HVCHS Counseling Newsletter

February '22

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As we head into semester two...

Here we are, at the halfway point of another uniquely challenging school year. Our students, families and staff all deserve so much credit for the resilience they have shown along the way! If you're reading this then you likely fall into one of those three categories - so well done!


In the coming months our counseling team will be working with students in a number of areas, in addition to the usual supports they provide. For example, during February counselors will begin helping students navigate the course selection process for the 2022-23 school year. Counselors will also continue to assist juniors through the post-secondary planning process as senior year approaches. This month's newsletter will cover these topics and more.

Important Dates in February

We have several important programs planned for the month of February, including:


  • Feb 3 - College Admission Panel Webinar
  • Feb 3 - Career Lunch & Learn - Art / Entrepreneurship
  • Feb 7 - Communication to parents & students re: course selection process
  • Feb 8 - Parent University Part 2 "Parenting the in Pandemic" Webinar
  • Feb 10 - Career Lunch & Learn - Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking
  • Feb 11 - Course requests for 2022-23 school year available in OnCourse
  • Mid-Feb - Mid-year grade reports will be sent via Naviance to all colleges that each senior has applied to


More on these items below....

College Admissions Panel via Zoom - Feb 3rd

The HVCHS Counseling team is pleased to invite all sophomores, juniors, and their families to a panel discussion on college planning and admissions. Our panel will feature representatives from Ithaca College, Lafayette College, Mercer County Community College, Rider University, Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, Virginia Tech and Yale University.


Please click HERE to register for the Zoom webinar, which will begin at 7pm on Thursday, February 3rd.


While we hope you can join us for the live program, a recording will also be made available afterward, on the Counseling website under "Parent Presentations."

Big picture

Parent University Part 2 "Parenting the in Pandemic" - Feb 8th

The second installment of our Parent University workshop series will focus on how to help your family through the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is presented by the ACCESS Program, an HVRSD-Rutgers University School Based Mental Health Support Program.


Please click HERE to register for the event, which will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, February 8th via Zoom.


While we hope you can join us for the live program, a recording will also be made available afterward, on the Counseling website under "Parent Presentations."

2022-23 Course Selection Process

For a basic overview of this process, please visit the Course Selections page on the HVCHS Counseling website. An updated video will be sent shortly to explain the course selection process in OnCourse for the 2022-23 year.


This page also includes the new 2022-2023 HVCHS Program of Studies, which contains full descriptions of each course we offer and their prerequisites. The Program of Studies is a useful tool in the academic planning process.


Detailed information, including a video explaining the course selection process in OnCourse, will be emailed to all students (grades 8 - 11) and their families on Feb 7th.

February "Career, Coffee & Learn"

Are you interested in a career in Art and/or Entrepreneurship, or Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking? Then join us for one of our upcoming Career, Coffee & Learn events:


Art and/or Entrepreneurship - 2/3/22

Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking - 2/10/22


Look out for emails from Ms. Curran with registration info!


*These events are run in collaboration with the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance*

College Board's "Real Talk: HBCU Edition"

Please consider attending this program offered by College Board to inform students about Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU) as they navigate the college search process:


"Real Talk is excited to launch our spring season with a two-night HBCU Edition on March 2 and 3, when a variety of campus representatives and current HBCU students will share key information about the college admissions process, scholarships, student life, and more.

This Real Talk event is the perfect opportunity to hear directly from the source and gain the insight you need to help your students and their families as they decide which of the 100+ HBCUs across the country should be added to their college lists."


Click HERE to register.

Sources of Strength

This month, we will be reintroducing Sources of Strength. We will be training new and returning Student Leaders and Adult Advisors.

Sources of Strength is a strength-based program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of Student Leaders mentored by Adult Advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life. The mission of Sources of Strength is to empower a well world and prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults.

Trained student leaders use their network of friends to:

- Have one-on-one conversations;
- Develop a Hope, Help, Strength messages using local faces and voices; and
- Present peer-to-peer presentations.


Sources of Strength Mission Statement

Signs of Suicide Program

Over the course of February 15 and 16, all ninth grade students will participate in the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program as part of their health curriculum.


SOS is an evidence-based suicide prevention program that teaches students, parents, and other trusted adults how to identify signs of depression and suicide in themselves, peers, and loved ones. The program will be delivered by Dr. Chris Velderman, the CHS student assistance counselor, and Mr. Ryan Stingel, student assistance counselor intern.


The SOS presentation will discuss the possible causes and warning signs of depression and suicide. It also provides brief training in a simple method for helping address someone in crisis. Signs of Suicide teaches students and adults the acronym ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell). There will also be a focus on building protective factors, increasing coping skills, and tips for talking with others about mental health and suicide.


Suicide is a challenging topic for everyone and we recognize some students may experience more difficulty with this topic due to their own life circumstances. If you are aware that your child might struggle with this presentation, please reach out to their school counselor or Dr. Velderman. Please know we will also be asking students to report any concerns about themselves or a friend prior to leaving the presentation and we will follow-up with any concerns as soon as possible.


If you wish to view a parent version of the presentation, you can find it here.

HVCHS Local Scholarship Program

HVCHS Class of 2022: The Counseling Department coordinates a Local Scholarship Program every year for the graduating seniors. We are so thankful to our generous donors. Last year, over $58,000.00 in scholarship monies was awarded to the Class of 2021!


The Local Scholarship Program booklet and application will be posted on the HVCHS Counseling Department website starting on February 22, 2022. The deadline to submit an application is on March 15, 2022. Please CLICK HERE to be directed to the HVCHS Counseling Department website to view additional scholarship resources.


We hope you will participate in this great opportunity!

Parchment - alumni transcript services

We recently partnered with Parchment to provide streamlined online transcript processing services for our former students.


NOTE: This is NOT how our current students should request transcripts for colleges, summer programs, etc. That process is detailed on our counseling website, and has been explained extensively to our current seniors.

CHS Counseling Department Calendar...

Here is a snapshot of what we have planned in the CHS Counseling Department this year...


2021-22 CHS Counseling Services Calendar

Contact Info:

HVCHS - 609.737.4003

Mari Buono - School Counselor - mariangelabuono@hvrsd.org x3520

Rachel Curran - School Counselor - rachelcurran@hvrsd.org x3525

Nicole Getman - School Counselor - nicolegetman@hvrsd.org x3521

Una Hong - School Counselor - unahong@hvrsd.org x3518

Betsy Lee - School Counselor - elizabethlee@hvrsd.org x3522

Dr. Chris Velderman - Student Assistance Counselor - chrisvelderman@hvrsd.org x3539

Kristina Shaw - Virtual Pathways Counselor - kristinashaw@hvrsd.org

Samantha Awadallah - ACCESS Clinician - samanthaawadallah@hvrsd.org x3456

Jennifer Hastings - Administrative Assistant - jenniferhastings@hvrsd.org x3519

Molly Lytle - Administrative Assistant - mollylytle@hvrsd.org x3523