Academic Student Services
At TSA, we want all students to experience academic success and to perform to the best of their abilities. We recognize, however, that sometimes students may need assistance to achieve their potential. Students who require additional support for academic success will be referred to the Academic Services Coordinator. The student, along with his/her family, will work with the coordinator to develop a plan for academic improvement. The plan may include: referring the family and student for testing, referring the family and student to a tutor, or developing an appropriate school or 504 Plan. We can serve students with IEPs in the Special Education categories of Specific Learning Disability and Other Health Impaired.
At TSA, we recognize the relationship between academic success and emotional well-being. The School Counselor’s (SC) office is available to all students during the school day as a safe place for all TSA students to engage in open, honest, and confidential conversations.
Our full-time School Counselor is a trained social worker and educator available to all students to help guide them through their middle school and high school careers. Her office is open to all students, whether they would like to drop by to simply “decompress”, to engage in open honest conversations, or if they need more involved interventions. Our School Counselor often works with families, and can also help families find outside resources that they may require.
The School Counselor supports our students and families with the following needs:
- Psychiatrist/Psychologist referrals
- Student Support Team referrals
- Individual Sessions (weekly, monthly or as needed) to help support students with stress and anxiety, peer relations, time management, identity development, transition to high school
- Group Counseling (likely groups which will be in place this year: stress management, a group focused on the book “I am an Emotional Creature” by Eve Ensler, and a middle school transitioning to high school group)
- Creation and implementation of Social/Emotional/Behavior plans
In instances of substance abuse or dependency, students can use the self-referral procedure as outlined in the Drug and Alcohol policy to access the support they need, or they may be referred by another student, staff, or parent.
Staff practice strict confidentiality. This means that trust and safety are absolutely essential to our conversations with students. In any instance where we believe students are at risk of harm we will act to ensure their safety.
If we cannot guarantee student safety, we reserve the right to seek additional help. Examples where we may be concerned about student safety might include: child abuse, sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, suicidal thoughts or actions, threats of violence against self or others, or driving under the influence. For suspicions of child abuse or suicidal thoughts or actions, TSA is required by law to contact the appropriate authority.
The Advisory Program at TSA exists to support students in making the most of their experience as members of the TSA community. TSA’s Advisory Program allows students to connect with at least one teacher in the school with whom they maintain contact throughout all four years and from whom they can receive academic and social/emotional support. It is our intent that students will remain with the same advisor for all four years so that they can build a relationship. However, there is an advisory selection process if students do not feel that their advisor meets their needs.
Students meet with their advisory twice a week for a total of one hour. Attendance is taken during Advisory. The specific purposes of advisory are:
Academic: to monitor student progress, make sure graduation requirements are being met, set academic goals and help students reach them. Discuss progress reports with students and parents, and help them develop a greater understanding of TSA’s mission;
Social/Emotional: to provide another touchpoint between students and adults to monitor students’ social and emotional well being;
Community Service: to support students in selecting and performing meaningful Community Service;
Community and Communication: to converse about community issues, including school governance, while also strengthening communication between students, staff and parents and to share school-related announcements and information;
Recreation: to play games and learn to work together as a group
Every week, TSA faculty and staff meet for 45 minutes with the sole purpose of discussing the wellbeing of students. Over the course of the school year, advisors present profiles of each of their advisees to the rest of staff, highlighting each student’s strengths, opportunities, personality, and learning style. The staff learns together of each student’s accomplishments and growth, and discuss strategies for supporting and teaching each student. Where appropriate, a plan may be developed for further supporting a student’s academic or emotional goals. Additionally, time is set aside at each of these meetings to address any students who are in crisis – academic or personal – and to develop a plan for their support.