COUNSELING CORNER

APRIL/MAY 2017

What does an Elementary School Counselor do?

My name is Stacy Whisman. I enjoy working with children and helping them grow academically, socially, and emotionally. As the school counselor, I am available to help you with any problems that might interfere with your child's learning. These problems may be academic concerns, such as study skills, motivation, or lack of organization. These concerns could also be social, such as lack of friends, insecurity, or not getting along. Personal or family problems can also cause worry and anxiety. My main goal is for the students to feel secure and safe. Students need to feel that they are cared about at school on a day to day basis, and all of our staff works toward this goal. If there is any way that I can help your child, please feel free to call.


Once again this year students can refer themselves for counseling in a unique way. There is a QR code in every classroom for students to be able to scan to let me know they need to check in with me. Once I have received notification that they would like to chat, I reach out to their teacher to find a time that works best in their day. Here is a link to the google form: https://goo.gl/forms/l4u8bj0CDqbuwizx2

Classroom Guidance

Lessons are taught to each homeroom class 2 times each month. Guidance lessons are created using themes/ideas from Rachel's Challenge, Life Skills, and Portrait of a Graduate. Although theme will be consistent among grade levels, actual lessons will be age appropriate.


APRIL and May Lesson Highlights:

  • I can be a Collaborative Worker (Sportsmanship)
  • Goal Setting (College and Career)
  • Social Skills/Communication


We will be reading stories and doing lessons focusing on planning for our future, good communication, and working well together.

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CAREER DAY was a HUGE success last year! Please start thinking about joining us to inform our students about your career and the education you received to help you achieve your goals. Our date is set for May 19, 2017. As always, thank you so much for your participation! Your children LOVE to "show you off!"


If you are interested in participating in Career Day 2017, please fill out the form below.

http://tinyurl.com/hznc4mn

2017 Rachel's Challenge Rally

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5th Graders are nearing the homestretch of their Elementary School lives. There will be a lot of information that will go out to parents regarding Middle School preparation. Stay tuned for any updates! The last few guidance lessons for 5th graders will all go along with getting ready for middle school. We will talk about schedules, classes, clubs, lockers (opening combination locks) , PE (dressing out, etc.) , grades, friends, etc. Please don't hesitate to email or call me if you or your child have any concerns regarding middle school.

PAST NEWS:

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APRIL 29, 2017

Our Rachel's Challenge Rally is a community fair that is free to attend and celebrates KINDNESS, HEALTHY CHOICES, and DIVERSITY. Come and join us for community vendors, healthy demonstrations, student performances, door prizes and much more! There will also be a 5K Run/walk that will be timed and open to all registered participants. Members of TTT will be running a booth! The deadline to register for the 5K and get a shirt is April 5th. http://www.gcisd-k12.org/Page/32352 Students who would like to run in the 5K but do not want a shirt can participate for FREE! Please enter today!

IMPORTANT DATES FOR 5th GRADERS AND PARENTS

Parents of 5th graders, there are many important dates this semester to have on your calendar. Middle School is just around the corner and we don't want you to miss anything. The Middle School Showcase nights are open to parents and incoming 6th graders to go learn about each middle school and the electives and classes they offer. This informative evening replaces the field trip students took in the past during the day to the middle schools. I will update information as I receive it from the middle schools.


2/1 - AVID Ambassadors from secondary come speak to 5th graders

2/13 - Special Programs Expo (STEM, AVID, ASPIRE, etc.)

2/21 - CMS Middle School Showcase 5:15-7:15

2/21 - CTMS Middle School Showcase 6-8

2/21 - CMS and CTMS counselors come to OCT to talk to students and give them course request information. (Forms due back to Mrs. Whisman by 2/27)

2/27 - HMS Middle School Showcase 6-8

2/28 - GMS Middle School Showcase 6-8

3/6 - Students will register for 6th grade classes with Mrs. Whisman during their guidance times.

3/7 - AVID Parent Information Night (SEE MORE ABOUT AVID BELOW)

4/3-4/14 - AVID interview window

AVID INFORMATION

Is your 5th grade student interested in applying for the AVID program? If you would like more information about the program please go to the following website. http://www.gcisd-k12.org/Page/190 There will be an informational meeting held on March 7 at 6:30 in the Professional Development and Education Center at 5800 Colleyville Blvd. If you are unable to make the meeting, please view the AVID brochure: http://tinyurl.com/j86v6ls

Some students were nominated for this program, but, it is not necessary to be nominated to apply.

PLAY IT SAFE

GCISD offers the “Play it Safe” program for all students in grades K–5. The GCISD School Health Advisory Committee has previewed and recommended these programs for all GCISD elementary schools. The curriculum and presentations are aligned with district philosophy. This program is a personal safety program and does not address human sexuality. The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Inc., uses trained employees to present a fact-based personal safety program for students. This program is designed for K–5th grade students. The curriculum is age appropriate with children being taught new information as they mature. Each grade level is introduced to the “stranger rule” which is say no, get away, if you can, and always tell a trusted adult. The “stranger rule” is applied to many situations that children may encounter on a daily basis, such as bullies on the playground, exploitation by friends, or peer pressure. The “stranger rule” encourages assertive responses, whether it is used with strangers or someone the child knows. The presentations are classroom based so that children are in a familiar environment, and feel comfortable to interact with the trainer. A video is shown, followed by a question and answer time.

Student presentations will be given on Friday, February 10, 2017 in grades K - 5. We must have written parent permission for your child to attend. If you have any questions regarding “Play it Safe”, please call me at 817-305-4880 or the Women’s Center at 817-927-4039.


Permission slips have been sent out, but if you need another, please contact your child's homeroom teacher.

KINDNESS DAY

Parents, February 16th OCT along with all of GCISD is observing Kindness Day. It is a day to celebrate and promote kindness in all its forms. We are asking anyone who has a Rachel's Challenge shirt to wear it on that day. If students do not have a Rachel's Challenge shirt, we will ask them to wear green (this years color) or blue (the past few year's color). Let's all look for ways to show kindness not only on that special day, but every day!
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OC Taylor TTT Turkey Drive for Grace was a HUGE success!

UPDATE: We collected 137 turnkeys! 4th grade contributed 39 turkeys which was enough for them to earn the reward of Parents Night Out. This will be held on December 13 from 6-8. We will serve popcorn and bottled water as we watch The Secret Life of Pets.


TTT, OC Taylor's version of student council made up of 4th and 5th grade representatives, is sponsoring our 1st Annual Turkey Drive!

WHEN: On the morning Fri, Nov. 18, we will collect FROZEN turkeys which will be donated to GRACE.

LOOK for the parent volunteers and HUGE boxes by the bus loop side and at the front of the school. You will be able to drop off your turkey at the same time you drop off your child(ren).

COMPETITION for PARENTS' NIGHT OUT:whichever grade level donates the most turkeys will be invited to a free PARENTS' NIGHT OUT one evening in December where the students will watch a movie and enjoy popcorn. If you have multiple children, 1 turkey will count towards the grade levels of all your children.

We know our OC Taylor families are caring and giving, and this is another way to teach our children the value of being charitable.

PLEASE REMEMBER--THE TURKEYS MUST BE FROZEN!

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and giving spirit!
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Tiger Tree 2016

This year our Holiday Tiger Tree is going to be a little different. We will be collecting items to donate to the Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE) Christmas Cottage. Our Tiger Tree with paws will go up as usual, but the paws will have specific items to be purchased and returned to school to be donated to the cottage. This organization sets up a store in which parents who qualify are able to come and choose the toys and items for their children to receive for Christmas. They are given wrapping paper, tape, and bows along with Christmas cookies when they leave. OC Taylor PTA is partnering with our group to organize this collection and get the word out to all of our tigers to join in to help with this great project. Look for the Tiger Tree with paws after the Thanksgiving break! The directions on the paws say:


Tiger Tree Directions

1. Purchase the gift.

2. Attach paw to the outside of the gift.

3. Bring the unwrapped gift to the school ASAP - no later

than Wednesday, Dec. 14th.

Donations of tape, ribbons, and rolls of wrapping paper are always welcome.

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