Guidance Dept Newsletter - LFMS

2017-18 2nd Quarter - Edition 2

Time Flies Fast

The first quarter flew by and we are already a few weeks into the 2nd quarter as we head into the holiday season. Your Guidance Department is here to help you be successful so feel free to stop in to request to see your Academic Advisor or your School Counselor for your needs. Alternatively, you may complete a request for support form and we will call you in as soon as is reasonable.

Below please find the character traits and themes for November and December for our students and school community.
What is Dependability?

Click the title above to read about the three parts to having dependability - Persons, Promises, and Price.

Student of the Month Focus

Student of the Month awards will focus on three areas - Academic Excellence, Outstanding Effort, and a Leadership focus in the area of our monthly PRIDE theme. Teachers and staff will be looking for students who portray excellence in one of these areas. Students of the Month will be recognised during PRIDE time. The 2nd Quarter Leadership expectations are as follows:


Pride Expectation: Dependability

Dependability is defined as the quality of being able to be counted on or relied upon. For example, when you always do everything that you say you will and don't make promises you cannot keep shows an example of dependability.

Theme: The focus this month is becoming a dependable citizen. Students can be a dependable citizen at school by being respectful of other students and staff members, following school rules, and displaying good character. Students who volunteer their time in school service are representing how to be a dependable citizen. One way for students to show service is to join the Pride Stars Program. An informational meeting will be held during PRIDE on November 14th for students who are interested in finding out more on being involved "In Service to Others", our school's leadership theme this year.


Pride Expectation: Engaged

Engaged means to commit oneself to do something; to concentrate on a task, be actively involved with interest.

Theme: This month's focus is about being engaged for success. A student who gives his/her best each day, is committed to following their school's rules and values, and is motivated to contribute to making school a great place to learn is an example of a student engaged for success.

Not only should students focus on being Engaged in School but their parents may also join in the intent to focus on engagement in their child's education. Below are various links discussing the importance of parental engagement in their child's education. Parental involvement is just as important in middle and high school as it is in their elementary years; the face of involvement just changes. Read more in the articles posted below.

Four Myths about Parent Involvement in Middle School

Below is an article by Katie Wester-Neal, a Ph.D. student in 2014 at the University of Georgia and former middle school teacher regarding her research emphasis on middle school parental engagement. Child Trends also published a research based article on 'Parental Involvement in Schools' also linked below.

Keeping Family-School-Community Connections Helps Support Secondary Students’ Success

It's never too late to get involved in your child's education. The article title above 'Keeping Family-School-Community Connections Helps Support Secondary Students' Success' discusses various types of projects States and School Districts may implement to help parents be engaged in their child's education. Staff here at Las Flores Middle School routinely hold Family School Partnership meetings and Student Success Team meetings with students, teachers and parents to assist in providing support for our students and developing a collaborative plan. We also hold Parent Information Evenings on topics to provide parents with tips and to gain knowledge about what their middle school child may be experiencing during their middle school years. Below is an additional article by the Center for Public Education on how parent involvement affects student achievement.

"Tesoro Family" Schools Offering Multiple Parent Educational Evenings

Mark your calendars for the following parent informational evening events sponsored by our Tesoro Family Schools Parent Teacher Student Associations. All events are open to our Tesoro Family School parents.

Thursday, November 2nd – Western Youth Services presenting "How to Help Your Child with Stress and Anxious Feelings"– Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, November 14th – Western Youth Services presenting "How to Help Your Child with Stress and Anxious Feelings"– Las Flores Middle School MPR 6 PM

Wednesday, November 29th – Signs of Suicide (SOS) – Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR

Tuesday, December 12th – SOS parent night - Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, January 9th – TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, February 6 - Increase Academic Success & Decrease Student Stress –Las Flores Middle School MPR

Thursday, February 8 – Increase Academic Success & Decrease Student Stress – Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR

Tuesday, April 10th – TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, May 8th – TBA –Las Flores Middle School MPR

Additional dates may be added. More information on future events will be posted on the Las Flores Middle School website as it becomes available.

Second Step Classroom Guidance Lessons

Mrs. Goddard, School Counselor and School Counseling intern, Ms. Pacini will conduct a minimum of quarterly classroom guidance lessons to all grade levels during the school year.

November and December lessons for 6th grade will focus on Emotions: Brains & Body. 8th grade students in Mr. Orgeron's social science classes were provided a lesson on Coping with Stress while Mrs. Fallman's 8th grade social science classes will cover this lesson in January.

7th graders will continue bi-weekly classroom guidance lessons through their social science classes throughout the school year. Lessons for November and December will include Cyberbullying and Signs of Suicide.

Upcoming Workshops

The guidance team will be offering some Wednesday morning workshops known as 'Career Cafe' beginning 2nd Semester following our College and Career Week in January. Career Cafe will work with students on identifying their interests and helping them discover careers they may find interest in. This is the first step in identifying a plan for their future. Discovering possible careers will help them determine the next step in their education whether it be specialty college/trade schools, intern/apprenticeships, 2 year or 4 year colleges or military service. Some Career Cafe's may have invited speakers from a variety of Job Families which will supplement our Career Day to be held later in January. Students who attend may also earn 5* points.

Dates for Career Cafe as as follows:

February 14

March 14

April 25

May 16

All workshops shall be in the Bear Den from 8:45-9:30 am. More information on future speakers will be provided through the School Loop News Feed, Weekly News/School Messenger and may require sign-ups as space is limited. The first workshop will focus on helping students identify their interests in order to determine which fields to seek speakers.

Small Groups and Guidance Workshops

In addition to the many classroom guidance lessons provided by our school counselor, a variety of small groups will be offered throughout the year. Students will be screened and identified for specific groups using data collected throughout the school year. Groups may include Stress Management, Student Success Skills, Girls Groups, Self Regulation, High School 101 and other groups as identified for needs throughout the school year.

Guidance Workshops shall be advertised at various times throughout the school year. Chalkwalk based on monthly themes, College and Career Fair Competitions, Career Exploration workshops, and more. Homework Club and Peer Tutoring are additional activities that shall be offered during the school year by your Guidance Team.


The Board of Trustees adopted a new attendance policy last March which requires any student with 14 or more absences for illness during the school year to be verified with a physician’s verification. District/school staff shall not inquire about the purpose of a doctor’s appointment but may contact a medical office to confirm the time and date of the appointment. Students will be considered truant for absences in excess of 14 days for illness without a physician’s verification. Please see the link provided for the full board attendance policy.

Quicklink Resources

Guidance Webpage Information and/or links on the Academic Domain such as study skills, test taking, tutoring resources, and useful links for help with English writing and Math skills

Counselors Corner Resource Personal-Social Domain including stress management, conflict mediation, grief, and social skills

College and Career Guidance Information about high school graduation requirements, college admissions, and career choices.

Students Helping Students (SHS) This peer tutoring program matches students with a peer tutor for weekly tutor sessions before or after school or during lunch.

Ms. Teri Graffeo - Academic Advisor Q-Z

Ms. Graffeo splits her responsibilities with Ladera Ranch MS. She will be available on site at Las Flores MS on Tuesdays and Fridays. You may also reach her via email.

Ms. Brittney Pacini - School Counseling Graduate Practicum Student

Ms. Pacini is a graduate counselling student at Chapman University and is completing her Practicum hours with Las Flores Middle School. She is available Mondays and Tuesdays.

Ms. Lindsay Depass - School Psychologist

Mrs. Angela Danna - Registrar, Guidance Secretary

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Board of Trustees desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any District school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.