Academics » Guidance


Ms. Kathleen Melvin, Director of Guidance 

Ms. Tracey Spinelli
Ms. Jeanne Leopold
Counseling services are conducted individually or in small groups by certified school counselors. They work with students, parents and teachers to discover and to help resolve learning, behavioral and or personal difficulties that may be interfering with growth and development. Psycho-educational testing of individual students is available and provided by a CORA psychologist
MATH SUPPORT – provided by CORA
Ms. Susan Robinson

 Mrs. Nancy Connor
Ms. Samantha Magid
The staff of the Guidance Office assists students in making informed decisions for the selection of a college or career, and for planning for financial aid for higher education. This is accomplished through:
  • a series of personal interviews;
  • developmental guidance units;
  • classroom presentations;
  • student/parent events, such as: college information nights, financial aid nights, college fairs, career assemblies and fairs;
  • scholarship bulletins and regular newsletters;
  • resources such as: cd-roms, college catalogs, college handbooks, videotapes, brochures, and internet access.
Other services provided through the Guidance Office include:
  • CORA Learning counselor provides personal counseling and assessment of learning skills





Welcome to John W. Hallahan. First year can be a difficult year. You are transitioning from grade school to high school. Our guidance office can help you. Our freshmen counselor will meet with each of you. You are welcome to ask questions and voice your concerns. It is important to:

  • One Get Involved- Find a club. , activity or sport that interests you.
  • Homework and Study- it is important to complete all your homework. If you do not understand something, do as much as you can. Check PowerSchool and google classroom if your teaches uses it,  to make sure your assignments are complete. Make time to study. Do not wait until the night before a test, start studying before.
  • Be on time for school and class.
  • The handbook can be found online. Please check it out. Make sure you understand the rules.
  • If you begin to struggle in a class seek help. Help can be found in many places at Hallahan. You can speak to the teacher or you can speak to the NHS moderator and request a tutor



Welcome back to school.   WOW, you made it through first year. Do not forget what you learned in first year. Ask for help when you need it.  What you need to know:

  • Please make sure you have a quiet place to study. Remember to complete all your assignments on time. Be a participant in your classes. Come to school every day, ask questions if you do not understand an idea or a new concept being taught. Come to the guidance office if you are having problems or need additional help. We want to get to know each one of you.
  • Begin to explore what interest you. If you have not joined, a club or activity now might be the time to look for one.



Guidance will begin to work with the juniors on college preparation in their English classes. Juniors should begin to research colleges and universities. Begin preparing to take your SAT/ACT in the spring of junior year. Registration for SAT and ACT are done online by the junior.  Attend Junior college night held in partnership with Roman catholic high school. Registration sites are



The official prep site for collegeboard SAT is khan  PSAT/NMSQT is given in October of their junior year. If you are taking an AP course the test is given in May.


SAT versus ACT

The SAT focuses on critical reading /writing and Math. The math in the SAT will consist of Algebra 2, some geometry, some trigonometry, interpreting graphs and charts and some arithmetic. The ACT consists of four sections, English, Math, reading and science. The ACT math focuses on geometry, arithmetic, trigonometry and algebra. In both the SAT and the ACT the essay is optional.

You must begin sending your scores to colleges. You do that through the website. If you are having difficulty, please come to guidance and we will walk you through it .You may request your scores be sent later, be aware there is a charge.



You are almost there. Come to the guidance office as soon as you can. Check to see if the teachers have completed your recommendations. Check out the admissions requirements for the colleges that interest you. Register for the SAT or ACT if you think you need to get a better score. Attend financial Aid night held in partnership with Roman Catholic High School. Remember many colleges will request first quarter and first semester grades. FAFSA will be available on October 1st. It is done online-


When completing the FAFSA remember to put a Pennsylvania college first. You need to make sure you fill out the application for the PA. Grant. Check the college website to find out if you must complete the css profile. The css profile can be found on the collegeboard website.


Check out the colleges and universities deadlines for applications and financial aid.  Early action and early decision are not the same thing. Early Decision is a binding agreement.  Early action informs you of your acceptance.


Bring your acceptance and scholarships to the guidance office. A copy of the acceptance or scholarship is made and returned to you. Make your final decision about which college or university you will be attending. Send your deposit by May1st.  Pay attention to the emails form the college about their deadline for housing or orientation. Complete your final transcript form for the guidance office. Remember the final transcript serves as proof of graduation.

The link above contains an article about what colleges are looking for in the admission process



  1. Relax.  Make up your mind you are going to have a senior year.
  2. Make the most of your friendships. Enjoy the quiet moments and events with your classmates, and don’t be afraid to expand your social circle. Appreciate what you have now because you and your friends will be moving on with the next chapter of your lives.
  3. Keep up with your course work. Avoid the temptation to slack off, especially as the year winds down. Colleges and Trade Schools can rescind their acceptances of students whose grades dip too low. In addition, your final transcript follows you; and if you do not think you need it for next year, you can bet you will be needing it sometime down the road.
  4. Stay involved. Take advantage of every opportunity. Participate in whatever is offered just so you will have those memories.
  5. Get organized. Senior year is crammed with things to do and places to go, and some of them will be missed if you are not organized. Use a planner and mark down appointments and activities. Don’t forget to pencil in some quality time with your family and friends and some quiet time just for yourself.





Philadelphia Children’s Crisis Response Center


Open 24 hours, 7 days a week , 365 days

3300 Henry Ave.

Falls two building, 3rd Floor

Philadelphia, PA. 19129

The Crisis Response(CRC) provides emergency treatment, assessment, and referral services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Children’s CRC will serve children ages 3-18 years of age.


PATH Urgent Care Center


8220 Castor Ave, Philadelphia, PA. 19152

M-F 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.- closed on holidays.  They offer urgent, same day behavioral health evaluations, treatment and linkages




Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late.  Suicide and Crisis Intervention Hotline 215-686-4420.  The guidance office may have other resources. Do not hesitate to reach out to the guidance office 215-563- 8930 ext.113


The Center for Grieving Children (UPLIFT)

The center for Grieving children provides free peer support groups to children ages 4-18 and their caregivers who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The center helps children grieving a death heal and grow through their grief, while strengthening families, communities and professionals’ understanding of how best to respond to their needs. Peer support groups are located in various locations across the city. The main location is 3300 Henry Ave., Suite 110, Phone number 267-437-3123