Our Counseling Model
The MHS counseling program offers a personalized and proactive approach designed in correlation with the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) Comprehensive School Counseling Model.
Download our counseling flyer to learn more.
The MHS support services team
MHS has a comprehensive, interdependent support services team comprised of:
- School Counselors. Nine school counselors at MHS make a measurable impact in every student’s life, providing support for social and emotional well-being and guidance with academic planning and post-graduation goals. The most important role of the counselor is to serve as a trusted adult. Counselors act as advocates, collaborating with students, parents and teachers to ensure success and keep students on track to reach their personal goals. Meet the counselors here.
- Ratios: As of fall 2019, the counselor/student ratio at MHS is 1:340, including the 504 counselor. No later than August 2020, MHS will add a tenth counselor, bringing the ratio to 1:309. (These ratios do not include the college counselor.)
- Counselor availability: MHS counselors are available to meet with students one-on-one by appointment (students and families can connect with their counselor via telephone, email or Schoology message). A walk-in counselor is also available every class period of the day. Periodically through the school year, counselors lead small group, grade-level seminars and individual planning meetings.
- Two social workers
- The school social worker, Aubrie Roley, provides evidence-based support, education and intervention services. She will lead individual and small group meetings and maximize connections between students, families and community resources.
- Kathleen Leisman specifically supports students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and those who are receiving Special Education services.
The following staff members bring a unique focus to the MHS Student Support Services team:
- Shelly Hughes is the 504 counselor. Ms. Hughes works collaboratively with the team to create, evaluate and implement 504 plans. This is a unique position here at Minnetonka High School, as most high schools add this work to the role of the counselor.
- Phil Trout is the college counselor. Mr. Trout works directly with students and their families around post-secondary planning. He also supports each counselor with their students. Please visit the College Counseling page to learn more.
- Laura Herbst is the advanced learning coordinator. Laura is a licensed school counselor. She works with Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) students, advising them on course selection and providing support as they complete these courses and exams. 84% of MHS students take at least one AP or IB course over their academic career. Ms. Herbst leads the "Launch" program to support students taking their first AP or IB course.
- Renee Morabito is the Compass program coordinator. Compass is a long-standing program for students who are struggling with social/emotional challenges that impact their ability to find success in school in a variety of ways. Compass provides opportunities for students to learn in a cohort setting with focused skill development in academics and interpersonal skills. Ms. Morabito directly supports approximately 60 students. She also supports our work with independent learning, student wellness, and closely partners with all MHS counselors in our student support efforts.
- Dr. Jonna Hirsch is our school psychologist. Dr. Hirsh’s role is predominantly dedicated to the process of evaluating and re-evaluating students for special education services. She is part of the school’s Student Support Team that oversees the pre-referral and intervention process. In this role, she supports the team with ideas for interventions. She will administer, evaluate and interpret the results of individual assessment instruments/procedures that measure learning ability/cognitive assessments and social, emotional, and behavior development. Dr. Hirsch also coordinates our EmpowerU online mental health support course for students.
- MHS partners with Relate Counseling to provide co-located mental health services. Currently, we have a full-time mental health position supported by two licensed clinicians and one part-time position for our chemical health counselor for students facing chemical health concerns. Judy Hanson is on site two days per week. Relate services are available to students who otherwise would not have access to services. School-based, mental health services eliminate barriers to students and families. The referrals to our Relate clinicians comes from the school counselor and/or the school social worker.
- 9th Grade Parent Orientation Night
An informational evening led by administrators and counselors.
- Freshman Fall Seminar
Counselors meet with their freshman students in small groups to discuss the high school transition and provide information on school resources, co-curricular activities and graduation requirements. This seminar takes place in September.
- Fall 9th Grade Parent Night
Counselors present to parents of freshman during fall conferences. Information provided will include school resources, coursework, the importance of grades and suggestions for parents on how to support their student’s success.
- Freshman Individual Meetings
Counselors individually meet with each of their freshman students to discuss the transition, check-in on academics, create goals and ensure that students are aware of school resources and activities. These meetings occur during Quarter 2. Students should schedule their own meeting.
- Freshman Registration Parent Night
An informational evening to help freshman parents learn about the course selection and registration process. This occurs in late January or early February.
- Sophomore Fall Seminar
Counselors meet with their sophomore students in small groups to introduce the PLAN test, encourage co-curricular involvement, review academic resources and discuss future planning using Naviance Student. This will take place in October.
- PLAN Results Interpretation Meeting
Counselors offer an informational meeting for parents to explain how to interpret and use the results of the PSAT in educational planning.
- Sophomore Registration Parent Night
An informational evening to help parents of sophomores learn about the course selection and registration process. This occurs in late January or early February.
- Sophomore Registration Seminar
Because of the increased amount of academic programming options that become available to students in 11th grade, counselors meet with their sophomore students in small groups during the course registration process. Various programs are explained and students have the opportunity to ask questions. This seminar will occur in February during registration season.
- Junior Fall Seminar
Counselors meet with their junior students in small groups to provide details about and register for the upcoming NACAC National College Fair. Students will also use Naviance Student. This seminar occurs in September.
- NACAC National College Fair
The NACAC College Fair is an optional field trip, but all juniors are strongly encouraged to attend. The college fair takes place at the Minneapolis Convention Center and occurs the first week of October.
- Junior Parent Night
An informational evening to help parents of sophomores learn about the course selection and registration process. This meeting will also provide an introduction to the college application process. This occurs in late January or early February.
- Junior Registration Seminar
Counselors meet with sophomore students in small groups during the course registration process. Various programs are explained and students have the opportunity to ask questions. This seminar will occur in February during registration season.
- Junior Spring Seminar
Counselors meet with their junior students in small groups to discuss post-secondary planning, review college planning tools in Naviance Student. This seminar occurs in late February.
- Junior Individual Meetings
Counselors individually meet with each of their junior students to discuss post-secondary planning. These meetings occur during February, March and April. Students should schedule their own meeting.
- Senior Parent Night
An informational evening for parents of seniors, led by MHS College and Career Counselor Phil Trout. This meeting helps prepare Senior parents for the upcoming college application season. View presentation slides from this year's senior parent night.
- Senior Fall Seminar
Counselors meet with their senior students in small groups to discuss logistics of the college application process, including how to request transcripts, letters of recommendation, understanding Early Decision vs. Early Action, essay writing, Common Application, Family Connection, etc. This seminar occurs in September.
- Senior Individual Meetings
Counselors individually meet with each of their senior students to discuss post-secondary planning. These meetings occur during Quarter 1. Students should schedule their own meeting