What WE do!

SDHS Counselors foster the academic, social/emotional, and personal development of all students through a comprehensive set of services tailored to each individual’s abilities, goals, and needs.



SDHS counselors engage with students to help them better evaluate and understand educational & career pathways, determine course placement and scheduling options, and develop a 4-year high school plan. We continue to monitor students’ progress along the way.



School counselors are the first point of contact for a student’s family on these topics:

  • Academic planning (4-year high school plan)

  • Course selection, placement, and enrollment

  • Graduation requirements and progress toward graduation

  • Adding and dropping courses


Each year, students meet with their SDHS counselor to plan their individual course schedule. Counselors make sure that students are taking classes that are appropriately challenging and that meet their goals. They also help manage any changes to student schedules throughout the year.


GRADUATION: SDHS counselors track student progress towards graduation requirements and manage changes.


SDHS counselors work to ensure that students social emotional needs are met. All students have a counselor dedicate to their personal development and well-being. We use a strengths-based approach and seek to proactively address obstacles and challenges.

When students struggle, counselors work with them along with their parents, teachers, and mentors to develop and implement individual academic and/or support plans.



  • One-on-one short-term confidential counseling.

  • Regular student check-ins on course workload with fewer check-ins as the student gains competence and confidence, allowing them to take full control.

  • Consultation with parents, teachers, and other educators, such as tutors or learning specialists with whom families are working.

  • Classes, workshops, and guidance lessons on topics of importance to our students and families.

  • Development of student support improvement plans.

  • Intervention and advocacy.

  • Accommodations through IEP or 504 plans.

  • Referral to in-house programs such as tutoring, the Wellness Center and other SDHS partners.

  • Referral to outside support services and community resources, such as mental health professionals.


The SDHS counseling program promotes the well-being of all SDHS students.



SDHS counselors help students navigate the college application process and understanding their post-graduation options. Counselors act as a resource for students and families in developing the student’s post-graduation path. 


We work closely with students, encouraging them to discover their interests, explore possibilities, and take ownership of their college application process. We believe strongly in students identifying and enrolling in the college that best aligns with their personality and goals.




  • Review the value of higher education and learn that college is possible for everyone.

    • Relate high school to college aspirations.

    • Understand the importance of goal setting and rigorous academic choices.

    • Consider pursuing advanced courses like AP/IB.

  • Evaluate their high school progress, develop or revise their academic plan, become familiar with the various college and career application processes, and learn how to prepare for the road ahead.

  • Explore the many types and offerings of various colleges.

    • Learn what colleges look at, and learn about the different majors and programs offered.

  • Know the differences between degree levels and connect college/degree levels to careers.

    • Students learn how to explore colleges in depth, align their interests and academic profile to specific colleges, understand the concept of reach, safety, and likely, then create their college lists.

  • Explore the concept of “fit” and learn that the college search begins with an understanding of their needs and preferences.

    • Students learn about varieties of college types and college criteria.

    • They relate these options to their goals and preferences.

    • They learn how to research colleges, and they learn how to evaluate college quality.

    • Students see how college differs from high school and develop realistic expectations for what college will be like and how they see themselves fitting into a specific college program.

  • Introduced to the “big picture” of the complete college search and application process, spanning junior/senior year.

    • Students identify what has to be done and when and learn how to manage the process.

    • Students learn how to complete applications.

    • They learn how to pull all the components of the application together and how to pace themselves so their applications are completed by the due dates.

  • Know the financial aid process and timelines.

    • They understand how “need” is determined.

    • Evaluate how financial aid will affect their college options and choices.

    • Know how to make their case.

    • Students know where financial aid comes from, know the basic components of financial aid, know the difference between “need” and “merit”, understand the relationship between academic success in high school and financial aid, and know that families benefit by saving for college. 

  • Understand how colleges view extracurricular activities.

    • Understand the difference between deep-involvement in one activity and lighter involvement in many.

    • Understand the self-development benefits beyond building a resume.

    • Learn that their extracurricular interests reveal their aptitudes.