Bethel Park's Middle School Guidance Program is a developmental program that:
- Operates under the philosophy that guidance is for all children.
- Helps all students as they progress through Neil Armstrong 5-6 Middle School and Independence Middle School, grades 7-8.
- Exists to meet the needs of students in order to help them reach their potential.
- Provides support for emotional, academic and social needs of students in relation to school and home.
- Partners with the teachers and their curricula as the school attempts to reach and teach the whole child.
- Aims to increase the ability for self-guidance and direction within each child.
Counselors provide many important services in the school and in the community.
- Consulting with teachers, parents, administrators and other professionals about resource programs, individual problems and family issues.
- Helping parents understand how to help their children achieve their fullest academic, social and emotional potential.
- Sharing with teachers the latest methods, trends and resources in the field of counseling.
- Referring students and parents to community agencies such as family services, mental and medical services when needed.
- Working hand-in-hand with the school social worker to create a plan of success for students.
- Teaching students about the natural consequences of their behavior.
- Helping students explore alternative behaviors and develop a plan for success.
Consulting with parents is an important part of the counselor's job. By working together, parents and counselor are able to share their thoughts on abilities, goals, behaviors, and likes and dislikes of the student. In this way, both the parents and counselor stay informed of the child's strengths, weaknesses and goals. Together they make plans to help the child. Counselors may arrange parent/team meetings to exchange information and strategies. They may also identify resources for parents of at-risk students.
How may we meet our counselors?
- You may ask your child's teacher or principal.
- Contact your child's counselor by phone.
What can we discuss with counselors?
- You might want to discuss your child's attitude towards school academic growth, personal and emotional development and relationships with other students.
- Attitude toward his or her teachers.
- Reactions to changes in family circumstances.
- Relationships with siblings
As part of the Independence Middle School counseling program, four educational insight groups are offered to the students. These groups are not “therapy” groups but groups focusing on issues which make it difficult to be totally successful academically, emotionally, and/or socially. Students who participate in the groups are held to the rule “what is said in the group must remain in the group.” Confidentiality is strictly enforced. The only time the counselors or social worker would divulge anything said in the group is when something is said or done that is either illegal or a danger to the student or another person.
The Family Changes Group focuses on common issues students face who are living in families where the parents are divorced or separated. The divorce or separation does not have to be recent but something the student still has some trouble dealing with in his or her life.
The Stress and Relaxation Group helps students identify stressors in their everyday lives and then examine ways to change or deal with the stressors. Part of each group also involves guided visualizations or conscious relaxation exercises.
The Friendship Group helps students who have difficulty making friends. Some of the issues addressed focus on shyness, improving self-esteem, and improving communication skills.
The Peer Relations Group focuses on students whose behavior gets in the way of being successful students and friends. It will focus on the negative choices they often make which lead to problems in class and with their peers. After identifying the problems, students are then encouraged to find a variety of positive or alternate choices/behaviors, which might help them avoid negative consequences.
You don't need to have a problem or special reason to talk with your child's counselor.
Your SUPPORT and COOPERATION are the essential ingredients to your child's personal and academic success.
Mr. Mulholland (A-K)
Ms. Blodgett (L-Z)