Our Approach

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K-4

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Middle School is a time of constant transformation, with change and growth happening in social and family relationships, bodies, and perspectives on the world and oneself. Every day brings increasing exposure to new opportunities and choices. Counseling services are available to 5th-8th grade students, are accessed by student request or referral from teachers, administrators, or parents, and are free of charge.

Counseling
Our guidance counselor is available to help Middle School students and their families healthily navigate through life events, changes and challenges, as well as to help address barriers to learning and academic success. The counselor meets with every student in the first semester for a few minutes to identify academic and personal goals for the year, and any ways the counselor can help students achieve them. Through individual and group counseling, the counselor can be helpful with anger management, adjusting as a new student, coping with family changes, handling loss or death, making healthy choices, social skills, skills for managing stress, social conflicts and mediations, study & organizational skills, test & academic anxiety, strengthening self-esteem, providing space to “vent” or “reset,” processing disciplinary situations, referrals to community programs.

Personal Development Class
The counselor also conducts prevention-based lessons on social and emotional life skills and healthy decision-making through a trimester-long Personal Development class called “The 'Tween/Teen Scene.” Sample topics are communication and conflict resolution skills, substance abuse education, stress management, and respect for diversity.

Staff Collaboration
The counselor provides ongoing guidance to staff by collaborating with teachers and administrators on the implementation of effective classroom management and Positive Discipline practices, conducting staff training, and helping facilitate school-wide crisis response and programming, if needed.

Parent Partnership
Counseling, advocacy and education are seen as collaborations with parents, and the counselor makes every effort to maintain regular communication and partnership with families through The Scoop, class newsletters, and by conducting Parent Education sessions throughout the year.