Social Emotional Learning Corner

An Update From the BMS SEL Staff

Meet The Barrington Middle School Counselors!

Here at Barrington Middle School your child will have the same school counselor throughout their time at BMS. We find this consistency helps students and families develop strong, lasting relationships with their school counselors and eases the transition from year to year. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time for academic, social or emotional needs.

Social Emotional Support Staff

Keys to Success at BMS

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Knowing that school comes first will keep your middle grader focused on doing his/her best. Here are some tips for making sure school remains front and center all year long.

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!

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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

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

For more information on Aspen and How-To videos, visit:

SEL Book Recommendations

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All BMS students have started to learn about the RULER approach in their advisory periods within their clusters. The first tool that is being completed is the Charter. As a class or a cluster, students have been instructed about what a community is and how the classroom or cluster is an example of a community. The charter is a tool the students are creating to display how they want to feel as part of their classroom community and brainstorm how each person will help others to have these feelings more often in their community. This tool is used to help create a positive and supportive social-emotional environment for learning. This document that is created is a living document, meaning it will be a habit of the class to check-in with the Charter throughout the year.
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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

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This year, BMS staff members have the opportunity to join a Book Club where conversations around the book, Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive by Marc Brackett, Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will take place. Each trimester we will share with you some powerful and thought-provoking quotes from this book. It is our hope that these quotes will spark your interest enough to read this book too!

"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."