Superintendent Corner Column

VHS Counseling … Providing a Pathway through Personalization

September 2018

Our counseling department takes great pride in working with students and looks forward to an amazing school year. Our team meets with students on a regular basis to address their questions and concerns related to academic, post-secondary planning and personal/social topics. Time spent with each student is tailored to his or her individual needs and each child receives personalized attention. Counselors meet with students every day. Some meetings may be 5 minutes, while others last much longer. Every student is provided the amount of time he or she needs to have his or her needs met.

Verona High School is a small, close-knit community providing a breadth of learning experiences through a variety of courses one would similarly find in a larger high school setting. Simply put, VHS is a small powerhouse providing a wide array of courses for our students.

Our district has diligently worked at expanding our course offerings for all students through core academics, the arts, and electives, thereby providing students opportunities to strengthen their schedule for post secondary options. Building a study period into a student schedule is appropriate in some instances, but we are observing an academic culture in Verona that is shifting. Today, more and more VHS students are opting to be enrolled in a variety of courses rather than requesting a study period. This is a cultural departure from years past. It seems as students focus on enrolling in more rigorous courses, the demand for study halls has declined. This is a direct result of how our students in Verona view their education to be highly valued.

Our Counseling Department works side by side with the leadership team each Fall to develop the annual VHS Course Bulletin . By November of each year, our counselors begin the scheduling process through face-to- face meetings with each and every child and their parent. Verona High School highly encourages parents to take advantage of meeting time with your counselor to discuss your child’s interests, unique needs, and aspirations.

During student & parent conferences, students make scheduling choices. The master school schedule is developed based on student interest through their course selections. Essentially, the courses students express the most interest in are the ones that will receive priority in building our new schedule. We work hard to meet our students’ needs and interests.

Students and parents are encouraged to remember to take the conferences seriously and consider which courses they really want at that time. Doing so will result in minimal scheduling changes and obtaining the most optimal schedule possible for each student. It is important to remember that throughout the process, the student schedule program assigns priority for course enrollment by grade level, beginning with seniors.

This approach is commonplace in many schools and allows all students to meet graduation requirements and build a comprehensive course of study. Student selection of up to six elective choices is critically important so alternative options are available for students if they do not receive their top choice and to minimize scheduling issues.

Students receiving their top choices are based on a seniority basis. This approach is commonplace in many schools and provides our students an ability to be able to eventually take their classes of choice, as they become upperclassmen. Student selection of up to six elective choices is critically important. Alternative options are available for students if they do not receive their top choice and to minimize scheduling issues.

Click the Curriculum Bulletin below to learn more about our course offerings at Verona High School.

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Dr. Rui Dionisio is the Superintendent of the Verona Public Schools. Dr. Dionisio encourages community members to contact him with questions or feedback at 973-571-2029 or via email at