MISSION STATEMENT:The Goal of the Guidance Department is to provide comprehensive services for all students. Orientation, counseling, consulting and information management are among the services.ORIENTATION:The counselors provide 5th grade students and their parents with an orientation to the middle school beginning in May of the fifth grade year. Counselors meet with the elementary teachers and administration to prepare for the incoming students. New students, throughout the year, are also provided the same orientation opportunities. Counselors monitor student adjustment as students make the transition to the middle school. Counselors observe the students in classes, in lunch and recess, and throughout the day and assist them as they become familiar with school routine and activities. The counselors provide assistance to students in small groups and individually as questions and concerns arise.COUNSELING:The counselors attempt to make each student feel that there is someone in the school who knows and cares about him or her. Students are counseled both individually and in groups in an attempt to help them develop into independent, self-confident young adults. Academic counseling, group counseling, testing, information dissemination, personal counseling, consulting, referral, research, placement and follow-up are the normal services that take place. Counselors believe in an "open-door" policy. Students may drop in at any time with concerns, and appointments are made when necessary. Emergencies are addressed immediately. Counselors meet with students in small groups during the lunch/recess program to address student initiated concerns and topics. Conflict resolution strategies are discussed and practiced. Counselors work closely with students to address social issues and problems and to develop resolutions. Specific "social skills" are taught as students learn to be self-advocates, problem-solvers, and confident and ethical decision-makers.
COUNSELING PROGRAMS:Lunch Bunch provides students with an opportunity to build strong, supportive relationships with their counselors so that they may feel comfortable seeking out guidance when various issues or problems arise. “Lunch Bunches” are meetings consisting of a small group of students and their guidance counselor. The students bring their lunches to the guidance counselor’s office to enjoy over an edifying and fun discussion. Students attend these groups throughout the year based on a rotating schedule.Sixth and seventh grade students meet in small groups throughout the year to discuss pertinent issues within the lives of middle school aged students. Eighth grade students meet with their guidance counselor in small group settings to discuss the end of the middle school years and the beginning of their high school career. In these groups, students will discuss the high school scheduling process/ requirements, select their high school electives for their freshman year.CONSULTING:Counselors have a close working relationship with the teachers, administration and the Child Study Team. They are members of the academic "Teams" and consult with teachers on a daily basis regarding the needs of their students. Counselors establish a relationship with students and their families and help to develop a positive relationship and effective communication between home and school. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's guidance counselor with questions, concerns, or to gather feedback on their child's progress at school. Parents can schedule a meeting with their child's team to discuss academic, social, and or personal concerns.INFORMATION MANAGEMENT:Counselors maintain a cumulative folder for each student. They assist in administering the testing program and in interpreting results. Counselors are available to discuss course selection for students entering 7th and 8th grade, and more formally for 8th graders in planning and developing a 9th grade program. Parents of eighth grade students should review the links regarding high school scheduling.