Penndale Middle School
Counselor Connection - February/March Issue
2018-19 Penndale Bell Schedules [Google link below]
February/March Dates To Remember
February 6 Incoming 8th/9th Grade Course Selection Night, 7 pm
February 8 Valentine's Day Dance, 7 - 9:30 pm
Feb 11-12 Reading CDT [in class]
February 12 Incoming 7th Grade Course Selection Night, 7 pm
February 14 Early Dismissal
February 15 [No School for Students]
February 18 Presidents Day [No School for Students]
Feb 19-20 Math CDT [in class]
February 27 Interims Available on HAC
February 28 Engineering Night for Girls, 7 pm @ NPHS
March 6 Ash Wednesday
March 8-9-10 Penndale Spring Musical
March 12 Montgomery County Manufacturing and Trade Expo, Greater Phila Expo Center
March 15 Penndale Jazz Festival
March 20 Holi and Purim
March 29 Early Dismissal
April 1 "Angst" documentary - Parent Preview Night, 7 pm @ Penndale
NAVIANCE UPDATE - GRADE LEVEL ASSIGNMENTS
LEARNING STYLE ASSESSMENTS
- [7th] Learning Style Inventory online assessment diagnoses your unique learning styles based on an analysis of your personal preferences in 16 different areas. Those areas include your environment [sound, light, heat and design], emotionality [motivation, persistence, and structure], sociological needs [self-oriented, peer-oriented, or adult-oriented], and physical needs [perceptual preference(s), food intake, time of day, and mobility].
- [8th] MI Advantage uses the Multiple Intelligence theory to reveal your individual intelligence strengths and challenges such as bodily-kinesthetic, musical, or interpersonal intelligences.
PERSONALITY TYPE AND CAREER ASSESSMENTS
The act of discovering personality types is where many students start on their journey to planning their future careers. These assessments are helpful to discover your interests and hobbies and combining your personality type to suggest relevant career paths that would be good matches for you.
- [7th] Career Cluster Finder is an online questionnaire to discover career industries that are most interesting to you.
- [8th] Do What You Are is a personality type assessment that shows strengths and blind spots, recommends career paths and college majors, as well as tips for conducting the most effective career search.
- [9th] Career Interest Profiler and Career Key are online career interest assessments based on Holland interest codes.
- [9th] Strengths Explorer is based on 40 years of research by the Gallup Organization to help students discover and develop the unique talents within them.
- [9th] Strengths Explorer assesses 10 talent themes for individuals and identifies each student's three strongest emerging talents. It provides explanations of these themes, strategies for capitalizing on each, and action items to help gain insight into your greatest talents - natural patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior - to leverage in the classroom and in life.
At the end of each assessment, a personally tailored report identifies your unique learning style and provides guidance on how to maximize learning potential. Your child should have completed the appropriate assigned grade-level Naviance Student tasks prior to their course selection:
- 7th Grade: Learning Style Inventory, Career Cluster Finder
- 8th Grade: Do What You Are, MI Advantage
- 9th Grade: Career Interest Profiler, Career Key, Strengths Explorer
- [Resume Builder must be updated prior to your sophomore orientation meeting]
THE COURSE SELECTION PROCESS - GETTING READY
This Middle School Program of Academic Studies has been designed to help students and their parents plan an academic program that stimulates curiosity and motivates students to explore new areas of learning. During the middle school years, students and parents have their first opportunity to select courses based on students’ needs, interests and abilities.
Teachers will be making initial recommendations for next years courses at the end of the second marking period. We encourage students and parents to carefully review the Program of Academic Studies and the recommendations made by teachers on Home Access Center [HAC]. Teachers, counselors, and administrators are available to assist in this process.
In seventh grade, students may select a performing music course, including band, chorus, orchestra or a non-performing course titled Exploring Music. In eighth grade, students have additional choices for their fifth major subject. They may choose a language [Latin, Spanish, French or German], Business & Banking Concepts or Reading [if recommended]. They must also choose one music course as they did in seventh grade.
Counselors will speak to students about the course selection process and how to use the Course Selection Guide, providing opportunities for students to ask questions about specific courses and sequences. Students will also learn about required courses and the electives they may choose. Changes in course requests may be made by contacting the student’s school counselor prior to the submission deadline on May 3rd.
Students are recommended for these levels by their teachers. Teachers use many factors to determine the appropriate level for each student, including student performance and skill level. We strongly encourage parents to contact teachers directly when they have a question about a student’s recommended level. For subjects other than math and science, there are three  levels of courses offered to students in regular education: level 5, level 6 and level 6P.
- Level 5C [IEP Required for Enrollment] - Courses include those identified as being challenging. Teachers move at a moderate pace, and the course is designed for the student who has a good command of the basic skills.
- Level 5 [High Academic] - Courses include those identified as being challenging. Teachers move at a moderate pace, and the course is designed for the student who has a good command of the basic skills.
- Level 6 [Honors] - Courses include those identified as being accelerated. They are designed for the student who has a strong command of the basic skills and is able to meet the demands of an accelerated course.
- Level 6P [High Potential] - Courses include those identified as being the most challenging. They are designed for the student who has a solid academic foundation and is able to tap into their full potential and work independently.
ENGINEERING NIGHT FOR GIRLS 2/28/19
DREXEL SOCIETY OF WOMEN ENGINEERS &
NORTH PENN HIGH SCHOOL PRESENT
"ENGINEERING NIGHT FOR GIRLS"
Thursday, February 28, 2019
from 7 pm to 9 pm at North Penn High School
1340 S Valley Forge Rd, Lansdale, PA
LEARN MORE & SIGN UP BY FEB. 14TH
North Montco Technical Career Center - Field Trips/Open House
NMTCC SCHOOL-TO-CAREER LEARNING PROGRAMS
School-to-career learning programs at North Montco Technical Career Center combine quality education with worksite learning so students are given the opportunity to apply the valuable skills they are learning.
The School-to-Career office can assist with creating a resume and developing interviewing skills. This office also provides job postings. Some students prefer to explore a trade or profession before deciding to pursue a specific career and technical program or college education. Other students want to gain real-life, on-the-job experience before graduating from high school. NMTCC’s School-to-Career office offers students such opportunities and more. Programs available to students at NMTCC include Internships, Pennsylvania Youth Apprenticeship Program [PYAP] and Cooperative Education [Co-Op].
PENNSYLVANIA YOUTH APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM [PYAP] This employer-driven program offers paid, on-the-job training experience through a partnership with a sponsoring company. Employers participate with school staff to develop and monitor the curriculum and standards. Features:
- Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students
- On the job work experience is designed for 11th and 12th grade
- Students must have successfully completed all major academic subjects and be on grade level to enroll in this program
- The application process requires recommendations from a technical teacher, academic teachers from the sending school, guidance counselors and an interview at North Montco Technical Career Center
- Students and employers sign a training agreement accepting the responsibilities of the position
- Upon completion of the program, students may enter into the following postsecondary programs: adult registered apprenticeship, certificate program, associate technical degree program, or 4-year degree program
- Academic and technical instruction is delivered at North Montco Technical Career Center in an integrated learning environment as applicable to the youth apprentice’s career plan.
CO-OP [COOPERATIVE EDUCATION CAPSTONE PROGRAM] A culminating Capstone paid work experience for students in the 12th grade who have secured the recommendation of their technical instructor. Recommended students have the opportunity to obtain real work experience and to practice the specific technical skills they have learned. Features:
- Open to 12th-grade students who possess entry-level skills.
- All academics are usually taken at the sending school during morning periods.
- Students are employed in their technical field in the afternoon.
- Students return to North Montco Technical Career Center once a week to meet with the Co-Op Coordinator to learn employability and workplace-related skills and also to meet with the lab instructor to discuss concerns on the job.
INTERNSHIPS Internships are designed to allow students the opportunity to understand more fully the technical career, which they have chosen. Features:
- Open to 11th-grade students starting in the second semester, upon the recommendation of the technical teacher
- Available to students who are in the early stages of technical training
- Assists in formulating the student’s career plan
- Short-term career exploration experience, paid or unpaid
NMTCC TOURS FOR THE 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR
Mr. Joe Paddock [school counselor] will give presentations to our visiting 8th and 9th graders before each of the tours. Penndale's tours are currently scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, February 6th and 8th, in the afternoon. If your child missed the chance to sign up for a tour, please feel free to come to NMTCC's Open House on Thursday, February 14th.
NMTCC OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, Feb 14th
NMTCC APPLICATIONS: due no later than Thursday, March 14th
Digital Awareness for Parents - Part 2
COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA APPS AND SITES USED BY TEENS [from www.stopbullying.gov]
Digital media and apps allow children to communicate and express their creativity, connect with peers, and share their feelings. However, they can be an avenue through which cyberbullying occurs. There are many types of apps and sites available for free that give users the ability to search for people and share or post information about them anonymously.
Parents may not be aware of the apps that their children use regularly or may not be aware of the risks involved in using them. There are many ways that cyberbullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs.
Many apps also make it easy for users to access, view or participate in adult or harmful content. Privacy and location settings may make them more vulnerable to stalking, cyberbullying, exposure to adult content, or other dangers. Some current popular social media venues and apps include:
- Askfm: A social networking site that allows users to ask other people questions, often anonymously.
- Chatroulette: There are over 20 different chat roulette sites that allow users to instantly connect via webcam and video chat. Sites typically pair the users randomly and instantly.
Discord: A voice-over-IP [VOIP] app that allows users to video chat with others, private message, and join, create, or participate in public and private chat rooms. This app is often used by players to chat with each other while playing video games.
- Facebook and Facebook Live: The most commonly used social media site that is accessible on many different media platforms.
- Instagram: A photo and video sharing and networking site that connects users through other social networking sites [eg. Facebook].
- Kik: Messaging app that allows users of all ages to contact others anonymously.
- Line: A messaging app that allows users to make free phone calls, leave voice messages, and text. Users can delete texts or chats from recipient’s phone using a timer.
- Musical.ly: Users can post their own videos and view videos posted by others.
- Reddit: A site that stores social news, rates and evaluates web content, and discussion threads.
- Sarahah: An anonymous messaging app that allows users to send anonymous messages to people they may know.
- Snapchat: A photo messaging app that allows for sharing pictures and short videos that are intended to be erased shortly after delivery.
- Telegram: Messaging app that allows users to share photos, videos, and files; make calls, and delete texts or chats from the recipient’s phone using a timer.
- Tumblr: A social networking site that allows posting of short blogs and media.
- Twitter: A microblogging site that allows users to send, read, and reply to “tweets” or short messages.
- Vine: An app that allows the posting of short 6-second looping videos.
- WeChat: An app that allows the user to chat with friends, and to search for people nearby and around the globe.
- WhatsApp: A private messaging app that allows users to text, send photos, videos, and location information to their contacts.
- YouTube: A video sharing platform that allows users to post and share videos.
Social media has many benefits that must be balanced with the risks it presents. Risks to be aware of include:
- Screening for harmful content on websites and apps varies widely.
- Content posted can be incorrect, harmful, or hurtful [eg. why are you so dumb?]
- Can be used to share harmful or adult content.
- Privacy controls over who can view or access posted material vary across apps, and many users are not aware of how to use them effectively.
- Apps that allow for real-time user videos “live streaming” can be used to show bullying, violence, suicide, and harmful acts as they are happening.
- Some apps that include location information can be used to get personal information, such as someone’s age, current location, or where someone lives.
- Apps that support telephone calls do not show up on a call log, so parents may not know who their children are talking to.
CYBERBULLYING AND ONLINE GAMING
Playing video games is a popular activity with 72 percent of teens gaming online. Many video games – whether they are console, web, or computer-based – allow users to play with friends they know in person and others they have met only online. While gaming can have positive benefits like making new friends, socializing, and learning how to strategize and problem solve, it is also another place where cyberbullying occurs.
The anonymity of players and the use of avatars allow users to create alter-egos or fictional versions of themselves, which is part of the fun of gaming. But it also allows users to harass, bully, and sometimes gang up on other players, sending or posting negative or hurtful messages and using the game as a tool of harassment. If someone is not performing well, other children may curse or make negative remarks that turn into bullying, or they might exclude the person from playing together.
Because players are anonymous, they cannot necessarily be held accountable for their behavior, and their harassment can cause some players to leave games. Some anonymous users use the game as a means to harass strangers or to get their personal information, like usernames and passwords.
There are things adults can do to prevent cyberbullying of children who are gaming:
- Play the game or observe when the gaming happens to understand how it works and what a child is exposed to in the game.
- Check in periodically with your child about who is online, playing the game with them.
- Teach your children about safe online behavior, including not clicking on links from strangers, not sharing personal information, not participating in bullying behavior of other players, and what to do if they observe or experience bullying.
- Establish rules about how much time a child can spend playing video games.
Momo Challenge Warning from SmartSocial.com
Similar to the Blue Whale Challenge, the Momo Challenge is a dangerous viral social media trend with teens and tweens. The challenge encourages students to contact an unknown person called “Momo” via WhatsApp and Facebook.
Throughout the challenge, children are sent violent and graphic images and texts. The stranger then asks for photos and videos of themselves completing certain tasks. If a child wants to stop the challenge “Momo” threatens to leak their personal information. At first, the tasks are small. For example: face a fear, wake up at weird hours throughout the night. The tasks escalate until the final task which encourages an individual to kill themselves.
What can parents do?
- Consider talking about the challenge with your child and ask if they have heard about it
- Discuss the dangers of the challenge and remind them that the creator of “Momo” is not a fictional character but rather a real person with negative intentions
- Teach your children to never communicate with strangers on social media and to never share personal information online
- Remind your children that they can always talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable on social media
- Understand the social media sites your children use regularly such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat and Instagram
- Require your child share passwords to their devices as well as any online accounts
Merakey Montgomery County Support Services
Merakey Montgomery County provides children, adolescents and their families with a variety of behavioral, mental health, and substance use services, depending on the level of need. If you feel your child is in need of additional support, please contact their School Counselor or Merakey for more information. www.merakey.org
Students are referred through School Counselors, administrators, teachers, or guardians
In-School SAP [Student Assistance Program] Counseling - Psycho-educational support is provided to students during the school day to address issues impeding school success, including small group or individual meetings. For more information, call 215-716-9010.
SAP Screenings - Students and their families meet with a Screener to discuss areas of concern and risk. Recommendations are made to support families with connections to behavioral/ mental health resources in the community. Referrals to these resources are made through your child’s school counselor.
Outpatient Therapy - Individual or Family Therapy, including substance use treatment, is provided to children, adolescents, and adults. This service is provided at Merakey, located at 400 N. Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446. For more information, call 215-368-2022.
Case Management - Community-Based Service is provided to children/adolescents and young adults. Individualized support services include obtaining benefits, coordinating resources, linking to services and building networks. For more information, call 215-284-5058.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services [BHRS] - Family and child-centered clinical services are provided in the home, school and/or community to address behavioral needs to children ages 3-21. For more information, call 215-716-9001.
Family Based Services [FBS] - Intensive therapy services are provided in the home and/or the community to children and adolescents up to the age of 21. A team of therapists works with both the child and the family for a period of 32 weeks. Services also include a caseworker and 24/7 crisis support. FBS is recommended for children who are at risk for out-of-home placement and have been involved with lower levels of care. For more information, call 215-716-9036.
Additional adult services are available. For more information, please contact 215-368-2022.
"SAFEARRIVAL" STUDENT ABSENCE REPORTING SYSTEM
At North Penn School District, one of our greatest priorities is ensuring that all our students arrive safely at school each and every day. To enhance our existing absence-checking procedure, we are introducing a new, more efficient student absence reporting system called SafeArrival. This new system reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance, makes it easier for you to report your child’s absence and is more efficient for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. With SafeArrival, you can report your child out the day of a sick absence. Plus, if you know your child will be out of school ahead of time, you can preschedule the absence using any of these three convenient methods:
Using your mobile device, download and install the SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store [links at https://go.schoolmessenger.com]. The first time you use the app, select Sign Up to create your account using an email address we have on file for you. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
Use the SafeArrival website, https://go.schoolmessenger.com. The first time you use the website, select Sign Up to create your account. Once again, please remember to create your account using an email address we have on file for you. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
Call the toll-free number  239-8495 to report an absence using the automated phone system.
These options are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences can be reported at any time. Day of absences, for instance for illness, should be reported as early in the morning as possible the day of the absence. You can of course still call or email your student’s school to report an absence.
We will use the SchoolMessenger Communicate automated notification system to contact parents/guardians whose child is absent when the absence was not reported. The automated notification system will attempt to contact parents/guardians at multiple contact points [eg: phone, email, text] until a reason is submitted for the absence. At the elementary level, staff will begin Safe at Home calls until the reason for the absence is known. For middle school and the high school, parents can submit an excuse anytime throughout the day and you will also receive an evening phone call if no reason has been submitted for the absence.
If you report your child’s absence either the morning of the absence or in advance of a known absence using the SafeArrival toll-free number, website or mobile app, you will NOT receive these notifications that your child has been marked absent.
Starting Monday, October 15, 2018, you can now also report absences, the day of and in advance of known absences, using SafeArrival instead of sending notes or calling/emailing the school. The attendance secretary at your student’s school will use SafeArrival notifications to let you know if your student is absent [when you haven’t reported the absence in advance].
SafeArrival is just one more tool to make reporting your student’s absence more efficient and timely. You can still call the school or email the attendance secretary directly, but utilizing the SafeArrival system speeds up the attendance process so we can more quickly confirm the location of your student. If you have any questions about SafeArrival, please contact your school’s attendance secretary or Bob Gillmer, Coordinator of Communications Media at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information About Snow Days
2018-19 Penndale School Counseling Staff
[7th grade A-R] Mr. Nate Harvey email@example.com
[8th grade A-R] Mr. Chris Joy firstname.lastname@example.org
[9th grade A-R] Mr. Mike Flynn email@example.com
[7-8-9th S-Z] Mrs. Susan Reichwein firstname.lastname@example.org
SAP Counselor Mrs. Lauren Chiba/Ms. Jessica Turner email@example.com
Mrs. Moore to Mr. Harvey and Mr. Flynn firstname.lastname@example.org 215-853-1714
Mrs. Lynam to Mr. Joy and Mrs. Reichwein email@example.com 215-853-1713