The counselors also communicate with community agencies involved in student life. In their daily efforts to help students, the counselors focus on developing individuals academic, career, personal and social competencies. Each counselor has been maintaining special activities throughout the year, and each brings unique and diverse talents to the guidance program.
Individual, group and family counseling services will be provided for William P. Kimmel Alternative School dropout prevention students and their families both on-site and in collaboration with other community resources. Parent/guardian involvement will be requested from the initial referral consideration and entrance into the program. It is hoped to continue family support through ongoing use of parent/guardian evening programs, quarterly newsletters, requested phone conferences and both formal and informal meetings.
On going counselor involvement will occur through additional service agency meetings (i.e. MDT meetings, joint conferences with probation officers, etc.)
Upon entrance to the program, a personal individual counseling session will be held with each student to discuss past and present problems, ongoing personal issues and needs, and to establish individual student goals.
Education in constructive communication and development will take place within the first weeks of a student's stay at William P. Kimmel Alternative School to establish a positive basis for interacting with peers and staff. Career counseling and development of a career portfolio will also be an important part of student development while attending William P. Kimmel Alternative School. Many students exhibit exceptional problems in self control, anger management and conflict resolution that necessitate more focus than is provided by simple behavioral shaping within Kimmel small classroom structure. Those students will be encouraged to participate in small group support and social skills development. In addition, referrals or consultations with other agencies (i.e. Mental Health Center, Canal Ways, Drug and Alcohol Clinic, or Juvenile Probation) will continue to take place.
It is important that all schools engage in primary prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation efforts to turn the tides of substance abuse. Educational activities, group and classroom discussions, Red Ribbon Awareness participation, etc. will continue to be a part of the William P. Kimmel Alternative School Program.
The Services of a Drug and Alcohol counselor at William P. Kimmel Alternative School will provide a more in-depth and comprehensive approach towards preventing and resolving substance abuse problems. Those students whose original referral forms (presented for transfer to William P. Kimmel Alternative School) note substance abuse issues will automatically be referred for intake, evaluation, and service by the Drug and Alcohol counselor. Students may also self-refer or be referred by a parent/guardian, peers, etc. for assistance.
The services of an in-school probation officer one full day per week at William P. Kimmel Alternative School will provide a stable base for intervention, follow-up, and collaborative work with the Juvenile Probation Office.
Academic, attendance and behavioral improvements are all major goals of the William P. Kimmel Alternative School. Exit criteria are made known to students and parents/guardians upon entrance. (Exit criteria are 85% or better GPA, 90% or better attendance rate, eventual 90% behavior rating by teachers, and a 90% grading by counselor for full, cooperative participation in the counseling component of the program). Opportunities also exist for excelling students to participate in School-To-Work, job shadowing, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center courses, and community service activities.
Use of weekly progress reports with current grades and comments are used heavily by students an parents/guardians. Students or parents/guardians are called at home during the daytime by staff if tardy or absent beginning with the first day of school. Students who earn excellent attendance and grades are awarded with certificates at the end of each marking period.
Additional counseling information from Altoona Area School District may be obtained from www.aasdcat.com/counselor