Guidance News

Fall 2022

Welcome Back!

Fall is off to a strong start! The add/drop period was extended to two weeks this year, allowing students additional time to adjust their schedules as needed. Counselors have met with all senior English classes to talk about the college application process. We will be meeting with freshmen the week of October 3 to go over resources and requirements at Ipswich High School.

We welcome to the Guidance Team Chelsee Shiels! Mrs. Shiels is the new Academic Coordinator for our BRYT Program. After earning her M.Ed from Harvard, Mrs. Shiels taught high school English in Salem for 10 years. She adored her students, the Service Learning Curriculum, and Poetry Out Loud. For the past five years, she was a Literacy and Instructional Coach for Salem Public Schools. She resides in Ipswich with her husband and 5-year-old daughter, Aila.

Below is the list of Counselor Assignments by class. Students keep the same counselor for all four years of high school. Please contact your child's counselor if any school-related issues arise.

Jennifer Starrett:, x2152

Claire Powers:, x2150

Justine May:, x2153

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Homework Club

Homework Club with Mr. Downing meets Monday - Wednesday, 2:30 - 3:30 in room B234. Students can get help from Mr. Downing organizing and prioritizing assignments, or they can simply use the time to get on top of their work. All are welcome.


The Ipswich High School College Fair will take place in the lower gym on Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. All families are welcome to come and meet with college reps from schools, programs and the military. Below is a list of who is planning to attend.
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Rep Visits

Guidance is offering College Rep Visits during R-blocks this fall. Our visitors are usually the admissions representatives who read Ipswich applications, so if your student is planning to apply to any of the schools that are coming, they should make it a priority to attend the school’s session! Below is a list of upcoming visits that are scheduled. The list will be added to and updated throughout the fall. Student reminders appear in the morning announcements and Google Classroom.

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MEFA: The Massachusetts Education Finance Authority is an excellent resource for families who want to learn more about paying for college. Check out the Student Loan Payment Calculator to find out what monthly payments might look like on the amount of student debt your child is considering taking on. The College Cost Calculator allows you to plug in information from various offer letters to compare them clearly and efficiently.

For families of underclassmen wondering what kind of financial aid they may qualify for, check out the Federal Student Aid Estimator on


A reminder that the PSAT's will take place on Wednesday, October 12. Students who signed up for the test should bring calculators and number 2 pencils. Students will continue on to class when the session is over.
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Community Service

A reminder that all students are required to complete 30 hours of community service by senior year. Seniors should turn in documentation of their hours to the front office before the end of first quarter, in order for the Community Service Grade to appear as a P for “pass” on the transcript.

BRYT Resources

Family supports are in full swing next week!

DAD’s group, open to ALL male-identified caregivers (dads, stepdads, granddads, uncles, etc) of ALL children. Tuesday nights. See Dad's group flyer here.

BRYT Parent-to-parent support group flyer! Please feel free to share this flyer link far and wide with your administration, colleagues, and friends to share with families who are interested. Our parent-to-parent support is open to ALL parents of youth who are navigating mental health challenges. The groups are virtual, hosted by a BRYT family engagement coordinator, and are designed to be a platform for families to support each other. *The purpose of these groups is to give parents an opportunity to give and receive support from each other. PSP groups are not designed to supplement mental health treatment.*

We will also be beginning a monthly Parents Learning with Parents (PLP) FREE Virtual Speaker Series for ALL CAREGIVERS of students in K-12. STARTS in OCTOBER 2022. These events will have a guest speaker or a panel of professionals on a set topic so that families may ask their own questions directly and confidentially. Topics will include technology use, youth substance use, grief in children and teens, navigating a mental health crisis, preparing for post-graduate life, etc. Please contact Beth Downing at for more information.

BRYT Family Engagement Resources. This resource doc houses our Youtube live recordings from last year as well as articles and links for you to reference on various topics. We will continue to add to this throughout the year. Let us know your topic needs.