Counselor Corner

September 2022

I am so excited to begin another school year here at Green!


We have had a truly wonderful first couple of weeks of school! Students and faculty seem very happy to be getting back into the swing of things!


We have a number of really exciting events planned in the coming weeks and months, and I think that parents and students will find them meaningful and engaging. Please continue reading below for more information!


Please remember that I am here to support the students however I can. I am available to meet if a student needs help or just wants to talk! Don't hesitate to reach out if I can support you in any way.


My website is updated regularly with links to resources and information!


Sincerely,

Mrs. Stiles

mstiles@greenhills.org


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Mustang Zone

We are extremely excited to announce the creation of a new student organization at Green Hills School! The Mustang Zone is a club for students in grades 6 - 8 who want to strengthen the culture and climate at school. Mr. Bollette and I will meet with students to discuss various ways that we can build a school community where everyone is respected and supported. The mission of the Mustang Zone is to provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space for all members of the school community. The Mustang Zone will work to understand the value of each others’ differences and to create a strong sense of belonging here at school. Working as a group, students will plan and facilitate school-wide activities designed to foster a culture of acceptance and understanding. We will also focus on community outreach, and we hope to plan fundraisers and family events. I cannot wait to see the positive impact this group will have on our school and community!


We are currently meeting during extended homeroom time on Tuesday mornings, and may add additional meeting times as the year progresses. All students in grades 6 - 8 are welcome to join! Please reach out to me (Mrs. Stiles) or Mr. Bollette with any questions!

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Signs of Suicide Program

After the last few challenging years, school staff are working to teach students about mental health and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or a friend. In late September, our 7th and 8th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in a program called SOS (Signs of Suicide). The program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help for themselves or for a friend. Please reach out if you have questions about this program.


We invite all parents in the community to join a virtual Signs of Suicide program for adults at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 27th. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescence, but you can’t imagine that a child you know might become one of those statistics. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about? Learn how you can know if suicide is a risk for your family. Become familiar with the warning signs. And if you are worried, learn what you can do and say to help. Please RSVP here if you would like to join this important program. A zoom link will be sent on the day of the presentation to those who have RSVP'd.

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Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We plan to recognize the month in a number of ways. We will kick off the month with our Week of Respect from October 3 - 7, making sure that each day provides the students and staff with an opportunity to help create a positive atmosphere at school. More information about the Week of Respect will be sent home soon. Throughout the month, Mrs. Stiles will present the Bullying Prevention lessons to students, helping them learn how to recognize, report, and refuse bullying when they see it.


To kick off our Week of Respect, we plan to have an assembly with Dialed Action Sports, which will offer an anti-bullying message while providing an exciting BMX stunt show for our entire school community! A very big THANK YOU to our incredibly generous PTA for helping us fund this program for our students!


We are also going to have an assembly brought to us by Box Out Bullying, a national touring organization which specializes in bullying prevention. The elementary students will learn more about what bullying is and isn't, with a focus on building empathy, all while participating in an interactive live theater performance. Middle school students will explore the severity of cyberbullying while focusing on the importance of being an upstander when we see bullying taking place.


Mr. Bollette and I will again offer a parent presentation on the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying law. There are brand new updates to the law this year, so I would strongly encourage you to attend. More information about that will be coming out soon.


Parents play a key role in helping to prevent and respond to bullying. For more information about what you can do to be part of the solution, go to stopbullying.gov for valuable resources.

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Positive School Climate Summit

For more than 20 years, The Center for Prevention and Counseling has been hosting an in-person Middle School Summit. This year, The Summit will be in person for the first time since 2019, and we will be represented by twenty of our 7th and 8th grade students! This program makes a positive and lasting difference, as students learn the leadership skills and techniques to make their school safe and inclusive. Through the keynote presentations, messages from high school mentors as well discussions and hands-on activities, students are empowered to better understand the theme of Together We Can Make A Difference” as our school works to reduce bullying, increase leadership, empathy, resilience and positive school climate.

Visits from Sussex Tech and Pope John

We are again fortunate to have representatives from both Pope John and Sussex Tech come and meet with our 8th grade students! Pope John will visit us on October 11th, and Sussex Tech will speak with our students on October 17th. Students will learn about the various program offerings at both schools, and the school representatives will be available to answer questions about the application processes.


Pope John is hosting open houses on Thursday, October 6th and on Wednesday, October 26th. To learn more about these events, click here.


Sussex Tech is hosting an open house on Thursday, October 27th. Sussex Tech is hosting its annual Tech Trek on November 19th. This is a day to expose 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to Career and Technical Education. More information about Tech Trek will be sent out soon!

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Beginning in early October, our fifth grade students will be visited by officers from the Sussex County Sheriff's office for the L.E.A.D. program, which "promotes positive, pro-social attitudes and behaviors, while helping students learn about fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence." Students will have the opportunity to participate in ten weekly lessons, which will focus on the development of specific traits and skills: goal setting, decision making, effective communication, anger management, conflict resolution, and pro-social bonding. To learn more about this program, click here.
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Mindful Minutes

It likely goes without saying that students might be feeling more stress and anxiety lately. One practice that can help decrease and manage overwhelming feelings when they arise is mindfulness. Mindfulness helps to bring our focus to the present moment to observe our thoughts without judgment. The practice can also help to minimize negative thoughts that can spiral out of control. I have created a playlist of short mindful minute exercises for students to listen to when they feel the need to reset their thoughts or emotions. I will be adding to the playlist (click here) throughout the rest of the year.
I have updated my webpage to include a virtual office where you will be able to find information and helpful resources! It is a work in progress, so be sure to check in regularly for new information! Click on my bitmoji above to take a look around!
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