The Oak Park High School Counseling Department

  • Counselors - 2018 Counselors - 2018 Graduation
     
     
     Email
     
     
    College & Career Center Jean Gilbert-Hawkins: jhawkins@opusd.org
    Freshman Counselor Janet Svoboda: jsvoboda@opusd.org     
     
    Grade 10-12 Counselors: 
    (A-Fq) Julie Ross (formerly Julie Heeney): jross@opusd.org
    (Fr-Mh) Suzie Stasiefski: sstasiefski@opusd.org
    (Mi-Tn) Jenny Charrett: jcharrett@opusd.org
    (To-Z, all 504, International & Summer School Students) Randy McLelland: rmclelland@opusd.org 
      
    #OakParkConnects
     
    is an exciting new website, provided by our district.  It is an open door site for parents to view the vital role of counselors and the counseling scheduled events in our district.  In addition, it provides some invaluable resources for parents to access information on the social-emotional well-being of children. 
     

    Oak Park Unified School District K-12 Counseling Philosophy

    The philosophy of the Oak Park Unified School District is to provide a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student learning through three broad and interrelated areas of student development. Each of these areas of student development encompasses a variety of desired student learning competencies, which in turn are comprised of specific knowledge, attitudes, and skills. The foundation of a developmental school counseling program includes:
    • Academic development
    • Career development
    • Personal/social development
    Comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs are an integral part of the total educational program.  California Education Code 49600 defines educational counseling as “specialized services provided by a school counselor possessing a valid credential with a specialization in pupil services.”  Counselors serve a vital role in ensuring that all students become successful learners. All students benefit from school counseling and guidance programs that are developmental in nature, preventive in design and comprehensive in scope.   
    A comprehensive, effective, results-based school counseling program includes: 
    • Measurable student competencies
    • A team effort of parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and other support staff; school, home, and community collaboration
    • Program accountability and evaluation
    • On-going training and professional development for school counselors
    • A program aligned with the National Standards for School Counseling Programs
    A comprehensive, effective, results-based school counseling program includes the following services:
    • Group counseling services
    • Individual counseling services
    • Result-based guidance curriculum
    • Consultation with parents and teachers
    • Collaboration with community resources
    We support the California State Board of Education whose policy states “ . . . all students attending public schools in California are entitled to receive the benefits of effective guidance and counseling programs and services designed to meet their educational, academic, career, vocational, personal and social needs at all levels of development.”
     
    Definition of the OPUSD K-12 School Counseling Program
     
    The OPUSD K-12 school counseling program is comprehensive, developmental and systematic in nature, sequential, clearly defined and accountable.  The program is integral to the educational process, proactive and preventive in its focus.  It employs strategies to enhance academics, provide career awareness, develop employment readiness, encourage self-awareness, foster interpersonal communication skills and impart life success skills for all students.   
    • Is similar to other educational programs, inclusive of curriculum, standards, and assessments.
    • Is developed by design, focusing on needs, interests, and issues related to the various stages of student growth.
    • Promotes more effective and efficient student learning.
    • Expresses a commitment to individual uniqueness and maximum development 
    • Is integral to school planning, school programs, and the school environment
    The school counselor:
    • Is a trained, credentialed professional.
    • Is not the school counseling program.
    • Is part of a collaborative team.
    • Facilitates communication and establishes linkages for the benefit of students, with teaching staff, administration, families, student service personnel, agencies, business and other members of the community.
    • Is recognized as an indispensable partner of the instructional staff in the development of good citizens and leaders.
    Our educational system is being challenged by the growing needs of today’s students and the rising expectations of society.  Some of our children attend school with emotional, physical and interpersonal barriers to learning as a result of societal and other factors.  However, all students require systematic support for their development.  Therefore, in a comprehensive school counseling program, less emphasis is placed on crisis-oriented services. The emphasis is on development for all students. An effective school counseling program begins when students enter the school system and continue as they progress through the educational process.  School counseling is an integral part of the total educational enterprise.

    The primary goal of the K-12 school counseling program is to promote and enhance student learning. Recognizing that all children do not develop in a linear fashion according to a certain timetable, there is intentional overlapping among grade levels (elementary, middle school and high school).  The OPUSD school counseling program reflects the progression of student development throughout the K-12 experience.  It is understood that mastery of basic skills facilitates the mastery of higher-order skills in each area of development.  Our counselors utilize a variety of strategies, activities, delivery methods and resources to promote student development.  Our school counselors’ responsibilities include the design, organization, implementation, and coordination of the program.

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