New and Improved Group Guidance

Students attend group guidance in Library Classroom C.

Autumn McGee

Students attend group guidance in Library Classroom C.

Autumn McGee, Reporter

As an effort to increase counselor/social worker-student interaction when it comes to planning for life after high school, the counselors and social workers at East Leyden came together and started a new assistance program called Group Guidance.

“We are adopting more of a proactive approach to helping students rather than reactive,” says Ms. Dawn Erickson, Student Services chairperson. “It is our hope that we positively impact the mindset of students regarding having as many options as possible to choose from their senior year as they develop a plan for their next steps.”

Ms. Erickson, as well as the other counselors and social workers, planned for this program during inservice meetings last year by reviewing the students’ needs and looking at some data.

From a student’s perspective, they could use this program to their advantage when it comes to impacting future decision-making. After discussing the outcome of the College Fair hosted at Leyden last year, junior Sarah Krajewski believes Group Guidance is another easy way to start planning, and it can “give us more information and time to think about what we want to do after high school. We’ll think about new opportunities that we never thought of before.”

All students at Leyden will participate in and attend Group Guidance lessons. Freshmen will meet monthly in classrooms with their counselor. Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Group Guidance will take place in Library Classroom C, and they will be taking part in three lessons throughout the year, given by counselor teams.

Even though counselor visits to classrooms once or twice every year existed, the new program should allow students to accomplish a lot more in their planning. Alumnus Joe Cunningham feels that this program could have eased his college process.

“I feel like the program could have helped me come to a more secure, knowledgeable decision,” Cunningham says. His advice to the underclassmen is to “progressively be more in touch with your counselor throughout the years, not only for this program, but in general.

Increasing communication with a counselor about planning for the future could help create a closer bond between the student and counselor. This could result in a less stressful situation for the student when making decisions about life after Leyden.

While counselors are implementing the Group Guidance lessons into the students’ schedules, students will also attend three Emotional Intelligence Lessons delivered by social workers. According to Ms. Erickson, the lessons will focus on “providing tools that we hope will ultimately help them be more successful in school and life.”

The counselors and social workers taking part in these progressive lessons are anxious and curious to see the results of the first few lessons in which they are hoping for success. “I’m excited to see how the new program turns out,” Erickson says. “We’re hoping to see improvement compared to the past years when it comes to getting a start on planning for after high school.”