fordham prep seal maroon

Group Guidance

Freshman Year

One of the primary goals of freshman year group guidance is to assist students with their transition to high school. Transitional challenges often include managing a more rigorous curriculum, making new friends, playing on more competitive athletic teams, commuting a farther distance from home and becoming part of a new school community. Fortunately, a freshman will meet in the same small group once every six days with his assigned counselor who will help him build the critical skills and habits that will contribute to his overall success at Fordham Prep. 

Counselors work to cultivate a cohesive group environment in which the students become comfortable sharing their struggles as well as their successes. Group guidance classes vary between engaging discussions of relevant topics; practical lessons that address their academic, personal social and emotional development; and fun, interactive activities. In a short period of time, group guidance becomes a place where the freshmen can ask questions, get important information, de-stress, improve their skills and feel connected.

Incoming freshman are required to read Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens over the summer, providing a framework for many of the discussions and activities in the first quarter. Much time is spent on making the lessons in the book relevant to their experiences at Fordham Prep. In addition, we explore bullying behavior, including what it is and what to do if you are a victim and/or bystander.

In quarter two, students complete a four-lesson unit on suicide prevention, learn about stress/stress management and how to prepare for midterm exams and standardized testing.

The two, primary topics addressed in quarter 3 are alcohol and other drug use/abuse and course selections for sophomore year.

Quarter four includes the culminating, year-end activity in which students create and present their personal mission statements. In the last class, the boys are asked to complete a written reflection of their freshman year including their academic, social and extra-curricular experiences, which is shared with their counselors.

Additional Programs & Services

  • Bereavement Support Group
  • Academic Support Group
  • Personal Mission Statement Assembly
  • The Courage to Speak Alcohol/Drug Prevention Assembly
  • Bullying/Cyberbullying/Internet Safety Assembly
  • Freshman Parent Night
Sophomore Year

Sophomore year is often a time of deeper self-exploration and immersion into the Fordham Prep community. In sophomore group guidance, the counselors utilize two framing vocational questions for the students’ consideration: “What do you want to do?” and “Who do you want to become?” From these questions flow a myriad of topics, group discussions and activities in which the boys learn about and reflect upon the character traits that define a true “man for others.” Topics of focus have included the link between gratitude and happiness; the impact of optimism on achievement; the importance of seeking and sharing inspiration; the intersection of values and decision-making, and the utility of short and long-term goal setting in pursuit of personal aspirations.

College and career exploration are taken to the next level, and a number of classes are devoted to the college search process and standardized testing. In addition, a variety of individual assessments are administered including a strengths finder, a career interest inventory and a college major finder.

The culminating event of sophomore guidance is a full-day program, Sophomore Dream Day. It is a day that brings together the various themes of the year and gives the students an opportunity to hear from others who have pursued their dreams and the valuable lessons they learned along the way. In the last class, the boys are asked to complete a written reflection of their sophomore year examining their areas of strength and weakness, indicating opportunities for growth and improvement and identifying goals for their junior year.

Additional Programs & Services

  • Bereavement Support Group
  • Introduction to the College Search Process Assembly
  • PSAT Prep & Review of Scores
  • ACT Prep & Review of Scores
  • Course Selection Assembly
  • Sophomore Parent Night

Junior Year

School counselors meet their assigned juniors every other cycle during the 1st semester. One of topics covered is the introduction to and practice of mindfulness, which assists adolescents with decision-making, stress management, productivity and the development of compassion for self and others. Also, distress tolerance is covered, which helps students effectively cope with life’s challenges, both emotionally and behaviorally. Additional topics include suicide prevention and healthy & unhealthy relationships. College counselors meet their assigned juniors every cycle in 2nd semester. The curriculum is focused on the college search process. Finding a college that is the right fit for each individual is emphasized, and students are encouraged to explore schools based on their academic and extra-curricular interests. College counselors review the pieces of the application, essay writing, recommendation letters and the development of an appropriate list of colleges and universities.

Additional Programs & Services

  • Relationships Assembly
  • Substance Use/Abuse Education Assembly
  • College Information Assemblies
Senior Year

Our college counselors meet with seniors in Group Guidance classes during the 1st semester. The first quarter of the senior guidance program is dedicated to the 'nuts & bolts' of the college application process. College counselors review important details about application procedures, deadlines, standardized testing and the financial aid process, as well as conduct application work sessions. During the second quarter of senior year, Group Guidance classes help seniors consider some of the issues involved in transitioning from high school to college. Topics addressed include binge drinking, time & money management and the challenges of independence. Additionally, college counselors provide helpful information to guide students through their final decision-making process. In the 2nd semester, school counselors implement a variety of assemblies for the seniors that address a number of relevant topics, including dating/relationships, college residential life, and resiliency & leadership.