Guidance Gazette

Volume 1

What Would You Like to Know?

Last year, we received feedback from multiple stakeholders about the need for a newsletter from Guidance. Welcome to the Guidance Gazette! We will update this newsletter monthly with current events, positive tidbits for overall well-being, and information pertinent to learning and individual success. If there is something you would like to know more about, please let us know!


Your Guidance Gurus,


- Mrs. DiMaggio, Ms. Ross, & Mr. Wesseling

Duke Tip

Duke Tip! Calling 7th Graders!


Duke Tip Information is below from the following site: https://tip.duke.edu/programs/7th-grade-talent-search Please read below and on the website if you believe your child would be interested and would qualify! There is also a letter below with further information from our school. Academically talented students need challenges, motivation, and support if they are to reach their highest potential. The benefits offered by the 7th Grade Talent Search are designed to do just that.


Testing’s role in the 7th Grade Talent Search

As part of their enrollment, participants in the 7th Grade Talent Search take the same ACT (no writing) or SAT (no essay) that high schoolers take. They even test alongside high schoolers.

The test is meant to be diagnostic, discovering how far above grade level participants really are. As a bonus, the experience offers benefits of its own: it’s a low-stress, low-risk opportunity to experience these exams.


After taking the ACT or SAT, you and your student will receive a score report from the testing agency comparing your student’s scores to recent US high school graduates. To ensure the greatest insight, we provide an additional results summary that compares your student’s scores to other 7th Grade Talent Search participants and provides suggestions for how to use that knowledge to create an educational plan.

These scores are also used to determine qualification for TIP's recognition ceremonies and for some educational programs, including the Summer Studies Program and eStudies.


Information and resources

Find information about choosing the right test, preparing for the test, getting ready for test day, applying for testing exceptions, and receiving and using ACT or SAT test scores.


Current 7th Graders - Qualifying Tests


Think your student qualifies? Enroll now! https://apply.tip.duke.edu/


For questions, please contact Mrs. DiMaggio at dimaggioa@fortmillschools.org

Attendance is Essential

Bottom line: attendance is essential for your student to excel in school. Too often we see students who are tardy or absent for prolonged periods of time. We want to help! Below is an image explaining how strongly attendance affects your student. Need help getting to school on time? Try a few of these pointers! We are here to help you and your student succeed - let us know if you have any questions!


  • Develop a regular bedtime and morning routine
  • Help your child lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before
  • Avoid missing school unless a child is truly sick and seek help if chronic illness is a challenge
  • Check with our school nurse or office staff if you are not sure about when to keep your child at home due to illness
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other families for advice on how to make your childfeel comfortable and excited about learning
  • Reach out to a family member, a neighbor, or another parent if you are having trouble getting your student to school
  • Arrange medical appointments when school is not in session
  • Avoid extended vacations when school is in session

Big picture

Middle School Counselors? Huh?!

MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS’ DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS

Middle school is an exciting yet challenging time for students, their parents/guardians, and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval. Identifying students’ academic and social/emotional needs, as well as providing any necessary interventions, is essential in removing barriers to learning and helping students develop skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills students acquire during these years build the foundation for future success.


MEETING THE NEED

Middle school counselors are educators uniquely trained in child and adolescent development, learning strategies, self-management and social skills. They implement a school counseling program to support students through this important developmental period. The school counseling program provides education, prevention and intervention activities, which are integrated into all aspects of students’ lives. The program teaches students the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for academic, career and social/ emotional development. Middle school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide a proactive program that engages students and includes leadership, advocacy and collaboration with school staff, administration and community/family members in the delivery of programs and activities to help students achieve success. Middle school counselors also collaborate with teachers and parents/guardians on early identification and intervention of children’s academic and social/emotional needs, which is essential in removing barriers to learning and developing skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement. The work of middle school counselors aligns with the school’s mission to support all students’ academic achievement as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This alignment is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a school counseling program. The tools guiding this work are the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success, which address students’ academic, career and social/ emotional development, and the ASCA National Model, with its data-informed, results-based focus. Research demonstrating the effectiveness of school counseling programs continues to grow, and there is evidence of the positive impact these programs have on students’ academic and social/emotional development.


RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL COUNSELING

Numerous studies demonstrate the value of school counseling for students in the domains of academic development, college and career readiness and social/ emotional development. Results of research about the effectiveness of school counseling can be found at schoolcounselor.org/effectiveness.


Information retrieved from ASCA published Why Middle document

Ms. Lisa Ross

6th Grade School Counselor

Mr. Marc Wesseling

8th Grade School Counselor