OPES School Counseling Department

Parent Newsletter - October

Dear OPES Community,

Wow, can you believe it's already October? This means we've been in school for 7 weeks and Fall is here. Time flies when you're having fun and learning lots of new and exiting things!

It has been a joy to work with such a wonderful and supportive community. Please take a few minutes and explore all of the exiting things happening in October.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Thank you,

Kelly Sanders, Ebony Kennedy & Amanda Randel
OPES School Counseling and Guidance

Opportunities to Help!

Hunger Drive - We will kick off our annual hunger drive at the end of October (Oct. 27-31)! This drive is sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank and directly benefits the Fort Mill Care Center, which provides weekend food bags for some of our OPES students! Please stay tuned for more information.

Winter Clothing
- Our generous PTO works with us every year to provide winter coats, hats, scarves, and/or gloves for students who may be in need of these items. If you would like to support this awesome effort, please stay tuned for more information from the PTO.

Pick-A-Feather - The PTO also sponsors this annual program that helps to provide a Thanksgiving meal to families in our school in need of assistance. Again, please stay tuned for more information if you'd like to help!

Snacks - We're always looking for extra snacks for our students who may not have access to them. Donations can be dropped off at the front office! Just let the office staff know you're dropping them off for the guidance department! Remember, no peanut products!

Classroom Guidance

Exclusion vs. Inclusion - Students have been learning about the importance of including others and how it feels to be left out of a group. In school, the most likely place a student may feel left out is the playground. Last year kindergarten students piloted a special project to make sure all students are included at recess. They did such a great job that we have decided to continue the project with all grades this year! Each playground will have a special bench called the Buddy Bench. Three brand new benches were donated to the school to be used for this project. Students have learned about the Buddy Bench and will have an opportunity to help "decorate" the benches before they are placed on the playgrounds. Students will be given the opportunity to place their thumb print on the bench as a promise that they will use it correctly. This is how it works - If a student is looking for someone to play with, they can sit on the BUDDY BENCH! This tells other students that they are looking for someone to play with. Students are encouraged to approach the bench and invite the student to play with them. We have practiced this in guidance and the students have done an awesome job! The benches have arrived and we are in the process of getting them ready to install on the playgrounds. Please ask your student(s) about the buddy bench and have them explain the proper way to use the bench!

Academic Success - Students in all grades have been learning tools that will help them be successful in school.

Kindergarten - Appropriate classroom behaviors

1st Grade - Learning to listen and follow directions

2nd Grade - Whole body listening

3rd Grade - Making good choices and learning about consequences

4th Grade - Learning about goal setting and why it is important

5th Grade - Setting goals and making a plan to reach our goals

Upcoming Lessons

Rotation 5 (Sept 26 - Oct. 6): October is National Bully Prevention month. We will participate in a variety of activities to help learn how to prevent bullying behaviors and stand up for what is right!

Rotation 6 (Oct. 7 - Oct. 15): Dealing with Conflict and Teasing

Rotation 7 (Oct. 16 - Oct. 27): Personal Safety

Small Group Counseling

We are in the process of collecting input from parents and teachers so we can start counseling groups in mid October. Small groups are based on current needs and are limited to 3-5 students in each group. If you are interested in having your child participate in a small group, please contact your grade level counselor.
Refer a Student

Refer a student to the school counselor. Referrals are confidential and are only view-able by the school counselors.


* Boosterthon started September 30th with the kick-off Pep Rally!

* The Fun Run will be on Friday October 9th on the large playground

8:00 - Kindergarten

9:00 - First Grade

10:00 - Second and Third Grade

11:00 - Fourth and Fifth Grade

* S.T.O.P club will have our first meeting on Thursday October 16th from 2:30-3:30. Please make sure your student has appropriate transportation home.

* Teacher workday - October 24th NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS!

* Hunger Drive - October 27th-31st

* Spirit Day is October 31st