Senior Director of Student Support Services
Quincy Public Schools
34 Coddington Street
Quincy, MA 02169
The Student Support Teams are focused on student academic success and improving social competencies within Quincy Public Schools. Comprehensive school psychology, guidance, health and physical education programs are key components to supporting students and families. At each site within the Quincy Public Schools, guidance counselors, school psychologists, health educators and physical education staff play an integral role in supporting school wide efforts that promote positive school culture, a sense of community, student wellness and a commitment to student and family engagement. Student Support Staff are specialized professionals committed to the educational and emotional development of every child. Massachusetts American School Counselor and Massachusetts School Psychologists Associations Frameworks and the Quincy Public Schools Wellness Policy provide guidance for Student Support Programming.
Each year the Student Support Teams take the opportunity to assess and improve the student support programs at all levels. Quality programming and best practices are assessed through pre- and post-assessments of student learning and parent and student surveys. Student support teams analyzed that data to inform practice as well as increase opportunity to promote achievement. Guidance counselors and school psychologists intervene on behalf of students in many different ways, from providing academic support, such as teaching study and test taking skills, and ensuring that students and families have knowledge of and access to promotion and graduation requirements. Counselors and school psychologists provide personal and social development through a promotion of successful transitions, student mediation, and conflict resolution. This year the Student Support Teams will assist students and analyze complex issues regarding race, class, gender and other differences at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels. The programming at the middle and high school levels will be working with Visions Inc., a consulting agency that will assist in reaching the following goals:
- Teach students to hold a “both/and” perspective and to look at multiple levels, while increasing empathy and the complexity of thinking-leading to increasingly wise and effective action.
- Communicate more effectively across differences.
- Create a non-judgmental atmosphere which allows for challenges and accountability without accusation and blame.
- Analyze complex issues regarding race, class, gender and other differences at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels.
- To help create environments where differences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the benefit of all.
- Create strategies for inclusions that allow for engagement of all participants, so they can perform to their full potential
Counselors and school psychologists at the elementary and middle school levels are fostering positive social skills and academic success by collaborating with teachers and administrators and implementing school-wide initiatives such as Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports, mentor programs and social skills training. Counselors, psychologists and educators identify student performance barriers and create programs and systems of support for safeguarding students’ personal and social well-being and promote success for all students.
Elementary and middle school counselors have an important voice in school practices that impact student academic performance and behaviors. Counselors work with the leadership at their respective sites to develop strategies and systems that reach all students. This year, guidance counselors and school psychologists will again be eliciting staff and parent feedback to help drive decisions around programming. Student and family engagement in the educational process is an important component to successful Student Support Programs.
Counselors at the high school level are working hard at increasing graduation rates, engaging parents in educational and career planning and facilitating the college application process. Counselors are helping students make the connection between career goals and educational goals. Through Student Support Services, links from secondary education to workforce preparation and college readiness are made. The shift for the 21st Century learner is towards college and career readiness. That is; at the end of each grade, students should have the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare them for their post-graduate plans.
Preparing students for graduation includes teaching social and interpersonal skills, providing substance abuse prevention curriculum, promoting organizational skills, and empowering students to problem solve. The social and emotional learning needs of students are addressed within comprehensive guidance and educational opportunities through the health interventionists’ services offered at each high school.
Changes in curriculum through the Common Core Standards emphasize life-long learning: adaptability to change; knowledge skills and career dispositions with the goal for ensuring that students achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure, and successful career. (American Counseling Association) Guidance counselors and school psychologists provide the professional relationships that enable students and their families accomplish mental health, wellness and educational and career goals from the elementary to the high school level.
Attendance: Supervisors of Attendance are certified professionals who are responsible for enforcing the Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to school attendance and residency issues.They provide outreach to students and families where school attendance is a problem. Supervisors of attendance are members of the Student Support Team and monthly “Family Assistance Conferences” offer a wide array of services to families. Court involvement is a last resort for dealing with serious attendance issues.
Guidance Services: Guidance Counselors are professionally trained to assist all students in academic, personal, behavioral, and social-emotional areas. Counselors in each school work with students individually, in small groups, and in the classroom .Observation and teacher/ parent consultations allow counselors to understand the whole child and to plan positive interventions and referrals when necessary .Counselors emphasize preventive and developmental approaches to provide students with the life skills needed to deal with life’s pressures.
Elementary Counselors: Elementary counselors serve as the chairperson of the school’s special education program .Parents may contact the counselor for more information. Conflict resolution and personal safety skills lessons (“Kids and Company”) are presented to students each year.
Middle School Counselors: Middle School Counselors support students in their transition to the middle school setting .Counselors also assist eighth grade students and their parents with high school program planning. Student mediation is offered, study skills, and many topical groups are offered.
High School Counselors: High School Counselors provide academic and personal counseling to students individually and in small groups. Counselors also help students to evaluate their abilities and interests in order to develop realistic academic and career goals. High school counselors advise on college or technical school majors, admission requirements, exams, and financial aid.
Homeless Support Educational Services for Homeless Families:
Educational Services for Homeless Families are coordinated by a certified educator and provide outreach, referral, tutoring, transportation, and educational opportunities.The coordinator collaborates with the Student Support Team in each school to identify families in need and every effort is made to offer appropriate services. Click here to view/print a flyer describing services for homeless families.
Internet Safety: The Internet is a wonderful tool for learning. Information on any topic imaginable, great books, cutting-edge research and more can be brought directly to the desktop of any student. But along with the information, there can be danger. QPS has an extensive Internet Safety policy, including guides to keep students safe.
School Psychologists: School Psychologists are equipped to deal with a wide range of issues which children and young people may face. They are expert in evaluation and assessment and provide individual and group counseling as well as social skills training. Psychologists are also trained in crisis intervention and referral.
Quincy Teen Mothers: Quincy Teen Mother’s Program provides a high school education, family life classes, and parenting support to pregnant and parenting teens. This program, which is a model throughout the state, is in its twenty-fifth year of operation and is certified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
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