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High School Orientation Resources

Essential Categories/Topics

Tour of school
How HS is different
Policies/Rules/Procedures/ Protocol/School Handbook review
School Culture
Parent Session
Counseling Services
What's Next Illinois
Extracurricular activities
Group Meeting with Administrators
Students and Parents
High School Vocabulary
Bell schedule
School Calendar
Role of Counselor
Housekeeping: Fees, ID's, Lockers, School calendar, lunch applications, medical forms
EPAS testing (Explore/Plan/ACT)
Academic support: tutoring, night school, credit evaluation/grad status
Social/Emotional support: anger management, conflict resolution, trauma, etc.
Staff introductions
Grad Requirements
ASCA domains + housekeeping
Meeting key stakeholders
Intro to critical resources

Differences between 9th grade and 10th-12th grade orientation

9th 10th-12th
Transition into high school
Differences btw E.S. and H.S.
More extensive / greater focus
Tour of school
More time
Study skills
Formal meeting reviewing rules and regulations
Bell schedule /Mock sample schedule
Organization skills
Upperclassmen advice
How to succeed
Using your agenda
GPA/Credits/Transcript overview
Fees, ID's schedules
Refresher of rules and regulations
Overview/recap + what's new this year
On track/off track information
Grade level specific meetings
College info
Career exploration
Financial planning
Verify SSN
Stress the need to be role models / mentors
Personal Essay

How do you get them there?

Feed them
All call system
Blast email/phone
Letters sent home/mailings/flyers
Neighborhood walk
Home visits
Visit feeder schools to announce important dates
Weekend event
Giving students their schedules
Post on website
Tell them it's mandatory
Incentives: gift cards, discounted fees, uniform free days, etc...

What do you do for those who are absent?

Hold a makeup session
Pull them out the first day of school to make sure they all get the same message
Individual/small group sessions for absentees
Mail out orientation information
Have peer mentors call those who are absent

How do you ensure that students are connected with their counselor / guidance sessions

Introduce yourselves
Role of the School Counselor session
Counselor t-shirts
Hand out postcards, flyers, pens identifying counselors
Photos of counselors with assigned divisions
Create a counselor page on school's website
Counselor Schedules / Services available / office hours
Grad requirements
Service Learning
Credit recovery / tutoring
4 year plans
What's Next Illinois

Ideas for Orientation Activities

Scavenger Hunt
High School Bingo
Ice Cream Social
A day in the life
Mock Classroom
Student Panel
Coming to a theatre near you
Family Fest picnic
College admissions reps onsite for seniors
Use peer mentors
Jeopardy game to review info + prizes!!

More Information

Karpouzian, Barbara
Director of Counseling
Novak, Brad
Lead High School Counseling Specialist