Tuesday, November 28, 2017

'Tis the Season for Diversity

  Since our school promotes and excels in teaching diversity, my lessons this month really capitalize on that.  The winter holidays are quickly approaching and everyone has their own unique traditions.  With the younger ones, we focus more on what it means to be different and how to embrace one's differences.  For the older students, we talk about more global topics such as, racism, stereotypes, and empathy.  My hope here is to help them understand these hard-hitting topics in an age-appropriate manner and in a way that impacts them.  I want them to start thinking and discussing why people treat other people differently and how that affects a culture.  You would be amazed at the assumptions these students already have about other people.

  At Young Scholars we want students to accept and welcome diversity.  We want them to see the value in everyone.  We want them to learn how to work together with others in order to make the world a better place.  Again, this all starts at home with the standards that are put in place there.

  If you would like information about how to talk to your child on these topics, please visit these websites:  https://www.mindful.org/3-ways-talk-kids-diversity/
                 http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/18/living/feat-teaching-diversity-schools/index.html
                 http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/08/teach-children-cultural-awareness-diversity/

Monday, October 23, 2017

Turkey Day is a Time of Socializing

  I think that I blinked and it became time for the holiday season this year.  I do not know where the time has gone, but I think that this year has become a year of growth for every staff member and student.  

  For the month of November, a time to be thankful, I focus my lessons on various social skills.  For the younger students, I focus more on how to use nice words/share with friends, while the middle schoolers get lessons on peer pressure and finding healthy coping skills to deal with life's stressors.

  Here is a good article to use at home with the younger students:  http://www.parents.com/kids/development/social/improving-kids-social-skills/

  Here is a good article to use at home with the older students:  https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/6-tips-resisting-peer-pressure/

 Remember to practice these social skills with your child/ren at home and remind them that their teachers and school counselor is here to help them with any issues that they may encounter!  They do not have to face those challenges alone.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Be a Buddy Not a Bully in October

  This school year is just flying by.  Now that we are in October, it is officially National Bullying Prevention Month.  We will be having our guidance lessons focus on being a "buddy not a bully."  The older students' lessons will be geared more towards relational bullying and cyber bullying, while the younger students' lessons will be focused on verbal and physical bullying.  We also will be having a school-wide assembly from Saltworks Theater on Bullying Prevention on October 19!

  Parents and guardians, I invite you to speak openly to your child about bullying and how to not be a bystander, as well.  All students can help prevent and stop bullying from occurring.  They can do so by ignoring, walking away, standing up for themselves by telling them to stop, or getting an adult to help.  Please remind your child/children to try these strategies if they are ever faced with a bully.  Also, please feel free to review the definition of a bully with your child/children:

"1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions, on purpose
  2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
  3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength."
(taken from http://www.violencepreventionworks.org/public/recognizing_bullying.page)

Here are some other good resources about bullying prevention:
 http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/
 https://www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/talking-about-it/index.html

Let's make Young Scholars a safe haven for all students!

Friday, September 1, 2017

September is Time to Get Serious about School

  Now that we are two weeks in to the school year, it is time to buckle down and get serious about it.  To start the school year off on the path to succeed, students need to make sure that they are getting into good habits of staying organized, keeping track of assignments, and getting their work done.
Another way to have a successful school year, is to know your strengths and weaknesses (e.g., if you struggle with getting homework done, make sure you are writing down assignments and getting them done when you have free time).  Students need to also work on their relationships with their teachers and peers; if they are having a hard time in their social life, it will take away their focus and motivation in their academic life.
  My lessons for the month of September will focus on these strategies.  If our students can get into a good habit early on in the school year, it sets them up for a successful rest of the year.  Please work on these habits with your children at home as well.  If you are noticing that your student is struggling in one or more of these areas, feel free to contact me or one of their teachers and we will help them set up a plan to help them succeed at school.  Together we can help all the students at Young Scholars excel this school year!
  Here are two good articles that provide tips to success at the beginning of the school year:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thinking-about-kids/201201/keep-your-middle-schooler-organized
http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/parent-tips-help-your-child-have-good-school-year



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Start the Year off Student-Centered

  Welcome back to Young Scholars for another year of fun-filled, learning experience in our diverse community!  This year will come with a lot of changes that can only lead to bigger and better things for our school.  We want to ensure that this year is as "student-centered" as possible.  That way every child can achieve to their fullest potential.
   I am now full-time this year, so I will be more available to students, teachers, and parents in need.  The school counseling program will be growing in order to make sure that your child is succeeding academically, socially, and personally, while beginning to plan for their future.
  We also have a lot more support staff available to us in order to ensure that each child's unique needs are met at our school.  I cannot wait to work with them in order to help all of our students excel this year!
  The school's shape is also changing via our addition that is being added on to the side of the school.  This will provide us the adequate space that we need in order to grow as a community of learners.
  With all of these changes in mind, I am asking parents to help their students be as prepared as possible for this school year by keeping them in the loop.  This is especially important for those students that get very anxious during transitions and back-to-school time.  Here is an article to read in order to give more tips on how to prepare your student for a new school year:  http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/articles-and-answers/wellbeing/5-tips-to-ease-back-to-school-anxiety.

  Remember if you have any questions or need help/support with anything, please contact me!  My e-mail is k.boss@yswpcs.org and my extension is 127.

  Let us start this year off on a good note by throwing kindness like confetti!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Another Year Come and Gone

  It is hard to believe that this year is almost over already.  We have nearly reached the end.  For my last guidance lesson with the student, I will focus on transitioning to middle school for the 5th grade class and transitioning to high school for the 8th grade.  These transitions are monumental steps in their lives and need to be taken seriously.  I hope the best for our students who will not be returning to our school next year; we will miss you all and know that you will do great things in your future!  Any parents that would like help with this, check out these websites:

http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/smoothing-your-childs-transition-to-middle-school/

https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2013/08/05/3-tips-to-help-your-teen-transition-to-high-school

  For the other students, I will focus on different social skills that are essential to doing well at school and in their personal lives (e.g., self-esteem, values, fairness, reaching for goals, etc.).  The students all change so much over the summer from one year to the next, but my hope is that they take these last lessons and run with them.

  I hope everyone had a wonderful year full of growth and fun!  I know that I have learned so much in the two years that I have been at Young Scholars.  I cannot wait until next year to see what is in store, but until then enjoy the last month of school and your summer break!  Get some much needed sun and relaxation!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Showers Bring May Flowers

  Due to the PSSAs and Spring Break taking up most of April, I will not be doing guidance lessons for any of the grades.  However, I will be working on the middle schoolers Career Fair Project that will be taking place at the end of May.  Each middle schooler will research a career that they are interested in and create a poster board and presentation to give with the other middle schoolers and some professionals in our community.  It is important for those students to begin to understand how the interests and skills that they have can match the skills and interests need for particular careers.  This will in turn help them decide what types of classes or activities that they want to be involved in in high school and their future.

  If any parents would be interested in helping out at the middle school career or being a presenter there, please let me know.  The future is in the hands of our students, so we need to ensure that they are as prepared as possible in order to make our world a better place.

http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=BFDBDB60-F7CD-11E3-921A0050569A5318