Welcome Class of 2025!

RHS Guidance Newsletter: September 2021

Working with the Guidance & Counseling Staff: Who We Are

One element of finding success in high school is establishing a relationship between students, families and the School Counselor. Ramapo Guidance is home to seven School Counselors including Mrs. Dondero, Ms. Katz, Ms. Maki, Ms Piccinno, Mrs. Silva, Mr. Smagula and Mr. Walty. Mrs. Perry serves as a School Counselor and Supervisor of the department. The role of the School Counselor is one marked by providing academic guidance, college and career advising and social-emotional support. A goal of the Department is to meet with each student at least once per marking period throughout the year to foster a rapport. Students are able to schedule an appointment themselves by completing an appointment requests within the office, emailing their respective Counselor or filling out a quick Google Form request.

In addition to the School Counselors, Ramapo Guidance also fortunate to have a Student Assistance Counselor. Ms. Mantashian is an available resource for focused counseling support beyond the academic realm. She is also available by appointment. Ms. Mantashian conducts one-to-one and small group counseling support appropriate for the school environment. She is also involved in the Intervention & Referral Services Committee for students considered "at risk" and oversees the Heroes & Cool Kids peer-leadership program. Ms. Mantashian is the Ramapo Anti-Bullying Specialist.

The Guidance Office is efficient and lovingly managed by two Administrative Assistants, Mrs. Ambrose and Mrs. Gaveglio. From answering the phones to directing questions, these individuals are often the first point of contact and also serve as knowledge resources of Guidance procedures.

Information regarding Guidance hosted events will be sent through Naviance e-blast and posted on the website. You are always welcomed to contact the Guidance Office and School Counselor directly! We are excited to start this high school journey with you and your student!

Academic Scheduling: Adding & Dropping Classes

It is important for students to find balance within their academic schedule. Given this, RIH Guidance allows for students to change courses on a limited basis during the early fall. Students and parents are encouraged to review the dates of the open scheduling window available in the RIH Program of Studies. The scheduling window will re-open for schedule changes including the "adding" and "dropping" of classes beginning on the second day of classes until September 24, 2021 for elective courses and October 1, 2021 for core classes.

Please note that the first priority in scheduling is securing the core academic courses and graduation requirements. Students will be able to submit requests for schedule changes via a Google form for further discussion with their School Counselor. Please note that schedule changes of an educationally sound nature will be pursued as best as possible within the confines of the Master Schedule. Preferential requests for particular teachers, order of periods, late arrival/ early dismissal (for Seniors) will not be honored.

Genesis, Schoology, and Naviance: Oh My!

Attending high school within a 1:1 district with easy access to technology provides a number of opportunities. It can also be difficult to keep all these tech tools organized! To assist you and your student, here are the three major resources that will be frequently used by your student:

Genesis: The Genesis platform is used by Ramapo and Indian Hills as the online grade book and scheduling system. You and your student will receive access to Genesis in order to review grades earned "live" throughout the marking period, monitor attendance and follow your academic schedule daily. Demographic information has been inputted to reflect student / family contact information. Please ensure that the student mailing address is correct to prevent any disruptions in communication. Should you encounter any difficulty logging into the Genesis Portal, parents are encouraged to email csd@rih.org.

Schoology: Schoology is a social-networking platform restricted to Ramapo High School that is focused on school news, events and academic courses. Students will be connected to a Schoology "page" for each course utilized by the respective classroom teacher to support instruction. Information regarding important events and announcements are posted regularly on the Schoology "feed." Students can opt to receive notifications in the settings when course content is created. It is strongly suggested that students review the notification parameters so their email inbox is not flooded with updates from all Schoology posts!

Naviance:Student and parent use of Naviance will grow over the course of high school. Naviance provides students access to a range of self-assessment tools to assist in personal introspection (personality type, learning style inventory), career exploration and college search information. This resources is primarily used in collaboration with your School Counselor.

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Emphasis on Self-Care

The past 18 months have been marked with a number of stressors including COVID19, financial instability, loss of control, social unrest and life transitions which have impacted us all to varying degrees. It is more important than ever for students and families to be mindful of practicing self-care to build resiliency and foster personal wellness. Resources are available through the Guidance Office to provide referrals for mental health counselors independent of the school environment. Students and families are encouraged to take time to review the RIH Virtual Wellness Toolkit as one easily accessible resource.
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