Intro to Guidance Services at Newton South From Shelly Borg, Director of Guidance

Welcome to Newton South! I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer, as you and your son or daughter prepare to start the 2013/14 school year. This letter is meant as an introduction to the services of the NSHS guidance department. I encourage you to check the school’s website for guidance department resources and other information throughout the year at www.newton.k12.ma.us/nshs.

Upon entering Newton South, students are assigned a counselor with whom they’ll remain until graduation. Siblings are assigned to the same counselor and House. Guidance counselors are knowledgeable professionals who work collaboratively with teachers, administrators, one another and the larger Newton South community on behalf of your child and family.

Counselors are advisors and primary support for students. They work with students individually and in groups, focusing on developmental issues, academic planning and course selection, personal matters of concern that might arise, and the college and post-high school transition process. Assisting students to achieve their maximum potential academically, while encouraging social and extracurricular experiences, is a major focus of our work. Above all, counselors seek to promote healthy development in all students in our school community.

As support for students and families, counselors are often the first person a parent or guardian contacts with questions or concerns. Please note that we respect the confidentiality of the relationships we form with students. We seek to understand the expectations and concerns parents have for their children and advise accordingly.

In addition to guidance counselors, Newton South has other specialists available to meet with students, including a Prevention/Intervention Counselor, School Psychologist and College/Career Counselor. We also have a METCO counselor who advises our Boston students.

As a general rule for parents, if you have a question or concern about your child, please contact us. If we’re unable to answer your questions, we will direct you to someone who can. A few general guidelines are:

Please call or email your child’s counselor when:

  • You have a concern regarding your child
  • You’d like to check on their overall progress
  • You have information that affects or may affect your child
  • You have not seen your child’s report card or mid-term notices
  • You have a personal matter to discuss about your child
  • You have a question regarding your child’s schedule or course selection
  • You don’t know whom else to ask!

Please do NOT call the counselor when:

  • Your child is out sick or will be late (call the House Secretary)
  • You want to reach a particular teacher (e-mail the teacher directly or call the House Office to leave a message with the House Secretary for the teacher).

It will be helpful if you advise us of important change(s) in your family, such as an extended illness, separation, divorce, remarriage, a death in the family or other event or issue that may be impacting your child. While it is up to you to decide how much information to share, it’s important to remember that the more we know about a student, the more support and guidance we can offer. It’s often a counselor’s responsibility to inform teachers of major changes in your child’s life. This kind of information sharing is done with you and/or your child’s knowledge.

We look forward to getting to know you and your son or daughter the next four years.

Guidance Department:

Shelly Borg, Director and Cutler House Counselor 617-559-6537
Sue Batler, Goldrick, Cutler 617-559-6536
Marcy Davidson, Goodwin 617-559-6703
Chris Hardiman, Goldrick 617-559-6541
Dave Kershaw, Wheeler, Cutler, Goodwin 617-559-6535
Aaron Lewis, Wheeler 617-559-6538
Jim Medeiros, Cutler 617-559-6540
Hae-Kyung Choi, Wheeler, Goldrick, Cutler 617-559-6545
Donna Segal, Cutler 617-559-6539
Sarah Style, Goodwin 617-559-6542
Homer Turner, Wheeler 617-559-6543
Barbara Brown, College and Career Counselor 617-559-6544
Rich Catrambone, Prevention/Intervention Counselor 617-559-6577
Katani Sumner, METCO Counselor 617-559-6569
Jan O’Neil, Registrar 617-559-6511