Counseling Corner

Jennifer Lee and Sharneka Andrews, School Counselors

February 2018

Classroom Guidance Update

As an integral part of our school's comprehensive school counseling program, I will be delivering Classroom Guidance lessons to your child two or three times a quarter. This is a way for me to teach the whole school and get to know our students better. I love Classroom Guidance! Your child may come home and share that they had a special friend in their classroom ;) As the school counselor, I will be teaching lessons on personal/social, career and academic development. I developed a Teacher Needs' Assessment and then teachers get to decide the most important topics for classroom guidance.

Kindergarten- 2nd Grade

K-2 students will be starting to learn about EMOTION MANAGEMENT this month. In this unit, students are taught proactive strategies to help prevent strong feelings from turning into negative behaviors. Students with the skills to manage strong emotions, such as anger, anxiety, embarrassment, fear, and jealousy are more likely to:

*Get along with peers and make good choices

*Cope with strong emotions and express them in socially acceptable ways

*Be successful in school

They will be learning the CALMING DOWN STEPS


2. Name your feeling

3. Calm down--Belly breathe, count to 10, positive self talk.

Mrs. Andrews will be playing a fun song with the students to help them learn these skills.

3rd Grade

In this lesson we will first tackle the question of "What is Bullying?" Bullying is about behavior, not a person. Bullying is defined as unfair and one-sided. It is done with intent (on purpose). It has a pattern (repeated over time), and there is an imbalance of power. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose

Students are introduced to the "Three Rs of Bullying" (Recognize, Refuse, Report) This lesson will focus on recognizing bullying and what a person feels like when he or she is in a bullying situation. I will be using a book series over the next 3 lessons. The first book is called "Weird" which is told through the perspective of the person being targeted in a bullying situation. The stories are told through the eyes of the target, aggressor, or a bystander. Each picture book tells the same story, however it is being told through a different perspective. At the end of the lesson children will help identify positive thoughts as a strategy to help the feelings of being bullied. We created a classroom poster of positive thoughts that students can read throughout the day.

4th Grade

This month 4th graders will participate in a lesson about friendship and cliques. We will discuss the qualities of friendship and the importance of building healthy relationships. Students will work together to identify the qualities that they would like in a friend. We will then discuss what to do when one of our friends does not show us those qualities. Students will hear the story "Cliques Just don't make Cents" by Julia Cook. It's a story about a group of coins who leave the 'penny' out out of their group/clique. Penny meets a gold half dollar who helps her recognize her worth and that true friendship doesn't hurt. She builds her self confidence and by the end makes friends with others who include her and treat her the way she deserves.

5th Grade--I will be visiting each classroom over the next couple of months to begin to help them prepare for middle school. This month we will talk about changes in the past, present, and future. Students will take a survey about their feelings towards middle school. We will discuss all of the various feelings that are natural when we begin a new transition. We will also be spending "A Day in the Life of a Middle Schooler". Students were shown a schedule that could be similar to the schedule they will be following next year. We used a blank map of a middle school and "walked" through our day. Throughout this lesson we discussed time management, organization, and the type of obstacles that could get in our way while walking from class to class.

Parents of 5th Graders--Mark your calendar!

We have a meeting next week to find more information out about the registration process this school year!! Please be on the lookout for a separate Middle School Newsletter!! :)

OPEN HOUSE DATES at the Middle Schools

Moore Square MS-- 2/26-Time TBA

Martin MS--2/28 at 3:30 and 5:30pm

Wendell MS--3/1 from 5:30-7:30

East Wake MS-- 3/8 from 5:00-6:30pm

Reedy Creek MS--3/13 Time-TBA

Zebulon MS--3/22 from 6:00-8:00

Pine Hollow MS--3/27---6:00pm Tours begin/6:30 Information session begins

Davis Drive MS--4/17 and 4/18 at 6:00pm

Wakefield MS--4/19--6:00-7:30--for Students and their parents

5th Grade-Meet the Instruments Night

Tuesday, February 20th at 6:30pm

Open to Rising 6th graders planning to attend EITHER Leesville Middle School or Pine Hollow Middle School!

Band Directors from BOTH schools will be present!

Any questions? Email Ms. Vernon at

Small Groups

Small group counseling is offered to students to support and enhance the development of personal and social skills and to support and promote academic success. Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging, and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Small groups are based on data and referrals from teachers, parents, and/or the child themselves.

Groups this month:

Building Resiliency (3rd-5th)- The focus of this group is building resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from difficulties or successfully handle challenges. This group will strengthen self-confidence, build decision-making skills, and better understand how to handle the many challenges life presents. I will lead lessons on problem solving, feelings, managing stress, personal competency and having a positive outlook.

Attendance Check-In (K-2)-Selected students will be in our check-in group to help reduce the their unexcused absences and encourage being at school on time each day. Each identified student will have a calendar sticker chart to record their daily arrival for the third quarter.

Groups starting next month-

3rd-Growth Mindset/Self-Esteem-(3rd Grade)

The focus of this group is on building self esteem/concept. It will allow students the opportunity to share feelings and learn some skills that will help them to have confidence in themselves as well as to help them develop a growth mindset.

SS Grin-Social Skills (4th grade)- This small group will focus on basic social skills such as communication, self-control, perspective taking, conflict management, and the initiation of activities. Group members will learn to set goals and assess the consequences of their actions; build pro-social attitudes, combat negative assumptions about themselves and others; and build coping skills to cope with stressful social situations (teasing, rejection, peer pressure).

Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 30-40 minute period. Groups will meet during lunch time to minimize time away from core instruction.

Special Announcements

National School Counseling Week

Since last week was National School Counseling Week (Feb 5-9), I thought I would help answer your burning question of "What exactly do you DO as the School Counselor???" Many of you may not have had a school counselor when you were in school. For those of you who did, there is a good possibility that school counselors have very different functions now than they did 10 or 20 years ago!

I'm not one to toot my own horn but I think it's important to advocate for how school counselors can PARTNER with parents and educators to help children find success and remove barriers. This will help explain why I LOVE my job so much! I am honored to work with parents, students & educators.

Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

School Guidance Curriculum

  • Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
  • Goal setting and decision-making
  • Career awareness, exploration and planning
  • Education on understanding self and others
  • Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
  • Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Multicultural/diversity awareness

Academic planning

  • Goal setting/decision- making
  • Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Transition plans

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small-group counseling
  • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consultation/collaboration
  • Referrals

System Support

  • Professional development
  • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
  • Program management and operation

School counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.


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WE are looking for SNACKS and BACKPACKS!

Our snack pantry is low and we are looking to fill it for the 3rd and 4th quarter. We are looking for healthy snacks for teachers to pick up to keep in their classrooms for those students who need a snack. We are looking for the following items: granola bars, peanut butter crackers, multi-grain goldfish, raisins, etc. Thank you so much for those who have sent in snacks!

We are also collecting gently used or new backpacks for students who may be in need of one. If you have an extra, gently used backpack that is still in good condition please send it in to Mrs. Lee or Mrs. Andrews. Thank you so much for helping us!!!!

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Contact Info

I am thrilled to be your child's full time school counselor this year! This is my seventh year at BCES and third year as a school counselor. Each month I will send out an online newsletter to keep you updated on our comprehensive counseling program. The school counseling mission statement is to provide a comprehensive counseling program addressing the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. In partnership with our fellow staff members, families, and our community, the counselor at Brier Creek Elementary School will provide a foundation of 21st century life skills that will empower students to think critically, visibly, and globally.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to work with children. I graduated from SUNY Cortland in NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education and was a first and second grade teacher for almost 9 years. While teaching, I realized my true passion was to become a school counselor. In 2014, I received my Master’s Degree in School Counseling from NC State. When I am not working with children I enjoy traveling to NY to see family, spending time with my husband and friends, going to the beach, and cheering on my favorite sports team...the SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN!!