Middle School Counseling Connection

September 7th and 8th Grade Newsletter

Dear Parents,

As September begins we are in the full swing of things here at BPMS. This month I will being teaching the kids about confidentiality and about being responsible, respectful and organized. We will talk about all the hats (Responsibilities) we wear and the many hats we gain as we grow up. We will then come up with a S.M.A.R.T (Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Research- Based, Realistic and Timely) plan to organize these responsibilities. We will also learn about respecting ourselves and others responsibilities and priorities as these can vary from person to person. I am very excited to get into the classroom and truly get to know your kiddos and see all the great things I have heard about them from you.

In addition, 3 week progress reports went home last week (August 28, 2015). Please remember that these grades DO NOT go on their permanent record. They are simply there to let you and the student know where they are currently and give them time to improve these grades. As a reminder September 18, 2015, 6 week progress reports will be going home. If your child is struggling this is a great time for them to talk with their teachers about how they can improve their grades.

As always let me know if there is anything you feel I can do for your child and have a great month!


Mrs. G

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Expect Respect

Definition: To show consideration for the feelings and rights of yourself, others and the world around you.

As a child, I remember being told constantly that if I wanted to be respected I would have to show respect first. I often thought that meant only respecting others that way they would respect me. Looking back I wonder if I could have made a bigger impact on my school not only be respecting others, but by showing how much I respect myself.

Our kiddos today need to remember that they have a powerful voice in this world, but they must respect themselves ENOUGH to make a ripple in order to impact our school, their future and our society. Not only should we focus on being respectful to others, but we need to shift our focus back to being respectful to ourselves.

Parent Information


1. YOU the Parent are the linchpin. Recognize that while success in middle school is a team effort with the parent, the teacher, and the student, YOU the parent are the most important part of the team. YOU influence your child. YOU influence the teacher. So acknowledge your role and take the responsibility for what happens.

2. Communicate with your child: Talk in the morning. Talk in the afternoon. Talk in the evening. Talk by phone. Text your child as frequently as appropriate to coordinate where they are, what they're doing next, and what they and you will be doing together next. Stay in direct contact with your child and do not lose the direct personal attention and connection.

3. Find out what's really happening at school. Go to the school and get all the information the school has available. Search the Internet. Study the school web page. Learn about the extracurricular programs and opportunities for student and parent involvement. Get the calendar identify the events. Learn what's planned and talk to the teachers, coaches, and other parents and place these events on your calendar. Learn and think about what your child is doing, with whom and when from morning to night.

4. Get your child involved in school activities. Get them into clubs, sports, music, theatre, and other sponsored and monitored after school activities. Encourage them to develop interests, skills, and the desire to perform and develop in all sorts of ways. Support them to the maximum degree in whatever they decide to be interested in, even if it's a financial sacrifice that needs to be budgeted and carefully managed.

5. Go to the school often; get involved yourself. Go to events with your child. Be an avid fan and cheerleader. Be a coach, be a helper, be a fundraiser, offer to chaperon, offer to cook, offer to help clean up. Volunteer to be a teacher's aide.

6. Listen to what is happening carefully. Read the school newspaper regularly. Read the principal or school teacher newsletter. Jump on the news of opportunities for new activities and involvement. Pay attention to what's new. Read progress reports carefully.

7. Attend school conferences: Make the back to school night and all student/parent/teacher conferences a mandatory event. Learn what is being taught in each class. Look at the books and materials being used to teach. Look at the rooms and facilities where your child will be spending each day. Put names to faces and learn how to contact teachers by phone and email if you have questions. Contact teachers and ask questions. Be active and follow up if you don't hear back in a timely fashion.

8. Be courteous with teachers and administration. Do not drop in unannounced. Check in with the front office. Schedule visits with the teachers and staff.

9. Pay close attention to how your child is doing; grades are important but they aren't everything. Is your child happy? Does he or she do what's necessary with a good attitude and an open mind? Is the child suddenly withdrawn, frustrated, or angry? Pay attention to the clues. Listen and think about what's going on. Ask questions gently and learn what you can. Don't take rash actions.

10. Meet with teachers one on one. Problems may arise in middle school: assignments late or not turned in, low grades on quizzes, projects not done, unexcused absences, problems with other students. You must go to a teacher conference with an attitude of helpfulness. You and the teacher are there to help your child help themselves to be more successful. Make it easy on the teacher.

11. Stay connected with your child. Expect changes to be resolved slowly over time and not overnight. Let your child know you're informed. Understand that students stretch the details and embellish the facts. Realize that their hormones are changing and that the drama and emotion are oftentimes what's governing their reality. Don't be judgmental or automatically rush to their defense or take sides. Stay in tune. Be there when they need you.

Reference: Robert N. Walrond, veteran middle school teacher and author of Every Parent's Guide to Middle School Success,