Counselors' Quarterly

Volume 1, Issue 4: May 2020 & COVID-19

You're Here!

Welcome back to our 4th edition of the Counselors' Quarterly. What a year 2020 has been thus far. We, like the rest of you, feel as though we are simply hanging on to our seats as COVID-19 takes us for a ride. In times like these however, we are thankful for our PRMS/PVMS family and the community that surrounds our students. We know it takes a village to raise and teach kids, so thank you for letting us be a part of yours!

A special note: This issue is LONG, but bear with us as we try to arm you with tips, tricks, and resources to navigate the days ahead.

As always, this issue will touch on things you may have missed, along with what we are seeing from students lately (an increased in social media use, plus the need for extra coping skills and resources.)

In Case You Missed It


March & April Counselors' Quarterly: Volume 1, Issue 3 (Prairie Ridge Specific)


Course Registration

  • PARENTS/GUARDIANS: PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL for information regarding registration for 6th and 7th grade. Prairie Ridge has completed registration, while Parkview is in the process at this time.

  • QUESTIONS about 8th Grade (current 7th graders) registration can be directed to counselors at our 8-9 buildings

Northview Counselors:

Southview Counselors:

Social Media at Home

With school closing, sports being cancelled, and students social distancing at home, we are seeing and uptick in student's social media use. Here are a few pointers and resources we think you (parents and guardians) should know:

Tips, Tricks, & Good-to-Know:

  • National Online Safety creates guides for parents and students to utilize. Ms. James like to consider this site a "social media for dummies" style resource. A few important social media apps to keep an eye on at home include SnapChat, TikTok, and Houseparty. An example of the TikTok guide can be found below. ***PLEASE NOTE: to access these resources you may be required to create a FREE account with National Online Safety.

Coping in times of COVID

COIVD-19 has turned our world upside down at the moment. Without our "normal" lives, schedules, and the hustle and bustle we are accustom to, counselors at PRMS and PVMS are seeing a rise in students requesting help with identifying coping skills/mechanisms. Below are a few resources we share when connecting with students and their families.

Apps We Love for Coping & Calming Down

Inspirational & Heartwarming

Big picture

Break the Stigma

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know, 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime? On top of this, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health (Mental Health America).

Help us break the stigma by speaking to your students about their mental health/wellness and identifying their feelings, along with the difference between positive and negative coping skills. Below are a list of tools and resources that can help support your conversation:

District Resources


LifeWorks provides outpatient and school-based therapy services within the Ankeny and DSM metro area. Reach out to your school counselor for more information about LifeWorks, or access their website linked here.

***Lifeworks is offering telehealth services at this time. You can call the Ankeny office at (515) 255-8399

Student Assistance Program (SAP) hosted by Employee and Family Resources (EFR)

Ankeny Community Schools contracts with Employee and Family Resources to provide a student assistance program for Ankeny students. PRMS utilizes this service for small group interventions, external counseling services, etc. Learn more about how you or your family can utilize the Student Assistance Program by reaching out to your student's counselor or accessing their website linked here.

***EFR's local phone number (515)244-6090 is still answered 24/7/365 and the free sessions for students and any household family members are STILL available. Individual sessions are being done remotely.

Connect with Prairie Ridge Middle School

Questions about this newsletter? Direct them to Emily James, School Counselor at PRMS.