Chairperson: Bryan Kiggins
School Counseling is an integral part of the North Allegheny educational experience. The North Allegheny school counselors collaborate with other school personnel to help students realize their full potential and prepare all students for success in a changing world. An effective program requires the support and participation of all stakeholders, including District staff, parent(s)/guardian(s), service providers, outside agencies, business owners, and members of the community. North Allegheny School Counselors work in partnership with the School Counseling Advisory Committee members to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of each unique learner.
The North Allegheny School Counseling Department provides a comprehensive, developmental counseling program for all students aligned with the state and national standards. School counselors abide by the professional school counseling ethics as advocated by ASCA. Counselors use their expertise to provide counseling, instruction, consultation, prevention, and intervention services to support the District’s mission of enhancing the learning process and assisting students in making informed positive choices, fulfilling their individual potential.
The Department strives to provide supportive services and advocate for all students considering their ethnic, cultural, racial, sexual differences, and special needs. Members of the Department are committed to helping students meet their academic, personal/social, and career needs.
Through participation in relevant professional development opportunities, the School Counseling Department remains current regarding the academic and post-high school trends vital to student success. In a fast-paced, technological society, professional development and collaborating with stakeholders is imperative to supporting students who must be prepared to compete in a global marketplace. School counselors provide all students, K-12, through classroom lessons, small groups, and individual meetings, with competencies necessary to make self-directed, realistic, and responsible decisions about their coursework choices. School counselors encourage students to challenge themselves by selecting the appropriate rigorous coursework commensurate with their abilities from North Allegheny’s vast curricular options. School counselors work with students to develop the organizational and goal setting skills that are required for success after graduation.
School counselors support students’ positive emotional well-being using research-based best practices and maintain high ethical standards. Every level utilizes small group curriculum and individual sessions to address the needs of the student population. School counselors are knowledgeable on resources available to help support and to meet the needs of the students and families. The Department respects the diverse needs of individuals, while providing opportunities for all students to build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to become healthy and productive adults. Through collaboration with school personnel, school counselors promote a positive school climate in which students feel connected to their classmates, teachers, and school through implementation of prevention and intervention strategies.
While supporting the District’s technology initiative and the Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards for Career Education and Work, the school counselors encourage all students to explore their passions and strengths through individual counseling sessions, group sessions, and specific K-12 classroom lessons. Using an individualized career portfolio and career lessons in K-5 and through Naviance (a comprehensive web-based career and college exploration program) in grades 6-12, all students are supported by the school counselors to connect their interests and abilities to activities, course selections, and eventually post-secondary plans and careers leading them to become productive citizens in our society.