The Middle School GUIDANCE CURRICULUM consists of the following school-wide programs:
Stress is a part of life which every generation has to learn how to cope with in healthy, positive ways. 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, on-going student education about how to identify their stressors is provided along with suggestions for well-balanced, healthy coping skills. The stressors for this age group fall into the following categories: academic, after school activities, family, friends and social media/technology.
ANTI-BULLYING, CYBER BULLYING AND INTERNET SAFETY
Since the beginning of my tenure as the middle school counselor, the first school-wide program I developed and implemented with the support of the faculty was an anti-bullying program. Every year we continue this campaign by inviting various outside experts in the field to present to students, faculty and parents on the latest information, strategies and support services. Students also receive on-going trainings, clear behavioral expectations and disciplinary consequences as needed. With the advances in technology and social media, various programs such as cyber bullying and internet safety are also offered to our students, faculty and parent community.
INDIVIDUAL LEARNING PLAN
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 facilitate the faculty trainings and program directives to ensure the ILP is implemented throughout the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. I also conduct the career trainings for all students in grades 6, 7 and 8. The academic and personal/social goals are shared by the middle school faculty members.