High School Counseling

Lower High School Counseling

Hello Academia Los Pinares parents and welcome!

What a privilege and blessing it is for me to be your child’s Guidance Counselor for the school year 2020-2021. I am looking forward to everything the Lord is going to do, yes even through this pandemic, because I believe that He is in control and has many blessings and learning opportunities in store for your child.

As counselor I am going to be available to you and your children during the school day through WebEx. Because things are different your child will have to send me an email first to schedule a counseling session if they need to speak with me. All my sessions will be through WebEx, the WebEx link I am going to be using is the following, https://academiapinares.webex.com/meet/jonathan.sierra

I am aware of the challenges our students are going to have this school year as they adapt to the new changes that come through on-line learning, and I want to take the opportunity to share with you three tips you can do as parents to help your child better adapt and develop resilience.

  • The FIRST thing you need to do as a parent is let your child know that you believe in their abilities. This fosters the belief that they can do anything and builds confidence in the to be able to overcome and find solutions to their problems.
  • SECOND, during times of change as parents we need to show them that change is not a bad thing and help them embrace change trusting the Lord that “all things work out for good to them who love the Lord” Rom. 8:28
  • My THIRD tip is for you to encourage and help you child establish goals. One of the things that is going to be the hardest for your child is not having the structure that the school provides, there will be no bells ringing, no Mr. Garisson saying out loud that they have 1 minute before the bell rings. So, helping them establish written goals like, waking up at 6 every morning and getting ready for school, goals that are achievable and that they can visualize will help them succeed this school year.

I am excited about what this new school year will have in store for us and for what the Lord is going to do in and through your child.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His Grace shine upon you and Keep you safe. “

 Attentively,

Jonathan Sierra
Lower High School Guidance Counselor
jonathan.sierra@pinares.org

Upper High School Counseling

Hello!

I am happy that you are interested in learning about the counseling department at Academia Los Pinares. As we enter into a school year that will look different than past years, I want to remind you that your counselors are here to support you during this challenging time.

We still plan to do everything in the list below to some degree, but the implementation of many of the services will look different. For example, there will be no colleges visiting ALP this fall, both because our doors are closed and because almost all universities have chosen not to travel at this time. We hope to provide virtual opportunities for students to connect with colleges to get the same information they would get in a physical visit. But the fact remains that the students must choose to attend these meetings, just as they must choose to attend them when they are physically at school. It is more important than ever that students check their email regularly and communicate their progress through BridgeU, our college research and application tracking platform.

I am happy to meet with parents and students one-on-one virtually, as well. To set up a meeting, contact me at the email address listed below in my signature. I know that together, we will have a successful year, as we look to God for our guidance. He is neither surprised by nor unprepared for this unusual school year. May we all rest in that fact and cling to the hope that we have in Christ.

In the counseling department, we serve students as they navigate their way through high school and in support of the school’s mission and vision. We offer a wide range of services in the areas of academics, social/emotional support, and college/career planning with a focus on developing the whole student and an emphasis on addressing each student’s spiritual life. Of course, this also means working closely with parents and staff to make these six years a success.

First, let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Miss Sarah Johnson, and this is my tenth year at ALP. I have a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Math Education and a master’s degree in School Counseling. I am passionate about helping students discover who God has created them to be (their talents, gifts, abilities, personalities, and interests) and how they can use those strengths to glorify God through their vocation. I enjoy supporting and encouraging students through their struggles and helping them reach positive solutions. I am so blessed by the relationships I am able to have with students and their parents year after year. I also enjoy getting to interact with students outside of school and seeing them participate in activities they love such as sports, Knowledge Bowl, community service, and musical performances. I love keeping in touch with former students to see how God is continuing to shape them and the impact they are making on the people and the world around them.

As the upper high school counselor, I mostly focus on the college and career planning aspect of a student’s education, typically with 11th and 12th grade students. Some of the services I provide include the following:

  • Coordinate and schedule college visits to ALP
  • Assist with signing up for testing (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.)
  • Conduct parent meetings (large group and individual meetings)
  • Meet with each senior to make a plan and then as requested throughout the year
  • Help students narrow down their college list
  • Assist with applications, as necessary; final check for each application before submission
  • Proofread college essays
  • Write recommendations for students
  • Send transcripts to colleges
  • Advocate with college representatives on behalf of students
  • Assist with scholarship applications
  • Advise on filling out financial documents
  • Assist with visa process, as necessary
  • Develop professionally through webinars and college fly-in programs

Please do not hesitate to email me with your concerns or call the high school office to set up a meeting with me. I am proficient in Spanish and always trying to improve, so do not be afraid of a language barrier. I look forward to working with you this year!

Sincerely,

Sarah K. Johnson
High School Counselor
sarah.johnson@pinares.org