Thursday, February 2, 2017


Dear EWG Parents and Community:

So many THANKS for such a fabulous turn-out last evening for our final showing of SCREENAGERS!!  Over 50 individuals attended and it was another very engaging, interactive and supportive event for all involved!!

Our appreciation also goes out to our superintendent, administrators and PTA members for backing and advertising this effort.

The overriding message is that we, as a community (parents and school), need to continue this conversation of how best to integrate technology for the safety and balanced wellbeing of all our students.

Monday, December 12, 2016

SCREENAGERS - 2nd Showing

Dear EWG Parents and Community:  

Many thanks to the parents who attended the film "SCREENAGERS" last week.  Your feedback, insights, enthusiasm and desire to share with others was fabulous and contagious!!  We continue to receive requests for a second showing for parents who were unable to attend.  Due to this outpouring of heightened interest, we are going to have another evening event sometime in the January timeframe and/or before the February break.  

Please know that all parents and community members are invited and encouraged to attend because this applies to all our elementary, middle and senior high students.  Due to the research highlighted in this documentary, we need to educate ourselves and support one another about its impact on our students' overall wellbeing - mental, physical, emotional and social needs. 

As soon as we have a definite date, we'll let you know right away.  

Until then, thanks for all your support in our ongoing efforts to keep your child safe, healthy and well balanced!  

Catherine Murray, Middle School Counselor

P.S.  Please click on: for more info.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Adolescent Stressors

The current national data on the American Adolescent indicates that anxiety and depression numbers are increasing for ages 12 - 18 (6.3 million teens have an anxiety disorder; and, 3 million teens had at least 1 major depressive episode in 1 year).

The key factors attributing to adolescent stressors are (1) feeling overwhelmed; (2) hyperconnectivity from social media and technology (developing brains need rest); and, (3) school pressure - competitiveness in schoolwork and activities, concern about college and future careers. The study concluded this is the "1st generation that can't escape their problems at all."

With such statistics and more in-school cases of anxiety, I worked with several creative, informed and talented 6th graders to produce a presentation which was well received by the entire 6th grade class. The key categories addressed were academic, after school activities, friends, family and technology/social media. Healthy, coping strategies were offered and audience participation was encouraged after the powerpoint presentation.

The presenters were: Abby Hattoy, Becca Kilday, Emily O'Brien, Eve Podraza and Tess Zurawski who did a fabulous job in role modeling and reaching their peers with this very important topic and life skill.

Please view the presenters' powerpoint presentation:

Monday, June 13, 2016

STUDENT VOICE TALK SHOW - Junior High After School Activities

Student Voice (SV) is an after school club of 7th and 8th grade students devoted to interviewing and discussing key issues, activities etc. within the junior high.  The SV members work in collaboration with the senior high's TV Tel Station to produce district and community videos. As part of the 6th grade transition process to the junior high, the SV members interviewed 7th and 8th grade students about the various after school activities which was aired on May 20th during the 6th Grade Visit.  

This is an educational and informative video for our incoming 6th grade students and parents as well as our current junior high students.  Many thanks to our student guests who offered to be interviewed for the creation of this video.  Enjoy!  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

STUDENT VOICE TALK SHOW - Rumors and Self-Esteem

Student Voice (SV) is an after school club of 7th and 8th grade students devoted to interviewing and discussing key issues, activities etc. within the junior high. The SV members work in collaboration with the senior high's TV Tel Station to produce district and community videos. As school counselor, I conducted a student survey for this student population to determine the major areas of concern which are #1 rumors and #2 self-esteem.

Our Student Voice members used this valuable data to create our most recent segment. Please tune-in, enjoy the show and let us know your thoughts, feedback and suggestions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Starting in the 6th grade, the RI Department of Education (RIDE) mandates that all students must participate in the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) program as a graduation requirement.  The ILP is a mapped academic plan and profile which reflects each student’s unique set of interests, skills, needs, learning goals and graduation requirements.  

Every student in grades 6 - 12 must have an ILP which is a goal setting program that progresses with them towards graduation.  Every student sets academic, personal/social and career/college readiness goals on a yearly basis.  As the middle school counselor, I conduct the career trainings for all the students in grades 6, 7 and 8.  

Recently, I completed the trainings in the three grades and to my surprise and delight, Mr. Anthony Buco, 6th grade math/science teacher, took the program one step further.  He instructed his students to conduct a survey by answering the following three questions:  

  1. Ask parents what career(s) they wanted to do when they were in the 6th grade;
  2. Ask parents what career(s) they are in now; and,
  3. What careers are the students interested in (after completing their ILP career assessments).  

The students did the research, provided mathematical data to substantiate their findings and presented their results to their classmates by using technology.

Both Mr. Buco and I were so impressed and amazed by the students’ results which consistently proved how their parents wanted to follow the more traditional roles when they were in the 6th grade such as teacher, police officer, lawyer, doctor, nurse, construction worker.  Contrarily, the majority of the 6th graders are favoring the STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math which mirrors the national statistics.  Furthermore, their presentations were done with precision and lots of creativity!  I told the students I felt like I was in the IBM board room as their presentations were so well done!   

Mr. Buco was also pleased and proud of his students by commenting,

“The student math survey presentations on careers provided evidence to support the value of the ILP program.  The ILP career assessment opens the door for students to explore the vast choices of careers available.  Such knowledge encourages goal setting and begins the work in progress to achieve a rewarding career in a field they may never have thought of.”  

Thanks to the fruits of Mr. Buco’s creative vision and his students, here’s some great photos of our future workforce:  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Anti-Bullying Assembly with BMX Award Winner

Many thanks to our presenter, Kevin Robinson, during Tuesday's, December 8th anti-bullying assembly for an "award winning" performance!!  Kevin captivated our 6, 7, 8 graders and faculty with his BMX athletic tricks; and, above all, his powerful anti-bullying message.  Everyone listened, learned, laughed, clapped and were left with Kevin's best TRICK of all:  

               R = RESPONSIBLE
     I  = INSPIRE 
              C = CONFIDENCE
         K = KINDNESS 

According to Kevin, if we practice this TRICK everyday, we will continue to keep our school responsible, respectable and safe against any and all bullying behaviors!!  We appreciate Kevin sharing his talents with us as he continues to make this world a better place ...