Guidance & Academic Support


career day 1

A student gains experience in a mock interview with a local businessman during Career Day

Our guidance and counseling staff strives to support each student in his or her spiritual, academic, personal and social growth.  Through individual and group meetings, the counseling program is designed to help our students maximize their high school experience.  Our goal is to address the needs of students at each developmental stage of high school.

During their first year, students will have an opportunity to participate in programs that focus on developing sound study skills, providing support for transitioning to high school, while also looking ahead at college goals.  Throughout their years at JP the Great, students are encouraged to participate in exercises to identify interests and skills that may be useful in considering future plans.

The Office of Guidance and Counseling devotes considerable time and resources to the process of advising students in the college preparation process.  During freshman and sophomore years, students are introduced to a number of interest assessment exercises as a way of determining areas of study that may be suitable for them.  Students are also required to take the PSAT/NMSQT exam during their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. In addition, freshmen will also take the ACT Explore test, while sophomores take the ACT Plan test.

A number of academic and personal development programs and resources are available to students through our Guidance and Counseling office, including:

  • Peer Tutoring – Upon request, a student is matched with a qualified student peer tutor to receive help, free-of-charge, with homework and understanding course content.
  • Academic Workshops – The workshops assist students with identifying and applying study skills, time management, and test taking strategies and techniques.
  • After-School Help – In general, teachers are available after school to meet with students who need some additional assistance.  Some departments and teachers have specific “After School Help” days in which they are available for an extended time after school.
  • Small Groups – Groups on various topics will be offered based upon student needs.
  • Online Resource – Naviance Family Connection is a web-based software system that assists students with college and career planning.

The Academic Support Program is designed for students with a history of documented learning difficulties, who, with support, can succeed with the competitive college-prep curriculum at Saint John Paul the Great. Students are selected to participate based on a number of factors, including documented need and demonstrated achievement. There is no additional cost to the student for the Academic Support Program.

What happens in the program?

  • Students spend one period a semester in the Academic Support classroom, receiving supplementary support from the Academic Support teacher. Focus includes concept reinforcement, time management, organizational and study skills.
  • If necessary, a Student Assistance Plan (SAP) is written for each student at the beginning of the school year.
  • The SAP outlines the student’s disability, how it affects the student in the classroom, and what accommodations the school can provide to the student.
  • If necessary, a meeting is held at the beginning of each school year with the parents of the student, the Academic Support teacher, and the Academic Adviser to review the SAP.
  • Team approach: Academic Adviser, Academic Support teacher, Guidance Counselor, Assistant Principal of Academics and classroom teachers work collaboratively to support the student.