Kristi and I are both moms to elementary age children. We understand that children don’t like to get up early and come to school. As parents it can be easy to give in to a child’s plea to stay home. When children are sick, they definitely need to stay home. Encouraging regular school attendance students is one of the best things you can do to prepare your child for success.
According to Attendance Works, attending school on a regular basis helps children feel better about school and about themselves. It is a great habit that is important for students to learn early. Students who often miss school feel behind or even out of the loop. This negative feeling can cause students to want to stay home even more, causing them to feel even further behind.
To help encourage your child, build a regular routine as much as possible. We are moms too! We understand that children are busy with activities, and many parents have schedules that are not the same each week. Staying on a routine as much as possible, it a great way to set your child up for success in school.
When children are truly sick they do need to stay home. Our nurse sees many students with stomach aches and headaches daily. Remember, these two things can be signs of anxiety. When you child is begging to stay home or pretending to be sick, talk with your child. Something may be happening at school that is causing anxiety.
The counselors here at Evans are here to help your child. If your child is anxious about situations at school or home, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to talk with your child and work on some strategies to help your child work through his/her anxiety.
For more information on the importance of regular attendance and what you can do as a parent, please visit www.attendanceworks.org. Click the handout that represents your child's grade level (elementary or middle/high school).
Summer vacation is quickly wrapping up as students and teachers prepare to return to school on Tuesday, August 7. This school year will be blast at EES. Here are some updates as we head into the new year:
Thanks to a grant from the Albertville City Schools Foundation, the classroom guidance lessons will use the Second Step Social-Emotional Learning Program as the classroom guidance curriculum. Click here to learn more about this research-based resource. Again, we say a huge THANK YOU to the ACS Foundation for providing these materials.
Classroom guidance lessons will begin the week of August 13. The lesson topic will be a general introduction to school counseling services and getting to know the school counselor.
Parent Tips for Back to School:
Help your student rise to the challenge of the new school year by:
1) Set a reasonable bedtime and enforce it. Collect phones, tablets, and game devices at bedtime to help students get plenty of sleep.
2) Plan for busy mornings by preparing clothes, backpacks, snacks, and lunches the night before. This will help everyone get to school on time and avoid unnecessary stress.
3) Make sure your student has school supplies, especially those marked as "personal" on the supply list. Students will need to have those items with them each day in each class. If your family needs assistance with school supplies, please contact the counselor for your child's grade (Mrs. Williams for 5th, Mrs. Rains for 6th) or the ACLC (Albertville Community Learning Center) at 256-894-5040.
4) Start (or continue) the habit of checking your child's backpack and/or binder each evening. This helps avoid forgotten papers or homework and lets your child know that his/her schooling is important to you. This can also be an opportunity to talk about the day and share successes and struggles.
5) Let the classroom teacher know of any questions or concerns you have right away. Allow the teacher to address the problem or answer the question. Encourage your child to ask questions to teachers if he/she doesn't understand and to inform teachers of problems in class or with another student. Our teachers want to help, but they cannot read minds. Speak up if you have questions (that goes for students AND parents).
Hopefully these tips will help you and your child thrive during the back-to-school rush and lay the foundation for a successful school year.
After enjoying winter break, students have returned, and counseling classes are helping them to focus on a successful second semester of this school year (and beyond). Lessons for the first three weeks of January will cover study skills. And, although we can teach many useful skills and strategies, the main obstacle for many students is attitude: believing they can continue passing or even making As by only completing class activities and refusing to do homework or study outside of school hours.
Fifth-grade students will watch How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain, which provides a light-hearted look at skills and strategies to increase motivation and complete assignments. They will also focus on effective time-management and prioritizing activities.
Sixth-grade students are discussing the realities of middle school to help them examine if their current study practices will be effective in middle school. Specific attention will be given to priorities and time-management, attendance and make-up work, and organizational skills.
Tips for parents:
1) Encourage your student to check his/her backpack or binder each afternoon to find any forgotten work or to be reminded of an upcoming test. This will also help you receive important school information in a timely manner, instead of months later when found somewhere in the bottom of the backpack.
2) Provide a space for your student to complete homework and study. Ideally, this space will be free from distractions (electronics, pets, siblings). You may have to get creative to find such a space in your home, but this is one way to help your student do his/her best in school.
3) Make sure your student attends school regularly. Even as little as 2 absences per month can cause a decline in grades and achievement. Visit the Resources page for links to more info on why Attendance Matters.
4) Provide the supplies your student needs for school. Make sure he/she has paper, pencils, a binder, and earbuds. If you need assistance in providing school supplies, check with Mrs. Rains or another school counselor. There are resources available to help.
October included two major events of the counseling program: 6th Grade Career Day and Red Ribbon Week. For Career Day, we had 20 community members speak to 6th grade classes about their work/careers, educational and training background, and what led them to choose that career. Red Ribbon Week included dress-up days and a counseling lesson on substance abuse and making positive life choices. Teachers and students alike enjoyed the week.
November lessons included non-verbal communication skills and the character traits of citizenship and caring. Students watched some video clips as examples of the influence of non-verbal communication on social understanding and then practiced positive skills via role play. Citizenship was defined as "doing your part to make your community a better place." Students watched "Citizenship in the Community" and completed a listening guide to learn about the many aspect of citizenship. Fifth-grade students explored the trait of caring by listening to the book The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth, while sixth-grade students used The Character Chronicles materials to learn ways that teenagers can show caring to others in the community.
December included lesson on setting goals, as students established long- and short-term goals. Goals are like the GPS of life: they tell us the path for arriving at where we want to be in life, or making our dreams become reality.
During the first two weeks of October, both 5th and 6th grade classes will be discussing career exploration during classroom guidance lessons. Fifth-grade will be discussing various career journeys, how interests and abilities can relate to career choice, and learning about the 16 Career Clusters. Sixth-grade classes will discuss how academic classes are important to all career fields, how study and school habits now can affect career choices in the future, and how to locate online interest surveys and career information. Sixth-grade will enjoy Career Day on Friday, October 14, as invited guests from the community will speak to classes about their own careers and career journeys.
Welcome to the new website and blog for Evans Elementary School Counseling. Here you can find information on classroom guidance topics, parent tips, and student/parent resources.
During the month of September, 5th-grade students have been learning about conflict resolution and how to peacefully and effectively deal with problems. This includes identifying "big" (scary, dangerous, someone's getting hurt) vs. "small" problems (not scary, not dangerous, no one's getting hurt). "Big" problems should be reported to an adult right away. "Small" problems should be addressed by trying at least two conflict-resolution strategies to work out the problem with the other person. If the problem cannot be resolved after at least two attempts, then the student should ask an adult for help. Students have also learned about "I" messages (no, not a text on an iPhone). "I" messages are a way to communicate about a problem: I feel (insert a feeling word) when you (describe specifically what the other person has done) and I need you to (how can the other person work with you to solve the problem).
Sixth-grade students have been learning about personal safety using the Second Step Child Protection Unit materials. Click here for more information about the Second Step program. Use activation code to create an account and access parent information. Students have been learning to Recognize unsafe situations, Refuse to participate in unsafe situations, and Report those situations to an adult. They have also learned about unsafe and unwanted touches and how to report those to a trusted adult.
September is also Attendance Awareness Month! Click here to visit the Attendance Works website with information on the importance of regular school attendance, even in early grades.