Counselor's Connection

School Messenger // The Growth Mindset // Morning Messages

School Messenger (formerly known as Connect Ed.)

Welcome back to the grind ladies!

Oh how I wish we had another 4 days off! lol Wishful thinking, but cheers to a short week and to Thanksgiving break around the corner.


I'm convinced we all had a productive, crazy busy, & fruitful week last week during parent/teacher conferences. Some of you were holding SART meetings and providing other forms of interventions for at-risk students and I know good things will come from those interventions. This week, I wanted to share a simple strategy to increase attendance & to help parents get our students to school on time. My principal approved that I have my own School Messenger account so that I can broadcast messages school wide to MV families. This includes promoting any parent nights, events, and other pertinent info. that I need parents to be informed of. In creating your own account, school messenger offers cool features such as sending a MORNING ALARM MESSAGES to families who are chronically late. This feature allows me to broadcast and send a pre-recorded morning wake-up call to families that I've identified. Initially, I would ask the parent if they would like me to send out a wake-up call at a designated time. However, after talking to my principal, we decided to send out the intervention without parent consent because we've tried everything under the sun to ensure these parents get their child(ren) to school on time!

I'm gonna be honest in saying that getting your own school messenger (SM) account is a process and 1/2, but, it's ALL WORTH IT! Please ask your principal if this is something you could do at your site. Afterall, this is an attendance intervention (*we can add the AM wake-up call onto AERIES).

Call 1 (800) 920-3897 and have a SM rep walk you through the process and they'll create a case # for you. You'll also be required to contact DeWayne Cossey (VUSD technology guru) to get consent to move forward with your own SM account and he'll contact your principal to finalize district approval. Again, it's a little messy to start up, but what an incredible resource for school counselors! Lastly, after you've created your account and need help creating your first broadcast, call me and I'll be happy to walk you through it. It would be awesome if we could ALL create a SM account. =)

The Growth Mindset

Morning Meetings

Dialogue Circles or morning circles are new to MV this year as we pursue our NEU accreditation and I absolutely love the concept of unity it fosters both in the classroom and on our campus. The principal and I share morning messages with pertinent themes (bullying, love, perseverance, character traits, etc) each morning at 8:40 am. After the "Bobcat Bulletin" is read, teachers then, meet with students in a circle to elaborate and continue the conversations for about 10 min. as a group. At this point, teachers also do check-ins with EACH student and overall, this builds community within the classroom. The link below will give you a glimpse of what a Circle looks like. Perhaps you may want to pitch this school wide community building concept to your teachers. Afterall, this will help decrease discipline...