News from the School Counselor

Mrs. Jurick

Fall 2021

Welcome to the 2021/22 school year! Students and teachers are settled in a routine and all seems to be going well. The Maroon/White rotating schedule has also been a success. This change will bring positive results because students will have courses for the entire year rather then just a semester to avoid learning gaps.

This is year 22 in the district for Mrs. Rumbarger and I! Time flies when you are having fun!

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Helpful Tips


  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework starting at a young age. Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.

  • Schedule ample time for homework; build this time into choices about participation in after school activities.

  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time.

  • Supervise computer and Internet use.

  • By high school, it's not uncommon for teachers to ask students to submit homework electronically and perform other tasks on a computer. If your child doesn't have access to a computer or the internet at home, work with teachers and school administration to develop appropriate accommodations.

  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child's homework for her.

  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.

  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, speak with your child's teacher for recommendations on how you or another person can help your child at home or at school. If you have concerns about the assignments your child is receiving, talk with their teacher.

  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child's teacher, school counselor, or health care provider.

  • For general homework problems that cannot be worked out with the teacher, a tutor may be considered.

  • Some children need extra help organizing their homework. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.

  • Some children may need help remembering their assignments. Work with your child and their teacher to develop an appropriate way to keep track of their assignments – such as an assignment notebook, or in their cell phone.


  • Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty concentrating and learning as well as they can.

  • Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. Having a bedtime routine that is consistent will help your child settle down and fall asleep. Components of a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, and tucking them in and saying good-night to them.

  • Have your child turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.

  • Try to have the home as quiet and calm as possible when younger children are trying to fall asleep.

  • Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. The optimal amount of sleep for most younger children is 10-12 hours per night and for adolescents (13-18 year of age) is in the range of 8-10 hours per night .


Today’s children have grown up with a vast array of electronic devices at their fingertips. They can't imagine a world without smartphones, tablets, and the internet.

The advances in technology mean today's parents are the first generation who have to figure out how to limit screen time for children. While digital devices can provide endless hours of entertainment and they can offer educational content, unlimited screen time can be harmful.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time

Whether you keep the TV on all the time or the whole family sits around staring at their smartphones, too screen time could be harmful. Here's what some of the research says:

  • Obesity: Too much time engaging in sedentary activity, such as watching TV and playing video games, can be a risk factor for becoming overweight.
  • Sleep problems: Although many parents use TV to wind down before bed, screen time before bed can backfire. The light emitted from screens interferes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia.
  • Behavior problems: Elementary school-age children who watch TV or use a computer more than two hours per day are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention problems.
  • Educational problems: Elementary school-age children who have televisions in their bedrooms do worse on academic testing.
  • Violence: Exposure to violent TV shows, movies, music, and video games can cause children to become desensitized to it. Eventually, they may use violence to solve problems and may imitate what they see on TV, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Establishing Family Rules With Electronics

    Telling your child to turn off his video games while you're sitting in front of the TV won't do anyone any good. It's important for you to set healthy limits on your electronics use for your own sake, as well as your child's sake.

    Here are a few household rules you might want to establish to curb screen time:

    • No digital devices during family meals.
    • No screen time in the car.
    • No screens allowed in bedrooms.
    • No electronics use during family fun nights.

    In addition, consider an occasional digital detox for the whole family. Create a screen-free night once a week or commit to unplugging one weekend a month. It could be good for everyone's physical and emotional health, as well as your family's relationships.



Check things off your list!

Freshman Year


FALL (September – November)

* Challenge yourself

* Work hard to keep GPA up

* Show you are well rounded by getting involved in different activities

WINTER (December – February)

* Find volunteer activities that are good for you

* Explore different careers that might interest you

* Think about what kinds of schools you should be looking at

SPRING (March – May)

* Refocus your study habits and finish the year off right

* Build your college credentials by finding ways to get involved over the summer

* Select courses that emphasizes college

* Keep a folder of awards, certificates, and accomplishments

* Create a log to keep track of community service hours

SUMMER (June – August)

* Use your summer to explore jobs and careers that interest you

* Finish your summer reading

Sophomore Year


FALL (September – November)

* Join extracurricular activities so you will stand out on college applications

* Meet with your counselor to discuss career path options

* Get familiar with college planning and the admissions process

* Attend Auburn Career Center presentation

WINTER (December – February)

* Continue to be involved with different clubs and sports at Harding High School

* Take a rigorous course load

* Visit Auburn Career Center and learn about different career pathways that are available

SPRING (March – May)

* Consult with your counselor to make sure you are prepared for junior year

* Attend college fairs and information sessions

SUMMER (June– August)

* Secure a summer job and build credentials

* Start visiting college campuses to see what is a good fit for you

Junior Year


FALL (September – November)

* Begin exploring colleges by taking a look at location, size, and academic specialties

* Research college costs and tuitions at different schools

* Narrow your college list to 10 to 20 schools

* Pick an extracurricular activity and get involved at Fairport

* Keep your stress level down and create a way to organize college documents

* Create a professional email account (

* Meet with the LEAF advisor

WINTER (December – February)

* Study hard, junior year grades will say a lot about your academic performance

* Begin your search for scholarships

* Compare and contrast different schools to help narrow down your search

SPRING (March – May)

* Take the ACT

* Get educated about the college admissions process

SUMMER (June – August)

*Get a summer job to expand experiences and earn money for college

* Begin visiting prospective colleges

* Narrow down college choices

Senior Year


FALL (September – November)

*Create a college list

* Visit prospective colleges and get a feel for the campuses

* Request transcripts

* Register/retake the ACT

* Complete college applications before the deadlines (online)

* Work on college application essays & Ask teachers for letters of recommendation

* Meet with LEAF advisor

* Attend LEAF Financial Aid Night at FHS in October

* Complete FAFSA

WINTER (December – February)

* Apply for scholarships

SPRING (March – May)

* Make final decision by May 1st (college, work force, or military)

* Verify financial aid

* Send final transcript to college once updated

* Meet housing deadlines

SUMMER (June – August)

* Attend summer orientation

* Apply for student housing

The Middle School Maze

The middle school years can be a tricky maze for students and parents. Students are changing socially, emotionally and academically all at once. For some, this can be a roller coaster of a ride at times. Communication between home and school is a vital part to help students during this time to "Rise Up" and achieve their middle school goals and prepare them for high school. Here are some helpful tips:

Helping Your Middle School Child: Tips to parents about how to help their child navigate through Middle School:

● Kids should be active for at least one hour every day. Encourage your child to participate in a sport or an active hobby. This can also apply growth to their social development.

● Kids need to have the hygiene talk. Approach this gently, but a light-hearted approach can help!

● Many middle school students experience an increase in appetite but don’t always make the best food choices. Make breakfast a normal part of the family routine. Provide healthy snacks.

● Prioritize your evening meal as a family whenever possible. This has benefits far beyond healthy eating habits. Conversation over dinner is a great way to stay connected to your children.

● Asking “How was your day”? will most likely be answered with a shrug of the shoulders or short answer. Ask specific questions such as, “What did you learn in math class today?” or “Tell me one thing that made you happy today.” Keeping the lines of communication open is critical”!

● Young adolescents need plenty of sleep! Have reasonable limits on all electronic devices.

● Arrange for a specific time and place to complete homework. Help your child develop their organizational skills.

Remember: your child is changing, and so will your relationship with them. “Every accomplishment starts with the reason to try”.

Why Middle School Matters:

The “in between” years. This is what middle school is often regarded as before students enter the more serious, college-focused portion of their academic path. However, in today’s global education landscape, this mindset needs to change. The years in middle school and the transition into high school have become increasingly important in readying students with the knowledge, confidence, and grit needed to excel in high school and beyond.

In middle school, students begin to contextualize their learning. At this phase, students not only continue to build a strong foundation of knowledge in many different disciplines, but also learn how to apply that information to fuel their critical inquiry and problem-solving skills. Knowledge becomes a tool they can use to make connections between different subjects.

Middle school aims to prepare students for high school and higher-level learning by helping them hone specific skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This means building effective study and organizational skills, learning how to plan, managing their workload and extracurricular activities, and maintaining a great work ethic.

Attached is an article regarding why middle school matters:

Community Service!

Just a reminder that all high school students need 25 hours of community service for each year of attendance at Harding. Forms are located in the office and on the website. This is a graduation requirement!
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