Upper School Counselor
The Upper School Counselor is available to all students for support with social-emotional issues, general health and wellness issues, and personal growth strategies. The counselor meets students as needed in private sessions and/or in groups. The counselor is also available for consultation from parents. Whenever possible, the counselor's conversations with students remain confidential, although students frequently give permission for the counselor to speak to parents. The counselor teaches the Ninth Grade Decision Making class, while the college counselors teach Decision Making II and Transitions.
This Ninth Grade course provides an opportunity for each girl to explore the beginning of her journey into adulthood. We know that the task of adolescence is separation and individuation, and we seek to help girls in the process by providing a "safety net," a place to talk about the issues they will confront during high school. To that end, we examine issues of identity development, families and the roles we play in them, human reproduction, relationships, diversity, body image, and alcohol and other drugs. The class is held in a discussion format, and girls are encouraged to express their views with an emphasis on respect for others' views.
Decision Making II
Eleventh Grade Decision Making begins the year with self-exploration. Girls reexamine their value systems, this time with a focus on the college process. During the second half of the year, students learn about the college process in the classroom, and they begin to meet with the college counselors to prepare a list of possible colleges to visit.
This final course is focused on the college process during the first half of the year. Students learn about standardized tests, practice interviewing, review websites that are helpful to the process, and work on the "common application." During the second half of the year, students begin to think about leaving Garrison Forest, and focus on their upcoming college experience. Common issues that arise for college freshmen are reviewed, and resources at colleges are discussed.