JTMS Counseling Newsletter

December 21, 2020

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With the holidays upon us, it is a great time to stop and think about G R A T I T U D E. While this year has been difficult for everyone in some way, it is always important during trying times to reflect and remember the things that we are grateful for. This can be anything... a roof over your head, a favorite show that helps you de-stress, a supportive family, a skill like drawing or playing a sport, helpful teachers, caring friends, a beloved pet, food in the fridge, getting to see classmates (whether in school two days a week or on a screen).. the list goes on! Take some time over the break to think about what YOU are grateful for and the things that have helped you through this unique time in our world. Beyond thinking about the things that you are grateful for, here are some other ideas that you can do on your own or with your family:

• Give someone you love a compliment

• Do a chore for a family member

• Call a loved one from far away

• Close your eyes and picture something you are grateful for

• Name a food that you love

• Create a piece of art that expresses how you feel

Check out 'Essentials With Miss Ellingsen' below to find out the S C I E N C E behind gratitude!

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Meet Mrs. Lewandowski!

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We would like you to help us welcome Mrs. Lewandowski (Mrs. Carroll's leave replacement as our 6th grade school counselor) to our Falcon family! Mrs. Lewandowski spent the last 25 years in the Mountain Lakes school district as a school counselor, working with students of all ages, from preschool through high school. Before that, she also worked in Boonton, Essex Fells, and Seaside. She is very excited to be joining the Falcon family and looks forward to meeting the students and staff in person soon!

When she isn't working, Mrs. Lewandowski's interests include raising and breeding labrador retrievers (she fell in love with labs after volunteering with the Seeing Eye), gardening, hiking, and is always involved in some type of art project. She loves to travel and has been to many interesting places. One of her favorite places to go with her family is Block Island. She has 3 children and 3 step children ranging in age from 33-23, along with 3 labs.
If you stop by the counseling office or see her in the halls starting December 21st, please give Mrs. Lewandowski a very warm Falcon welcome!

Mid-Point Already?!

We have officially come to the mid-point of marking period 2, which ends on January 27th! If you haven't already done so, consider completing the following before the holiday break:

  • log onto your student portal to check your grades (you should do this at least once a week!)
  • email your teachers if you need assistance or have any questions
  • attend office hours to get some one-on-one or small group time with your teachers to discuss assignments/ questions/ etc.
  • write down three goals that you can work towards when we come back from the break (ex. attend office hours for each class once per week, participate in class at least once a day by asking a question, set an alarm if you have a hard time remembering to complete or hand in assignments or attend class remotely, etc.)

Mindful Walkabout- Grade 6

As mentioned several weeks ago, the 6th graders learned about mindfulness during their Enrichment classes, including a technique for gaining mindfulness called the Mindful Walkabout. They had the option of going on a slow and mindful walk in their neighborhoods in nature, or even just in their yard to observe the simple, everyday things that they could notice. Some students chose to participate, and then wrote a short, two-line poem, or a couplet, about what they observed, with a picture, if they so chose. To round out the month of December, here is one last Mindful Walkabout that was shared!
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Fun Fact:

On December 21st, the two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will come so close to each other that they will look like one single point of light. The last time this occurred was in the year 1226. These two planets line up every 20 years but the next time they will be this close will be in 2080. The best way to see it will be to find an open area, unobstructed by trees or buildings, and look to the southwest sky about an hour after sunset.

Essentials With Miss Ellingsen

You may have heard someone suggest that you should practice gratitude at one time or another and I’m here to say it again! Making a daily habit of practicing gratitude, not just in the holiday season but in all seasons, even if it’s just listing three things you’re grateful for in the morning or before you fall asleep, can greatly impact your life in positive ways. The resource below will help explain the science behind gratitude. What are three things you’re grateful for today?
The Science of Gratitude

JTMS Counseling Department

Your counselors are here for you! Parents, students, teachers: please get in touch with us any time you have a question or concern. We care about you!

Miss Ellingsen, Mrs. LaCatena, and Ms. Martino