Counseling Corner

November/December 2015

Report Cards on MyRCS

Quarter 1 report cards will be available to view on MyRCS starting November 24. The grading key, which includes citizenship and remarks codes, can also be viewed on the grade reports page found on MyRCS.

When reading the report card, the MP1 column indicates the letter grade earned for each class. The CO1 column reflects the citizenship mark, and the next columns (CO2 and on) contain any additional remark(s). The comment descriptions should appear on the bottom of the report card.

It's a great idea to review the report card together with your child and discuss their successes and where improvements can be made. Use the information to set goals, solidify study habits, and communicate future expectations to help set the framework for high school and beyond.

8th Grade Students Interested in the International Academy

Representatives from the International Academy will be visiting 8th grade students at Van Hoosen on Tuesday, December 8th during A and B lunches in the South Atrium. Students interested in applying to the IA for 9th grade may attend this informational meeting to learn more and ask questions. International Academy brochures were distributed to 8th grade students in November.

The International Academy (IA) is a nationally recognized all International Baccalaureate public high school serving 1,300 students from fourteen Oakland County school districts and students living in surrounding counties. More information can be found at their website,

Upcoming Presentations and Events

  • November 25-29: Thanksgiving Recess for all students
  • December 17: Court in the Schools for 8th grade students
  • December 19-January 3: Winter Recess for all students
  • January 28-29: Half day exam schedule for students, end of Quarter 2 & Semester 1
  • February 1: Semester 2 begins

Holiday Stress

With the holidays right around the corner, we thought we would include this helpful article called "Helping Teens with Holiday Stress"

In the frenzy of planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, and visiting that often punctuates the holiday season, it is no wonder that many parents find the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to be one of the most stressful of the entire year. Unfortunately, as our stress level increases, we often increase the stress level of those around us while also becoming less able to see the signs of stress the other members of our families’ exhibit. Without some blatant flashing sign like a school suspension, angry outburst, or emotional meltdown, we may be too wrapped up in our own holiday stress to notice that our teens are having a tough time too.

Teenagers have their own set of holiday stress, especially if they are part of a family that is struggling financially, dealing with a separation or divorce, or facing the holidays without a loved one for the first time. Stress impacts teens in many of the same ways it impacts adults. They can experience physical symptoms like headaches and insomnia. They can struggle emotionally and suddenly have a short fuse and be quick to anger. They may also turn to unhealthy behaviors as a way to cope with their stress.

What Can Parents Do to Help?

The first and most important thing is to notice if your teenager is stressed. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America study, while almost half of teens report being more stressed out from one year to the next, not even 30% of parents noticed. Pay attention for the signs that your teen is worried and then work together to determine the source of their stress. Sometimes, just knowing that they aren’t alone can make a huge difference in how much stress they are experiencing.

Here are some other strategies parents can use to put the whole family on a stress-reduction diet for the holidays:


Be honest, but be reassuring. It may be tempting to take this opportunity to over share with your teen and unload all your adult problems, worries, and concerns onto your teens. Resist that temptation by remembering that even if they are taller than you or have a moustache, they aren’t adults yet and don’t need to be burdened with adult issues.


Institute a 2 minute breathing break a couple times a day where the whole family gets together and focuses on breathing. Just a couple minutes of deliberate, mindful breathing can wash away worry and alleviate accumulated stress.


With all the holiday hustle and bustle, it is easy for everyone to get out of the habit of exercising. Since exercise is great for soothing stress, get everyone moving by turning on their favorite music and daring them to dance. Get off the couch and go for a walk or rearrange the living room, just get everyone moving and burning off some of their stress.


The holidays are a time of giving, but often that means giving presents. Holiday stress over how many presents they will get, who will get the most, what they want that they won’t get, and feeling guilty for wanting things the family cannot afford can be soothed with a simple shift in priorities. Take time out of shopping and shipping to volunteer as a family at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, nursing home, or any other venue that allows everyone in your family to give some of themselves and change their outlook on the holiday season.

-Jan Hamilton, Doorways Counseling