Sunday, December 27, 2015

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!  It is the beginning of 2016, which means a fresh start for everyone.  We will be starting off the new year by focusing on the future and planning ahead.  It is important for all students, even those in Kindergarten, to be exposed to and learn about different careers; so that they become more aware of how what they are doing now, in school, will help prepare them for their futures.

I believe that every student should have an idea of what they want to do by the time they enter high school.  In order to do so, we will start off the month of January by having our Parent Career Day on January 7th to begin to teach the students about different career options that are available for them.  We also have an assembly planned in the middle of January to teach the students about the importance of setting goals for their schooling and future.  In 4th and 5th grade, we will begin to discuss careers and the life paths that lead to different types of careers.  I want the students to understand that not every good job requires a Bachelor's degree or higher; there are some really great, steady jobs that only require an associates degree or some sort of specialty training.  Finally, for the middle school students, we will begin focusing heavily on beginning research for their career projects which will be presented at our Community Career Day in May.

I hope that as parents, you are encouraging your child to try their best in school and to explore their interests and strengths in order to begin to develop an idea of what their career possibilities would be in the future.  I encourage all parents to have their children participate in "Take your Child to Work Day" on April 28, in order to begin to expose your children to the many opportunities that they will have and to have them understand the importance of hard work and goal setting.  If you need some advice of how to encourage career and college readiness with your child, feel free to read this article http://www.hotchalkeducationnetwork.com/college-and-career-readiness-in-elementary-school/ or https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/513/College-and-Career-Ready-What-It-Means-for-Middle-School-Students.aspx.

Let's all help each student at Young Scholars be prepared to succeed in their future!

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's the Most Diverse Time of the Year!

  As we get closer and closer to the holiday break, it seems only natural to begin to discuss the topic of diversity and acceptance.  We are lucky enough at Young Scholars to have such a diverse group of students from many different cultures and backgrounds.  I think we should teach our students to embrace this diversity and take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about other cultures and create a welcoming environment for all.
  Tolerance is more important than ever now with all of the controversy and conflicts going on around the world.  We need to learn to accept one another as individuals and use each other's strengths in order to create a more advanced society.  I hope to enlighten our students this month and help them begin to understand one another by taking other people's perspectives and educating them on the differences between groups of people.  Ignorance stems from lack of understanding; therefore, the more these students understand one another, the easier it will be for them to be empathetic and accepting towards each other.
  Acceptance and tolerance begins at home.  I hope that parents can set a good example for their children.  If you need some advice on how to approach this topic with your children, feel free to visit this link from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2009/02/teaching-children-about-divers.html.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Already November! Time to Fall Back into Anti-Bullying Month

It seems crazy to me to think that we are already in November, but this is probably one of my favorite topics, Anti-bullying.  It has become such a prominent issues in schools over the last 5 years or so.  I hope that we can make it a mission at Young Scholars to become a bully free school, so that every student can feel like they belong.  

Each student has the right to come to school without the fear of being picked on or judged because of who they are.  My goal this month is to help students learn how to prevent and report bullying at Young Scholars.  I hope to do this by promoting acceptance and providing the students with skills to use in order to stop bullying.

I also hope that the parents at Young Scholars will get on board with me and promote/teach your children that kindness is the answer.  I always say that you do not have to like everyone, but you need to be able to get along with everyone and at least be kind.  

Cyberbullying has become an increasing issue because of the access to technology and electronics that all of the students have.  If you click on the following link, it will provide parents with some tips on how to handle and prevent cyberbullying with their own children.  http://www.ncpc.org/topics/cyberbullying/stop-cyberbullying
  
Unfortunately, most of cyberbullying occurs outside of school, so it is hard for me and the other staff members to control this issue.  Therefore, we need parents and the students themselves to take a stand, report, and put an end to cyberbullying!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

October is Healthy Lifestyle Month

I hope that everyone is having a successful transition back to school.  I cannot believe we have already made it to October!  Throughout the month of October in Character Education, we will be focusing on how to live a healthy lifestyle.  This includes eating healthy, exercising, and living drug and alcohol free.  In addition to teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle, I will be focusing on ways to avoid peer pressure in order to stay out of a dangerous lifestyle.

The last week of October is Red Ribbon Week.  Now, Young Scholars has not participated in this campaign in the past, but I hope to share with students the importance of this week and get them to sign the pledge to "respect themselves and be drug free!"  Here is a link to the Red Ribbon Week's website if you would like additional information for yourselves and your families.  http://redribbon.org/  They have a photo contest for families who decorate their houses to spread the word on living drug free.  Also, if you would like additional tips on how to raise drug-free children feel free to visit this website:  http://www.drugfree.org/the-parent-toolkit/ where they have many tools available to parents/guardians!  The more our students feel support from school and home, the less likely they will be to turn to a dangerous lifestyle, so let's work together to keep our students on the healthy path of life!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September is How to Be a Good Student Month

For the month of September, character education classes are going to be focused on how to be the best student that they can be.  The first week of September we discussed in our classes what character is and why it is important to work on having good character traits throughout your life.  I tried to embed in the students the idea that their character often creates a reputation for them and in life bad reputations are more likely to stick with you than good ones, unfortunately.  I hope that the students are able to see that working on having a good character will help them not only in school and in their future careers, but in their relationships with others too.

Building off of the idea of having good character, we will be discussing from here on until October, what it takes to be a good student.  If you follow this link http://learningtogive.org/parents/helping/1_what_you_can_do.asp?idioma=, there is a nice article that describes what parents/guardians can do at home to help support their child in becoming the best student they can be.  I hope that if I can instill a good work ethic and attitude in these students now, they will have a smooth transition back to school and carry that throughout the rest of the year.  Let's make this the best school year yet!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to School

Hello, 

My name is Katie Laufer and I am the new school counselor at YSWPCS.  I will be at the school every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school year.  I am very excited to start this school year and cannot wait to get to know all of the students, parents, and staff at YSWPCS!

In the first week or so, I will be sending out a newsletter to each student introducing myself and listing some of the aspects that make up my school counseling program and what I will be doing throughout the year at the school.  I hope to ensure that every student at the school is having their needs met academically and socially.  I also plan on beginning to expose them to different career and life paths throughout the year.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child at the school, please feel free to contact me at k.laufer@yswpcs.org or 412-668-2064 ext. 127.