Our Counseling Model
The MHS counseling program offers a personalized and proactive approach designed in correlation with the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) Comprehensive School Counseling Model.
Download our counseling flyer to learn more.
The MHS support services team
MHS has a comprehensive, interdependent support services team comprised of:
- School Counselors. Ten school counselors at MHS make a measurable impact in every student’s life, providing support for social and emotional well-being and guidance with academic planning and post-graduation goals. The most important role of the counselor is to serve as a trusted adult. Counselors act as advocates, collaborating with students, parents and teachers to ensure success and keep students on track to reach their personal goals. Meet the counselors here.
- Ratios: As of fall 2019, the counselor/student ratio at MHS is 1:340, including the 504 counselor. No later than August 2020, MHS will add a tenth counselor, bringing the ratio to 1:309. (These ratios do not include the college counselor.)
- Counselor availability: MHS counselors are available to meet with students one-on-one by appointment (students and families can connect with their counselor via telephone, email or Schoology message). A walk-in counselor is also available every class period of the day. Periodically through the school year, counselors lead small group, grade-level seminars and individual planning meetings.
- Two social workers
- The school social worker, Elizabeth Hummel, provides evidence-based support, education and intervention services. She will lead individual and small group meetings and maximize connections between students, families and community resources.
- Kathleen Leisman specifically supports students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and those who are receiving Special Education services.
The following staff members bring a unique focus to the MHS Student Support Services team:
- Shelly Hughes is the 504 counselor. Ms. Hughes works collaboratively with the team to create, evaluate and implement 504 plans. This is a unique position here at Minnetonka High School, as most high schools add this work to the role of the counselor.
- Phil Trout is the college counselor. Mr. Trout works directly with students and their families around post-secondary planning. He also supports each counselor with their students. Please visit the College Counseling page to learn more.
- Laura Herbst is the advanced learning coordinator. Laura is a licensed school counselor. She works with Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) students, advising them on course selection and providing support as they complete these courses and exams. 84% of MHS students take at least one AP or IB course over their academic career. Ms. Herbst leads the "Launch" program to support students taking their first AP or IB course.
- Renee Morabito is the Compass program coordinator. Compass is a long-standing program for students who are struggling with social/emotional challenges that impact their ability to find success in school in a variety of ways. Compass provides opportunities for students to learn in a cohort setting with focused skill development in academics and interpersonal skills. Ms. Morabito directly supports approximately 60 students. She also supports our work with independent learning, student wellness, and closely partners with all MHS counselors in our student support efforts.
- Dr. Jonna Hirsch is our school psychologist. Dr. Hirsh’s role is predominantly dedicated to the process of evaluating and re-evaluating students for special education services. She is part of the school’s Student Support Team that oversees the pre-referral and intervention process. In this role, she supports the team with ideas for interventions. She will administer, evaluate and interpret the results of individual assessment instruments/procedures that measure learning ability/cognitive assessments and social, emotional, and behavior development. Dr. Hirsch also coordinates our EmpowerU online mental health support course for students.
- MHS partners with Relate Counseling to provide co-located mental health services. Currently, we have a full-time mental health position supported by two licensed clinicians and one part-time position for our chemical health counselor for students facing chemical health concerns. Judy Hanson is on site two days per week. Relate services are available to students who otherwise would not have access to services. School-based, mental health services eliminate barriers to students and families. The referrals to our Relate clinicians comes from the school counselor and/or the school social worker.