

Standardized testing is one of the tools colleges, universities, and the military use to evaluate candidates. Students must request that official scores be sent from the College Board and/or ACT.

SAT

  • SAT is given at Simsbury High School multiple times per year
  • Students register online at the College Board
  • Some colleges and universities are SAT optional www.fairtest.org

ACT

  • An alternate to the SAT
  • ACT is given at nearby schools several times per year
  • Students register online

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

  • ASVAB website
  • Group of tests measures aptitude in career areas
  • Required for students planning to enter the military
  • Given at SHS each winter without charge
  • No obligation to enter the Armed Services

Advanced Placement (AP)—comprehensive subject exam

  • College Board
  • Given in May
  • Scores of 3 or better may earn college credit
  • Students must send official results to chosen college to earn credit

Access Scholarship Information (C)

The Simsbury High School Guidance Department provides multiple resources for scholarships in print and online.

Local scholarships

  • Single application for all local scholarships available in January
  • All awards are given to SHS students
  • Need-based and non-need-based awards

Web-based scholarship searches

  • Fast Web searches for free scholarship matches
  • Avoid search engines or scholarship applications that charge a fee

Senior Survey (A, P/S, C)

Seniors are asked to complete a survey on Naviance in the spring to answer questions about their experience at Simsbury High School and to gather information about Post High School Plans.

Optional Programs

Senior Parents' Night (A, C)

Counselors meet with parents of seniors to share information about the college application process. Discussion may include such topics as:

  • Factors in the admissions process
  • Trends in college admissions
  • Completing college applications

Senior Parents' Night 2009 PowerPoint presentation

Career Resource Center (C)

Each year, the Career Resource Center hosts 150+ visitors representing various post–high school options. These include:

  • College representatives
  • Military recruiters
  • Student alumni

College Visitation (C)

Colleges offer open house and other visitation opportunities for interested students. Information about such options can be obtained through the College and Career Center.

Financial Aid Night (A, C)

A college financial aid officer presents information on procedures for acquiring financial aid. Discussion includes:

  • Completing financial aid applications
  • Formulas for determining federal and institutional aid

Financial Aid PowerPoint Presentation

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