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Middle School Counseling Office

The MS Counselor works closely with faculty and staff, overseeing the needs of students 6-8th grade. The Counselor supports the classroom teachers and administrators in maintaining the social and emotional well being of all Middle School students. Her role is not to provide formal psychotherapy to students. Rather, the Counselor is actively involved in student life to enhance the students’ understanding of self-expression, self-concept and self-awareness through classroom discussions, small group interactions, peer counseling opportunities and workshops.

The Counselor is part of the Middle School Administrative Team, which meets weekly to discuss issues pertaining to students, parents and faculty; together, this Team works to provide a supportive network and to collaborate on issues of student life, in an effort to ensure that students in the Middle School have a positive experience. Topics involve social, academic, as well as disciplinary issues. The Counselor is also a part of the Student Life Team, which includes the Division Head, the Director of the Learning Resource Center and grade level moderators.

The Counselors’ role is never disciplinary; rather it is to provide input to the Dean of Students and Division Head regarding the students’ developmental needs. The Counselor is available to all students on a drop-in basis. The Counselor works closely with the Administrative and Student Life Teams, teachers and Advisors throughout the year to ensure that students are supported on all levels, whether academic, social, or emotional.

The Counselor facilitates meetings with classroom teachers, advisors, administrators, and parents to support students and their families during the social and emotional transitions all Middle School students face as they enter puberty. The Counselor is available to parents to address their child’s developmental needs and to suggest appropriate interventions and make referrals. The Counselor is similarly available to consult with outside support providers as needed. The Counselor may meet with any student during the school year, as the need arises, and will be in contact with parents in case of serious need. The Counselor meets with students both individually and in groups.

In addition, as part of the Ethics, Philosophy, and World Religions Curriculum, the Counselor facilitates an 8th grade Guidance class, which provides students with a forum to talk about the issues and concerns that are part of their lives at this transitional time. This class reflects the students’ greater level of maturity and ability to handle responsibility. The classes are confidential, and stress the values of trust and self-integrity, while assisting students with problem solving techniques and providing ongoing support through their challenges and accomplishments.

The Counselor also oversees the Life Skills Program, which includes several workshops throughout the year on topics fundamental to student life. The workshops focus on topics such as teasing/bullying, nutrition/positive body image, substance abuse awareness, stress management and tobacco education. The Counseling Director also co- facilitates the Human Sexuality classes, which take place second semester each year, by grade level.

Parent Education Network (PEN)