Academics‎ > ‎

FOCUS Program

Supporting students as they transition back to HHS

FOCUS - a learning place for healing adolescents - provides clinical support and academic tutoring to students enrolled at Holliston High School who are returning to school after an extended absence due to illness or hospitalization. Students may be returning from treatment centers for emotional or substance-related reasons or from significant illness or injury-related absences.

When students miss school for an extended period, their transition back often brings both academic and social challenges. To make the adjustment to a regular school routine as smooth as possible, FOCUS provides support to promote social/emotional stability and academic progress. FOCUS also coordinates with Holliston High School’s guidance department, social workers, and faculty to help facilitate a successful reintegration. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)    What does FOCUS provide?

  • A ‘home-base’ room where students can check in during the day, receive tutoring, and get counseling support
  • Collaboration with teachers to ensure that students can maintain appropriate coursework
  • Emotional support for teens and families
  • Help to reduce the anxiety of returning to school and to make a smooth transition to prevent school avoidance
  • Communication between student, school personnel, medical professionals, therapists, and other outside providers
  • A caring environment that provides a student with the opportunity to better understand his or her choices and develop sustainable patterns
  • Academic and emotional observation/assessment to ensure appropriate environment for student success 
  • Connections to community resources for students and families to support stability

2)    How long are students in FOCUS?

  • FOCUS is a short-term service tailored to each individual. Each student has a unique set of needs as he or she transitions to a full schedule. Participation in the program is usually up to eight weeks.

3)    Will confidentiality be maintained?

  • School personnel, including teachers, guidance counselors, nursing staff, and social workers are made aware of a family’s decision to participate in the FOCUS service; however, details regarding the student’s absence from school are kept confidential.

4)    Once enrolled, how does communication with FOCUS work?

  • FOCUS will provide regular contact with parent(s) or guardian(s) about such topics as the student’s transition to class, academic difficulties, and student progress. Family members are encouraged to contact the FOCUS clinician as needed when a student is enrolled.

5)    In the event my child is hospitalized, what is the process?

  • Upon hospitalization, please contact your son’s/daughter’s guidance counselor to discuss various aspects of the return to school as soon as possible. You can discuss the option of FOCUS with the guidance counselor.
  • Per school policy, you and your son/daughter need to attend a re-entry meeting at school when he or she returns.

6)    Whom can I speak to further about the FOCUS service?

  • If you have questions about the program, please call or email your son’s/daughter’s guidance counselor directly.

Focus Staff

Bill Wechsler, LICSW - Lead Clinician
wechslerb@holliston.k12.ma.us  508-429-0677 ext 1119

Joanne Maygar  - Academic Coordinator
maygarj@holliston.k12.ma.us     508-429-0677 ext  5106