Guidance and Counseling
Welcome to Guidance and Counseling
The Guidance Department supports the students of District 215 and the philosophy of the district and its mission.
District 215 Statement of Commitment
District 215 is committed to providing a safe, collaborative and dynamic learning community that challenges and empowers our students to maximize their potential as global citizens.
To provide diverse learning opportunities that inspire all students to become life-long learners who contribute to their community.
National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations (NAPSO)
The term pupil services personnel is defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as "school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and other qualified professional personnel involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services..." Further, the definition incorporates related services as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, Sec. 602, paragraph 22).
Pupil services personnel provide services that address barriers to learning and assist students to be successful in school. These vital services are focused on prevention and intervention activities that promote effective classroom teaching and learning. Pupil services personnel work collaboratively with teachers, administrators, and other school staff to ensure that students receive high quality instruction that is responsive to the diverse array of students' learning and developmental needs and challenges.
Why do we have a number of Secondary School Counselors at our school?
Today's young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse and mobile society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, every student needs support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that impact academic achievement.
Secondary School Students' Developmental Needs
High School is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.
Meeting the Challenge
Secondary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today's diverse student population. Secondary school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help the student achieve success in school. Professional school counselors align and work with the school's mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development and systematic school-counseling program. The ASCA National Standards in academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs (2), with its data-driven and results-based focus serves as a guide for today's school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.
Thornton Fractional North's High School Pupil Personnel Services Program
The goal of the delivery model is to integrate services to students in the following areas:
The school registrar is responsible for keeping accurate records for current students. The registrar will assist you in the initial enrollment process. Parents are expected to provide accurate and up-to-date information for their son or daughter. The parents must also provide Proof of Residency as required by the District 215 School Board. Alumni may request transcripts and potential employers may verify graduation with the registrar.
The basic philosophy of the guidance department is predicated on each student being assisted in his/her area of need, in order for that student to reach his/her potential. The guidance program is designed to help students throughout high school in the areas of goal setting, planning, self-awareness, career exploration and decision-making. The guidance counselor has two primary functions; to encourage and assist students in planning educational programs in keeping with student skills, motivation and interests and to help students with post-high school planning.
Support/Social Work Services
As an integral part of the pupil personnel services team, the school social workers operate to provide an auxiliary service to education. A basic objective is to make it possible for a student to realize his/her learning potential. The social workers' efforts are directed towards the improvement of the individual's academic functioning. The initial referral for service may come from various sources; administrators, teachers, counselors, psychologist, nurse, parents, and students. The social workers assess school related problems and their possible causes. Recommendations are made which may include programming modifications, referrals to appropriate community resources, and/or school social work services.
Special Education Program
District 215 offers a full continuum of special education programs and related services for students with identified needs. These services are provided in the least restrictive environment and in a variety of settings to meet the individual needs of the student.
A full-time registered nurse is available in the building during the school day. The school nurse provides medical attention to students and staff.
For information on obtaining school physicals and immunizations click on the links to the right.
Pupil Personnel Services Staff
Mr. Raymond Williams, Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services
Phone: (708) 585-1003
Ms. Tashara Tate, SPED Student Services Coordinator
Phone: (708) 585-2313
Ms. Natalie Brown, In-School Suspension Supervisor
Phone: (708) 585-1114
Ms. Maria Chavez, Social Worker
Phone: (708) 585-1066
Ms. Ayanna Dowd, Speech Pathologist
Phone: (708) 585-1095
Ms. Gina Fegan, Hearing Itinerant
Mrs. Lori Knox-Lindsay, School Psychologist
Phone: (708) 585-1155
Ms. Lauren Mehalek, Vision Itinerant
Ms. Kristin Paul, Occupational Therapy Itinerant
Student Counselor Information
The list below provides students with the name of their counselors. Counselors are assigned by the first letter of the student's last name.
Mrs. Juanita Medina, (All freshmen)
- Phone: (708) 585-1017
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Freshman House Remind: Text @2023medina to 81010
- Sign up to meet with Mrs. Medina by clicking here.
Ms. Lauri Like, (All sophomores)
- Phone: (708) 585-1019
- Email: email@example.com
- Class of 2022 Remind: Text @b4799g to 81010
- Sign up to meet with Ms. Like by clicking here.
Mrs. Allison Braasch, (Juniors & Seniors A--Go)
- Phone: (708) 585-1018
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Juniors Remind: Text @braaschjr to 81010
- Seniors Remind: Text @braaschsr to 81010
- Sign up to meet with Mrs. Braasch by clicking here.
Mrs. Angela Shama, (Juniors & Seniors Gr--N)
- Phone: (708) 585-1021
- Email: email@example.com
- Juniors Remind: Text @shamajr to 81010
- Seniors Remind: Text @shamasr to 81010
- Sign up to meet with Mrs. Shama by clicking here.
Mrs. Susan Olson, (Juniors & Seniors O--Z)
- Phone: (708) 585-1020
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Juniors Remind: Text @olsonjr to 81010
- Seniors Remind: Text @olsonsr to 81010
- Sign up to meet with Mrs. Olson by clicking here.
Pupil Personnel Services Links
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