Guidance Dept Newsletter - LFMS

2017-18 Back to School Edition 1

Welcome Back Bears!

Your Las Flores Guidance team welcomes you back to a new school year. We'd like to extend a special welcome to our incoming 6th grade students and to all our new students in 7th and 8th grade who have joined us from another location whether you're coming from another Capistrano Unified school, another California school, from out of state or even another country. We are here to support and guide you during your middle school years from an academic basis to a social-emotional basis. If you need to see any of us, you may complete a referral form in the office (see Mrs. Douglas) or drop by our office before/after school or break/lunch.

Did You Miss The Screening of Screenagers Last Spring? Are You or Your Child Addicted to Media Devices?

Screenagers is coming to Las Flores again in October. Students are encouraged to attend with their parents. Watch the Trailer below.

"Tesoro Family" Schools Offering Multiple Parent Educational Evenings

Mark your calendars for the following parent informational evening events sponsored by our Tesoro Family Schools Parent Teacher Student Associations. All events are open to our Tesoro Family School parents.

Tuesday, October 10th - Screenagers – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, October 17th – Cyber Safety Social Media Trends/Apps – Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR

Tuesday, November 14th – TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Wednesday, November 29th – Signs of Suicide (SOS) – Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR

Tuesday, December 12th – SOS parent night - Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, January 9th – TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, February 6 - Increase Academic Success & Decrease Student Stress –Las Flores Middle School MPR

Thursday, February 8 – Increase Academic Success & Decrease Student Stress – Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR

Tuesday, April 10th – TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR

Tuesday, May 8th – TBA –Las Flores Middle School MPR

Additional dates may be added. More information on future events will be posted on the Las Flores Middle School website as it becomes available.


The Board of Trustees adopted a new attendance policy last March which requires any student with 14 or more absences for illness during the school year to be verified with a physician’s verification. District/school staff shall not inquire about the purpose of a doctor’s appointment but may contact a medical office to confirm the time and date of the appointment. Students will be considered truant for absences in excess of 14 days for illness without a physician’s verification. Please see the link provided for the full board attendance policy.

What is Watch D.O.G.S.?

Watch D.O.G.S. is a national based program created nearly 20 years ago. D.O.G.S. stands for Dads of Great Students and was created to provide positive role models for students in an educational setting. How can you get involved? LFMS and LFES are partnering to bring Watch D.O.G.S. to our campus. We need male volunteers. Are you a male parent/grandparent/ uncle/adult sibling/stepfather of a Las Flores Middle School Student or Las Flores Elementary? If you're interested in being involved in the Watch D.O.G.S. program please complete the interest form linked below. Click here to read more about the Watch D.O.G.S. National based program.

How Kindness and Paying it Forward Works through Making Good Choices

Video that will change your life. I have no words left.

How Did You Spend Your Summer?

Did you put down every book and forget school even existed? Do you have 'brain drain'? Are you finding it tough to switch back into school mode? Follow these tips for finding your way back successfully:

  1. Plan ahead - use your agenda/planner to record assignments in each class including reminders to study for upcoming tests.
  2. Find a study buddy - classmates make great study buddies and finding the right one to study with can help boost your grades. Meet weekly or regularly to go over concepts learnt in class or to study for weekly quizzes or tests. Attend after school tutoring or meet with your academic advisor to be paired with a peer tutor. .
  3. Make a Review Chart: Make a foldable card/sheet of paper with information on front and back that you can review quickly each day before a test. You might prepare them by hand or use an app to type information in summary form similar to a SparkChart.
  4. Stick it on - Use Post-it notes to remind yourself about homework, studying for quizzes or tests. Leave them in your locker, or your mirror at home, alarm clock, or on your phone.
  5. Come prepared - Make sure you have all of the necessary supplies for class. If you can't afford them see your academic advisor, teacher or Mrs. Danna in the office.
  6. Create your own calendar or use School Loop - and check it daily. Get used to checking school loop for homework but also use your agenda to write down assignments in case School Loop isn't updated or you lose access to technology.
  7. Take one day at a time - this includes long term homework projects and studying for tests. Studying includes being organized with notes taken during class and reviewing, re-reading, and then repeating this multiple times in order to digest the material. Do this regularly rather than cramming at the last minute and you will likely perform better on tests and projects. Read over class notes taken each day before bed each night so the information stays with you.
  8. Establish relationships with your teachers - Your classes don't have to stay within the classroom. Take advantage of teacher's offers to meet during lunch or before/after school or during PRIDE time when offered.

Student of the Month Focus

The Academic Advisors and School Counselor are excited to have students back on campus. Our Student of the Month awards will focus on three areas this year - Academic Excellence, Outstanding Effort, and Leadership focus in the area of our monthly PRIDE theme. Teachers and staff will be looking for students who portray excellence in one of these areas. Students of the Month will be recognised during PRIDE time. The 1st Quarter Leadership expectations are as follows:


Pride Expectation: Positive

Positive is defined as something that is good or useful.

Theme: The focus for August was to build positive relationships. Students can build positive relationships by demonstrating positive communication skills and being a positive role model with their teachers and peers. Students who show a positive attitude and good behavior in their classes help others build positive relationships with their teachers and peers as well.


Pride Expectation: Respectful

Respectful means to show consideration or regard for someone or something; to show admiration for someone; to be morally correct.

Theme: This month's focus is about respecting differences. There are many ways students can respect differences. Students can respect differences by understanding that others may have different views or opinions about things especially if they are from a different culture or background than their own. Taking care to listen to others and valuing and accepting differences is one way.


Pride Expectation: Integrity

Integrity is the quality of being honest and fair; adhering to a code of moral values by knowing and doing what is right.

Theme: This month's focus is about making good choices. Having integrity means people trust you to be reliable in making the right choices. It is easy sometimes to be influenced by peers and go along with what others are doing. Good choices are harder to make than poor ones.

Second Step Classroom Guidance Lessons

Mrs. Goddard, School Counselor and School Counseling intern, Ms. Pacini will conduct a minimum of quarterly classroom guidance lessons to all grade levels during the school year.

The first lesson during September for 6th and 7th grades focuses on applying communication skills and defining empathy for students when 'working in groups' during their classroom lessons. 8th graders will focus on being Leaders & Allies in their first classroom guidance lesson.

October will bring Emotions: Brains & Body to the 6th grade classes while 7th graders will have bi-weekly classroom guidance lessons through their social science classes throughout the school year.

Small Groups and Guidance Workshops

In addition to the many classroom guidance lessons provided by our school counselor, a variety of small groups will be offered throughout the year. Students will be screened and identified for specific groups using data collected throughout the school year. Groups may include Stress Management, Student Success Skills, Girls Groups, Self Regulation, High School 101 and other groups as identified for needs throughout the school year.

Guidance Workshops shall be advertised at various times throughout the school year. Chalkwalk based on monthly themes, College and Career Fair Competitions, Career Exploration workshops, and more. Homework Club and Peer Tutoring are additional activities that shall be offered during the school year by your Guidance Team.

Upcoming Workshops

October 19-20 - Lunch - Chalkwalk competition - See Flyer link below for more information.

October 25 - 8:30 am Speaker - TBC L101 - Earn 5 Start Points by attending and bonus points if you register in advance. More information and sign-ups will be posted on the school website nearer to the date.

Quicklink Resources

Guidance Webpage Information and/or links on the Academic Domain such as study skills, test taking, tutoring resources, and useful links for help with English writing and Math skills

Counselors Corner Resource Personal-Social Domain including stress management, conflict mediation, grief, and social skills

College and Career Guidance Information about high school graduation requirements, college admissions, and career choices.

Students Helping Students (SHS) This peer tutoring program matches students with a peer tutor for weekly tutor sessions before or after school or during lunch.

Ms. Teri Graffeo - Academic Advisor Q-Z

Ms. Graffeo splits her responsibilities with Ladera Ranch MS. She will be available on site at Las Flores MS on Tuesdays and Fridays. You may also reach her via email.

Ms. Brittney Pacini - School Counseling Graduate Practicum Student

Ms. Pacini is a graduate counselling student at Chapman University and is completing her Practicum hours with Las Flores Middle School. She is available Mondays and Tuesdays.

Ms. Lindsay Depass - School Psychologist

Mrs. Angela Danna - Registrar, Guidance Secretary

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Board of Trustees desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any District school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.