College, Academic, & Guidance Counseling

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.

Guidance Counseling

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.

Academic Support

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.

Campus Ministry

Father Frank Critch, OFM, is one of the key members of our campus ministry team responsible for the sacramental aspects of campus life. Fr. Frank supports students, faculty, and staff to recognize their special gifts and to grow spiritually together.

Fr. Frank is a Franciscan Friar who professed in June, 2008 with solemn profession August 2012 at Our Mother Church, St. Francis of Assisi in New York City. He was ordained as a deacon in his hometown, St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada September 2012 and ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal McCarrick November 3,2012 in Triangle, Virginia. Fr. Frank divides his time between Mount de Sales and St. Peter Claver School and parish.

College Guidance

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.