On a formational level, building on the growth each student has achieved as a freshman, the sophomore program presumes that the he has begun feeling secure in his place as an individual at Regis and is ready to turn his attentions to the role he will play within groups: family, circles of friends, parish and neighborhood, and school community. It encourages him to pursue his increasing impulses toward independence with a generosity of spirit that is inclusive and other-centered, and that invites satisfying, mutually supportive relationships with all the important parties in his life.
The program includes both individual and group sessions. Each sophomore meets privately with his counselor at least three times during the school year. More individual meetings are scheduled by the counselor or by the student as needed, especially to deal with academic, peer, or family and relationship problems as they may arise. 40-minute group sessions occur once a cycle and are conducted by advisor group. These are both informational and discussion-oriented and provide the student with regular opportunities both to share his ideas on topics of interest and to listen open-mindedly to the thoughts and views of his classmates.
Topics treated in the sophomore group sessions include: the value of setting and working toward goals, preparing for the PSAT, study skills, matching study skills to sophomore year subject content, coping with test anxiety, effective communication, issues surrounding social media, welcoming diversity, stereotyping and the destructive uses of language, dealing with the expectations of others, respect for women, dating issues, peer pressures, decisions about substance use, coping with academic and personal stress, making good moral decisions, academic integrity, AP’s and SAT Subject Tests.
No texts are required for the course, but informational handouts and related exercises are regularly distributed within the group sessions.
Parents are encouraged either to phone (212-288-1545) or email the guidance counselor to discuss matters of particular concern or to provide any personal information they believe it would be relatively important to share.
SOPHOMORE YEAR GUIDANCE: OVERVIEW OF GROUP SESSIONS
SESSION 1: Introduction & Departmental Forms
The opening session is devoted to an explanation of the structure and goals of the Sophomore Year Guidance curriculum. Tasks include establishing the differences in expectations and content relative to the first year of the program, reviewing “The Rules of the Road for Guidance” as we briefly reintroduced to the Regis Planner and are reminded to use it as a “planbook” rather than an assignment pad as they set up their planner for the 1st trimester together. Students are asked to complete information forms and sophomore year goals questionnaire and bring the completed for to their next Group Guidance class.
SESSION 2: Goal Setting
During this session sophomores will begin to understand the importance of setting realistic and attainable short, medium and long term goals for the year. They will brainstorm, prioritize and will begin to create an action plan.
SESSION 3: Subject Analysis & Academic Integrity
This meeting focuses on specific sophomore year courses and those study practices that maximize chances for success therein. During this session we will speak about the importance of academic integrity with an emphasis placed on the causes and motivation involved in making moral and ethical compromise, the consequences it holds both for the individual and the community, and study habits and other behaviors that effectively reduce its incidence.
SESSION 4: PSAT Preparation
This session addresses the upcoming PSAT and provides a broad introduction to standardized testing in general and to preparation activities and options in particular. In the time remaining students are invited to share their early impressions of sophomore year.
SESSION 5: Study Skills
During this session students will take a quick study habits survey, to be followed by a general review of relevant learning skills..
SESSION 6: Managing Expectations
This session is dedicated to achieving understanding the expectations of others and their implications on feelings of self-worth and behavior. We will begin to uncover internal and external expectations and begin to look towards the expectations beyond Regis.
SESSION 7: Progress Reports and Related Matters
Timed roughly to coincide with issuance of the first trimester Progress Reports, this session calls upon sophomores to reflect on the implications of their evaluations, and to identify attitudes and work patterns that may be either lending to or thwarting achievement of their personal academic goals. Special attention will be devoted to coping effectively with expectations (of their own, of parents and other family, of teachers and other concerned adults, and of friends and other peers) and reacting to perceived shortcomings or criticisms with mature and suitably controlled emotion.
SESSION 8 & 9: Stress
In these sessions sophomores are asked to identify typical causes of stress in themselves and others (including their parents), and to describe signal emotional and physical behaviors/responses expected as consequences. They are then called upon to suggest and describe possible coping strategies for their own use in stressful situations.
SESSIONS 10: Report Cards & Testing & Planning
Timed after first trimester grades are issued but before the mid-year, these sessions concentrate on report cards and their implications, self-assessment in the context of individual goals itemized by students back in Session 2, preparations for the Chemistry mid-year exam, and steps to overcome serious test-taking anxiety. Sophomores will also look towards the second trimester and begin their organizational planning.
SESSION 11: Effective Communication
Picking up on a theme from freshman year, these meetings concentrate on the students’ development of an effective communication style. Sophomores are called upon to consider how they communicate with peers, friends, teachers, and parents. We will explore appropriate forms of communication including verbal, non-verbal, and written. We will discuss how social media and texting have changed the impression of accepted forms of communication.
SESSION 12: Social Pressures
As we head into Christmas break we will explore the various types of social pressures sophomores are exposed to. We will discuss how to balance social opportunities with academic pressure. We will also begin to look at our peer relationships and how they may affect decision making.
SESSION 13: Admiration & Respect for Others
Role models role models are the people in our lives who possess the qualities that we would like to emulate and those who have affected us in a way that makes us want to be better people. In order to better understand the person we wish to become we must take a look at the people in our lives that we admire and identify the characteristics and qualities that we admire wish to imitate in our own lives to promote personal growth and development.
SESSION 14: Summer Programs & Opportunities
At this meeting students are asked to begin thinking about their options for summer activity, and are reminded of the pros and cons of undertaking formal academic courses and “honorific” programs as opposed to pursuing other comparably attractive alternatives.
SESSION 15-17: Standardized Testing
These classes will help students understand their PSAT results both individually and within the class as a whole. Class time will also be dedicated to explaining the positive and negative factors of participating in the College Board’s AP program, specifically the AP US History and Chemistry exams. In these classes, we will continue to discuss the SAT Subject Tests and their use in the college admissions process. Sophomore are provided with data (correlating test scores to Regis grades) to help them decide whether to take the SAT Subject tests in June.
SESSION 18 & 19: Self Exploration
During this session students will participate in a self-guided personality inventory that will assess personality characteristics. This opportunity will help the student gauge responses to social situations, as well as preferences for future careers and leisure time. Results are intended for use in predicting academic achievement, school interest, the likelihood of becoming a high school dropout, learning styles, and creativity.
SESSION 20: Report Cards & Planning
Timed after second trimester grades are issued this session concentrate on report cards and reviewing implications and self-assessment in the context of individual goals itemized by students back in Session 2. Sophomores will consider changes necessary to end the year strong. Students will map out the third trimester and set up their planner to ensure academic success. Students will reflect on their sophomore year goals to asses if they are on target for reaching their goals.
SESSION 21 & 22: Diversity
These classes treat the topic of diversity from multiple perspectives, including the reasons to celebrate human differences, the distinction between a support group and a clique, and the inevitable tension between taking pride in one’s identity and projecting an image of self-satisfied superiority. Emphasis is placed on stereotyping and the destructive potential of language, particularly in unintentionally divisive attempts at humor.
SESSIONS 23: Gender Differences
During this session we will begin to explore respect for all men and women. We will discuss some of the differences regarding communication, emotions, and expectations. The aim of this class is to help students appreciate and respect women as peers.
SESSION 24-26: Relationships
These sessions concentrate on the importance of developing appropriate and mutually supportive relationships with peers, friends, parents, and family members. Topics include dating, respect for one’s partner in a relationship, and the maintenance of personal boundaries. Sophomores are asked to reconsider both the moral and emotional issues and the specific health risks involved in sexually active relationships.
SESSIONS 27 & 28: Substance Use
With an eye toward the upcoming summer, these sessions are intended to help students make good personal decisions about substance use. They view and are invited to discuss a moderately disquieting video emphasizing the immediate dangers involved in drug and alcohol consumption. In that context they are then reacquainted with certain of the factual data first presented to them as freshmen.
SESSION 29: Social Media
This session is given over to the subject of technology and its uses, both academic and personal. Topics include the Internet’s impact on studies, and Internet safety (with particular reference both to popular social networking sites, and to on-line diary and blog sites).
SESSION 30: Summer Plans, Goals and Wrap-Up
At this meeting students are asked to complete departmental forms calling for them to describe their plans for the upcoming summer. In the context of the mid-high school self-assessment undertaken with their advisors (based on The Graduate at Graduation), they are invited briefly to reflect upon plusses and minuses they experienced as their sophomore year unfolded and to define specific goals to be achieved by the end of the junior year and to identify concrete, preferably sequenced steps they plan to take to bring about their eventual achievement.