Your future is right around the corner.
School counselors at Thornton Academy hold three central questions in mind when working with our students: Who are they? What do they do well? Where will they go after graduation?
Students are assigned a school counselor and will stay with that counselor throughout the course of their TA career. The arc of our work begins with 9th grade where our focus is on life in secondary school. We emphasize the transition to Thornton Academy, self-awareness, and how best to become an involved community member. In 10th grade, we expand the development of students’ interests, abilities, and career awareness. This work clears the way for more in depth post-secondary and college planning which is the crux of the work with 11th and 12th graders.
School counselors help students and families understand the need to maintain appropriate and individualized academic programming. The School Counseling Department works with students to market those experiences to appropriate universities and colleges. The college application process is a daunting and exciting time for students and we are honored to walk with them on that journey. School counselors are committed to knowing their students well, and to collaborating with them to develop the best possible transition plans from high school to their next steps.
Thornton Academy prepared me so well for college, both academically and socially. The school's staff and teachers encouraged me to try different things and find things I am passionate about. Now I know what I care about the most.
monika kaczorowskA, TA '18; George washington university class of 2022
Students at Thornton Academy remain with the same counselor for the four years of high school. The department is divided into three teams with multiple counselors on each team who will focus on their students. Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive grade-level curriculum in the most efficient manner possible and in a way that further allows us to develop the crucial relationships needed to assist our students as they navigate the many changes of adolescence.
With freshmen, we emphasize the transition to high school, self-awareness and how best to become an involved community member. By visiting students in their classrooms and meeting with them individually, counselors guide students to the best course selection to achieve their desired post-secondary goals.
- Freshman parents attend 9th grade orientation
- Freshmen work with counselors to learn career/college search tools and discuss transitions into high school
- Teachers/counselors discuss correct 10th grade placement in content areas
With sophomores, we focus on interests, abilities, and the development of career awareness. In-depth college planning work begins during the junior year and continues through to graduation.
- Sophomores take PSAT exam in October
- Sophomore parents attend "meet-the-faculty night" and learn student schedules
- Counselors meet with sophomores to discuss post-secondary plans
- Counselors monitor/audit academic progress and coordinate placement for grade 11 classes
Junior year is extremely important for the transition process after high school. Your counselor will help you identify a list of potential schools that match your interests and skills. You will also receive guidance on best practices for success on standardized exams, resume preparation, and application completion and submission.
- Juniors take PSAT exam in October and the state-required SAT exam in May
- Junior parents attend "meet-the-faculty night" and learn student schedules
- Juniors work on career opportunities with counselors
- Juniors meet individually with counselors in spring to list teachers to write recommendations and to list target colleges
- Junior parents and student are invited to attend a "College Information Night" in the spring
- Counselors meet with parents in small groups about college application process
- Counselors monitor and audit student academic progress and coordinate placement for 12th grade classes
By the end of Senior year, each TA graduate will have a post-secondary exit plan. Students meet more frequently with their counselors during this year. Counselors assist in the application process, filling out necessary financial aid forms, and finally making a choice. We are here to support each TA student to make this process as smooth and successful as possible.
- Parents, students attend senior "College Information Night" in September
- Seniors work individually with counselors to finalize college lists and post-secondary plans
- Seniors prepare for college applications with counselor assistance
- Seniors write college essays in their English classes
- Seniors take any additional college testing needed in Fall
- Seniors, parents apply for FAFSA by December and file CSS, if needed
- Parents attend School Counseling Department's Financial Aid Seminar
- Parents file FAFSA after October 1st; students select college by May 1st