Counseling Department

Fall Newsletter

Greeting to Parents and Students!

We are very excited to welcome our new 6th graders to Rippon Middle School and continue to work with our rising 7th and 8th graders. The school counselors are available to all students to assist them with academic or personal/social concerns throughout the school year. Our hope is to remove any roadblocks to student's education and help get them back into the classrooms and have a successful school year!
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Counseling Staff

Ms. Alswayan - Counseling Secretary/Registrar - alswaysy@pwcs.edu


Ms. Hernandez - Counseling Director - 7th grade - hernanal@pwcs.edu


Ms. Canada - Part-Time Counselor (Works with all grade levels) - canadatn@pwcs.edu


Ms. Rapcavage - School Counselor - 6th grade - rapcavs@pwcs.edu


Mr. Davison - School Counselor - 8th Grade - davisojj@pwcs.edu

Data

This school year our department is having all students sign-in on an iPad kiosk. This process allows for better student accountability, the collection of data, and finally allows students, staff, and parents the ability to conveniently contact us when we may be out of our offices.


As of Sept 20th of this school year, the counseling department has had over 315 individual meetings with students. You can see a breakdown of the student concerns below:


54.9% - Scheduling

17.1% - Personal/Emotional

14.9% - Miscellaneous

5.1% - Bullying

4.8% - High School

3.2% - Academic

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The number of new student enrollments since school started! We work hard to get students acclimated to their new school environment and familiar with Rippon's policies and procedures.


We are very fortunate to have students come to us from all across the United States, and from various countries around the world!

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Parent Survival Tips for Middle School Transition

For students going into middle school, there are many anxieties, apprehensions and fears to deal with and overcome. There are more students, the school work may be harder, and there are more classes and more teachers - all with different expectations and personalities. If you have a child who is entering middle school for the first time, know that it is normal for your child to feel a little anxious. Also, rest assured that the teachers and staff members are here to help your child make a smooth transition!


1. Try not to be too anxious about your child going to middle school. Talk about the middle school experience in a positive way. Your enthusiasm and support can help make this BIG change in your child's school life a positive one.


2. Help your child develop an organizational strategy. Choose a study space and set a consistent study time. Make sure your child has the necessary materials to stay organized. With your child, go through their backpack and materials to do a weekly clean-up.


3. Talk about social skills. Talk about traits that make a good friend. Discuss how words and actions can affect other people. Practice skills needed for difficult social situations.


4. Openly communicate with your child. Make time to talk about school. Keep the lines of communication open between your child and school staff. Be informed, listen, and talk to your child.


5. Get involved as a parent. Attend parent-teacher nights, open houses, PTO meetings and/or other events where you can connect with your child's teachers and the school.


6. Encourage your child to get involved in school activities! Encourage your child to try out for a team, club, or other extra-curricular activity and attend after-school events.


7. Help your child to be his or her own advocate. Encourage your child to discuss problems and solutions with teachers or a counselor on their own but be ready to help as needed.


8. Pay attention to your child’s social media accounts if they have any. Students will have a classroom guidance lesson (9/17-9/28 in their social studies classes) about staying safe while navigating the everchanging world of social media. Ask them about what they've learned!


9. Take attendance seriously. Students should stay home if they are sick. Otherwise, it's important that they arrive at school on time every day, because having to catch up with class work, projects, tests, and homework can be stressful and interfere with learning.


10. Reach out to your child’s Counselor. Make a connection with your support staff on your campus. My contact information is: SRapcavs@pwcs.edu, 703-491-2171.

Parent Toolkit Website

http://www.parenttoolkit.com/academics/news/back-to-school/middle-school-mania



Take a minute to visit the Parent Toolkit website (link above). Parent Toolkit provides parents with a comprehensive guide to helping their children succeed in school and life, whether they’re just starting out in pre-school or preparing their college applications. It is produced by NBC News Education Nation and supported by Pearson.

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Signs of Suicide Classes in October.

Our 7th grade students will be participating in the Signs of Suicide Program. Our goal is to help students recognize the symptoms of depression and/or suicide in themselves, their friends, or their loved ones. The purpose of this program is NOT to tell whether or not a student is suffering from depression, but rather to tell them and their families, if they may have symptoms that indicate a need for a further evaluation.

A letter will be coming home soon regarding the classes that will begin in October!

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Applying to Thomas Jefferson High School

8th grade students who are currently enrolled in Algebra I or Geometry are eligible to apply to Thomas Jefferson High School.


Applications must be completed online by Friday, September 28th by 4PM.


**Please allow Mr. Davison 24 hours to verify students' math placement in the online system.**


More information can be found here:

https://ripponms.pwcs.edu/counseling/applying_to_thomas_jefferson_high_school


Access the TJ application here:

https://www.fcps.edu/registration/thomas-jefferson-admissions

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High School Specialty Programs

8th grade students in Prince William County have the unique ability to apply to specialty programs at the various high schools across the county. The county even provides limited transportation to these programs if students are accepted.


Mr. Davison will be meeting with all 8th grade students in mid October to discuss the transition to high school, and go over the various high school options. The application for the specialty programs will be live online around November.


Specialty program applications will be due on February 1st (with the exception of the CFPA program at Colgan which is Dec. 10th).


More information about the specialty programs can be found here:

https://www.pwcs.edu/academics___programs/specialty_programs/high_school_programs/


News and Updates about the specialty programs can be found here:

https://ripponms.pwcs.edu/counseling/p_w_c_s_high_school_specialty_programs/news_and_updates

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Healthy Relationships Lesson

At the end of this month, Mr. Davison will be meeting with all 8th graders to conduct a lesson on developing Healthy Relationships.


This lesson has the following objectives:


-To help students understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships in their lives.


-To educate students about the potential dangers of having unhealthy or toxic relationships.


-To discuss the importance of maintaining healthy personal boundaries in relationships.


-To inform students about resources available in the school system that they can utilize if they or someone they care about finds themselves stuck in an unhealthy relationship.