Faculty and staff in the Middle and Upper School divisions work together to foster a positive and productive scholastic experience. Faculty members meet in grade level teams to address individual student needs and facilitate communication with parents, who are integral partners in their child’s education. Parents may contact faculty directly with concerns, arrange for conferences, and access grades online through PowerSchool. Each principal serves as the academic advisor to all students within their division and meets with students and parents as needed to ensure academic success.
Two guidance counselors support the emotional health and well-being of our students. Our counselors schedule parent/teacher conferences, teach classroom guidance lessons on developmental issues, and facilitate a smooth transition from middle to upper school. Our counselors also administer and interpret learning style and career inventories, which help students to study efficiently and plan their future.
While we provide limited individual counseling for students, we may refer families to community resources if comprehensive intervention is needed. Collaboration with teachers, doctors, and learning specialists occurs when necessary to ensure continuity of support within the academic environment.
Students with diagnosed learning differences may receive in-school academic support services. Middle school students meet with an academic support counselor in a daily or weekly exploratory class. Students develop critical thinking, organizational, and study skills as well as other executive functions. The counselor also serves as a liaison and advocate between students and faculty and communicates overall progress with parents. The Academic Support Counselor in the Upper School meets weekly with students to teach organizational and study skills that balance learning differences while helping students gain college readiness skills. The counselor works with faculty to plan classroom accommodations as needed.
The Campus Ministry Program coordinates a number of spiritual and outreach activities for the entire school. Through these events, students are encouraged both to discover their call to holiness and to live this out by nurturing their respect for the life and dignity of each person. Liturgical events mark the high points of our year as the entire community joins together in prayer to celebrate these moments. Students also participate in prayer and reflection activities in conjunction with their theology and religion classes. Additionally, each grade level has a spiritual retreat during the year. These retreats help form our students as they discover and take on the mission of Mount de Sales Academy. Finally, Campus Ministry supports outreach and service opportunities for all of our students, as detailed below.
In the middle school, this outreach is infused within each grade level’s curriculum. Each grade adopts a focal concern and creates service and learning opportunities around that need. The sixth grade focuses on health issues. The seventh grade outreach is focused on poverty, especially at a local level. The eighth grade focus is literacy. Various classroom projects and initiatives give students opportunities to learn more about these issues, and then students take action in the community with their fellow students.
In the upper school, students are required to participate in service to the community through the Mercy in Action program. The Mercy in Action program requires all students to complete at least 20 hours of service during each academic year, and provides a structure for this service which guides students to emulate Christ, to live Mercy, and to practice student leadership. Some of these hours are earned through events that Campus Ministry plans and sponsors, and some are earned at the initiative and interest of the individual student. Students keep track of their hours in conjunction with their theology classes, where they also complete connected readings and reflections on their service. Students earn grades in their theology classes based on their completing the required hours and the reflection activities connected to them.
Father John Coughlin, OFM, is one of the key members of our campus ministry team responsible for the sacramental aspects of campus life. Fr. John supports students, faculty, and staff to recognize their special gifts and to grow spiritually together.
The Mount de Sales Office of College Counseling provides advisement to all four grade levels in our upper school program. The freshmen and sophomores begin the counseling cycle with several introspective lessons that help them understand how their academic courses of study, their extracurricular activities, and their community service commitments all build strong resumes that will be used later during the college search. Juniors begin the strategic part of the cycle with meetings and individual conferences that encourage formal research and college visits. Seniors initiate the active application process after individual assessment meetings in the fall. The goal of our college advisement program is to help students find a college that will be a good match for the years beyond high school; one that will offer an environment for continued academic challenge and personal growth.
As our students progress through the Upper School, the College Counseling Program assists and supports students and their families through the college admission process.