Throughout December, counsellors met with Grade 12 students on an individual basis to discuss their post-secondary plans, ensure that students had required courses for their applications and had completed, or were near completing, their required forty hours of community service. As well, a number of our students attended a workshop offered by former grads about life after Clarkson. They received great information and suggestions about what to expect and how to be successful at both university and college.
Of our graduating class of 180 students, 128 have applied to universities, while 52 have applied for college programs and a few are thinking of returning for another year or entering the work world. All those students who have applied are excited to hear from these post-secondary institutions. Patience is the word we emphasize over and over. Some students will receive early acceptance into programs they have applied to, but the majority of students will not receive confirmation of acceptance until after mid-term second semester marks have been processed.
For our non-graduating students, February is an important month, as students will be choosing courses for next year. The course calendar books and information about post-secondary pathways will be handed out on February 4th. Grade assembly presentations will take place from February 5th – 7th to discuss course selections. The online web option selection (www.clarksonss.ca) is open from February 5th – February 21st. Students are encouraged to choose courses appropriate to their level, interests and realistic post-secondary aspirations. Parents are asked to review and sign a printed copy of their child’s course selections which will be returned to their homeroom teacher. Please feel free to contact your child’s guidance counsellor if you have any questions or concerns.
Over the last two years, one of the primary focuses of the Clarkson Guidance Department team has been increasing awareness of mental health issues for both staff and students. We have organized and presented valuable information during staff professional development workshops and surveyed both staff and students to find out their basic knowledge of mental health. As a result of the findings of those surveys, the guidance department and our student leadership team, PALS hosted a Mental Health Awareness Week in March 2012, which included a poster campaign, daily announcements, lunchtime breakout sessions on various topics related to mental health, community displays and special speakers. Mental health awareness and care remain a primary concern for the department and this year we will host another mental health awareness week. Other staff and members of our school community have also supported this vital work through student projects and various school initiatives supported by community grants.