Guidance Dept Newsletter - LFMS

2018-19 2nd Quarter Edition 2

10 Top Soft Skills Middle School Students Need to Learn

A common discussion a student's education team has with parents and/or students involves a variety of conflicts that evolve around one or more social emotional areas. Although it is obviously important for middle schoolers to continue to grow academically, it is equally important for parents to understand the importance of their middle school student's need to develop important "soft skills" during these middle school years. Too often parents push to have the 'perfect' middle school experience for their child and attempt to protect them at all costs from the difficult lessons they may encounter in the social-emotional realm of their middle school years. But the middle school years are the best time for children to develop these 'soft skills' in order to develop perseverance and be more resilient as they go through life.

See the article linked below to read about the Top 10 Soft Skills Middle School Students need to begin acquiring as shared by a middle school counselor.

Top 10 Skills middle school students need to thrive, and how parents can help

November Student of the Month Focus and Expectations


Pride Expectation: Dependability

Dependability is defined as the quality of being able to be counted on or relied upon. For example, when you always do everything that you say you will and don't make promises you cannot keep shows an example of dependability.

Theme: The focus this month is becoming a dependable citizen. Students can be a dependable citizen at school by being respectful of other students and staff members, following school rules, and displaying good character. Students who volunteer their time in school service are representing how to be a dependable citizen. One way for students to show service is to join the Pride Stars Program. An informational meeting will be held during PRIDE on November 14th for students who are interested in finding out more on being involved "In Service to Others", our school's leadership theme this year.

Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen

The U.S. Department of Education has prepared and provided this guide to help guide parents on how to prepare their child for becoming a dependable citizen. This useful guide addresses what it means to build strong character in children of all ages from elementary to high school and provides useful activities, ideas and resources for our child. Click on the link below for this wonderful resource.

December Student of the Month Focus Theme and Expectations


Pride Expectation: Engaged

Engaged means to commit oneself to do something; to concentrate on a task, be actively involved with interest.

Theme: This month's focus is about being engaged for success. A student who gives his/her best each day, is committed to following their school's rules and values, and is motivated to contribute to making school a great place to learn is an example of a student engaged for success.

Teach Engagement by Example

The word of the month is Engaged and the focus is to be engaged for success. How can parents help their child learn to be successfully engaged in their education? in the classroom? in their activities? You can start with showing that you are personally engaged in their academic, social and emotional learning. Do you participate in PTSA activities? Do you attend Parent Information Evenings when offered? Do you volunteer to be a Career Speaker for the annual career day? Do you attend student performances in drama, music or sports activities within and outside the school? Do you know your child's friends and their friends parents? Do you work with teachers to help your child overcome obstacles in learning including allowing your child to fail when they fail to be 'engaged' themselves in their work?

"To be truly emotionally, socially and academically engaged, young people need to feel safe, valued and supported by those around them. Fully committing oneself to growing and changing requires risk, which is both inherent in the engagement process and necessary for students to achieve new levels of success." (Dary, Pickeral, et al, 2017).

An engaged student shows ownership in their learning and actively participates in classroom discussion, groups, asking questions, taking notes, responds to direction, and shows active listening skills.

Dary, T., Pickeral, T., Shumer, R., & Williams, A. (2016).

Weaving Key Elements of Student Engagement into the Fabric of Schools Retrieved from

Johnson, B. (2013)

How Do We Know When Students Are Engaged? Retrieved from

Seeking Peer Tutors

We are looking for students interested in participating in our Students Helping Students Peer Tutor program. This program matches student tutors with students seeking help in classes. The most requested help is in math across all grade levels. Depending on the number of students interested in participating, we will match students with individual students based on their grade level and ability to meet at a mutual time before school, after school or during lunch. Wednesday mornings are often a great time to meet up with the late start and students may also meet on Thursday afternoons during the NHS small group tutoring since the library is open until 4:30 pm when small group tutoring is offered. Please complete the link below if you are interested in being a tutor.
Interest in Being a Peer Tutor

Click this title to complete a form if you are interested in being a Peer Tutor.

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The School Counselor will conduct a minimum of quarterly classroom guidance lessons to all grade levels during the school year.

6th grade lessons in Quarter 2 will focus on Emotions: Brains & Body.

7th graders will have bi-weekly classroom guidance lessons through their social science classes throughout the school year. Lessons for Quarter 2 will include Negotiating & Compromising, Giving & Getting Support and Learning Styles & Time Management. They will also be presented with the Signs of Suicide curriculum during early November.

8th graders will have lessons during the 2nd quarter on Sexual Harassment.

Career Day Speakers

We are seeking Career Day speakers for our Annual Career Day on January 25, 2019.

We are currently seeking multiple speakers for our annual Career Day to share information about their profession and the road that led you there with our students. Lunch will be provided prior to the speaker sessions.

The planned schedule for the day is:

12:30 pm - Check in begins

12:45 - 1:15 pm - Welcome Reception & Lunch

1:18 pm - Speakers escorted to rooms

1:32 – 1:57 pm - Session One

2:01 – 2:26 pm - Session Two

2:30 – 2:55 pm - Session Three

3:00 – 3:10 pm - Check Out Survey & Closing

•Each session will be 25 minutes long.

•Each session will bring you a new group of students to hear about your career and the path you took to find your passion.

•A student will be escorting you to and from the classroom you are assigned.

•A teacher will be in the classroom during your presentation if you have any concerns or needs throughout the session.

Please consider sharing your career with our students.

If you are unable to attend our annual career day but would be interested in sharing your career during a future Career Cafe workshop on a Wednesday morning or lunchtime workshop, we are interested in hearing from you also.

Please complete the form linked below to share your interest in presenting at our Annual Career Day or a possible Career Cafe Workshop in the future.

2019 Career Speaker Interest Form

We are seeking speakers for our Annual Career Day on Friday, January 25, 2019. If you are unable to attend but would be interested in sharing your career during a future Career Cafe workshop we are interested in hearing from you also.

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Career Cafe Survey for Students

The Guidance Team is seeking input and interest in offering Career Exploration workshops known as 'Career Cafe' throughout the school year. Career Cafe workshops will work with students on identifying their interests and helping them discover careers they may find an interest in. This is the first step in identifying a plan for their future. Discovering possible careers will help them determine the next step in their education whether it be specialty college/trade schools, intern/apprenticeships, 2 year or 4 year colleges or military service. Some Career Cafes may have invited speakers from a variety of Job Families which will supplement our Career Day to be held later in January. Students attending may earn Bear Bucks and 5* points. Please complete the interest survey below.

Please follow this link to show your interest in participating in Career Cafe Workshops. Students will need to be signed into their CUSD Google account to complete.
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In addition to the many classroom guidance lessons provided by our school counselor, a variety of small groups will be offered throughout the year. Students will be screened and identified for specific groups using data collected throughout the school year and through Needs Assessments completed by students, parents, and school staff. Groups may include Stress Management, Student Success Skills, Girls Groups, Self Regulation, High School 101 and other groups as needs are identified.

Guidance Workshops shall be advertised at various times throughout the school year. Previous year events have included Chalkwalks based on monthly themes, College and Career Fair Competitions, Career Exploration workshops, and more. Homework Club and Peer Tutoring are additional activities that shall be offered during the school year by your Guidance Team.

PTSA Parent Educational Evenings

Mark your calendars for the following parent informational evening events sponsored by our Tesoro Family Schools Parent Teacher Student Associations. All events are open to our Tesoro Family School parents.

Thursday, November 1st - The Signs of Suicide Parent Awareness Night– Las Flores Middle School Library 6:30-7:30 PM or

Monday, November 5th – The Signs of Suicide Parent Awareness Night– Ladera Ranch Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, December 11th – Topic TBA - Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, January 8th – Topic TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, February 12th -Topic TBA –Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, March 12th - Topic TBA - Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, April 9th – Topic TBA – Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Tuesday, May 14th – Topic TBA –Las Flores Middle School MPR 6-7 PM

Additional dates may be added. More information on future events will be posted on the Las Flores Middle School website as it becomes available.

Quicklink Resources

Guidance Webpage Information and/or links on the Academic Domain such as study skills, test taking, tutoring resources, and useful links for help with English writing and Math skills

Counselors Corner Resource Personal-Social Domain including stress management, conflict mediation, grief, and social skills

College and Career Guidance Information about high school graduation requirements, college admissions, and career choices.

Ms. Teri Graffeo - Academic Advisor Q-Z

MA - Counseling

Ms. Graffeo splits her responsibilities with Ladera Ranch MS. She will be available on site at Las Flores MS on Mondays and Tuesdays. You may also reach her via email.

Welcome to our new School Counselor

We would like to welcome our new school counselor, Mr. Omero Corral. Mr. Corral completed his Masters in Educational Counseling at Azusa Pacific University and worked as school counselor intern at Capistrano Unified at Bernice Ayers Middle School and Las Palmas Elementary in 2017-18 as well as completing hours during 2016-17 at Ladera Ranch Middle School during his masters program.

Mr. Omero Corral

MAEd - Educational Counseling, PPS School Counseling

Ms. Lindsay Depass - School Psychologist

Mrs. Angela Danna - Registrar, Guidance Secretary

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Board of Trustees desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any District school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.