Student Services

About Us

About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the School Counseling Program at West Aurora High School is to provide every student guidance and opportunities to access every resource in a nurturing and equitable environment. This accomplishment is by empowering and teaching students the tools, strategies, and skill sets to be successful citizens: critical thinkers, effective communicators, and collaborative problem-solvers.

Vision Statement

The Vision of the School Counseling Program at West Aurora High School and the Aurora community is to provide for students an equitable, academically rich and socially supportive learning environment that builds a student’s capacity to become active and effective participants in a globally demanding and changing the environment. All students will explore their talents and build upon personal strengths which will enable them to prosper in their desired post-secondary career path

House Teams

West High has a 5-House design in Student Services where we combine a Dean, 2 Counselors, a Social Worker, and Psychologist in each House. Families have one place of contact for all services.  
Students and parents are encouraged to use a variety of resources your house can provide to assist in your success as a Blackhawk!

  • Attendance
  • Career planning
  • Discipline
  • Social / emotional concerns
  • Academic issues
  • Class schedules
  • Home access
  • Replacement IDs
  • Late arrival
  • Lockers
  • Early Dismissal
  • Work Permits
  • Student messages
  • Parking stickers
  • Homework arrangements
  • Password reset

Meet the House Teams

AMBITION (A-Con)

Ellen Cerza

Ellen Cerza

Office Professional
Jason Kaiser

Jason Kaiser

Guidance Counselor
Pam Krasinski

Pam Krasinski

Psychologist
Megan Mockaitis

Megan Mockaitis

Office Professional
Dan Rymarz

Dan Rymarz

Dean
Tricia Schrope

Tricia Schrope

Guidance Counselor
Tomary Walls

Tomary Walls

Social Worker

CHARACTER (Coo-Gre)

Alina Cyrus

Alina Cyrus

Social Worker
Alvin Lewis

Alvin Lewis

Dean
Kimberly Orchard

Kimberly Orchard

Guidance Counselor
Chris Soulsby

Chris Soulsby

Psychologist
Bill Stanley

Bill Stanley

Guidance Counselor
Marianna Urrutia

Marianna Urrutia

Office Professional
Kimberly Wisniewski

Kimberly Wisniewski

Office Professional

HONOR (Grf-Ma)

Pete Baker

Pete Baker

Dean
David Heater

David Heater

Psychologist
Steve Janca

Steve Janca

Guidance Counselor
Stacy Krisch

Stacy Krisch

Office Professional
Mary Peters

Mary Peters

Office Professional
Michelle Voris

Michelle Voris

Social Worker
Amy Winslow

Amy Winslow

Guidance Counselor

PRIDE (Mb-Rod)

Jacqueline Baker

Jacqueline Baker

Guidance Counselor
Pam Krasinski

Pam Krasinski

Psychologist
Noemi Mercado

Noemi Mercado

Office Professional
Brenda Millen

Brenda Millen

Office Professional
Christine O'Toole

Christine O'Toole

Social Worker
Erin Vander Veen

Erin Vander Veen

Counselor
Katie Wood

Katie Wood

Dean

TRADITION (Roe-Z)

Kara Blaha

Kara Blaha

Social Worker
Meghan Cochran

Meghan Cochran

Guidance Counselor
Ryan Gatbunton

Ryan Gatbunton

Guidance Counselor
Jennifer Legris

Jennifer Legris

Dean
Lindsay Lodor

Lindsay Lodor

Office Professional
Chris Soulsby

Chris Soulsby

Psychologist

WEST AURORA HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM SERVICES GUIDE

Everything you need to know!

Download Guide

Danial Durbin

Danial Durbin

Assistant Principal
Steve John

Steve John

Lead School Counselor
Len Casamassimo

Len Casamassimo

Staff Resource Office
Kelly Jacobson

Kelly Jacobson

Student Assistance Coordinator
Sue Fowler

Sue Fowler

College & Career Readiness Coordinator

JESUS ARCEO

Upward Bound Program
640-301-6560

Academics

Graduation Information

Graduation Requirements

A student must earn a minimum of 22 credits to graduate from West Aurora High School.

1. Under special circumstances, junior and senior students can obtain a “physical education waiver”. Students can obtain more information about the “physical educational waiver” by contacting their school counselor.

2. A student may meet the Consumer Economic requirement by participating in and passing a full year of a school-sponsored work co-op program. In these cases, students must substitute another social studies class for the Economics course since two years of social studies are required for graduation.

For students planning on attending a four year university after graduation, admissions requirements may vary. See individual university web pages for specifics. In general, students planning on attending a four year university after high school should plan on the following:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2)
  • 3 years of science
  • 3 years of social studies
  • 2 years of the same foreign language
  • 2 years of fine arts or 2 years of vocational course

The minimum of 22 units of credit include the following required courses:

English 4 credits
1 Grammar/Intensive Writing
1 Sophomore Lit
1 American Lit/Intensive Writing

1 English Elective

Science 2 credits
Math 3 credits
1 Algebra
1 Math course with Geometrical Concepts
1 additional Math course in the proper sequence
Health 1/2 credit

Social Studies 2 credit

1/2 Government
1/2 Economics
1 US History
Electives 7 credits Must include...
1 art
1 music

Foreign language or vocational course

Cap & Gown/Commencement FAQ's

To order or pay for a Senior's cap and gown, announcements, or any other Senior products,
please contact Herff Jones at (815)-756-4743 or visit their website below:

Herff jones

When is the ceremony? 

Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:00 am 

Where is the ceremony? 

Northern Illinois University Convocation Center 
1525 West Lincoln Highway (Route 38), DeKalb IL 

How many people can we invite? 

Each graduate will receive 10 tickets. They are distributed after rehearsal in May. 

How and when do we order caps and gowns? 

Orders will be taken at the Senior Meeting on Tuesday, October 8. If absent, please stop into the Student Activities Office. Orders can also be taken online at highschool.herffjones.com or by calling 815-756-4743. 

How much is cap and gown rental? 

The rental fee is $43.00 if ordered before November 15. After November 15, there is a $10 late fee, making the total rental fee $53.00. The last day to pay the rental fee is February 1. 

How do we pay for cap and gown rental? 

Payment can be made online at highschool.herffjones.com or by cash to Herff Jones on the days they are at West High to collect orders. 

What do you mean, “rental”? 

Caps and tassels are yours to keep but the gowns are returned immediately after the ceremony. **HINT – plan your photo opportunities ahead of time** 

When will we get all the details about the Commencement Ceremony? 

A mailing will be sent to parents in late March or early April. Seniors will be given the same information at a class meeting in early April. 

I still have questions. Who should I contact? 

A: For questions about the Commencement Ceremony, contact Patricia Cors in the Student Activities office at 630-301-6507 or patricia.cors@sd129.org. For questions about graduation requirements, credits and other academic issues, contact your child’s guidance counselor. 

Transcript Request

Current Students:
Please contact the Registrar at your school to request your transcripts. Transcripts will be delivered to the colleges you chose in the desired format.

Alumni:
Please follow the link below to request your transcript online.

Transcript Request

College & Career Readiness

WHAT IS GOING ON IN COLLEGE & CAREER readiness center AT WEST?

This year the College and Career Readiness Center (CCRC) will be introducing a proactive, monthly program that features one of the 16 career clusters, pathways, and post-secondary options for you to explore in order to better prepare you for post­secondary education and training for a future career. Each week we will be sending out an important message and activity for you to investigate and further your knowledge about the different career clusters.

November Career Cluster is:
MANUFACTURING

Week One

Week One: What is the cluster of Manufacturing?
Manufacturing is the process of designing, making, installing, and maintaining various products. This diverse career cluster prepares learners for careers in planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products.

Go to student.naviance.com or (bit.ly/wanaviance.com) to read more about the Career Cluster of Manufacturing: 

  1. Click on Careers tab.
  2. Click on Explore Career & Clusters
  3. Scroll down to find Clusters & Pathways
  4. Click on Manufacturing

This will provide you with an overview of the Manufacturing cluster.

Week Two

Week Two: What are the different pathways and career options within this cluster?
Go to student.naviance.com or (bit.ly/wanaviance.com

  1. Click on Careers tab.
  2. Click on Explore Career & Clusters.
  3. Scroll down to find Clusters & Pathways.
  4. Click on Manufacturing.
  5. Read the pathways this cluster contains. (right hand side)
    Is there a pathway that interests you?
  6. Read the related occupations associated with this cluster including the Overview I Knowledge & Skills I Tasks & Activities I Wages.
  7. Identify at least one pathway and three careers that are of interest to you. Mark as favorite in Naviance (click on the heart).

Refer to links for additional resources to explore pathways and careers relating to the featured cluster. 
IllinoisWorkNet.com / naviance.com / onetonline.org / bis.gov 

Week Three

Week Three: How do I get there? Training, education, etc ... 

  1. Log in to Naviance account and click on Manufacturing Cluster (from Career Tab/Explore Careers and Clusters).
  2. Read "Plan of Study" and Related Majors sections. Note that the Related Majors section will take you to a list of post-secondary institutions (colleges) that offer the related major.
  3. In Naviance (under career tab) view a short video in RoadTrip nation. See attached.

Refer to links for additional resources. 
IllinoisWorkNet.com / naviance.com / onetonline.org / bis.gov 

Week Four

Week Four: Are you interested in this cluster?

Please plan on attending the Manufacturing Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, December 4th during 4th -6th study hall / lunch periods. (Attendance will be taken)

FIND OUT THE IN DEMAND OCCUPATIONS IN ILLINOIS

MANUFACTURING RESOURCES

savethedate_All_2020

College Planning Checklist

Freshman Year

Freshman Year

Freshman year is important. A successful transition to high school life can be an important indicator of future success.  The theme for freshmen year is Who Am I? Academic planning, career exploration, adjustment to the role of a young high school adult, and  involvement in school events are the areas of concentration for the incoming high school student. 

The profile of a successful freshman student includes the following:

  • Understanding of graduation requirements, the importance of a high school transcript, GPA, rank-in-class and grading periods (semesters)
  • Understanding of support systems and/or resources offered
  • Understanding of athletics/activities offered
  • Understanding of the importance of participating in community service
  • Participation in grade level tasks as part of college and career readiness curriculum
  • Ability to set realistic, future goals for post-secondary success

A student who strives to meet these requirements will find high school to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

 

FRESHMAN CHECKLIST

FALL OF 8TH GRADE YEAR

  • Take placement assessment (PSAT 8/9)
  • Complete Matchmaker assessment in Career Cruising 

WINTER OF 8TH GRADE YEAR

  • Attend Freshman Orientation
  • Begin pre-registration with high school counselors

SUMMER BEFORE 9TH GRADE YEAR

  • Participate in Enter with Pride

FALL

  • Join athletic/club activities
  • Attend Freshman Essentials presentations
  • Participate in SOS activity as part of Health class
  • Learn how to log on to Naviance
  • Complete Cluster Finder assessment in Naviance
  • Parents:  Attend Open House –  9th Grade Level presentation

WINTER

  • Complete Course Selection with counselor (Post-secondary education/career plans, 4 year plan)
  • Attend Freshman Essentials presentation

SPRING

  • Visit the College and Career Center.
  • Consider summer school enrollment
  • Review course selections for 10th grade
  • Athletes considering playing sports at the college level should inform their counselor and coach.
  • Take PSAT 8/9 exam
  • Complete 9th grade exit survey
  • Attend Freshman Essentials presentation

Sophomore Year

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Sophomores move from the adjustment phase of freshman year to a deeper understanding of the high school system and their role in post-secondary planning. The theme for sophomore year is Career Exploration with the focus on personal strengths, skills and interests. Sophomores will explore post-secondary options as it relates to personal career pathways. Continuing to build a strong GPA/class rank and taking rigorous courses is stressed. 

The profile of a successful sophomore includes the following: 

  • Understanding of Dual Credit and AP courses
  • Identifying electives offered as it relates to personal career pathways
  • Understanding and utilization of support systems and resources offered
  • Participation in athletics and/or activities offered
  • Understanding of the importance of participating in community service
  • Participation in grade level tasks as part of college and career readiness curriculum
  • Ability to set realistic, future goals for post-secondary success

 

SOPHOMORE CHECKLIST  

SUMMER BEFORE 10TH GRADE YEAR
  • Check on summer school grades (See if they were received and recorded)

FALL

  • Continue participation in athletic and/or activities
  • Visit and utilize services provided in the College and Career Center (CCRC)
  • Complete Do What You Are assessment in Naviance
  • Analyze Do What You Are assessment (along with Cluster Finder results) in connection to possible career interests
  • Learn how to search careers in Naviance
  • Explore career options
  • Attend Financial Aid Presentation
  • Parents: attend Open House – 10th Grade Level presentation

WINTER

  • Complete Course Selection with counselor (Post-secondary education/career plan and update original 4 year plan)
  • Fill out the NCAA Clearinghouse form if considering a Division I or Division II school

SPRING

  • Consider summer school enrollment
  • Review course selections for 11th grade year
  • Attend Sophomore Essentials presentation
  • Register for College Board account and create a Khan Academy account to prepare for PSAT 10 exam
  • Identify minimum of three career interests
  • Take PSAT 10 exam
  • Complete 10th grade exit survey

Junior Year

JUNIOR YEAR 

Junior year is a significant year.  For many students, the balance of managing courses, preparing for college exams, and college planning activities can be a challenge.  This year, there continues to be an emphasis on the importance of GPA/class rank and taking rigorous courses while heightening opportunities to facilitate post-secondary decision-making and planning.  The theme for junior year is Action Plan Development. This process includes guiding students to seek relative and current information pertaining to their post-secondary options (2 year college, 4 year college, military, technical/trade school or work). 

The profile of a successful junior student includes:

  • Enrollment in dual credit/AP courses
  • Identifying electives offered as it relates to personal career pathways
  • Understanding and utilization of support systems/resources offered
  • Continued participation in athletics/activities offered
  • Participation in community service
  • Participation in grade level tasks, as part of college and career readiness curriculum
  • Ability to set realistic, future goals for post-secondary success

 

JUNIOR CHECKLIST

SUMMER BEFORE 11TH GRADE YEAR

  • Check on  summer school grades (See if they were received and recorded)

FALL

  • Continue participation in athletic and/or activities
  • Attend College Night at WCC or other college fair
  • Utilize resources provided in the College and Career Center (CCRC)
  • Visit the library to meet with college reps
  • Consider and plan college campus visits
  • Participate in PSAT if 4 year college bound immediately after high school
  • Participate in ASVAB if interested in the military after high school
  • Attend Financial Aid presentation
  • Learn how to navigate features of Naviance, and research colleges/list colleges of interest for post-secondary planning
  • Parents:  attend Open House – 11th Grade Level presentation

WINTER

  • Begin brainstorming possible target colleges, universities or other post-secondary options
  • Explore college entrance requirements
  • Sign-up for the SAT Boot Camp
  • Consider taking an official SAT or ACT exam (prior to State testing day in spring))
  • Consider and plan college campus visits
  • Make sure you can access your College Board account
  • Use Khan Academy to prepare for SAT
  • Interpret/Analyze results of ASVAB or PSAT exams from fall (if applicable)
  • Be sure to fill out the NCAA Clearinghouse form if you are considering a Division I or Division II school
  • Continue to visit the CCRC
  • Continue to visit the library to meet with college reps
  • Create a personal statement
  • Attend SAT Boot Camp

SPRING

  • Consider and plan any spring break campus visits
  • Begin listing target colleges on a comparison worksheet
  • Request publication materials from target colleges
  • Pre-register with counselor
  • (Post-secondary education/career plan, update your original 4-year plan)
  • Take official SAT exam on school day as part of state testing/graduation requirement
  • Consider summer school enrollment
  • Take AP exams, if appropriate
  • Attend Junior Essentials presentation
  • Complete 11th grade exit survey which includes the creation of a resume

Senior Year

SENIOR YEAR

Senior year is an exciting year, as students prepare to transition for life after high school. The theme for senior year is Execution of Action Plan.  It is important for students to continue strong study habits in order to maintain a solid GPA and class rank and continue to take challenging courses in order to best prepare for post-secondary options.  Seniors should review progress towards graduation, address any concerns, follow through with procedures needed for implementation of post-secondary plan; this includes understanding of application process, meeting deadlines for college admissions, NCAA, scholarships, testing and financial aid.  This is a reflective time as students can now look back on how they have matured, but there is still work to be done as students prepare for the next phase of their life.

The profile of a successful senior includes: 

  • Enrollment in Dual Credit and AP courses
  • Discussion and evaluation of post-secondary plans
  • Understanding and utilization of support systems and resources offered
  • Continued participation in athletics and activities offered
  • Continued participation in community service
  • Participation in grade level tasks as part of college and career readiness curriculum
  • Ability to set realistic, future goals for post-secondary success

SENIOR CHECKLIST

SUMMER BEFORE 12TH GRADE YEAR
  • Check on summer school grades (See if they were received and recorded)
  • Attend Senior Workshop in August

FALL

  • Continue participation in athletic and/or activities
  • Consider ACT/SAT re-takes and/or SAT subject tests
  • Consider and plan college campus visits
  • Participate in senior interview with counselor
  • Visit the College and Career Center (CCRC)
  • Visit the library to meet with college reps
  • Attend College Night at WCC
  • Attend Senior Meeting in October
  • Determine target colleges to apply and deadlines
  • Request and gather teacher recommendations
  • Submit college applications, transcripts and college entrance exams (ACT and/or SAT) to be eligible for early admission
  • Update post-secondary plans in Naviance
  • Check for scholarships in Naviance
  • Order cap and gown for graduation
  • Attend Financial Aid Presentation and FAFSA workshop
  • Complete FAFSA on-line, which opens on October 1st
  • Parents:  Attend Open House –  12th Grade Level presentation

WINTER

  • Make sure all college applications and supplemental material are submitted
  • Be sure to fill out the NCAA Clearinghouse form if you are considering a Division I or Division II school

SPRING

  • Plan campus visits to help with final decisions
  • Compare award letters and financial aid options
  • Send the required deposit to the school of your final choice and also notify the schools you won’t be attending
  • Take AP exams, if appropriate
  • Stay up-to-date on housing choices. Other important questions to answer: When is freshman orientation?  When are placement tests?  When is course registration?
  • Attend Graduation/Senior Meeting
  • Participate in Senior Activity Day
  • Attend Senior Honors Night
  • Request a final transcript be sent to your final college choice and log final college in Naviance
  • Complete 12th grade senior exit survey in Naviance

SAT Test Prep

SATBootCampRegistrationForm2020

Naviance

WHAT IS NAVIANCE?

Naviance is a web-based resource for students that encourages and supports post high school career and college planning.  This comprehensive tool helps districts and schools align student strengths and interests to postsecondary goals, improving student outcomes and connecting learning to life.

Key Features:

Career Planning 
Learning Style Inventory, Interest Inventory,   Personality Inventory, Resume Building

How can I use Naviance for career planning?
Naviance has a variety of assessments that help students determine their interests, passions, skills and strengths to explore career clusters and pathways.  Under the career tab, students can explore and research information regarding specific careers and clusters.  In addition, RoadTrip Nation provides over 3,500 videos about leaders who have built their lives around their interests and passions.  RoadTrip Nation showcases stories about triumph, struggle and self-discovery.


College Planning
College Search, Application Process, College Major Exploration, Scholarship/Financial Aid Resources

How can I use Naviance for college planning?
Under the college tab, this research tool provides information on thousands of colleges.  In addition to general and admissions information, further data is presented on academics, cost and financial aid, student body characteristics, extracurricular and athletic programs.  A link to each college is provided as well.

How to check for Scholarships?
Login Family Connection / Naviance – http://connection.naviance.com/waurora

  1. Enter your West Aurora Email address as your username (YourStudentID#@sd129.org Example: 1234567@sd129.org)
  2. Enter your student ID# as your password (Example: 1234567)
  3. Click on the “Colleges” Tab
  4. Scroll down and find Scholarships and Money and Click on the "scholarship list" (you will find a list of active scholarship organizations who give us notification of their opportunities)


Success Planning
Personalized Goals and Tasks, Journal Entries, Student Planner

How can I use Naviance for success planning?
Naviance can help students set personal goals and create to-dos for themselves.  Additionally, tasks can be assigned to help students reach goals to become college and career ready.

 

 

Social Emotional

Students Collaborating

At West Aurora High School we are committed to educating the whole child, social emotional learning as a part of our curriculum. As doing so, we are preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. 

WHAT IS SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING?

The process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.

MONTHLY MINDSET MESSAGES

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT GROUPS

CASEL COMPETENCIES

MENTAL HEALTH

UNDERSTANDING MENTAL HEALTH

 

WHAT IS NORMAL STRESS IN REGARDS TO DEVELOPMENT AND NEW PRESSURES EXPERIENCED IN HIGH SCHOOL

 

COUNSELING RESOURCES

 

COMMUNITIES RESOURCES

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS

Kelly Jacobson

Kelly Jacobson

Student Assistance Coordinator