BR counselors review district guidance plan

Blue Ridge school counselors reviewed the district’s “339 Plan” at the board’s workshop meeting held Monday night.
The state requires all districts to have a kindergarten through 12th grade school counseling plan.
Elementary counselor Jessica Boyko said that in the early grades, the focus is mainly on character and skill-building.
Career awareness and exploration is also introduced in the elementary school with an annual career day.
Counselor Shauna Williams said that at the middle school level more emphasis is placed on “career awareness” with students looking at matching up their skills and interests with career fields.
She said there is also a focus on building “soft skills,” such as teamwork and attitude.
At the high school level, students are required to take a career exploration class, said 11th and 12th grade counselor Paula Finn. In the class, students develop a career inventory centered around career clusters.
Finn said counselors try to find out if students are potentially interested in attending the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center. That enables the counseling staff to help guide students with scheduling to complete graduation requirements before the students attend SCCTC for the full day in their senior year. Last year, interested students went on a field trip to SCCTC.
As part of Blue Ridge graduation requirements, students must also complete a job shadowing project in their junior year. The job shadowing is tied to the 11th grade English curriculum.
Finn said the goal is to have fewer students who don’t know what they want to do by the time they get into 11th grade.
She said that starting next week, she would begin meeting with 12th grade students to review post-graduation plans including programs, colleges and cost analysis.
The district’s 339 Plan will be reviewed and then brought before the board for approval in November.
Also before the board on Monday, will be the hiring of a new school counselor to replace a vacancy created by the retirement of Susan Cawley in September.
Superintendent Matthew Button reviewed the district’s comprehensive plan update. The plan – which highlights district goals – will come before the board at the Monday, Oct. 3 board meeting. It will also be available for public review and comment for 30 days prior to its final approval.
Facilities Chair Ed Arnold reported that a Pennsylvania State Police trooper conducted a security assessment of the campus. A report will be given to the district that highlights areas where there could be improvements to school security.
Boardmember Christina Cosmello reported that the Leo Club is collecting donations that will be delivered to the Penn State Children’s Hospital during the PSBA conference, Oct. 13-15.
“It’s a nice way to give back while we’re at the conference,” she said, adding donations are appreciated. Donations for the Leo Club collection may be sent to school with students.
Items that can be donated include:
All ages: Children’s board books (English and Spanish); coloring books, crayons, markers (washable); new release Lullaby CDs; fuzzy posters; paintable sun catchers; individual perler bead kits; Play-doh; Super Miracle Bubbles (non-scented);
Infants: Rattles; teethers; small board books; Fisher Price of Sassy brand crib toys; electronic light-up, musical toys; stacking or nesting toys; infant links;
activity gyms and play mats;
Preschoolers: Stickers;
small, easy craft kits;
School Age: small Lego kits; craft kits; individual
latch hook kits;
board games — Sorry, Trouble, Apple to Apples, Monopoly, Monopoly Jr., Battleship, Connect 4, Boggle, Bop It, Scrabble Jr., Boggle, Clue, Clue Jr., Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Memory Games Card games — regular playing cards, UNO, Skip-Bo, Phase 10;
Teenagers: Arts and crafts kits (Alex brand products are a favorite); Sketch pads and sketch tools; snap together model car kits; current teen magazines; Chapstick; lip gloss; body lotions and body sprays; nail polish (no nail polish remover).
Items not accepted: blankets, caps, hats, stuffed animals, used books, VHS tapes, and homemade items. No denominational or religious materials. And no items that have been stored for a long period of time.

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