Mr. Raj Chattoo, Assistant Principal
The Guidance Department’s mission is to provide services and support to students and their families for the greatest level of academic, social and emotional success.
New York City Public School Guidance Counselors are professional educators certified by the New York State Department of Education and licensed by the New York City Department of Education. School guidance counselors serve the entire 9 to 12 school community, including students, families, staff, and school leaders. They work with school administrators to advocate for programs and services that are aligned with New York State Learning Standards for academic achievement, social and emotional development, preparation for higher education and career readiness. The framework for school counseling practices and service delivery is guided by the models of the American and New York State School Counseling Associations and the ASCA ethical standards.
The Guidance Department is located in Room 139. The Guidance Department, also known as Pupil Personnel Services, offers a comprehensive support program to assist the student in all aspects of student life and to enhance opportunities for personal, educational and career development. Students are assigned a guidance counselor when they enter in grade 9. This guidance counselor will remain with the student throughout their high school career until graduation. Students will meet with their guidance counselor at least once each term with the purpose of assessing their academic progress to date and plan for the progression of courses for the following terms. Counselors are also available to meet with students if an individual problem or concern arises. Students should see their counselor during their lunch period, after school ends, or make an appointment, if the need arises. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to take an active part in their child’s academic career and are welcome to meet with the counselors to discuss their child’s progress.
Parents/Guardians are asked to call their counselor at (718) 776-4728
Guidance Counseling provides students with assistance to successfully earn a diploma and make plans after graduating. Your counselor’s name appears on your program card and report card. During the first few weeks of the term, your counselor will meet with you to discuss any concerns you may have about beginning in a new school.
Counselors work individually with students, in small groups, in class group guidance sessions, and occasionally, in entire grade meetings. Your counselor is available to assist you with:
- Academic and Technical course selection
- Personal and family issues
- Personal growth and development
- Crisis intervention
- Referrals to a variety of outside agencies for more in-depth counseling and/or academic assistance.
- Substance abuse issues
Visit Your Guidance Counselor
Students see their counselors before or after school, or during lunch hours. Students may also be referred to their counselor through initiation by their teachers and/or deans. If you have an emergency, an appointment isn’t required. Go immediately to your counselor. Parents/guardians who wish to see their child’s counselor are to call the receptionist in the guidance office or their child’s counselor directly. To ensure that a counselor is available to meet with a parent/guardian, it is best to make an appointment, and arrive at the scheduled time.
College Questions and Answers
The College Office will help with career exploration and college counseling on an on-going basis throughout your high school experience. The College Office will provide you with information that will assist you in planning for your future either in the college selection and admission process, or in entering the work force after high school. When you make an appointment with the College Advisor, you are given an appointment slip which will indicate the date and time of your appointment. After your appointment, the College Advisor will countersign your pass as proof you were with him/her. When you return to class, present the pass to your teacher so you are not marked cutting for that period.
Keeping Student Records
It is very important for students and parents/guardians to keep their own cumulative file of important educational documents, in a safe place at home. Such documents are
- Report cards
- Diploma Worksheet
- Summer School and Evening School courses taken and grades received
- Community service documentation
- Letters of recommendation
- Saturday School documentation of courses taken
- College Now courses taken and grades
- College applications
Students must be very aware of their educational plan:
- They should be familiar with promotional and graduation requirements
- To plan along with their counselor in formulating the path they will take in fulfilling these requirements as they move towards graduation.
You should visit a counselor if:
- you are unsure of your schedule
- you are having a school, home, or personal problem
- you are interested in a special program
- you need academic help/support
WHAT DOES A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR DO?
The Guidance Counselor
- is a specialized professional
- is committed to the educational and emotional development of children
- helps every student to master the standards
- delivers a comprehensive school guidance and counseling program to every student
- aligns the school counseling program with the mission and vision of each school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP)
- conducts staff and community workshops
- facilitates Crisis Management and Intervention
- enforces the mandates of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- helps ensure the rights of Students in Temporary Housing (STH)
- educates and upholds rules and regulations as stated in the Chancellor’s Regulations
School guidance counselors collaborate with all members of the school community to develop and deliver a data driven program that supports every student’s academic, career and personal/social development, as follows:
- Supports student success through study and test taking skills
- Contributes to improving student attendance
- Ensures students receive Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
- Assures students have knowledge of and access to promotion and graduation requirements
- Focuses on increased graduation rates
- Uses data informed practice to increase opportunity and promote achievement
- Supports teachers in their work with students
- Focuses on reducing disciplinary referrals and suspension rates
- Positively impacts school climate
- Helps students acquire resiliency skills
- Promotes successful student transitions from grade to grade
- Teaches students mediation and conflict resolution
- Facilitates access to community resources
- Encourages positive motivation and aspiration
- Helps students explore postsecondary options, including college and career choices
- Facilitates the college application process
- Engages parents in educational and career planning for their children
- Helps parents to navigate the school’s role in the educational process
- Provides skills necessary for student success in school, community and the world of work
- Connects career goals to educational goals
From School Guidance Counselors in NYC Public Schools – Making the Difference for 21st Century Students and Schools prepared by NYC DOE and UFT 2008
Q: CAN A COUNSELOR SOLVE ALL MY PROBLEMS?
A: No one person has all the answers. However, your counselor will always help you find answers and help you to the best of their ability.
Q: IS THE NINTH GRADE TOO EARLY TO START THINKING ABOUT COLLEGE?
A: This is an individual matter. For some students, it is not too early. Others may wish to think about college, but at the very least each student should plan programs that keep doors open.
Q: DOES A COUNSELOR TELL ME WHERE TO GO TO COLLEGE OR HELP ME
WITH FINANCIAL AID?
A: No, although, your counselor may offer suggestions or recommendations. Your COLLEGE ADVISOR is here to help you and your parents/guardians to research colleges in terms of your interests, location, selectivity, etc., but the final choice is up to you and your parents/guardians. In addition, there are numerous local, state, and national scholarships and the COLLEGE OFFICE is one place to check for postings and applications. Information is announced and posted. LOOK! LISTEN! ASK!
Q: HOW DO I SEE MY COUNSELOR?
A: The counselors at Van Buren average over 450 students in their caseload and each and every student is entitled to our services. So, sometimes it is not possible to get immediate attention. However, you can always make an appointment with your counselor or drop in to see if they are free. We do request that you have a pass from a teacher to see your counselor. Also, be sure to keep your appointment when your counselor sends you a pass.
Q: HOW CAN I GET THE MOST AND BEST HELP FROM MY COUNSELOR?
A: Here is the heart of the matter. In order to benefit from your counselor’s experience and training, you must take an active role in your education. Utilize the Counseling Office to ask questions, seek advice, and get direction. Give your counselor the opportunity to get to know you. Your counselor will work just as hard as you do regarding your concerns. Accept responsibility for yourself and your decisions. Learn from your mistakes and how to profit from them. Working together, understanding each other – what you and we can and cannot do, you will then get the most of this office and your counselor. It is a team effort: YOU, your parents, and your counselor.
Mr. Raj Chattoo, Assistant Principal
Ms. Marina-Faye Deletrain
Ms. Catherine Giourgas
Ms. Janelle Lauria
Ms. Alexandra Pugliese
Mr. Dominick Stanco
Ms. Felice Stephens
Mr. Russell Chew
Ms. Christine Stamberg
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Mr. Brian Kelly