Guidance counselors are vital members of the education team as they help in all areas of development: academic, personal/social, and career, assisting each to become responsible, contributing members of society. Counselors help students grow personally and socially by facilitating them to develop self-knowledge, appreciate diversity, make effective decisions, develop relationship skills, learn to make healthy choices, accept responsibility and resolve conflicts. Moreover, counselors are accountable for assisting and advocating for the following constituent groups: students, parents, faculty, and community members.
Lower and Middle School Guidance Program
The lower and middle school developmental counseling curriculum at Sacred Heart Academy is based on the American School Counselor Association’s national standards and is aimed to assist all students in achieving a positive, healthy outlook towards themselves and others. The program is infused throughout the entire school curriculum and is comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature. Ultimately, students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and interpersonal skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across their lifespan.
As part of the school counseling program, developmental guidance classroom lessons are based upon Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum. This curriculum helps schools and families encourage children to think about other's feelings, solve problems cooperatively, and manage their anger in a positive way. The Second Step program for grades K-5 is divided into three units:
- Unit I: Empathy Training
- Unit II: Impulse Control and Problem Solving
- Unit III: Anger Management
The curriculum for grades 6-8 addresses the issue of interpersonal violence among adolescents. It is designed to reduce their impulsive and aggressive behavior and increase their level of social competence through empathy training, interpersonal problem solving, behavioral skills training, and anger management.
Confidential individual and group counseling is available for all students. If a student desires the services of the counselor, she may ask permission from her teacher and visit the counselor immediately or schedule an appointment. In partnership with other educators, parents and community members, school counselors support the educational system to ensure all students at Sacred Heart are prepared with the knowledge and skills to function in a changing society.
Upper School Guidance Program
Guidance at Sacred Heart Academy focuses on the social, educational and emotional development of students in relation to their school experience. A team approach with the school counselor, division director, and faculty will act together to assist each student in reaching her potential. The counselor helps students gain self-confidence, effective verbal communication skills, and enhanced self-esteem through Junior and Senior Seminars. In addition, the counselor aims to assist students in acquiring the motivation, optimistic outlook, and responsibility necessary to become a successful learner. To assist parents and faculty members, the counselor acts to coordinate and interpret test scores and information. The counselor also acts as a resource to provide information regarding local agencies and organizations that can be of assistance to families.
"Confidentiality" is a term used in school counseling to describe the student's right to privacy. A student has the right to expect that what she discusses with the counselor (or any faculty or staff member) will remain confidential. Please be aware that the counselor reserves the right to consult with other professionals when necessary, but will maintain confidentiality unless the student authorizes the disclosure. If the counselor judges that a situation involves "clear and present danger" to the student or to other students, confidentiality may be broken. Students at Sacred Heart Academy should always be treated with the utmost respect and caring by the counselor and faculty and staff members.
Upper School Counselor
Mrs. Ashley Fullen
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Villanova University
Master of Education in School Counseling, West Chester University
610-527-3915 Ext. 266
Lower and Middle School Counselor
Mrs. Lauren Horowitz
B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University
M. S.Ed. in Psychological Services with a certificate in school counseling, University of Pennsylvania
610-527-3915 Ext. 219
To read more on the Catholic response to racism:
“Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love,” A Pastoral Letter against Racism by the U.S. Catholic Bishops (2018)
Combatting Racism: A Resource Board, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The following resources may be of help, as we work to understand this challenging time, help our students process these current events, and find ways to support our community
Talking to Children after Racial Incidents, Penn Graduate School of Education interview with Howard Stevenson, PhD
Helping Children Cope with Frightening News Child Mind Institute, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD
Sesame Street: Why All Parents Should Talk With Their Kids About Social Identity, by Cory Turner on NPR
Bloom - Building Mindful, Well, and Equitable Schools and Businesses
Let Us Pray
The final words of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church:
Social life is made by human beings. The society we live in is the outcome of human choices and decisions. This means that human beings can change things. What humans break, divide, and separate, we can — with God's help — also heal, unite, and restore.
What is now does not have to be. Therein lies the hope. And the challenge.
Come, Holy Spirit!
Fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle within us the fire of your love.
Come, Holy Spirit!
Breath into us a fiery passion for justice.
Especially for those who have the breath of life crushed from them.
Written by Fr. Bryan N. Massingale
Crisis Text Line: text SHARE to 741741