Guidance Advisory Council
The Guidance Advisory Council, comprised of three representatives serving two year terms from each grade for grades 6-12, acts as a communication channel between the middle and high school communities and the Guidance Office. Chaired by the Director of Guidance and a parent/guardian committee member, the Council's functions include communicating parent/guardian and community perspectives to the administration, assisting with regional school tours for perspective students and families, and providing hospitality for guidance sponsored events. Sub-committees support guidance programs and services designed to enhance the educational experience for students and parents/guardians in the regional schools. The Council meets five times per year, (September, November, January, March and May).
Profile & Purpose
Three parent representatives from each grade in the regional schools, grades six through twelve, who serve a two-year term. Co-chairs are one parent and the Director of Guidance. Secretary of the Council is the co-chair from the previous year. Meetings occur on campus, bi-monthly, most often on the second Friday of the month. Minutes of these meetings are available on request.
The Council acts as a communication channel between the schools’ communities and the Guidance Department and as a task group to support the work of the department. Its purpose is to:
Communicate concerns of the school community to the Guidance department and, in turn, provide a sounding board to hear the perspectives of the Guidance staff.
Communicate accurate information or reassurance to the school community when appropriate.
Act as an information source for parents who don’t know where to turn for help.
Address issues of campus climate.
Assess student services on campus and, when necessary, act as an advocacy group to enhance and improve guidance to students.
Support organizational functions linked to Guidance.
Work through various sub-committees on topics that support the guidance program and services to benefit the students.
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Guidance Advisory Council (GAC) are answered in this section.
How do I become a representative of the GAC?
In the spring of each year, an email notification is sent to parents in grades 6-12 detailing the openings for each grade level. Interested parents complete a brief questionnaire which is reviewed by the GAC leadership team. The final selection, which occurs in June, is based predominantly on maintaining a balance on the committee as a whole, as well as by grade, with parents representing:
- Both towns in the school region, Dover and Sherborn
- Both student genders
- A variety of types of students, such as students with learning challenges, students who are high performing academicians, students who are more sports-oriented, arts oriented, etc.
- A variety of involvement in community groups, school related groups, working vs. non-working, etc.
What is the time commitment of a GAC representative?
The GAC meets routinely five times per year, in September, November, January, March and May. Meetings are held Friday mornings at 8:30 a.m., generally lasting 1.5 hours in duration. There are also opportunities to work on sub-committees that are project specific.
Representatives are asked to make personal contact with newly registered families each August to welcome them into the school community and answer questions about the towns and schools. Representatives may also be asked to participate in the new family orientation program held in late August.
Are the GAC meetings open to the public?
For confidentiality reasons the meetings are not open to the public. GAC meetings are attended by the GAC representatives from Grades 6-12, the Director of Guidance and invited guest speakers. Parents who would like to raise an issue should contact one of the GAC Representatives.
Where are the GAC meetings held?
GAC meetings are held at the High School in Room 113 or the Middle School conference room.
How is pertinent information from the GAC disseminated?
Information from the GAC is disseminated in several ways:
- Guidance web page
- Weekly school email blasts
- Grade-specific emails sent by GAC representatives
- Telephone contact
What types of issues are discussed at GAC Meetings?
A variety of issues are discussed at the GAC meetings including, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Guidance Department communications & calendar
- Guidance sponsored events for students/parents
- Student safety and campus climate
- Standardized Testing
- Course selection, registration and scheduling
- Graduation requirements
- Student registration and orientation programs
- Freshman transition to High School
- Peer Helper Program
- Post-secondary planning and the college planning process
What types of issues are appropriate to be communicated to the GAC?
Questions and comments about Guidance programs, procedures, communications and events are appropriate to be communicated to GAC representatives. Confidential issues related to an individual student are more sensitive and should be directed to the appropriate staff representatives, including teachers, school nurses, school counselors and members of the administration.