Talon Talk

Volume 4 Issue 13

➡️ Principal's Update ⬅️

It’s already November and it’s easy to say it has been quite an unusual year. It’s hard to believe 2020 started in normal fashion- even the Chiefs winning the Superbowl! Who could have guessed schools would shut down in March, then reopen in August with a whole new way of business in our schools? This school year started with virtual education, new safety protocols, and yes...masks. Honestly, as your HMS principal, I have no political beliefs associated with masks. I do, however, have associated beliefs with safety. If I don’t encourage the safety precautions that are expected, people can get sick.

I feel for students. Every time I walk in a classroom, I see students demonstrating a great amount of self control, sitting in their seats with masks on, and staying in one classroom for a large percentage of their school day. I envision them telling their children one day how unusual 2020 was. They will tell stories of wearing masks, school shut-downs, and all the challenges of a pandemic. What I’m hoping for, despite our current circumstances, is students will also learn valuable lessons to last a lifetime. Self-control, patience, and social responsibility are a few examples. More so, I hope students learn to find the good in all situations, and appreciate the little things in life, even when there are so many restrictions. I believe every year leads to important growth in their development. As a principal, it is those potential life lessons that keep me thinking positive in 2020.

⭐️ Students of the Week ⭐️

🦅 Giving at HMS 🦅

🎨 Artist Showcase 🎨

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🔷 Counselor’s Corner 🔷

This week, Holden Middle School students will be presented with a lesson on Suicide Prevention called “Signs of Suicide” (SOS). While this is a very difficult topic to think and talk about, Holden is committed to educating students about suicide prevention and providing outlets and resources for students who are struggling. SOS is a universal, school-based prevention program designed for middle school (ages 11-13) and high school (ages 13-17) students. School Counselors, Dan Conner and Kerri Hanneken will be presenting these lessons by grade level with research based information, discussions, and question and answer time. At the end of the session, students complete a seven-question screening for depression to further encourage help-seeking and connect students at risk with trusted adults. Counselors will follow up with students.

Schedule: Monday, 11/16: 8th grade

Tuesday, 11/17: 7th grade

Wednesday, 11/18: 6th grade

Thursday, 11/19: Counselor follow up from the screening results

Friday, 11/20: Counselor follow up from the screening results

Why does Holden Middle School take an entire week to focus on this topic? Data from 2019 shows that in children/teens ages 10–14, there has been an alarming increase in suicides. The number of suicides for this group has more than doubled since 2006, making it the second leading cause of death for that age group.

More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.

Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,703 attempts by young people grades 9-12. If these percentages are additionally applied to grades 7 & 8, the numbers would be higher.

Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. [The Jason Foundation].

Of course, we know this is a very emotional topic. Students are not required to participate if a parent objects. If you would like to explore the SOS program, follow the link to the SOS webpage and scroll down for valuable information and a preview of the presentation.

The goals of this program are:

  • Decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression.

  • Encourage personal help-seeking and/or help-seeking on behalf of a friend.

  • Reduce the stigma of mental illness and acknowledge the importance of seeking help or treatment.

  • Engage parents and school staff as partners in prevention through “gatekeeper” education.

  • Encourage schools to develop community-based partnerships to support student mental health.

Through a video and guided discussion, students learn to identify warning signs of suicide and depression in a single class period. The curriculum raises awareness about behavioral health and encourages students to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) when worried about themselves or their peers.

📣 Staff Spotlight 📣

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2nd Quarter Midterm

Friday, Nov. 20th, 8am

301 Eagle Drive

Holden, MO