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Guidance

Our belief is for all students to have access to a comprehensive, developmentally-designed school counseling program as an integral and important part of the overall education at Catholic Central High School.

Office hours:  Monday – Friday during the academic year, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Extended office hours available by appointment

Phone: 616-233-5810

Faculty

Our professional commitment is school counselors adhere to ethical standards and regularly participate in professional development activities as well as have obtained a graduate degree in school counseling.

Our Program Expectations

  • A personalized education extending beyond the classroom invites students to develop lifelong skills that can allow them to be leaders in their faith communities and the marketplace
  • A collaborative effort among school counselors, administration, and teachers to coordinate with the parents and the community to support students from the transition to high school to post-secondary choices
  • Classroom lessons, activities, and counsel are based upon the American School Counselor Association’s National Standards, which incorporate the academic, career and personal/social domains
  • Use various assessments and data collection to develop and continually evaluate program effectiveness

Personal Counseling

  • The Guidance Office works closely with teachers and administration to provide a network of help and resources to aid a struggling student and family.  Counselors are well-equipped and trained to provide personal counseling through academic difficulties, familial changes, and individual or community crises.  A team of Peer Ministers led by our Campus Ministry also offers a point of contact in which students find moral support from fellow classmates. Lastly, the Guidance curriculum is designed to collaborate with existing courses such as Religion classes and Health to incorporate faith-based decision-making skills and knowledge of mental health resources.

    The following community agencies are part of the local options for students and their families in addition to private practice therapy:

    • Bethany Christian Services – 616-224-7550
    • Catholic Charities of West Michigan – 616-456-1443
    • Christian Counseling Center – 616-956-1122
    • Forest View Hospital – 616-942-9610
    • Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan – 616-389-8601
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
    • Network 180 – 616-336-3909
    • Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services – 616-455-9200
    • Pregnancy Resource Center – 616-456-6873
    • OK2say – https://www.michigan.gov/ok2say/

Curriculum Guide

  • The curriculum guide is a listing of our course offerings by department as well as other useful information such as the school prayer, graduation requirements, grading scale and explanation, and additional resources.

    Click here to download our 2022-23 Curriculum Guide

2023-24 School Profile

Testing

School/CEEB code: 231685

Incoming 9th grade and 9th grade (current): PSAT 8/9 – An aptitude test from the College Board within the SAT suite of assessments. Intended to measure what students learn in school and need to succeed in college. It is comprised of reading, writing and language, and math. 

10th grade: pre-ACT PLAN – Provides valuable achievement information and will help students to prepare for the ACT; It tests English, Math, Science and Reading. PSAT optional – Used as a predictive assessment for the SAT; Offered as a practice test prior to taking it during 11th grade.


11th grade:
 practice ACT– Unofficial yet full-length ACT allows students to focus on areas of weakness and concentrate on content needing additional review; PSAT optional – Used as the National Merit Scholarship Competition Qualifying Test for the SAT measuring Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing.


ACT:
 Given at various locations on six national test dates; may be taken multiple times.  It assesses English, Mathematics, Reading and Science achievement and is recommended during the spring semester of 11th grade and the fall semester of 12th grade.  An optional Writing test is recommended in addition to the standard test for most college admission criteria. Information regarding specific test dates, locations and fees are best found on the official ACT website- www.actstudent.org


SAT:
 Given at various locations on six national test dates (different than ACT); may be taken multiple times.  It assesses Reading, Mathematics and Writing including a Writing section and is recommended during the spring semester of 11th grade and during the fall semester of 12th grade.   SAT II assessments are specific subject-based tests used for admission or placement in college programming. Information regarding specific test dates, locations and fees are best found on the official College Board website- www.collegboard.org.

Transcripts

Transcripts reflect the following information: student names, address, birthdate, gender, i.d. #, current grade level, diploma date (when applicable), cumulative grade point average (GPA), courses taken by academic year, credit-granting institution(s), course name/number, mark (grade earned), weight (grade value), individual course credit (by semester) plus total credits (by academic year).


Verbal or written requests may be made for transcripts in two forms:


Official: 
 The transcript is considered ‘official’ when transmitted directly from the high school to the post-secondary institution or other requesting agency such as the National Clearinghouse Athletic Association, etc.  A secure server is used to send transcripts electronically.


Unofficial: 
An unsigned or unsealed transcript is not considered ‘official’.  The office may provide an unofficial transcript directly from the student management system Infinite Campus or from a final hard copy (post-graduation).


College Admission: 
CCHS seniors must request all transcripts for college applications through their individual Naviance Family Connection account.


Alumni transcripts: 
Graduates of CCHS may request transcripts by using the Parchment link below.

 

 

Services

Counselors will initiate contact with students regarding the following:

  • Course registration and scheduling conflicts
  • Academic concerns upon referral from parents, teachers, students, or progress reports
  • Personal concerns relating to behavior, peers, etc., upon referral from administration, parents, teachers, or students
  • Individual follow-up to Guidance-led classroom lessons, including a Junior conference for college planning

Counselors will communicate with students and parents regarding college selection and admissions, standardized testing, career development, and financial aid information in the following ways:

  • School announcements and Focus sessions
  • Naviance Family Connection messages online
  • Email/letters home
  • Group informational meetings
  • Individual meetings

Counselors will make referrals to outside agencies and services for special needs and circumstances such as:

  • Academic tutoring/test preparation
  • Personal counseling
  • Job shadow opportunities
  • Paying for college

Counselors provide the following programs for college and career readiness:

9th grade – intro to Naviance, establish goal-setting, take personality type inventory, administer PSAT 8/9 test and review scores, parent informational meeting

10th grade – administer PSAT test and review scores, facilitate career exploration with career profiler assessment with individual career counseling and job shadowing optional, parent informational meeting

11th grade – invite to college rep visits and local college fair(s), PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as well as add “promote national ACT and SAT”, conduct college search kick-off and individual Jr conferences, promote national ACT test administrations, create College Game Plan, parent informational meeting

12th grade – facilitate college admissions application process with deadlines and transcript/recommendation submissions, provide parent informational meetings for application process and Financial Aid informational meeting, conduct pre-graduation meetings in Spring

College/Post-Secondary Planning

College planning begins before a student enters Catholic Central High School. Good study habits, observing the world of work and simply talking about higher education are valuable actions taken in earlier grades.  Our academic advising and Guidance curriculum supports every student to be college-ready. Counselors officially start college research and planning in 11th grade. Juniors and Seniors are invited to work with our College Counselor to find the best options for a college “fit”.

The following resources and activities are available to all students and their parents primarily throughout 11th and 12th grades:

  • College research
  • College Fairs
  • College Representative visits
  • College Campus visits
  • Resources on how to pay for college
  • Information on gap year, military service, and the NCAA
  • Career Exploration

All students will complete exercises in Career Exploration led by the school counselors.  The following resources are utilized:

‘Do What You Are’ Personality Type assessment

Career Interest Profiler

Career Lunch Series

Kent Career and Technical Center

Job shadows, career seminars, and individual counseling

Heidi Clark-Smitley – Director of Counseling and  College Counselor
heidismitley@grcatholiccentral.org

  • B.S.    Taylor University
    • Major: Social Studies/Secondary Education
    • Minor: Spanish
  • M.A.   Michigan State University
    • Major: Counseling

Lori Stream – Registrar & Guidance Assistant
loristream@grcatholiccentral.org

  • A.A. Grand Rapids Community College

Kelly Meerman – Counselor – last names A-G, S-Z
kellymeerman@grcatholiccentral.org

  • B.S.    Grand Valley State University
    • Major: Physical Education
    • Major Concentration: Corporate Wellness/Fitness
  • M.A.    Western Michigan University
    • Major: Counselor Education: School Counseling K-12

Joel Passinault  – Counselor – last names H-R
joelpassinault@grcatholiccentral.org

  • B.A.    University of Notre Dame
    • Major: Theology
  • M.A.   Grand Valley State University
    • Major: Counselor Education

Kara Ziedins – Registrar and Counseling Assistant

karaziedins@grcatholiccentral.org

  • B.A. University of Michigan
    • Major: Communications
    • Minor: Psychology
  • MSW University of Michigan
    • Major: Community Organizing
    • Minor: Interpersonal Practice

Patty Joynt – Social Worker

pattyjoynt@grcatholiccentral.org

  • B.S. Grand Valley State University
    • Major: Sociology
    • Minor: Psychology
  • MSW Grand Valley State University
    • Fully licensed state of Michigan – macro, clinical school

"Even though most of my son's friends were going to a different Christian school, he still wanted to shadow at Catholic Central. He came to me after and said: 'I prayed on it, and CC is where I belong.'"

— Jason O. - Grand Rapids Catholic Central Parent