School Counseling: The Happenings

April, 2020

Social-Emotional School News!

Parents and Guardians,

I want to welcome any new families to our Michael Anderson community. For those of you who might still be settling into life at Fairchild AFB, please know that there are many avenues to find resources and support for families and students through the base community, our MAE community, and the greater Medical Lake School District. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns and I am happy to help facilitate connecting you at any time.
These past few weeks have been anything but ordinary, and that goes for everyone. Amid the school closures across the state, businesses are suffering, families are feeling the effects of the stay-at-home order, and daily schedules have had to be rewritten to accommodate changes. Please know that we as educators understand the stress and anxiety that many of you are feeling and are working through similar situations with our own families and schedules, and we are here to help ease the transition and to support our school community. Even though we are not together in the school building, I would like to encourage you all to stay connected with your friends, family, and school community (from an appropriate distance) to help ease the stress of inconsistencies.
This newsletter is one way that I want to remain consistent, as well as share with you some of the many ways that students can continue to grow their social-emotional health and well-being in addition to their academic learning. Although I'm not able to connect with our school community in-person and teach classroom lessons to students at this time, there is so much that I have been looking into and learning and have to pass along to you. One tool I am looking into for accomplishing this is the online platform Seesaw, and I will share more about that in the coming days (after Spring Break). For now, keep reading, ask questions if you have them, and more than anything I hope that you stay safe and I wish you all good health!

Seth Sammons

Month of the Military Child

Many Michael Anderson staff members were in the midst of planning to celebrate military kids during the month of April in honor of Month of the Military Child when schools closed. We are working on ways to yet celebrate with our students and their families, but until then here are some other great ways to celebrate our students:

1) Purple Up! Day is still on the national calendar for Wednesday, April 15 (and the MAE calendar for April 13th!). Join people around the world and wear purple to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices.
2) Have your student draw a picture that includes a Dandelion (the official flower of military kids) and share it via social media highlighting the common nature of resilient, resolute, and survivor.

3) Participate in MCEC's Call for the Arts - "interpretations of what it means to be a military-connected child through art." You can find the requirements, guidelines, and submission form here:

Career Exploration

This year, most students were able to get online and explore various careers using two free websites during our grade-level career lessons. I would like to share these learning opportunities with you so that students can continue to expand their understanding of careers and, even in elementary school, begin to think about what career interests they have.

  • 1st and 2nd Grade students used Paws in Jobland. To enter the site:
    1) Visit, 2) Click "Go to Paws" in the side menu, 3) Enter the Activation Code: MD01623.

  • 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade students used Virginia Career View. In class, we used "Career Town" and "Kids Search," but there are several options for printable activities including reading, coloring, puzzles, and mazes. This website does include links to other career sites and activities, all of which are safe but most aren't necessary for elementary student learning. The website is
    **If you create a free account, students can save their work and career information.**

MAE Social-Emotional Learning Standards

I highlighted this in the fall newletter, but this past summer I worked to condense the six Washington State K-12 SEL Standards into three elementary standards that will guide the work that I do with students (to read about this more in-depth, visit the MAE School Counseling website linked below). So far this year, 1st through 5th grade students have worked their way through two of the three grade-level SEL standards as well as a lesson focused on career exploration. We will continue to highlight these standards with students as they assess their learning and become more responsible for their social-emotional growth. Every grade level is designed to be a step toward building a deeper understanding of each standard through incremental learning so students can leave our school with healthy social-emotional skills and strategies to be prepared for whatever comes next!

1) Students will be able to identify their own emotions and empathize with the emotions of others.

2) Students will be able to manage their own emotions and behaviors to make safe and constructive choices with and around others.

3) Students will be able to show a Growth Mindset while also positively engaging in their classroom and school community.

MAE School Counseling Program Website

This section was also a part of the fall newsletter, but I want to continue to direct families to my website as a first stop for information on Michael Anderson Elementary's School Counseling Program. I put it together last year as a more exhaustive resource for anyone looking to better understand my role in the school and my focus with our school community, as well as how my work impacts our students. There are recent updates for this school year including our focus with classroom lessons and the year-end data from my work last school year. In addition to lessons and data, the website also explains how I work in both individual and small group counseling with students and includes a page devoted to family resources both on FAFB and in the greater Spokane community. Follow the link to visit the website, and you will also find it on the Counseling page of our MAE school site:

In Conclusion...

To learn a little more about me and what my role at Michael Anderson looks like, head back to the MAE website, click on Counseling under the Academics tab, and read the second edition of Counselor's Corner. In an effort to keep you informed of the School Counseling Happenings and ways that I am reaching students, staff, and families, I will update and make this newsletter available 2x/year (Fall & Spring). If you have any questions or concerns during the school closure, please contact me via email or phone (I am checking my messages regularly from home), or set up a time with me for video conferencing. I am available during the hours of 9:00am - 3:30pm, Monday through Friday, and will return your email or call as soon as I can. Thanks!