4 School Counselors High school counselors monitor academic progress, help students choose their courses, and talk to students about their career goals and educational options. School counselors are also available to answer questions and help students figure out how to deal with problems and difficult situations. Make sure your child knows how to go about making an appointment with his/her counselor. Counselors are excellent resources for both students and parents. If you have a question, need information, or if your child needs help, contact your child’s counselor by phone or email. Programs and Courses High school students have a number of courses they’re required to take in order to graduate (math, history, English, etc.). While freshman schedules are mostly filled with required courses, each year students have more room in their schedules for electives (courses they choose or “elect” to take). Electives give students the opportunity to develop skills and gain knowledge in their areas of interest. Students who plan to go to a four-year college need to choose college prep courses (foreign language, advanced math, etc.) for many of their electives. In order to meet the needs of their students, most high schools have a variety of programs. These often include career and technology pro- grams, special education programs, and programs that make it possible for students to take college courses while they’re still in high school (dual enrollment). “Students who are in the right courses and programs are happier, and they are more successful. If your child doesn’t enjoy school or is strug- gling academically, ask your school counselor if there might be a more appropriate program or selection of courses for your child.” Antonio Lopez, counselor