Upper Grades Counseling

Tracy Schaffzin

Upper Grades School Counselor


Tim David-Lang

Upper Grades School Counselor

Additional Contact: collegecounseling@theclintonschool.net
CEEB Code: 331196
Admissions Officers: Email us or find us on RepVisits to schedule a visit!

Beginning in 9th grade, our counselors develop one-on-one relationships with students, encouraging them to challenge themselves academically and explore their interests and passions both in and outside the classroom. Our counselors provide 9th through 12th grade students with a variety of supportive, student-centered services, including:

  • Academic monitoring and advising
  • Social-emotional counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Career and college advising
  • Access to testing accommodations
  • Support services for students with special learning needs
  • Advising and support regarding extracurricular and athletic activities in and outside of school
  • Community building (dances, arts nights, halloween door wars contest, holiday rap and song contests, service learning activities, international food festivals, spirit weeks, etc.)

We have also developed grade-specific programming that meets the academic management, social-emotional, developmental, and college and career readiness needs of students.

Freshman Year
Our Upper Grades counselors support students through the transition to high school through one-on-one and group work and in conjunction with our Peer Leadership Program (PLP). The PLP pairs upperclassman with incoming freshman, training leaders to provide mentoring and support to new students. Peer Leaders work with freshman prior to school during the June Orientation, our First Day Welcome, the fall Freshman Retreat, and throughout the year as needed.

Our counselors get to know each 9th grader through individual meetings, community activities, and ninth grade lunch groups. During ninth grade lunch groups, students meet with our Upper Grades counselors in an informal setting to discuss and reflect upon goal setting and academic planning. Starting in 9th grade, students set up personal Naviance Family Connection accounts, which provide them with self-exploration survey tools and activities. Students also create Raise.me accounts which allows them to follow colleges and earn microscholarships for typical high school accomplishments (i.e., getting an A in a class, playing a sport, joining a club).

Sophomore Year
Our Upper Grades counselors provide ongoing academic advising and guidance for 10th grade students as a compliment to the increasing academic rigor of sophomore year. Tenth graders continue to use Naviance Family Connection as a career exploration tool and Raise.me to earn microscholarships for academic and extacurricular achievements in high school. Ms. Schaffzin and Mr. David-Lang advise 10th graders on how to best take advantage of College Fairs, and escorts interested sophomores to the NACAC Center Fair at the Javits Center each spring. Sophomore students take the PSAT10 in April and are provided with free diagnostic ACT testing later in the spring by a local test prep agency. Finally, students are eligible for National Honors Society (NHS) in the second term of their sophomore year. Our counselors, along with the Ms. Hamlani, the NHS Advisor, guides 10th grade students through the application process. Sophomore students are eligible to apply to the summer session of the College Now program at Baruch College.

Junior Year
Junior year marks the beginning of the college process, but it’s also the next step in our students’ academic journey. Our counselors continue to provide academic support to students as they engage in our school’s IB curriculum as either a full-diploma or certificate-seeking student. Eleventh graders take the PSAT NMSQT in October, and have the opportunity to participate in the College Now program at Baruch College in both the fall and spring semesters.

Throughout the fall, we welcome diverse colleges and universities to visit Clinton and meet with our students. Starting mid-year in Advisory Groups, we support our students through every step of the college process, including the college search and selection process, standardized testing, campus visits, college fairs, essay writing, interviewing, and the financial aid process. Throughout the college process, our counselors work with students to promote self-reflection and autonomy, helping them to identity “right fit” colleges that match their academic and extracurricular interests and social and personal needs.

By the end of junior year, counselors, students, and families jointly develop a diverse list of colleges to consider that is narrowed down by early fall of senior year. We strongly encourage our students to consider their learning styles and make school selections based on the types of environments in which they learn best. We offer students and parents evening and daytime presentations that support college and career planning, including: Paying for College, The Beginning of the End: The College Search & Application Process, The Real Deal Student Panel, and College Night @ Clinton.  

Senior Year
Our counseling staff provide our students with counseling and guidance around successfully navigating our IB curriculum. Through our unique curriculum and support services, we encourage our students to become life-long learners and active, responsible, and global citizens. Counselors support diploma students as they write their extended essays, as well as all students with their coursework and preparation for IB examinations.

We provide individualized, one-on-one support to students and families through every stage of the college application process, from mapping out a game plan for their college visits to finalizing college lists and completing essays and applications. Our services do not end with an acceptance letter; rather, we advise students on college acceptance, financial aid offers, and on transitioning to the independence of college life. In addition, we facilitate workshops for students and families on completing financial aid forms and planning for life at college.