Social Emotional Learning Corner
An Update From the BMS SEL Staff
Meet The Barrington Middle School Counselors!
Krystal Sleboda, 6th Grade Counselor
Stephanie Nary, 7th Grade Counselor
Jaime Poirier, 8th Grade Counselor
Social Emotional Support Staff
Katie Hamel, Student Assistance Counselor
Dr. Mary Ellen Tillotson, Clinical Psychologist
Mary Ellen Tillotson, Ph.D. is a school psychologist with over 25 years of experience in public education. Dr. Tillotson holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany, a M.Ed. in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialty in school psychology from the University of Rhode Island. In addition, Dr. Tillotson has taught at the undergraduate and graduate college and university level for many years and is the former program director of the School Psychology Graduate program at Rhode Island College. She has been an invited speaker on topics such as ADHD, parenting, behavioral management, dyslexia, anxiety disorders, mindfulness, and OCD. She is published in the Across the Disciplines and The Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology. The role of the school psychologist is to partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between
home, school, and the community. We provide direct support and interventions to students, consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services. firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Canario, Clinical Social Worker
Keys to Success at BMS
1. Attendance and Preparation!
Your child needs to be on time and in school each day. At BMS this means students must be in his/her seats by 8:40am or they will be marked as tardy. When your child is timely and present, he/she can receive instruction, participate in class discussions, and work in small groups-things that cannot be made up outside of class. Also, your tween should come to school well rested and alert by eating a healthy breakfast and getting enough sleep (9-11 hours for tweens). We highly recommend "checking-in" all tech devices an hour before bed and keeping bedrooms screen and device free for the best night sleep.
2. Checking Aspen and Google Classroom Regularly
Being a good student means taking assignments seriously, work hard and finishing them on time. This can most successfully be accomplished by checking ASPEN and Google Classroom daily. Encourage your BMS student to stay on top of homework by writing down assignments and having a specific time and place each day to study. Also, kids this age may be reluctant to ask for help, reassure your child this is something successful students (and adults) do. For instance, your child should consider emailing teachers to clarify HW questions and requesting to meet with a teacher during FAST for extra help. Developing self-advocacy skills at this age is a skill that will last a life-time.
3. Track Progress!
Suggest that your middle schooler regularly check his/her grades in each class and monitor any missing assignments. Knowing where he/she stands will help with goal setting and planning ways to reach those goals.
We all know afternoons and evenings can get busy with sports, clubs and socializing with friends but reinforcing the message that school is priority #1 will ensure a successful school year!
What is X2/Aspen?
Aspen is a Student Information Management System created by X2 Development Corporation. The Barrington Public School District uses Aspen to manage student information including grading, scheduling, attendance, discipline, and other data. Parents can log into Aspen to view information about their children.
What is the URL for Aspen?
I have not received a username and password - how can I get one?
Please visit the main office of the school your child attends. You can fill out a request for a new copy that will be emailed to you.
How do I set up my computer to access Aspen?
Aspen may be accessed with any Internet connected computer. You can use just about any web browser - Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or others. You do need to enable pop-ups in any and all pop up blockers you have installed to allow pop-ups from https://ri-barrington.myfollett.com/aspen/logon.do
What should I do if I forget my password?
- If you set up your security questions and your email address as per log in instructions you can click “forgot password” and a new password will be emailed to you.
- If you did not set up the security to your log in and you have forgotten your password please email email@example.com
For more information on Aspen and How-To videos, visit: https://www.barringtonmiddle.org/o/barrington-schools/page/aspen-faq
SEL Book Recommendations
Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
A girl deals with friendship, family, and OCD in this classic-feeling, debut middle-grade novel by Elly Swartz.
To twelve-year-old Molly Nathans, perfect is:
―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines
What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are sometimes broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. The winner is honored at a fancy banquet with white tablecloths. Molly is sure her mother would never miss that. Right…?
But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly's world from spinning out of control. In this fresh-voiced debut novel, one girl learns there is no such thing as perfect.
The Science of Unbreakable Things by Tae Keller
Natalie's uplifting story of using the scientific process to "save" her mother from depression is what Booklist calls "a winning story full of heart and action."
Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.
When Natalie's science teacher suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie thinks that this might be the perfect solution to all of her problems. There's prize money, and if she and her friends wins, then she can fly her botanist mother to see the miraculous Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers that survive against impossible odds. Natalie's mother has been suffering from depression, and Natalie is sure that the flowers' magic will inspire her mom to love life again. Which means it's time for Natalie's friends to step up and show her that talking about a problem is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light. With their help, Natalie begins an uplifting journey to discover the science of hope, love, and miracles.
A vibrant, loving debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too.
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
Things Finley Hart doesn’t want to talk about:
-Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
-Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
-Never having met said grandparents.
-Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)
Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real—and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.
With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.
RULER CLASSROOM UPDATE
RULER AT HOME
We encourage families to create and use the Charter tool at home. Charters can be used in all types of communities such as families, businesses, and organizations.It is built as an agreement among all members in the community. Here are some directions on how to create a Charter at home...
1. As a family, sit down and brainstorm some ways that each member wants to feel when the family is together.
2. Come to an agreement of the top 5 or 6 emotion words each member wants to feel.
3. For each emotion word, create some ideas of how each member will help each other feel this way more often.
4. Put your ideas together (you can get creative) and display your ideas in a spot that is visible to all (ex. Refrigerator).
5. Decide how often you want to check-in with your Charter to update or make changes.
6. Refer to the Charter during times that it is positively being used. Also refer to the charter as a reminder during times that it may not feel like it is being followed.
Permission To Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, an Our Society Thrive
"The irony, though is that when we ignore our feelings, or suppress them, they only become stronger. The really powerful emotions build up inside us, like a dark force that inevitably poisons everything we do, whether we like it or. Hurt feelings don't vanish on their own. They don't heal themselves. If we don't express our emotions, they pile up like a debt that will eventually come due."
"People feeling emotions such as sorrow, shame, or anxiety often wish to discourage social interactions, and those signals are also being communicated. Those people might benefit most from engagement with others, but too often is unlikely to happen. This is a particularly serious problem in our schools, which often reprimand children when they express a negative emotion rather than see it as a cry for help. These are the kids who are neglected, ignored or suspended for misbehavior, when they should be given empathy, extra attention, and opportunities to build skills and meaningful relationships. Research shows that just having one caring adult can make the difference between whether a child will thrive or not."
"Labeling our emotions with precise words does four main things: It legitimizes and organizes or experiences; It helps others to meet our needs; It helps us to meet the needs of others; It connects us to the rest of the world."