Student Services - Newsletter

Wellness Tips and Resources

Panther Nation! - Happy Fall Y'all!

Hello Davis Drive Families!


As we wrap-up our first quarter, back to the "new normal" of Plan A in-person instruction, we are all finding a rhythm with being back to school. As a Student Support Services department, we recognize the adjustments that students and families have made to approach this school year and we offer our continued support to help students and families find success here at Davis Drive Middle School.


Below are a number of resources that our Student Support Services department has curated to help support students and families growth and success.


  • Grade Level Info
  • Holiday Support and Giving Information
  • Coats for Children
  • SOS - Signs of Suicide program
  • Social Media: tips and resources
  • Parent styles review
  • ParenTeen Connect
  • Wellness Sessions
  • Supportive Counseling by Outside Providers
  • Economic Resources

6th Grade

We are nearing the end of first quarter. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you've put into 6th grade and tell your child good job too 🙂. Now is the time to make sure you are having conversations with your child about finishing first quarter strong. Please encourage them to make wise choices about where to go for SMART block and be sure to check Powerschool and help them make sure all missing work has been turned in. The 6th grade website is a great tool to help keep you informed. Check it out for the Homework Calendar, Smart block offerings, and other helpful information.


Since our last newsletter, I've had the opportunity to have my Counselor Introduction Lesson with all 6th grade students. In this session, they learned all about the different services provided by our department. They've also learned how to go about making appointments with me in Student Services. During this session Ms. Best, our 6th grade Assistant Principal, also gave reminders about DDMS school expectations and policies.


As we look to second quarter, I plan to offer sessions on study skills, new student sessions and continue to assist with our weekly Organization Camp in the Media Center during SMART block. I also look forward to getting to know more and more of our 6th grade students and families.


As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.


You can visit our website to stay up to date on what's happening at DDMS. We look forward to seeing you in August.


Ms. Young, 6th Grade School Counselor

email: myoung4@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22068

7th Grade

Hello, 7th graders (and parents)


Grade Level Updates

The newness of the school year has worn off and first quarter is essentially under our belts! While this school year has come with several adjustments, many students have successfully navigated the change from virtual learning back to in-person learning, with many of our students finally setting foot inside the walls of DDMS! Seventh grade is a tough year for many students during a typical school year; this year has some extra layers with the lingering pandemic, adjustments back to in-person learning, and the effects of eighteen months of virtual learning. Overall, our students are doing fantastically and should be commended on quickly transitioning into 7th grade and for their successful start of the school year!


Supporting Your Students at Home

We all want our students to achieve success - and success might look different from one student to the next. Success is not uniform among all students, nor is it a linear progression. In order to reinforce good study skills, please consider supporting your student at home by:

  • Checking His/Her Agenda - Students should write down their homework assignments, upcoming due dates, assessment dates, and other important information in their agenda. A more detailed agenda indicates that students are taking ownership of their learning and their success. Even writing “none” for classes if they do not have homework in that particular class indicates they are invested in their academic progress.

  • Monitoring His/Her Grades in PowerSchool - Make it part of your regular routine with your student to check their progress in PowerSchool once or twice a week. Constant monitoring of grades can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety on students about their grades, but regular checks with your student shows your student that you are invested in their progress. Discuss current grades - what’s working, what’s not working, what your child thinks they should do differently, etc. Remember, students should be sharpening their student skills in middle school to prepare them for high school - emphasize with your student how they might correct a previous mistake or the path s/he will take to improve in an area, while avoiding focusing on the mistake.

  • Helping Him/Her Manage Time - With activities slowly opening back up, many students are eager to jump right back into the outlets they pursued prior to the pandemic. While this is encouraged, it also is an opportunity for students to sharpen their time management skills in order to balance their academic life with their outlets, activities, and expectations. Encourage your student to plan ahead (using the agenda is very hand with this!) to help identify any obstacles or challenges that might contribute to some late evenings, and ask them about their plan to handle these situations. Planning FOR them can send the message that they are incapable of doing so; planning WITH them can help reinforce that you are an invested partner in their successes.

  • Encouraging Some Down Time - In addition to any outside activities or outlets students participate in, ALL students should have some regular down time. This unstructured time allows students to recharge and reflect. This time doesn’t necessarily need to be daily, but regularly overscheduled, overcommitted, and overstretched students often burn out, even in middle school. Encourage your students to balance their academics with their outside-of-school activities with sports with down time. Balanced students are successful students!



Ms. Everitt, Rising 7th Grade School Counselor

email: heveritt@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22069

8th Graders!!!

Welcome back, 8th graders! Your "senior year" of middle school has arrived and it's going to be an awesome year! Because this is the last year in middle school and your last year to develop and sharpen some very important student skills, here are some things you can focus on to prepare you for success in high school:


  • Prioritize you Mental and Emotional health first! Discover what works for you to cope with set-back, conflicts, and frustrations. Unlock how best to regulate when you are experiencing strong emotions. Don't forget to ask for help, from a parent or a friend when you are feeling overwhelmed. Find balance and stick to the basics of healthy sleep, exercise, and eating habits. Lastly, monitor your media consumption to make sure you are adopting a positive digital diet.
  • Use your agenda consistently and regularly! It's difficult to remember everything you need to do and important dates if you don't write them down.
  • Develop a homework schedule that works for you. Some students like doing homework as soon as they get home from school; others need to take a break before completing assignments; and some students don't have the time to complete homework until the evening hours. Now is the time to figure out when, where, and how you work best!
  • Stay organized! Take the time to put papers and items away where they belong. If you're really having difficulty getting or staying organized, please attend Organization Camp (Mondays in the Media Center) on a weekly basis.
  • Reach out to your teachers when you need help. Your teachers are here to help you! Forgot when something is due? Email your teacher or check their teacher website. Have a question about a grade? See your teacher during SMART Block and ask them about it. Try to advocate for yourself - it's a lifelong skill and you have to learn how to take care of YOU.
  • Use SMART Block wisely. Go to SMART Block sessions that will benefit YOU.


High School is on the horizon! Whether you are planning on going to your BASE high school or pursuing an application to EARLY COLLEGE or MAGNET options for High School - all information will be available to 8th graders on my website. I have posted presentations from classroom lessons and "Counselor Corner" visits - all resources helpful to 8th grade students and families are in one place. TAKE A LOOK HERE!


You have one more year until you're in high school - let's make this year your BEST year of middle school!



Scott Nilsen

8th Grade Counselor

snilsen@wcpss.net

Holiday Spirit of Giving

For many people the holidays can be very difficult. DDMS and the PTA would like to help bring the joy of the holidays to kids and families through our giving. If you are a parent/guardian in need of holiday support or you are a family that would like to support us in this endeavor, please see the information on deadline dates and contact persons below. LINK TO FLYER HERE

(ALL REQUESTS FOR SUPPORT WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL)


For families in need of support, please call Ms. McLemore or the Grade Level Counselor.


Deadline Date for Requesting Help: November 4, 2021 (More information given in a confidential phone call)


Sign-Up will be available on November 12, 2021

Collection deadline: December 3, 2021


DDMS Main Number - 919-387-3033

Yolanda McLemore (Social Worker) - Ext. 22066

Michelle Young (6th grade Counselor) – Ext. 22068

Helen Everitt (7th grade Counselor) – Ext. 22069

Scott Nilsen (8th grade Counselor) – Ext. 22067

Coats for the Children - Salvation Army Distribution Event

Click HERE if you would like more information about Coats for the Children distribution dates and locations.

SOS - Signs of Suicide Prevention Program

The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions—difficult for youths, their parents, and educators. It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression—which is treatable—is a leading risk factor for suicide. In addition, self-injury has become a growing problem among youth. To proactively address these issues, we are offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training to our 7th grade students as part of the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program. The program has proven to be successful at increasing help seeking by students concerned about themselves or a friend and is the only school-based suicide prevention program listed by SAMHSA for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. The counselors, along with the Healthful Living teachers, will teach this curriculum to 7th grade students in late October and early November. Please contact your child's Healthful Living teacher and Ms. Everitt (HEveritt@wcpss.net) with any questions you may have.


How does Social Media Effect Your Mental Health - New York Times (Student Opinion)

The Wall Street Journal recently published "The Facebook Files" showing that Facebook’s own researchers had documented the psychological dangers that Instagram, which Facebook owns, poses to teenagers, especially teen girls. This New York Times article, helps children and families reflect on their own Social Media consumption and the potential negative impact on of social media on mental health.

Practical Tips for Easing Kids' Social Media Anxiety

Fear of missing out can make social media-using teens feel stressed. Here's how you can help. Sierra Filucci from Common Sense Media has developed tips that can help families support their children. Check out the article HERE!

TikTok - Devious Licks and other destructive challenges: what parents need to know

The latest TikTok challenges are cause for concern. Here's what parents need to know and how to talk to kids about it - see article from Parenting Teens and Tweens HERE!

What is your parenting style?

Here’s what makes ‘authoritative parents’ different from the rest and why psychologists say it’s the best parenting style. Check out this article from CNBC HERE!

ParenTeen Connect - Expert Advice videos

ParentTeen Connect is designed by social-emotional learning experts as an at-home, family-engagement resource. This online experience is loaded with videos, resources, and useful advice to help teens and the adults in their lives address hot-button topics. The site complements the Second Step® Middle School Program, that is being implemented during Advisory Block at DDMS, both as a stand-alone parent resource and in connection with Middle School Program classroom activities.

Wellness Sessions for Parents and Families - UPDATED

WCPSS Resources to Support Emotional Health and Wellness
WCPSS has health and wellness resources posted at wcpss.net/wellness. They have free health and self-care workshops available for students and families, including parenting, stress management, student engagement, and finding balance. Pre-registration is required. WCPSS also offers free wellness workshops that focus on helping students and families during this challenging time. These workshops can help families learn more about emotional support strategies being used in schools, which can also benefit families at home.

Sessions are open to all families, parents, caretakers and students.

All sessions are 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sign up for a session.

  • Oct. 28
  • Nov. 4
  • Nov. 9
  • Nov. 18
  • Dec. 2
  • Dec. 7
  • Dec. 14

Supportive Counseling by Outside Providers


This pandemic's continued impact is taking to toll on our children and families and many clinicians are seeing the "Second Pandemic" of mental health challenges taking hold. The CDC is are reporting higher levels individuals impacted by anxiety and depression than prior to the pandemic. Wake County Public Schools continues to place the health and safety of students as a priority #1 in and out of the classroom. WCPSS provides Supportive Counseling as a service that allows students to talk about their struggles with a helping professional. Supportive counseling involves providing support and listening to students to help them develop solutions to issues presented. Students are provided up to 6 free virtual sessions with a outside provider. Please take advantage of the support, if needed. Please reach out to your grade level counselor for more information and/or to submit a referral for Supportive Counseling for your student.
Local Economic Resources for Families in Need

Click on the button if you are in need of food, clothing, or additional supports to support your family.

About Us

Ms. Young, 6th Grade School Counselor

email: myoung4@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22068


Ms. Everitt, 7th Grade School Counselor

email: heveritt@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22069


Mr. Nilsen, 8th Grade School Counselor

email: snilsen@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22067


Ms. McLemore, School Social Worker

email: ymclemore@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-3033 x 22058


Ms. Vitiello, School Psychologist

email: kvitiello@wcpss.net

phone number: 919-387-2130 x 21989


Ms. Ragan, Student Services Assistant

email: seragan@wcpss.net

phone number: ​919-387-3033 x 22071