School Counseling Newsletter

#RAM PRIDE

Happy Fall!

What a great time of the year. New beginnings of a new school year, and for many of our students the new transition to a new building as they move up to the next phase of their education. Not only are the students making a transition, so is the guidance staff. The new term is "school counselor", and the guidance office is now called the school counseling office. The entire support staff will continue to be meeting with students on an individual basis, in a group setting, in addition to conducting presentations to students from K-12 on a variety of topics throughout the school year. There is a new School Counseling Curriculum and Mental Health Curriculum, which can be found on our school district's website. http://www.whufsd.com/district/district_curriculum_projects


The West Hempstead support staff is dedicated to all of our students to help them prepare for their future goals and endeavors. Our vision is to empower our students to be interested learners, independent thinkers, and become well-rounded individuals. "Dream Big, Work Hard, Make It Happen"


Inside This Edition:

Strategies That Teach Kids To Set Goals And To Help Them Succeed

Why Is early Literacy Important?

Developing Good Homework And Study Habits

Develop a Sleep Routine- Why Enough Sleep Is Important

The Effects Of To Much Screen Time

12 Study Tips For Back To School

Welcome Class Of 2032!

Class of 2020-Senior Center

Junior Junction

Sophomore Square

Freshmen Corner

Half Way Through The First Quarter

Middle School Maze

Elementary School

Helpful Resources For Parents And Students

Fall Final Thoughts

Strategies That Teach Kids To Set Goals And To Help Them Succeed

Dr. Michele Borba, Educational Psychologist and recipient of the National Educator Award, offers parenting strategies that teach kids to set goals and to help them succeed. She identifies seven steps:

1. Define what a goal is. An easy way is to link it to an area of interest. For example, a football player is aiming for a touchdown. It is something to shoot for. Explain goal setting as planning what you need to work on.

2. Share your own goals. Let your children know that you have dreams, and that you recognize that you may need to work on some things in order to achieve them.

3. Help kids create their “dream list”. Help them create a list that includes those things that they actually have the power to make happen. Then spend time together discussing those dreams. Consider what skills are necessary. Does your child need help in order to succeed?

4. Tailor the goal to your child. Have a first time goal-setter work on a goal that can be achieved within a week. Some examples are making their bed every day, reading a book, brushing teeth without being reminded, getting a strike in bowling.

5. Help your child think through steps to success. Some children need to write down steps. The more they think about their goal, and identify what they need to do to achieve it, the greater the chance they will succeed.

6. Track your child’s progress. Use the fridge to show stickers or stars when steps are completed.

7. Celebrate! As goals are achieved, celebrate as a family.

http://micheleborba.com/


As children work on their plans, it is inevitable for them to experience challenges and perhaps disappointment. Remember that failure is an important and valuable part of learning. In an article in Time, author Rachel Simmons wrote: “Of course kids should be taught to work hard and be resilient.” Simmons concludes, “But fantasizing that they can control everything is not really resilience. We would be wise to remind our kids that life has a way of sucker-punching us when we least expect it. It’s often the people who learn to say ‘stuff happens’ who get up the fastest.”

https://time.com/5593706/hard-work-achievement-mindset/

Why Is early Literacy Important?

  • Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age (American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Reading, rhyming, singing, and talking — beginning from birth — profoundly influence literacy and language development, the foundations for all other learning http://www.healthychildren.org
  • More than 1 in 3 American children start Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years. However, more than 1 in 3 American children enter Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics). Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later in life.

https://www.raisingreaders.org/understanding-early-literacy/why-is-early-literacy-important/

https://www.readingrockets.org/reading_research_guides_resources

https://www.readingrockets.org/audience/professionals/preschool

Developing Good Homework And Study Habits

  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework starting at a young age. Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.

  • Schedule ample time for homework; build this time into choices about participation in after school activities.

  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time.

  • Supervise computer and Internet use.

  • By high school, it's not uncommon for teachers to ask students to submit homework electronically and perform other tasks on a computer. If your child doesn't have access to a computer or the internet at home, work with teachers and school administration to develop appropriate accommodations.

  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child's homework for her.

  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.

  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, speak with your child's teacher for recommendations on how you or another person can help your child at home or at school. If you have concerns about the assignments your child is receiving, talk with their teacher.

  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child's teacher, school counselor, or health care provider.

  • For general homework problems that cannot be worked out with the teacher, a tutor may be considered.

  • Some children need extra help organizing their homework. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.

  • Some children may need help remembering their assignments. Work with your child and their teacher to develop an appropriate way to keep track of their assignments – such as an assignment notebook, or in their cell phone.

Develop a Sleep Routine- Why Enough Sleep Is Important

  • Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty concentrating and learning as well as they can.

  • Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. Having a bedtime routine that is consistent will help your child settle down and fall asleep. Components of a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, and tucking them in and saying good-night to them.

  • Have your child turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.

  • Try to have the home as quiet and calm as possible when younger children are trying to fall asleep.

  • Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. The optimal amount of sleep for most younger children is 10-12 hours per night and for adolescents (13-18 year of age) is in the range of 8-10 hours per night .

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-How-Many-Hours-Does-Your-Child-Need.aspx

The Effects Of Too Much Screen Time

Today’s children have grown up with a vast array of electronic devices at their fingertips. They can't imagine a world without smartphones, tablets, and the internet.


The advances in technology mean today's parents are the first generation who have to figure out how to limit screen time for children. While digital devices can provide endless hours of entertainment and they can offer educational content, unlimited screen time can be harmful.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time


Whether you keep the TV on all the time or the whole family sits around staring at their smartphones, too screen time could be harmful. Here's what some of the research says:

  • Obesity: Too much time engaging in sedentary activity, such as watching TV and playing video games, can be a risk factor for becoming overweight.
  • Sleep problems: Although many parents use TV to wind down before bed, screen time before bed can backfire. The light emitted from screens interferes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia.
  • Behavior problems: Elementary school-age children who watch TV or use a computer more than two hours per day are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention problems.
  • Educational problems: Elementary school-age children who have televisions in their bedrooms do worse on academic testing.
  • Violence: Exposure to violent TV shows, movies, music, and video games can cause children to become desensitized to it. Eventually, they may use violence to solve problems and may imitate what they see on TV, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Establishing Family Rules With Electronics


    Telling your child to turn off his video games while you're sitting in front of the TV won't do anyone any good. It's important for you to set healthy limits on your electronics use for your own sake, as well as your child's sake.


    Here are a few household rules you might want to establish to curb screen time:


    • No digital devices during family meals.
    • No screen time in the car.
    • No screens allowed in bedrooms.
    • No electronics use during family fun nights.


    In addition, consider an occasional digital detox for the whole family. Create a screen-free night once a week or commit to unplugging one weekend a month. It could be good for everyone's physical and emotional health, as well as your family's relationships.


  • https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-negative-effects-of-too-much-screen-time-1094877

  • https://www.verywellfamily.com/technology-vs-parenting-4690680


Resources:

● Website: Common Sense Media: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

● Article: Why it’s never too early to teach your children about social media: https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/why-its-never-too-early-to-teach-your-child-good-social-media/

● Article: Teens aren't socializing in the real world. And that's making them super lonely: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/03/20/teen-loneliness-social-media-cell-phones-suicide-isolation-gaming-cigna/3208845002/

● 20/20 Special: ScreenTime, Diane Sawyer:https://6abc.com/technology/abc-special-challenges-families-to-rethink-screen-time/5282005/

● Scholastic Article: How to set smart screen time rules: https://www.scholastic.com/parents/family-life/parent-child/how-to-set-smart-screen-time-rules.html

● A wealth of developmental skills (by grade), articles, clips found on this website: Parent Tool Kit: https://www.parenttoolkit.com/topics/social-and-emotional

12 Study Tips For Back To School

Struggling to be a successful student? Don't get discouraged, it isn't magic! But it does require desire, dedication and a lot of work. Active listening, reading comprehension, note-taking, time management, test taking, and memorization are a few study skills for students.

Here are some valuable strategies for effective study skills from, Princeton Review:


  1. Identify more than one study space. Variety helps!
  2. Get real. Be realistic about how long your assignments should take
  3. Track more than homework in a school planner. Include all activities and social commitments and plan accordingly.
  4. Use class time wisely. If you have time after class, ask your teacher to clarify a concept that seems fuzzy.
  5. Start small. Complete assignments in small chunks.
  6. Create a simple system to stay organized. Try separate folders for handouts for each subject. Nothing fancy!
  7. Look over your notes each night. Fill in details. Highlight key concepts. Interacting with your notes will help you remember them.
  8. Establish a routine. Try to do homework around the same time every day.
  9. Study a little every day.
  10. Don’t let a disappointing grade keep you down. Take proactive steps to improve.
  11. Create a distraction-free zone. Turn off the devices! Or at least turn off the notifications until homework is done.
  12. Make a friend in every class. Help and support each other!

WELCOME CLASS OF 2032!

The first days of kindergarten are filled with what seems like a never-ending list of exciting “firsts” for children. This time represents a major change in the lives of children as well as the lives of the parents and families of our students. It is natural for parents/guardians to feel a range of emotions. Along with feeling anxious about how your child will fare, parents/guardians may also feel sad because their child is growing up so quickly. Remember that feelings are always OK! Here are some quick reminders to help your child in their transition to school:

★ Wake up early. Leave enough time for a relaxed breakfast and any unplanned issue that may arise.

★ If your child is nervous or upset, encourage them to talk to you about their feelings. Don’t burden your child with your own fears and anxieties. Focus on the fun that they will have and the new friends that they will meet.

★ Stay involved with your child’s classroom experience. Join the PTA and volunteer at school. Most importantly, ask your child about their experience every day.

★ Pack lunch wisely. Make sure your child can open all of their own lunch containers and they like the food that you have packed.

★ Don’t be afraid to be your child’s advocate. If you have any concern, reach out to your child’s teacher or the building administrator.

Class of 2020-SENIOR CENTER

Calling all seniors! if you have not done so already, please let your school counselor know the colleges you are applying to. The College Check list she must be completed and submitted to your counselor at least two weeks before the application deadline.

ON-Sites:

Senior students at West Hempstead High School have a wonderful opportunity to meet with local college admissions representatives and have an instant admission decision made during our on-site program. The benefits of participating are:

· No Application fee (NCC excluded)

· Immediate admissions decision

· Knowing if receiving an academic scholarship

Please come to guidance to sign up, and pick up bulletin which has all of the necessary information to complete the on-site. All documents needed must be submitted to guidance 1 week prior to the on-site date. Please see your school counselor if you have any questions.

FYI About the SAT/ACT: Now is the time to register and plan a head for the SAT and/or the SAT subject Tests and/or the ACT examinations. These college entrance exams are required for most four-year colleges and universities, and/or scholarships. For all administration dates, deadline, information, and to register, visit:

SAT/SAT Subject Tests- https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register?s_kwcid=AL!4330!10!73873563991304!73873526083134&ef_id=WFK7MwAAAEpe7B2A:20181130172147:s

ACT-http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html


College Admissions Reminders:

1. Student must be CLEAR with their recommending teachers about their college application deadlines. Students are to inquire with the teacher if any additional information is needed in this process.

2. It is the student’s responsibility to create accounts on each applied college. This is where students check their application status for missing documents. Wait approximately one/two weeks for documents to upload on status screen from the time of Naviance submission.

3. Students must send their ACT and/or SAT from their online accounts. PPS does not send scores.

4. Transcript Release Requests for colleges with January 2020 deadline must be submitted to the guidance office no later than December 8th.

7. Email your counselor to make a request to send 1st quarter grades.

8. Keep up your grades the entire year! Admission to every college is contingent on successful high school completion! Your final GPA must be similar to the GPA at acceptance time!

9. Communicate with your counselor and teachers if you apply to additional colleges!

10. Check websites and/or call admissions office to learn method of releasing admissions

Money, Money, Money…Money:

Life after high school can be pricey and there is money out there to help ease the financial burden. Visit the school counseling office for a copy of the scholarship bulletin, or visit on-line on the high school website. Once the college applications have been submitted, students and parents should immediately turn their attention to researching scholarships. There is a great deal of scholarship money available for students, but it does require research! There are many free scholarship websites to find the money you need for college,. Some of which are:

Fastweb.com: https://www.fastweb.com/

Scholarship.com:https://www.scholarships.com/

The College Board: https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/?navId=aru-cbos

Please speak to your counselor for any additional scholarship websites.

CSS Profile is requested by many private colleges. Click on the link for the list of universities who need this completed: https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx

Pay close attention to what each school requires from you once your application is submitted! It is important to be knowledgeable of the different scholarship programs available to high school students:

Need Based Scholarships: Money awarded based on financial need; as demonstrated on the FAFSA. Packages are mailed home in early spring of senior year after electronic submission of FAFSA form. Please contact the financial aid office directly at the college or university for any financial aid questions you may have.

Merit Scholarships: Money awarded based upon academic achievement during high school and standardized test scores. Generally, no additional work is required and notification comes with (or shortly after) admissions offer.

College Based Scholarships: Money awarded by a specific college. Many competitive colleges award money based on additional requirements that are fulfilled on separate scholarship applications.

General College Scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarship money based upon a variety of factors. Each scholarship will require a separate application with varying degrees of additional work.

Friendly Reminder: All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the school counseling office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.

JUNIOR JUNCTION

Friendly Reminder: All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the school counseling office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.

Junior Conferences:

School counselors will be having Junior Conferences starting in January. Parents please complete your child’s brag sheet. This questionnaire is a tool to help your school counselor gain some additional insight to who your child is outside of school.

First Impression Count, Even on Facebook:

We are hearing that college admissions offices are turning to social networking sites like Facebook to learn about applicants more than ever before. What’s on your Facebook-is it appropriate? Would you be embarrassed if any of your images were seen by a college admissions officer? If the answer is yes, then you’ve got some social media cleaning up to do. Make sure Facebook information/pictures showcase you in the best positive light. This online information is a snapshot of who you are to a college admissions officer who doesn’t know you yet. Parents should be involved in what your child does online so you can be a partner in helping them create a positive “digital footprint”. Be sure to check privacy settings, be smart, appropriate, and professional online because you never know who is looking? Attached are articles regarding how social media is impacting the college admission process.

https://www.kaptest.com/study/college-admissions/college-admission-the-complete-guide-to-social-media/

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/04/23/new-data-how-college-admissions-officers-view-social-media-applicants

SOPHOMORE SQUARE

Friendly Reminder: All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the school counseling office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.

College is Around the Corner:

It’s never to early to start building your road map to get there. Using the Naviance/Family Connection program is a great tool to help explore college/ and or career planning beyond high school.

College Testing:

PSAT/NMSQT Information:

Students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in October can access their score online. These score reports are excellent resources to help students begin their preparation for the SAT exams that are typically taken in the spring of their junior year.

Testing Accommodations:

Students who require any type of testing accommodation MUST be pre-approved by the College Board for the PSAT, and SAT and for the ACT by ACT.org. This approval process can take up to eight weeks. For additional information, parents can contact Ms. Linda Ragen at Lragen@whufsd.com

BOCES- Barry Technical School:

The BOCES Barry Technical program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn hands on skills in a variety of careers. In addition to a high school diploma, these students want a head start in learning skills needed for employment and/or more direction in what they want to study at college. A successful year or two at Barry Tech can enable students to:

enter the world of work after graduation

continue advanced career studies in a technical training course

attend a two- or four-year college.

Barry Tech courses are taught in environments that simulate the real world. Classes may be held in an airplane hangar, horse training stable, carpentry shop or video production studio. Courses focus on doing things, rather than just reading or hearing about them.

In addition to taking academic courses leading to a diploma, every student attending a public high school in New York State is entitled to enroll in an occupational course of his or her choosing. Barry Tech offers about 40 different courses. A wide variety of students attend Barry Tech. Many are excellent students in their home schools and enjoy the professional atmosphere Barry Tech offers. Others discover that Barry Tech's learning approach works well for them and often find their grades show significant improvement.

Barry Tech School Hours:

A.M. classes - 7:50 to 10:20

P.M. classes - 11:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Learning at Barry Tech

Barry Tech courses provide students with both theory and practical application. Students explore career options, and are encouraged to learn at your own pace. Students will gain valuable experience while learning about the world of work. In this kind of atmosphere, students begin to understand and accept the uniqueness of their abilities. At the same time the classroom experience helps you develop and expand your skills. Students learn to work as part of a team dealing with a wide range of situations, building confidence as a natural outcome.

Please let your counselor know if you are interested in one of the BOCES Barry technical programs for your Junior and Senior year. An application needs to be completed for this program. Please contact your child's school counselor to received additional information regarding the BOCES programs being offered in junction with West Hempstead High School. For a description or overview of the programs please visit the BOCES Barry Tech website: https://www.nassauboces.org/barrytech

FRESHMAN CORNER

Friendly Reminders:

While the transition from middle school to high school can be challenging for both students and parents, here are some tips to help with this transition.

The key to freshman year is to stay organized, manage your time and remain focused on your academics.

Study in advance for all exams and use your time effectively to complete assignment on time.

Review our class notes on a daily basis to reinforce what you learned in class.

Go to extra help. All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the school counseling office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.

Getting involved in the school and the community will help you explore your personal interests. A list of clubs is available on the high school website.

·

Naviance/Family Connection: The career component of this program is a great tool for students to begin to think and explore their future career options.

Career Finder in Naviance Step-By-Step Guide

1. Connection.naviance.com\whufsd

2. Register — see a counselor if code is not known or log on is already registered.

3. Click on “Careers” tab

4. Click on “Cluster Finder” under “What are my interests” section.

5. Scroll to bottom and click “Let’s begin”

6. Complete the interest assessment. Be sure to complete all four sections.

7. After the assessment is completed, explore “top clusters”.

8. After exploring, click on “t” to add cluster to your personalized list

Activity Resume': Creating a resume/activity sheet is part of the college application process. This can be challenging for some students. There is a resume component part of Naviance/Family Connection program which allows students to documentation their accolades:, academic, clubs, activities, volunteer experience, community service, and sports. Students should be documenting this information on an ongoing basis throughout high school. Don't wait until your senior year to compile this information, and create such a document while in the mists of the college application process. It's easy to forget what your achievements were in the Fall of freshman year.

** Every course matters and each grade builds on the next. "High school is the building blocks of your future"! "School is like a bank, you only get out of it what you put into it".

Half Way Through The First Quarter

With the first quarter half way completed, you have time to make any changes to your study habits or homework routine, if you need. There are academic supports in place to help our students: Teachers’ extra help, peer tutoring, and Tutor.com (free through the West Hempstead public library). Extra help is a fantastic way to receive additional academic support, reinforce topics learned in class or maybe just get some homework done. Use this time wisely-if you think a tutor might help; why not consider a peer tutor from the National Honor Society. Please visit our school district’s website for details, or contact your school counselor for details of these supports. Now is the time to keep up the good work and improve upon your scholastic achievements.


Office Hours- Extra Help- each teacher has office hours for students to receive extra help either before school or after school. A list of hours is available in the school counseling office.

National Honor Society Peer Tutoring- A form can be picked up in the school counseling office for students to be assigned a peer tutor.


Tutor.Com through the West Hempstead Public Library- links:

http://www.whufsd.com/Assets/Curriculum_Documents/082218_Tutorcom_for_Parents.pdf?t=636705463259070000

https://www.whplibrary.org/

https://lhh.tutor.com/?ProgramGUID=8b7a7fdc-58a6-452e-a188-55a66cc58ab2

Got Naviance?

Are you utilizing the wonderful resource that is Naviance? If not, you should be. This online site is a research tool for students/parents to stay on top of all things career and college. This is a great starting point for career and college readiness. If you do not have not yet done so, log onto https://student.naviance.com/westhemp and register today. If you do not have a registration code, visit your guidance counselor.

Below is a general timeline for test planning:

GRADE 9​: Students should focus on their courses, join some clubs and/or sports and do their best as they begin to build their high school record. If they are taking an Honors course such as Living Environment, they may want to consider taking an SAT Subject Test. These content-specific tests may be required by some colleges. There are 20 tests to choose from - speak with your counselor for details.

GRADE 10​:. An SAT Subject Test may be appropriate this year as well.

GRADE 11​: Students can take the SAT or ACT in the winter or spring. Taking one or both tests for a second time is advisable but it is important to plan for prep work to be scheduled in between to address targeted areas that students want to improve on.

GRADE 12​: If seniors feel they want another opportunity to improve their score, they can consider the November and/or December test administration date, depending on their college application deadlines.

MIDDLE SCHOOL MAZE

The middle school years can be a trick maze for students and parents. Students are changing socially, emotionally and academically all at once. For some, this can be a roller coaster of a ride at times. Communication between home and school is a vital part to help students during this time to "Rise Up" and achieve their middle school goals and prepare them for high school. Here are some helpful tips:

Helping Your Middle School Child: Tips to parents about how to help their child navigate through Middle School:

● Kids should be active for at least one hour every day. Encourage your child to participate in a sport or an active hobby. This can also apply growth to their social development.

● Kids need to have the hygiene talk. Approach this gently, but a light-hearted approach can help!

● Many middle school students experience an increase in appetite but don’t always make the best food choices. Make breakfast a normal part of the family routine. Provide healthy snacks.

● Prioritize your evening meal as a family whenever possible. This has benefits far beyond healthy eating habits. Conversation over dinner is a great way to stay connected to your children.

● Asking “How was your day”? will most likely be answered with a shrug of the shoulders or short answer. Ask specific questions such as, “What did you learn in math class today?” or “Tell me one thing that made you happy today.” Keeping the lines of communication open is critical”!

● Young adolescents need plenty of sleep! Have reasonable limits on all electronic devices.

● Arrange for a specific time and place to complete homework. Help your child develop their organizational skills.

Remember: your child is changing, and so will your relationship with them. “Every accomplishment starts with the reason to try”.

Why Middle School Matters:

The “in between” years. This is what middle school is often regarded as before students enter the more serious, college-focused portion of their academic path. However, in today’s global education landscape, this mindset needs to change. The years in middle school and the transition into high school have become increasingly important in readying students with the knowledge, confidence, and grit needed to excel in high school and beyond.

In middle school, students begin to contextualize their learning. At this phase, students not only continue to build a strong foundation of knowledge in many different disciplines, but also learn how to apply that information to fuel their critical inquiry and problem-solving skills. Knowledge becomes a tool they can use to make connections between different subjects.

Middle school aims to prepare students for high school and higher-level learning by helping them hone specific skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This means building effective study and organizational skills, learning how to plan, managing their workload and extracurricular activities, and maintaining a great work ethic.

Attached is an article regarding why middle school matters:

https://www.suny.edu/attend/countdown-to-suny/middle-school-matters/

Career Exploration: School counselor have met with their students individually for the beginning of the year meetings. This gave students and the counselors to explore how students are doing socially, emotionally and academically. Student were also introduced to Naviance/Family Connection program. Each student was registered for this program and received a brief over view of it's variety of components. The career exploration was discussed with students and they where shown how to use Naviance in this aspect.

Groups and Push In Programs:

Based of the feedback the school counselors received from individual meetings with the 7th and 8th graders, the PPS staff and school counselors will be conducting student groups and "push in" lessons to address various topics throughout the school year.

Freshmen Speaking to Future Freshmen:

HS 101: In the upcoming weeks our high school freshmen will be addressing our 7th grade students about what to expect in high school. In addition they will discuss with the students about the "Challenge Up' courses offered to our 8th graders, and the importance to doing well academically taking high school courses as an 8th grader. In the spring, our high school students will speak to our current 8th grade student to address "what to expect in high school". The goal to this program to ease the transition from middle school to high school.

Friendly Reminder: All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the school counseling office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

It's never too early to start good school habits for students to use throughout their education. These are some study skills and tips:

* Allot several days to prepare and study for a test. Do not leave studying until the night before!

* Study in a space where you can be most focused and productive in your home or elsewhere.

o Make sure this space is organized and has basic school supplies like pens, pencils, erasers, paper, a calculator, etc.

o Make sure you have all your class notes, books, study guides, and other relevant material in the space, too

o Try to make sure the space is well-lit and free from distractions.

* Learn the general concepts first and do not worry about learning the details until you have learned the main ideas.

* Use review sheets provided by your teachers to guide your studying.

* Go to extra help sessions or seek your teacher’s assistance if you are unclear about certain concepts.

* Pay particular attention to clues in class prior to a test. For example, when a teacher does the following, you should take note:

o Says something more than once

o Writes material on the board

o Indicates that it’s “really important to know this material.”

* Make flashcards using index cards with important concepts or words on one side and a corresponding explanation or definition on the other. Make sure you shuffle the cards when studying. o An alternative is to use a flashcard website like www.quizlet.com (it has a free smartphone app too) or an app like Flashcards*.

* Create your own review sheet for subjects such as history or science in particular.

* Copy your class notes over onto a separate sheet of paper or type them up. This can help reinforce concepts and assist in remembering information.

* Reread your notes from class with a purpose. In other words, synthesize in your head or on paper how all the concepts fit together. Simply reading without purpose or meaning is not particularly helpful. You must actively piece together the parts. Try making the material relevant to you – associate it with things you already know or have learned about.

* Read your notes out loud. Some people remember things best when they hear them. Consider reading them aloud to another person who can help ask questions or clarify any misconceptions. Sometimes explaining something to someone else helps solidify it in your own mind.

* If you choose to study in a group, try to study only with others who are serious about the test.

* Take short breaks somewhat frequently. Often, your memory will retain the information that you study at the beginning and at the end better than what you study in the middle.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS:

Mental Health:

With the rise of mental health awareness, attached is an article about understanding anxiety in children and teens. This 2018 Children’s Mental Health Report looks at how widespread these disorders are, how they develop, and the risks of untreated anxiety. https://childmind.org/our-impact/childrens-mental-health-report/2018report/

How to Help Your College Student Access Mental Health Care:

The attached links is a guide for your college student to a variety of mental health services.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/college-wellness/201811/how-help-your-college-student-access-mental-health-care

http://www.wbur.org/npr/671245138/college-students-leave-campus-mental-health

Individuals with Special Needs Receive Job Opportunities:

Companies are opening their doors to individuals with disabilities. Attached are segments about this topic. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/companies-open-doors-to-talent-with-autism/

NYS Graduation Pathways & Requirements: The attached link is the up to date graduation requirements. Please contact your school counselor if you have any questions. http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/diplomaandcredentialsummary1.18edit6.18.3.pdf

FALL FINAL THOUGHTS

With the holiday season vastly approaching us and the New Year. Here are some final thoughts for 2019. "Remember tomorrow is a new day, it's never to late to turn over a new leaf, rise up to new challenges, raise the bar and compete, and the adventure of life is to learn". Around every corner there is someone who can provide support and guidance to our West Hempstead students and families.


Please contact Mrs. Angela Sigmon- (School counselor newsletter editor), if there are topics or resources you would like to see in our upcoming newsletter prior to the next edition in three months.

Angela Sigmon- School Counselor

West Hempstead Middle School and High School

(516) 390-3173- Middle School

(516) 390-3230- High School

asigmon@whufsd.com