Counselor Connection for Parents

Spring 2015

High School Students and Stress

Stress. Just hearing the word evokes more stress. High school is an exciting time for students as they meet new friends, gain new freedoms, and have new opportunities, but it can also be a time of intense stress. According to a 2013 poll the National Public Radio (NPR) conducted in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, more than one-third of parents with high school-aged children report their student is experiencing a lot of stress. They attribute this stress mostly to homework and academic pressure. What can you as parents do to help when faced with a stressed-out teen?

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Indicators of Stress

It is important to be aware of the signs that indicate your child is experiencing stress. Students may or may not be aware of how much stress they are actually under.

Some possible signs your student might be stressed:



Reluctance to go to school


Expressions of despair or hopelessness

Tiredness or sleeplessness





Effects of Stress

In addition to the indicators of stress, multiple areas of the body are impacted negatively by stress. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), "Stress can have wide ranging effects on emotions, mood and behavior. Equally important but often less appreciated are effects on various systems, organs and tissues all over the body" (See diagram below, retrieved from )
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Managing Stress

  • Look for signs of stress in your child.
  • Help your child with time-management skills.
  • Does your child have too much on their schedule?
  • Promote exercise, sleep, and meals with family.
  • Talk with your child about it.
  • Check for parental pressure.
  • Make sure your child takes time for fun.

Supporting Your Student

It has often been said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It takes the support of many to help our youth today deal with the average stress of everyday living, as well as those placed upon them by modern society.

Additional Resources for Parents

Click on the links below:


American Institute of Stress, The. Stress effects. Retrieved from

ETR Associates. Positive ways to cope with stress [PDF document]. Retrieved from

HealthSmart Online Web site:

ETR Associates. Skills for dealing with stress [PDF document]. Retrieved from HealthSmart

Online Web site:

ETR Associates. Stress-management techniques [PDF document]. Retrieved from

HealthSmart Online Web site:

Kam, K. (2007). Coping with school stress. Retrieved from

Neighmond, P. (2013, December 2). School stress takes a toll on health, teens and

parents say [Interview]. Retrieved from

Rowh, M. (2005). Stress busters!. Career World, 33(6), 12-15

Natalie Westerfield

Murray State University

School Counseling Graduate Student


For many, high school is a stepping stone to their future in the workforce. With ever-increasing demand for a skilled labor force, high school becomes a training ground for tomorrow's workers. We are dedicated to providing both you and your student with the tools and skills necessary to ensure a successful transition into the workforce. Our programs and curriculum are engineered to provide each student, regardless of academic or physical ability, the opportunity learn skills that will make them leaders in their search for employment after high school.


Research conducted by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. and Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., has identified specific skills employers desire most in their employees. Below is a list taken from Quintessential Carrers ( citing those specific skills.

  • Communication skills (listening, verbal, written)
  • Analytical/Research skills
  • Computer/Technical Literacy
  • Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities
  • Interpersonal Abilities
  • Leadership/Management skills
  • Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness
  • Planning/Organizing
  • Problem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity
  • Teamwork


A major contributor to the successful transition of our high school students to the workforce is the job skills provided through our Career and Technical Education (CTE) department. Career and Technical Education is a blend of highly technical and rigorous academic instruction that aligns with the student's career pathway. CTE courses provide relevant instruction that places emphasis on the needs of today's employers, coupled with technical and academic knowledge that prepare students to become career ready. CTE at our school provides education in the following areas: Agriculture, Automotive Technology, Business, Computer Application, Construction Technology, Criminal Law, Culinary Arts, Family and Consumer Science, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Marketing, Pre-Engineering, Welding, Technology, and Visual Communications.

The diagram below provides a "snapshot" of CTE (

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Our school district has teamed up with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) to help students transition to the "real world". OVR representatives are located on-site at the high school to provide consultation to those students seeking more information about their career options and how the transition to the workforce can be one with few hitches. Below is a list of services provided by OVR and on-site representatives. (

  • Medical & Psychological Assessment
  • Vocational Evaluation & Planning
  • Career Counseling & Guidance
  • Work Experience While in High School
  • Training & Education After High School
  • Time-Limited Medical Treatment
  • Time-Limited Psychological Treatment
  • Job Site Assessment
  • Accommodations
  • Job Placement
  • Job Coaching
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Assistive Technology
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Career Exploration

Twice a year (Fall and Spring), employers are showcased in a career expo sponsored by our CTE department. Local, regional and state employers set up booths in our auxiliary gym to both advocate for their respective organizations as well as prospect for their future employees. Each student is allowed time throughout the day to visit the expo and visit with potential employers. There, each student will have the opportunity to get answers to the questions that are often asked during a formal interview process. Expo days allow the school the opportunity to advocate for our students and allows the students to advocate for themselves. A definite win-win scenario.


Throughout the school year, parents are invited to attend quarterly evening events that spotlight student success within our CTE department. Each CTE program area sets up a booth, attended by program area students, to educate parents on what is being learned as well as showcase student achievements. Specific dates and times will be in our next newsletter. We hope to see you there!!


Henderson County Schools

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Quintessential Careers

Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Americans With Disabilities

Kentucky Department of Education

Career and Technical Education

Chris Holstein

Murray State University

School Counseling Graduate Student