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.
The Office of College Counseling provides advisement to all four grade levels in our upper school program. 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 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.
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.
Campus Ministry also supports outreach and service opportunities for all of our students. In the middle school, each grade adopts a focal concern – health, poverty, or literacy – and creates service and learning opportunities around that need. In the upper school, students are required to contribute at least 20 hours of service to the community each year through the Mercy in Action program, which guides students to emulate Christ, to live Mercy, and to practice student leadership.
Fr. Casey Cole, OFM, is a key member of our campus ministry team responsible for the sacramental aspects of campus life. Fr. Casey supports students, faculty, and staff to recognize their special gifts and to grow spiritually together. Fr. Casey graduated from Furman University in 2011 with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Poverty Studies. He entered the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) in August of 2011, made solemn profession in August of 2017, and was ordained to the priesthood in June of 2019.