At Hill-Murray, our school counselors help to maximize student success, supporting and assisting middle school and high school students with academic progress, personal/social concerns and decisions about life after high school. We act as students’ advocates, providing hands-on assistance, whether someone needs help with a class schedule, college applications or a challenging time. We strive to be accessible and available to meet with students individually and/or in small groups as often as needed.


Every Hill-Murray student is known, loved and respected, and our counselors care deeply about the well-being of each student. We understand that students may encounter challenges and need additional support. To that end, the Student Assistance Program remains integral to prevention and intervention efforts at Hill-Murray.

The Student Assistance Program helps increase overall awareness among students, parents, and staff. We focus on issues such as depression awareness/suicide prevention; substance abuse; anxiety, stress management, and overall wellness. This program also helps identify students who are experiencing obstacles to success in school, such as academic difficulties, mental health concerns, unhealthy dating relationships, and family stress. The goal is to work with the student and his/her parents to address the concerns and help the student get back on track.


All Hill-Murray students utilize Naviance, a college and career readiness program designed to assist with interest and career exploration. In middle school, students become familiar with the program and use it to begin exploring their interests and how those interests align with post-secondary goals. In high school, students use it to complete college applications, apply for scholarships or financial aid, and explore how their strengths, goals, skills and interests can lead to exciting careers.


For sixth-graders, we focus on a successful transition to Hill-Murray. We support students in gaining the necessary academic and social/emotional skills, which are incorporated into individual or small group meetings, and/or classroom activities facilitated by the Middle School Counselor.

Students will take the ACT Aspire test in October, with subtests in English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing.

As new and returning seventh graders continue to build their academic and social/emotional skills, the Middle School counselor is available to meet with students individually or in small groups.

Students will take the ACT Aspire test in October, with subtests in English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing.

In the eighth grade, the focus shifts to preparing students for high school, both academically and as an overall member of the school community. Counselors work with students on skill-building, and career and college exploration. The Middle School counselor meets with students individually or in small groups, and also participates in classroom activities.

Students will take the ACT Aspire test in October, with subtests in English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing.

Freshman year is filled with many “firsts” associated with transitioning into high school – first locker, first exam, first high school event, etc. A majority of our freshmen students are not just learning about high school, but they are learning about Hill-Murray School. Counselors are matched with students and meet with them individually at the beginning of the school year to discuss their academic, post-secondary/career, and personal/social development.

All freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 during All-School Test Day in order to introduce them to standardized testing that mirrors the SAT and gauge areas for growth and improvement. Additionally, freshmen students will also take a career interest inventory to begin exploring careers of interest and pathways they can take to get there.

Students in ninth grade will also utilize Naviance, a program designed to assist in college/career exploration, as a tool to begin and develop their high school activities resume.

During sophomore year, the focus is on careers with secondary emphasis on standardized test preparation as well as interpretation and college admission requirements. The career unit starts with an interpretation of the career interest inventory. Each student researches a career choice and the colleges offering that career major by using Naviance Family Connection. The unit culminates with an event involving over 40 professionals discussing their careers. These activities are used to help tie each student’s academic and work strengths, interests, values, and educational aspirations to his/her chosen career. Students will update their resume in Naviance.

Juniors investigate post-secondary education options and establish clearer career goals. They are able to meet with more than 100 college representatives who will visit our campus in the fall. The PSAT and/or practice-ACT is administered and interpreted. In advisory, a developmental curriculum is delivered. There are also personality assessment and interest inventory tools used to help with self-exploration.

Students use their results to choose an occupation for a Career Shadowing Experience junior year. Electronic career portfolios and resumes are updated, information is presented on college entrance testing (ACT/SAT). College fairs and post-secondary planning procedures are addressed.

Juniors use Naviance to help with post-secondary searches. Counselors host parent events and co-sponsor a College Fair for families. Before the close of the year, students perfect their Naviance resume, and students and parents meet one-on-one with the college counselor. Students have a strong idea which colleges they intend to apply to, and request letters of recommendation before the school year ends.

Seniors focus on finalizing post-secondary plans. Advisory presentations detail the application process and essay, as well as explore the various forms of financial aid. Students have the option of attending college application workshops held after school twice per week during the first eight weeks of school. For parents, a Financial Aid workshop is sponsored in late fall by the department. The college counselor also meets with every student one-on-one to review the application/scholarship process.