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The San Pedro High School Guidance Counseling Program mission is to advocate for the academic, personal, social, and career development of each student at SPHS so that he/she can achieve success in school and be prepared to lead a fulfilling life as a responsible member of society. Click here to download a PowerPoint slideshow of the SPHS GCP 2011-2012.

The San Pedro High School Guidance counselor specializes in helping students make decisions about their many educational and academic as well as personal needs; he also provides information about high school and post high school life choices that students may be interested in pursuing. Personal characteristics of the guidance counselor, in addition to professional educational requirements, include being caring, patient, and open-minded. He truly believes that any student can change for the better. One main goal of the Guidance Counseling Dept. is to help students understand themselves so that they are then able to develop into adults who are capable of living productive and fulfilling lives.

Help! The San Pedro High School Guidance counselor helps students plan for their future. In Belize today students have more occupational and educational options available to them than at any time before. The guidance counselor is available to help them choose a path in life after high school. However, in addition to today's students having more opportunities available to them, they are also faced with more varied problems and concerns of our society. Changes in our society, whether on San Pedro or throughout Belize, seem to happen so rapidly and the amount of new information people are expected to absorb grows just as quickly. All of these factors lead to the need of a trained guidance counselor to help students learn to lead meaningful and satisfying lives.

The San Pedro High School Guidance counselor provides valuable information for students who might be struggling with life choices. He guides them towards where they can get any help that he may not be able to offer. He counsels students individually or sometimes in small groups. He leads classroom discussions about the best way to prepare for and take tests. He meets with students, parents, teachers, and other members of the school staff to discuss important issues. He anticipates problems that may occur in students’ lives and then tries several ways to prevent these problems from happening. He works with students who may have learning disabilities or special needs. He also works as part of a team that may include the school principal, a psychologist, a social worker, and parents. At all times he works closely with parents, teachers, and school administrators.

Most important, the San Pedro High School Guidance counselor works with other school professionals, especially teachers, to help identify the developmental and learning needs of students. Students at these class levels many times experience physical and emotional changes that can affect how they view themselves and how they perform in school.

The guidance counselor is concerned with providing educational and career guidance while focusing on the personal development of the students. The guidance counselor helps students choose school courses and activities that relate to their interests which will prepare them for life after high school. He also shows students how to apply for college or for job-training programs, and provides information on almost any topic and then helps students put this information to use by choosing the best future career path. He also provides information about entrance requirements, financial-aid programs where they might be attending school. Sometimes the guidance counselor works in drug and alcohol abuse programs as well as in the programs for high school dropouts or teenage parents.

San Pedro High School In-School Suspension Program

Education, at San Pedro High School and in general, is about bringing out the best in our young students - helping them to develop their minds, bodies and souls. The word ‘education’ is derived from the Latin words,

  • educare,  to bring up
  • educere, to bring out, bring forth what is within, bring out potential
  • ducere,  to lead


Based on our 40 years experience and on Research in the field of education, out-of-school suspensions (OSS) prove to be rather ineffective, perhaps even detrimental to students.  In San Pedro, students who must stay home during suspensions are, in effect, on vacation; many who work at the Town Hall during their days in suspension actually enjoy their time away from school.  So, do we bring out the best in our suspended students by giving them an escape/vacation from school?  

San Pedro High School is now implementing in-school suspensions (ISS) as an alternative to punish misbehaving students (who distract other students, and/or are a danger to them) without requiring them to miss instructional days. The idea is for suspended students to carry out time-on-tasks in a more structured and supervised environment.  Moreover, by keeping suspended students in school, but in a separate and isolated room, we show students that they must face the consequences of their misbehavior.  

Some characteristics of San Pedro High School’s ISS program include:

  • students must come to school in uniform but must remain in an isolated room, away from all other students
  • students are accountable for daily class assignments and/or tests while they are in isolation; teachers/supervisors work with them daily
  • the guidance counselor spends quality time with suspended students to show them why their behavior is unacceptable or merits a suspension; and, he provides intensive counseling to ‘guide’ students in the right direction (behavior identification and replacement counseling)
  • students must reflect on their misbehavior and show ‘in writing’ (worksheets and essays) alternatives that could be chosen in lieu of the misbehavior
  • parents of suspended students are required to participate in the program (parental disapproval of student misbehavior required)
  • a regular follow-up is done on each suspended student so that he/she is not allowed to fall back into old patterns or misbehaviors (behavior modification process)


San Pedro High School’s new suspension program is not merely a punitive or temporary controlling program that resembles solitary confinement.  Rather, the program involves rehabilitation and functional behavior assessment and replacement, while it continues to provide an engaging and challenging learning environment for suspended students.  Consequently, we make every effort to reduce students’ rule infringements, and still maintain the integrity of their education by ensuring that we do not disrupt the educational process.


 
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