School Counseling: The Happenings

September, 2020

The Start of Something New

Parents and Guardians,

It's the start of yet another school year, but it's somehow vastly different from what many of us think about when we hear those two words: school year. Things look different and things feel different for everyone, including our students. New Kindergarten students don't have quite the same footsteps of older siblings to follow, and returning students are equally as uncertain of what the year will bring. For some, this year also means an entirely new location with a new school and all new faces, and I'm beginning to understand the emotion surrounding that life experience more and more as I work with military families. But for everyone reading this, I ask you to join with me in making the decision to look at this school year as truly the start of something new. A new leaf, a new chapter, a new experience. For everyone. Let's start this year together and give 110% to anything that crosses our path, challenging or not. If you're willing to focus that lens with me I know with certainty that we're going to learn new things and almost certainly adopt new ways of moving through a school year.

As always, I want to welcome any new families to our Michael Anderson community. I am the School Counselor and this newsletter has regularly been an avenue to keep our school community updated on what's happening with social-emotional learning, but it is now also one way for me to remain consistent with you all during this time. For those of you who might still be settling into life at Fairchild AFB, please know that there are many resources and all kinds of support for families and students through the base community, our MAE community, and the greater Medical Lake School District. I'm here to facilitate connecting you with these at any time in addition to meeting with you and your students regarding any aspect of their learning and growth. I'm excited to try some new things this school year around SEL and connecting with students, so please continue reading the newsletter below to learn more about that!

-Seth Sammons

Base Buddies

If your student has been with us either of the previous two school years, you probably know that we started an after-school support group which meets 2x/month called Base Buddies. This group is for K-5 students with parents on long-term deployment or TDY, and for as long as their parent is gone (and even some before and after too, because that is just as important). Last year we finished our group meetings online, but unfortunately as of now we won't be able to continue meeting like we have until school resumes full time in-building. Until then, if your student(s) needs someone to talk to regarding TDY/Deployment, please reach out to me at school via email or phone and I am happy to connect with students individually! We also have amazing MFLC's on base at the Airman and Family Readiness Center who can spend even more time helping with free, anonymous, and confidential support to military families.

SEL Learning Update

Fall 2020 - MAE School Counseling

**After recording this video, I also thought to create a YouTube channel to house this video as well as all of my future SEL student videos. I will still send an email notification each month when videos are available, but now you can also subscribe and click the bell on my channel in order to receive notifications each month! The links to all videos found on the MAE School Counseling website will direct students and families to this YouTube channel.**

Captain Compassion and Imagine Neighborhood Season 2!

Does your student like comic books? If so, Committee for Children has created their very own superhero known as Captain Compassion! You can download last year's comic strip and follow up with new comic strips released every week on the topic of bullying prevention at

The Imagine Neighborhood podcast is back for a second season! New episodes are coming out every Sunday handling changes and unknowns, diversity and equity, grief and loss, and as always, building the social-emotional skills for solving problems and handling big feelings. Podcast episodes can be found on Apple Pocasts, Spotify, or online at

MAE Social-Emotional Learning Standards

As a reminder to many and news for some, last 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 (listed below). With the interruption last year, students weren't able to finish their social-emotional lessons in-building, but all is not lost! Lessons are designed for students to circle around our three standards every year in new ways, so this year we will pick up at the start of a new year and continue moving forward. All students will take the next step toward building a deeper understanding of each standard through incremental learning so that they can leave our school with healthy social-emotional skills and strategies to be prepared for whatever comes next. And our goal as staff will be to continue to highlight and reference these standards with students as they learn to assess their own learning and become more responsible for their individual social-emotional growth.

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 previous newsletters, 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 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 my virtual lessons with links to go back and reference previous lessons, and the year-end data from my work last school year, compiled to the best of my ability. In addition, the website also explains how I plan to work in both individual and small group counseling with students during an online start to the school year, and includes a page devoted to family resources both on FAFB and in the greater Spokane community. You can access the website from the Counseling page of our MAE school site, or simply follow the link below.

In Conclusion...

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, please reach out via email or phone during this time. I am available during the hours of 8:00am - 3:30pm, Monday through Friday, and will return your email or call as soon as I can. Thanks!