Tampa Prep's School Counselor Ms. Michele Cole is using state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) as a way to help students manage their stress and anxiety.
Faculty AdvisingFaculty advisors at Tampa Prep enhance the overall learning experience by monitoring and supporting the advisee's academic and personal growth throughout the year. The advisor serves as a central link between the advisee and his or her parents, teachers, coaches and other adults.
- 45 Upper School faculty advisors : approx. 10 advisees each
- 15 Middle School faculty advisors : approx. 14 advisees each
During weekly advising period, a variety of issues are discussed in a group format ranging from study skills and academic performance to career planning and self-evaluation exercises. Advising also provides an open forum for students to express any concerns.
The School Counselor is available during school hours to any student for support in dealing with social or emotional issues, conflict at home or with a teacher, or with feelings of depression, anxiety or academic pressure.
A number of strategies are used to provide this support. The newest addition to our counseling office is a dedicated computer utilizing cutting edge virtual reality to practice relaxation, breathing, calming and mindfulness. This technique has been shown to improve focus and calm, and reduce anxiety and stress in therapeutic settings. We are excited to make this available to our students.
Teachers and parents are encouraged to consult with the counselor concerning a student’s school adjustment or other social/emotional/behavioral issues. Recommendations of professional resources are also provided, as needed.
Our School Counselor regularly speaks to parent groups on topics such as:
- Resilience: Developing Stress-Hardy Children
- Social Development and Peer Pressure in Middle School
- Too Busy, Too Emotional, Too Stressed - Rising Anxiety in Today’s Adolescents
- Is your Teen Ready for College
- Parenting a College Student
- Emerging Changes during the High School Years
- The Universal Questions of Adolescence
Academic Support Counselor
The primary role of the Academic Support Counselor is to consult with students and families who may be struggling with academics and help manage academic accommodations.
In Upper School, the Academic Support Counselor works with students on study skills, time management, planning and executive functioning. Help is also provided by sourcing support from specialists for learning differences or help with reading, writing, math and tutoring in specific subject areas.
In Middle School, the Academic Support Counselor facilitates small group work with students around study skills, organizational skills, time management and planning. In addition, parent programming on how to support students as they build study skills in middle school is provided. The Academic Support Counselor also works with teachers to help them support students who struggle in the classroom.
Our Academic Support Counselor speaks to parents and faculty on topics such as:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Understanding Learning Disabilities: Modifications vs. Accomodations
- Homework Help!
- Helping Your Child Succeed in School
- She also speaks to student groups about
- Calendarizing the Semester: Organization Study Hacks
- Study Strategies
- Tips for Communicating with Teachers
- Tips for Exam Success
Stress Less Week
During Review Week before final exams, the Counseling Office sponsors a Stress Less Week. The week is filled with fun and instructive daily activities designed to put into practice research-based best strategies for optimum cognitive efficiency during study and assessments. These activities also provide healthy ways to manage stress during times of pressure. The week incorporates short breaks to breathe, create art, dance, work on a puzzle, create and listen to music, get active and play games, or take a break for an unexpected snack of ice cream or coffee and cookies.
At Tampa Prep, we recognize that students learn in different ways and that sound teaching includes awareness of those differences when designing lessons and assessments. We also recognize that students with mildly disabling learning conditions may do well academically at our school. When deemed appropriate, we will offer such students certain accommodations. Our goal is to help these students to adjust and to thrive in our demanding college preparatory environment.
That said, we ask parents to realize that, given the size of our school and our available resources, we may not be able to provide all requested accommodations. We do not have the personnel, training, or equipment to handle certain types of medical procedures best left to the student, parent or physician. We are equipped to provide standard accommodations such as those listed below, but we are not equipped to make modifications to curriculum.
Tampa Prep regards the following accommodations as reasonable given its academic mission. These accommodations may be granted to students who have satisfied the School’s established approval process.
- Extended time on specified subjects’ quizzes, tests, and exams
- Word-processing on computer because of dysgraphia
- Photocopying another student’s notes
- Recording class lectures and discussions
- Supervised study after school
- Opportunity to clarify information and instructions with teacher
- Preferential seating
- Preferential scheduling
- Laptop in class
- Low-stimulus test environment
- Alternative to scan-type answer sheets
- Dispensing medication through the Health Coordinator.
An important reference resource for our full philosophy and policies is our Guide for Academics and Student Life, pages 24-25.
In general, accommodations require a recommendation from a medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist. Tampa Prep does not accept IEPs or 504 plans as the only documentation for accommodations. Accommodations for standardized tests (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP, and PSAT) are awarded only by the College Board and by ACT (ACT, ACT ASPIRE). Tampa Prep cannot grant accommodations for these tests; they must be applied for independently.
College Board Guidelines for Accommodations | ACT Guidelines for Accommodations
Academic Support Counselor Ms. Sarah Johnson is teaching students strategies to get organized for a new semester.
Semester exams are just around the corner. Academic Support Counselor Ms. Johnson put together some helpful tips to help make the next few weeks a little less stressful for students.