9th Grade Updates SEPTEMBER

CHS Counseling Office

Welcome to CHS!

We are so happy to have your 9th grader as a student at CHS. Periodically we will send out information that is helpful to families and their students. We also want to introduce you to our staff. Please reach out to us if you ever have any questions!

Counseling Office Staff

Our department is made up of 6 counselors, one office manager, and a registrar. Mrs. Jenni Smoker is our office manager, you can reach out to her to schedule appointments or for general questions. Mrs. Smoker's email address is jesmoker@duneland.k12.in.us. Our registrar is Mrs. Jill Balcerak, you can contact her at jbalcerak@duneland.k12.in.us.

School Counselors

School counselors serve students and their families in the areas of academics, college/career readiness, and social/emotional support. We are educators who have specialized in counseling through our master's programs and we work with every student at the high school. The American School Counselor Association states " High school years are full of growth, promise, excitement, frustration, disappointment and hope. It is the time when students begin to discover what the future holds for them. High school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment."

College Prep

Believe it or not, it is not too early to begin preparing for college! If your student is interested in attending college after they graduate from high school there are some things that you can be doing now to help them be ready.

One thing they can do is take a career interest quiz. This will help them to begin thinking about what they want to do after high school.




You can consider visiting a college or university when you are traveling. This is a great way to start the college process. It will give your student a chance to imagine what it might feel like to go away to school.


If your student plays sports, please familiarize yourself with the NCAA and NAIA athletic recruiting requirements.

Study Skills and Homework Help

We offer a variety of resources for students to utilize before and during the school day if they need help with their coursework. Students can reach out to their teachers directly to arrange a time for extra help, either before school or during SRT. We also have a tutor lab where students can go and get assistance.


There are a number of online resources that are helpful to families and students.


PSAT is Coming Soon!

Students will take the PSAT in October. Did you know that your student can link their College Board Account with Khan Academy to get a personalized study plan? This is an excellent resource for students, it can give them tutorials in areas where they need to improve. Have your student log into their College Board account to link it with Khan Academy.

Linking College Board with Khan Academy

Career Exploration

This is a great time for your student to begin exploring career options. It may seem far away, but graduation comes faster than we think it will! CHS has a subscription to Naviance, which is an excellent tool to help foster college and career planning. Students use their active directory log-in for Naviance. Go to https://student.naviance.com/chestertonshs and choose "Sign in With Clever" to check out all that Naviance has to offer.

Another great career exploration resource is Road Trip Nation. You can check it out by clicking here.

Social Media Tips

Young people really enjoy social media, however it is important to remember that anything that is posted online can never truly be deleted. It isn't common, but colleges and universities have been known to rescind admissions offers if students have posted questionable or offensive material on their social media accounts. One good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't want your grandmother to see it, don't post it!

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This can be a difficult topic to discuss, but it is an important one. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in the state of Indiana. Approximately one in five high school students have thoughts about suicide and nationwide one out of every eleven high school students have made a suicide attempt in the past twelve months.

To learn more, please visit the following websites.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth Abuse and Suicide

Learning Styles

All of us learn differently. Knowing your preferred learning style can help you when you are studying for tests, working on projects, and even when considering future careers! Encourage your student to take this short quiz to learn a little more about their learning style.

Learning Styles Quiz

Get Involved!

Get involved in a couple of clubs, sports or other extracurricular activities either at your school or in your local community. Keep track of your engagement over time on this simple spreadsheet.

Check out the many clubs and sports offered at CHS! If you can't find a club that you are interested in, consider starting one!

Challenge Yourself Academically

Talk with your school counselor about how you can challenge yourself academically by taking higher-level courses. Don't be afraid to ask! You can also check out the course description guide to learn more about the classes offered at CHS.