Guidance Gazette

Volume 3

What Would You Like to Know?

Welcome to the Guidance Gazette! We will update this newsletter monthly with current events, positive tidbits for overall well-being, and information pertinent to learning and individual success. If there is something you would like to know more about, please let us know!

Your Guidance Gurus,

- Mrs. DiMaggio, Ms. Ross, & Mr. Wesseling

Angel Tree!

Please see below for information about our Angel Tree this year!

This link opens the image in a new tab - might be a little easier to read :-)

Big picture

E-cigarettes, Inhalants, and Youth: Info for Parents/Guardians

Hello everyone,

As most of you probably know, e-cigarettes (also sometimes referred to as vaping or juuling) is on the rise among youth. There have also been reports about huffing (using inhalants) in our area. Mrs. McNeil sent out information about e-cigarettes previously to help spread the word. To further keep you in the know, we wanted to highlight some information from the CDC about e-cigarettes and information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse on inhalants. Please see the links below for these resources.

E-cigarettes and Youth: What Parents/Guardians Need to Know

Teachers and Parents/Guardians: That USB Stick Might Be an E-cigarette

DrugFacts: Inhalants

Healthy Eating (yes, you have probably heard this before but here it goes!)

The holidays are just around the corner (is everyone shouting yay like I am??) and, hopefully, with those holidays comes delicious food and lots of family time (your student's favorite of course!). I wanted to take some time to update you on nutrition information from as well as some data specific to South Carolina.

MyPlate is a good resource as it takes a simplified look at what you are eating. The website displays a 9-inch plate, yet plate sizes and portion sizes have increased over the years, as have U.S. obesity and overweight rates. Remarkably, in South Carolina, only one in six people eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Wow!!! In regard to information about fats, typically plant-based fat, such as from avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are healthier than animal fat, which tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. A rule of thumb is the more legs an animal has, the more fat it likely has, so eat less of it.

Sadly, the more "healthier" foods are typically more expensive. I went to buy grapes the other day and could not believe how much they were! Frozen and canned fruits/vegetables are sometimes a more inexpensive option (and still a healthy option). Encouraging your student(s) to eat fruits and vegetables daily can be a challenge. It is worth the effort though for longtime health and overall well-being.

Below are links to MyPlate that may be of use for you and your family. Shout out to one of our parents for sharing some of this helpful information with me! You know who you are and you rock!

Happy, healthy eating!

- Mrs. DiMaggio


MyPlate Serving Sizes and Shopping Tips

Join the Club

Clubs at GHMS are formed! Students are highly encouraged to join an extracurricular activity whether it be a club, sport, game, and so much more. Below are a list of some of the clubs offered at GHMS. Encourage your student to join something - either in school or outside of school. Social skills can always use some extra socializing experience (plus there is probably a lot of fun to be had! Maybe even some learning!). If you have questions about how to join, let us know!

  • MathCounts
  • Disc Golf
  • Science Olympiad
  • Chess Club (starts in January)
  • Robotics

Duke Tip

Duke Tip! Calling 7th Graders!

Duke Tip Information is below from the following site: Please read below and on the website if you believe your child would be interested and would qualify! There is also a letter below with further information from our school. Academically talented students need challenges, motivation, and support if they are to reach their highest potential. The benefits offered by the 7th Grade Talent Search are designed to do just that.

Testing’s role in the 7th Grade Talent Search

As part of their enrollment, participants in the 7th Grade Talent Search take the same ACT (no writing) or SAT (no essay) that high schoolers take. They even test alongside high schoolers.

The test is meant to be diagnostic, discovering how far above grade level participants really are. As a bonus, the experience offers benefits of its own: it’s a low-stress, low-risk opportunity to experience these exams.

After taking the ACT or SAT, you and your student will receive a score report from the testing agency comparing your student’s scores to recent US high school graduates. To ensure the greatest insight, we provide an additional results summary that compares your student’s scores to other 7th Grade Talent Search participants and provides suggestions for how to use that knowledge to create an educational plan.

These scores are also used to determine qualification for TIP's recognition ceremonies and for some educational programs, including the Summer Studies Program and eStudies.

Information and resources

Find information about choosing the right test, preparing for the test, getting ready for test day, applying for testing exceptions, and receiving and using ACT or SAT test scores.

Current 7th Graders - Qualifying Tests

Think your student qualifies? Enroll now!

For questions, please contact Mrs. DiMaggio at

Middle School Counselors? Huh?!


Middle school is an exciting yet challenging time for students, their parents/guardians, and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval. Identifying students’ academic and social/emotional needs, as well as providing any necessary interventions, is essential in removing barriers to learning and helping students develop skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills students acquire during these years build the foundation for future success.


Middle school counselors are educators uniquely trained in child and adolescent development, learning strategies, self-management and social skills. They implement a school counseling program to support students through this important developmental period. The school counseling program provides education, prevention and intervention activities, which are integrated into all aspects of students’ lives. The program teaches students the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for academic, career and social/ emotional development. Middle school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide a proactive program that engages students and includes leadership, advocacy and collaboration with school staff, administration and community/family members in the delivery of programs and activities to help students achieve success. Middle school counselors also collaborate with teachers and parents/guardians on early identification and intervention of children’s academic and social/emotional needs, which is essential in removing barriers to learning and developing skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement. The work of middle school counselors aligns with the school’s mission to support all students’ academic achievement as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This alignment is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a school counseling program. The tools guiding this work are the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success, which address students’ academic, career and social/ emotional development, and the ASCA National Model, with its data-informed, results-based focus. Research demonstrating the effectiveness of school counseling programs continues to grow, and there is evidence of the positive impact these programs have on students’ academic and social/emotional development.


Numerous studies demonstrate the value of school counseling for students in the domains of academic development, college and career readiness and social/ emotional development. Results of research about the effectiveness of school counseling can be found at

Information retrieved from ASCA published Why Middle document

Ms. Lisa Ross

6th Grade School Counselor

Mr. Marc Wesseling

8th Grade School Counselor