The Guidance and Counseling Department of Stonewall Jackson Senior High School concurs with the philosophies stated in the handbooks for Virginia schools, for Prince William County Schools, and for Stonewall Jackson Senior High School. Our Guidance and Counseling Department's central philosophy is that each individual is continually engaged in a process of change as that individual moves toward the attainment of his or her goals.
To help all members of the school community attain these goals, Stonewall's Guidance and Counseling Department has evolved from a crisis-oriented service to a comprehensive program firmly grounded in principles of human growth and development. An equal partner with the school's instructional program, Guidance has added to its support-service programs a pro-active guidance curriculum designed to help students develop sound emotional and social skills. Specifically, the guidance curriculum program is a developmental educational plan that will promote in students the skills needed to:
- understand and respect themselves and others;
- behave responsibly in the school, the family, and the community;
- make wise choices;
- manage change successfully;
- solve interpersonal problems;
- make optimal use of their educational opportunities;
- communicate effectively;
- plan and prepare for personally satisfying lives; and,
- plan and prepare for socially useful lives.
With the support of the entire faculty and staff, the guidance curriculum is delivered by counselors who take responsibility for organizing and implementing structured classroom activities with students. Classroom and group activities focus on the competencies listed above. In an effort to be responsive to community and student needs, the guidance curriculum is evaluated and monitored on a continuing basis, and where necessary, redirected to help students acquire appropriate life skills.
In addition to delivering curriculum, Stonewall's Guidance and Counseling Department also provides traditional support services with three essential guidance components:
- individual counseling;
- individual guidance; and,
- system support services.
To implement the individual guidance component, counselors help students plan, monitor, and manage their own learning. Counselors assist students in developing, analyzing, and evaluating their educational, occupational, and personal plans and goals. Individual planning is focused on strategies such as individual appraisal, advisement, and placement. To provide individual counseling services for students in immediate need, counselors assist with strategies such as consultation, personal counseling, crisis counseling, and referral. To maintain overall system support, the guidance department carries out management activities in the following areas: research and development, staff and community public relations, professional development committee and advisory boards, community outreach, and program management and operations.
At Stonewall, the comprehensive guidance plan is a necessary part of the entire school program. It is designed to respond to individual student needs and to the needs of a community committed to high standards of learning.