Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a great summer! Here are some “back to school” tips from the http://www.pbs.org site.


Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Starting the new school year can be a time of great excitement… and anxiety. Help calm your child’s fears (and your own) with these teacher-approved tips.

Meet the new teacher.
For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — another great opportunity to get to know each other before the year begins.

If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on a school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face. If your child’s teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter together.

Tour the school.
If your school hosts an open house, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with her environment will help her avoid a nervous stomach on the first day. Together you can meet her teacher, find her desk, or explore the playground.

With an older child, you might ask him to give you a tour of the school. This will help refresh his memory and yours.

Connect with friends.
A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.

Tool up.
Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by explaining how new supplies might be used. Let him practice using supplies that he’s not used before — such as colored pencils or a protractor — so he will be comfortable using them in class.

Avoid last-minute drilling.
When it’s almost time to stop playing, give a five-minute warning. Giving clear messages to your child is very important.

Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans.
While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum. All kids need some down time before the rigors of school begin. For some kids, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they remember.

Ease into the routine.
Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

Counseling update

I wanted to post an update because I haven’t posted one in awhile.

I plan on starting my third and final round of groups starting March 28th. So far I have five groups formed from teacher and student referrals.  I also plan on doing lessons in March on Careers. We do not have a Legacy Luncheon in March, usually due to testing, although the state changed the testing dates this year. Testing will take place in April instead of March.

The 5th grade field trip to CU-Boulder had to be cancelled due to the April testing dates. I booked the field trip date back in August for April 15th.  Unfortunately, this day turned out to be a testing date and when I tried to change the field trip day with CU they were all booked up already. I will try again next year.

In April we will have our last luncheon of the year for “You’re a Leader.” I will be inviting some community and district leaders to join us, as I have done in the past.

In the beginning of May I will have pizza parties for all my Peer Pal mentors and their buddies. It will be held during the 5th graders lunch period at the outside picnic tables, weather permitting.The exact day and time are TBD.


We’ve always been told that working hard equals success and success equals happiness. Turns out that the opposite is true. Happiness equals success and there is data to back it up.

Instead of throwing happiness out there as something that is obtainable only after we have reached some goal and once we reach that goal we have to reach another and so on and so on, we are happy now which leads to success.  The following Ted Talk explains it best.

ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study

Last week I went to the Colorado School Counseling Conference and learned about this very interesting study done on how abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction affects health and social well-being throughout life.

The higher the amount of ACE’s a person has the more likely they will have health problems such as heart, lung and liver disease, not to mention drug/ alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide.

Teaching resiliency, including self-efficacy, self-control, optimism and self-esteem can help combat adverse childhood experiences.

For more information on this study go to http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html or the the ted talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime


Legacy Luncheon date change!

The Legacy trait of the month for November is “Going for your goals”. The luncheon for this trait was originally scheduled for this Wednesday, November 18th.  It has been rescheduled to Wednesday, December 9th per teacher request. This will allow students more time to reach or be working towards their goals!

Counseling Updates for October and November

We are already into the middle of October and all my programs have started!  I have five groups which started last week and will end the week of November 9th. Peer Pals has also started with 22 mentors this year. I have almost finished doing all my classroom lessons on “Expressing Yourself Respectfully” (the Legacy Trait for October) and next month I will be doing lessons on “Going for Your Goals.”  Some important dates to remember are as follows:

Friday, October 23rd- School Store is open

Wednesday, October 28th- Expressing Yourself Respectfully Luncheon

Mon.- Fri., November 9th-13th- last week of groups

Friday, November 13th- School Store is open

Wednesday, November 18th- Going for Your Goals Luncheon