Middle School Guidance


SHPA has multiple ways to support our Middle Schoolers through a healthy adolescence.

As our students progress through developmental stages, it is natural that they test boundaries. Our fundamental goal is to help students learn to be virtuous – to make good decisions about their actions. By maintaining clear and consistent guidelines for behavior and by holding students accountable, SHPA creates a physically and emotionally safe environment in which students grow to understand that their actions lead to consequences. SHPA’s approach to student behavior is to help children develop internal mechanisms for monitoring and taking responsibility for their behavior. We do this in several ways. SHPA’s approach to student behavior is to help children develop internal mechanisms for monitoring and taking personal responsibility for actions and choices. We teach the Seven Character Pillars of honesty, respect, integrity, compassion, confidence, excellence, and citizenship.

In the fall of the year, our Middle School students elect one female and one male representative from each class to serve on the Middle School’s Honor Council. It is the student’s duty to represent their classmates, presenting the needs and requests of their grade to the Honor Council for consideration. Our main goal in Honor Council is to make SHPA a better place by adding student-directed programs and events that help students live out the mission of our school, to provide students with examples of both citizenship responsibilities and the democratic process, to learn the value of cooperation and dialogue, and to learn leadership skills.

The advisory program at SHPA joins together students of each grade level as peers for mentoring opportunities and organizational support (i.e. helping organize lockers/planners, prepare for test) in a structured social setting. This program also focuses on character development by challenging students to improve themselves in all aspects of life; social, emotional, and academic. When appropriate, these activities are separated by gender. Our advisory program supports students through Middle School while preparing them for the challenges of high school.

School counseling is provided by a counseling team at Seven Hills and a  partnership with Adler Graduate students. With knowledge and skills needed to provide competent counseling in K-12 school settings, counseling services include direct counseling services, guidance counseling services,targeted services, and specific programming.

To learn more about our Middle School Counseling program click HERE.

SHPA uses SEARCH techniques to help our students develop positive relationships. Founded in Minnesota, the Search Institute studies and works to strengthen those important developmental relationships and organic assets that help young people acquire the psychological and social skills essential for success in education and in life. The beginning of this skill development is found in their relationships with parents, family members, friends, peers, with staff members in their schools and programs, and with caring adults in their neighborhoods and communities. We focus on nurturing the positive qualities that influence adolescent development and helping them to become caring, responsible, and productive adults who are resilient.

The Middle School is a member of the Association of Middle Level Education, an organization that provides a range of resources to support the academic, social, and developmental growth of adolescents. Members of the Middle School have attended as well as presented at national AMLE conferences and have benefited very much from the evidence-based strategies offered by experts and fellow educators in the field.

Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college nonsectarian courses at eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own admissions requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; 10th graders are eligible to enroll in PSEO on a more limited basis (see note below). Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. If a school district determines a pupil is not on track to graduate, she/he may continue to participate in PSEO on a term by term basis.

By March 1 of each year, or three weeks prior to the date a student registers for courses for the following school year, schools must provide PSEO information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families. To assist the district in planning, a student must inform the district by May 30 of each year of their intent to enroll in postsecondary courses during the following school year.

There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course; however, students may incur fees for equipment that becomes their property when the course or program is completed, textbooks that are not returned to the postsecondary institution according to their policies, or for tuition costs if they do not notify the district by May 30 and the district does not waive this date requirement.

Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. For more information on these funds, access the PSEO Mileage Reimbursement Program Instructions.

Enrolling in a PSEO course does not prohibit a student from participating in activities sponsored by the high school.

School districts must allow a PSEO student reasonable access to the high school building, computers and/or other technology resources during regular school hours to participate in PSEO courses, whether on-line or on campus.

Each year, districts must publish their grade-weighting policy on their website, including a list of courses for which students can earn weighted grades.

All courses taken through the PSEO program must meet graduation requirements. Districts must transcript credits earned in PSEO by a ratio prescribed in statute. Districts have the authority to decide which subject area and standards the PSEO course meets. If there is a dispute between the district and the student regarding the number of credits granted for a particular course, the student may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner. The commissioner’s decision regarding the number of credits will be final.

Postsecondary institutions are required to allow PSEO students to enroll in online courses consistent with the institution’s policy regarding postsecondary student enrollment in online courses.

Tenth-grade students may initially enroll in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) PSEO course if they receive a reading proficiency score of “meets” or “exceeds” on the 8th grade MCA. If 10th graders taking a CTE PSEO course earn at least a grade C in that class, they may take additional CTE PSEO courses. If the student did not take the MCA in 8th-grade, another reading assessment accepted by the enrolling postsecondary institution can be substituted. For students with disabilities, there is an alternative option to demonstrate reading proficiency.

For current information about the PSEO program, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) webpage.

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is Minnesota’s single best source of college access information; visit it online at http://www.ohe.state.mn.us.

The Center for School Change provides additional resources on dual credit programs: http://centerforschoolchange.org/dual-credit/