Ms. Rush's 2nd Quarter Newsletter

8th Grade School Counseling Updates

High School Registration Timeline

Please continue to check my Weebly website (which can be accessed via the Daniels website/Student Services page) for updates related to high school registration.

The process for high school registration will be very similar to the way we registered the students in 6th and 7th grades. Below is the tentative calendar:

Friday, February 17th - all 8th grade teachers will complete high school recommendations

Monday, February 20th/Wednesday, February 22nd/Friday, February 24th - all 8th graders will bring home a registration packet, containing recommendations and high school-specific information

Thursday, February 23rd - Ms. Rush will host two informational sessions for 8th grade parents to discuss high school registration (Media Center, 8:30AM and 6PM)

Monday, March 6th - Friday, March 24th - all 8th graders will complete high school registration in the computer labs at Daniels

Tuesday, April 4th - Friday, April 14th - Ms. Rush will conduct the second semester round of "Minute Meetings" to individually review each 8th grader's high school course selections

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What Parents Can Do to Support Their 8th Graders During High School Registration

Tips for Parents

1. Accompany your student to the Open House events at their high school.

2. Make time to sit down with your student and review high school information with your student. (This will likely need to be done a few times, during the course of the spring semester, to ensure both your and your student's understanding of information.)

3. Encourage and allow your student to be their own advocate. If you and your student have questions, direct your student to come see me, ask their questions, and report back to you at home.

4. Again, push your student to be their own advocate in this process. As parents, we can support, encourage, and nurture our students during the transition to high school, but ultimately, the students are the ones who will be starting the 9th Grade in the fall.

5. Try to get your student to experience their high school setting in some way, in the spring. Encourage them to think ahead about how they plan to get involved (beyond academics) in their new school.

Important and Continuing Conversations in the 8th Grade

Coping Skills Work

The students continue to increase their awareness regarding coping skills. During the 1st quarter, we analyzed the meaning of coping, persistence, and resilience. Just before break, I visited 8th Grade classrooms to facilitate discussion about healthy/positive coping skills, unhealthy/negative coping skills, and the differences between those two concepts.

Goal-Setting and Mind Mapping

We are also continuing our focus on setting goals. This is an important life skill that requires a constant process of "progress-monitoring", and during 3rd quarter, we will revisit the SMART goal plans the students created during the 1st quarter. The students will also create mind maps, using this approach found on CNBC.

One Last Note Regarding the Transition to High School

On the back side of this newsletter, you will find a listing of research-based skills that students will need in order to be successful in high school (based on and adapted from the Domain Life Skills by Dr. Lisa Wegner). The collective goal of our 8th Grade team (teachers, asst. principal, school counselor) is to work with the students to ensure that they are readily aware that these are the skills they will need, and to assist them in growing in proficiency in these areas as much as we can. Thank you for familiarizing yourself with with these skills, and discussing them at home with your students. The 8th Graders will complete a self-assessment regarding these skills at the beginning and end of the 2nd semester. Stay tuned for results in the next newsletter!