School Counselors

Partnering with Your Child's Counselor

Counseling support staff can help to ensure your child’s success in school and in the future.
Know what to ask for at a conference with your child’s counselor.

Social-Emotional Supports for Academic Success

Academic Supports

  • Sign up for a NYC Schools Account at your child's school for online access to your child's grades, attendance, and exam scores.
  • Ask the counselor to set up an informal contract for your child with goals for school. The contract may include a daily check-in form for each of your child’s teachers to complete.
  • Ask for a schedule of upcoming Parent Association meetings and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Ask for a schedule for when report cards are distributed at your child’s school.
  • Ask for a review of your child's report card, transcript/graduation requirements (high school only), and attendance record.
  • Ask for support with your child's middle school and high school applications.
  • Ask about setting up a weekly time to connect with your child's counselor to discuss feedback from teachers, or to review your child's attendance for the prior week.
  • Ask the counselor about the possibility of adjusting your child's academic program in order to accommodate your family’s needs.
  • Ask about receiving missed assignments from teachers, and help your child to complete them.
  • Ask about tutoring at your child’s school.

Career and Post-Secondary Development

  • Ask how college and career planning is facilitated across the grades at your child's school.
  • Ask for your child to take a career interest inventory (i.e., http://www.mynextmove.org/ for middle schools and high schools)
  • Ask how scholarship and other college opportunities are communicated to families.
  • Ask about college visits, college fairs, as well as financial aid workshops.
  • Ask the counselor about any questions you may have related to the military recruitment opt-out.
  • Ask about community service opportunities for your child.
  • Ask about teen employment opportunities including the City's Summer Youth Employment Program, available through the Department of Youth and Community Development.
  • Ask how to obtain working papers.

District-Specific Counseling Plans

School counselors play an important role in the everyday lives of students by helping to set them on the path toward educational and career success. Per New York State law, every school district and school is required to create a counseling plan focused on meeting the needs of every student. In New York City, school district counseling plans are created by the executive superintendent. View your school district’s counseling plan on the District Counseling Plans page on the InfoHub.

Additional Parent and Family Support

If you or your family would like additional support from the NYC Department of Education, please contact:

Shoshana Lief, LMSW
Family Support Manager for Vulnerable Populations
NYC DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development 
212-374-0842
ilief@schools.nyc.gov

We help by providing:

  • Short-term counseling services
  • Referrals to local services 
  • Community resources
  • Education
  • Support/advocacy
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