Guidance and Counseling

At the University School of Jackson, the development of the individual involves academic and non–academic support. The relationship among all members of the school community is vital to the success of the school. Our Middle and Upper School guidance counselor is available to help students from all walks of life feel supported and understood during these critical and sometimes tumultuous years of social and psychological development. In addition to unexpected personal crises, day-to-day issues arise in the lives of families and students that impact the ability to meet challenges put before them.

Read Fall 2012 USJ Magazine article, Program guides students through adolescence

Middle School Guidance Program

In the Middle School, the counselor coordinates all standardized testing and the Duke Talent Identification Program. The guidance counselor also meets with students in a small group format to discuss contemporary issues such as successful problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, virtue, adolescent communication skills, study strategies, and substance abuse. She also supports the advisory program and communicates with teachers when the need arises regarding a student‘s academic progress and can offer specific strategies to maximize success. The counselor is always available to meet with individual students as well as parents who have concerns about their child’s adjustment to the unique demands of the pre-adolescent and early adolescent age group.

Upper School Guidance Program

The support needed to ensure the success of the college-bound student can require a considerable amount of understanding of the issues pertaining to their lives. Small group discussions may be offered to students on topics such as balancing multiple expectations, challenging cultural norms and media influences, appropriate use of technology, healthy relationships, substance abuse and addiction, and what to expect from college life. 

The allure of risk-taking behaviors is typical in that age group. The counselor can offer a safe haven for students to reveal behaviors and concerns about themselves and/or their friends in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality. This is a time of transition into the adult world, and the issues that they deal with and the decisions they are making about their current and future lives can be overwhelming. The counselor is committed to supporting students and their families throughout these years. Health and safety of all students is paramount, so the student may be encouraged to share these concerns with his/her family.  If there are issues that, in the opinion of the counselor, would be better served by a referral for more extensive intervention, the counselor may contact the student’s family with recommendations while maintaining respect for their privacy.