Changing from “Guidance” to “School” Counselor

We are sometimes referred to as “guidance counselors”. It’s difficult to be succinct when we try to explain how our role encompasses more than just guiding students. On the Virginia School Counselor Association’s website (, there’s a great quote that sums up how a counselor’s role has emerged from “guidance” to “school”…Here it is:

CMS School Counseling News

It is hard to believe that we have almost completed the 3rd 9 weeks! This year has gone by fast! The CMS school counselors have been busy with course registration, academic and career plans, and academic management groups. Students were given their course requests for the 18-19 school year last week to take home. The form needs a parent signature and should be returned to the student’s PE teacher for a grade. Parents can contact the grade level school counselor if there are questions about next year’s classes.

Freshmen Transition will take place on March 8 and March 9. The 8th grade class will be, based on the first block teacher, bused over to the high school to get a tour of the building, see what clubs and sports are offered, and to get an overview of high school expectations. We will depart about 7:30 am and return to the middle school about 9:30 am.  You can contact Dr. Burruss, the 8th grade school counselor,  at 633-6561  x4025 or at if you have any questions.



Upcoming Dates for the New Year!

As we wrap up the 2nd 9 weeks at CMS, the School Counseling Dept. would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Staff and students alike are looking forward to some much needed time off.

In thinking ahead to the new year, the School Counseling Dept. will be conducting course registration for all grade levels beginning in January. The new Programs of Study 18-19 are ready and each student will receive his/her own copy. Once registration is complete, a copy of the course requests will be sent home for a parent signature.

The spring semester will also include Freshmen Transition activities that include an 8th grade field trip to Caroline High School. Students will get a tour of the building and have a chance to learn more about the clubs and organizations that are offered (to be held in February).

And finally, our department makes arrangements in the spring every year with each elementary school to have their 5th graders come over for a tour of CMS. It’s a great time for our rising Eagles to see the building! We also schedule a parent night for rising Eagle parents to come learn more about CMS.

We are looking forward to a great spring semester! Enjoy the Christmas Break!


PSAT 8/9 Date Change

Good Morning Parents and Students!

This year we have the opportunity to offer to our 8th graders the chance to take the PSAT 8/9! It’s free of charge to the student and will be given during school hours on Thursday, November 9 (originally scheduled for November 2).

This is a great way to know what areas you excel in and what areas you need to work on prior to going to the High School! Email Dr. Burruss at or call at 804-633-6561 x4025 with any questions or for more information. You can also contact her for an opt out form.

For more information about the test, visit the website at:



Upcoming Dates!!

  1. October Outreach:     all month long
  2. National Bullying Prevention Month:     all of October
  3. Benchmark testing:            October 5-12
  4. Early Dismissal Day:          October 13
  5. Fall Break, No School         October 16
  6. Report Cards:                      October 20
  7. Career Awareness  Month:  all of November
  8. PSAT 8/9 for 8th graders:  November 2
  9. No school for students:      November 7 (professional development day)
  10. Interim Reports:                 November 16
  11. CMS Annual Career Day:    November 17

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Every October Caroline Middle School observes National Bullying Prevention Month. Eliminating bullying means no more aggression, intimidation or harassment.  It also means a safer learning environment where teaching is more effective. Some key thoughts to remember about bullying and how it has school wide implications:

  1. Bullying is disrespectful and is maintained by attention from recipients, bystanders, and peers.
  2. Everyone in the school should have a strategy that stops attending to and acknowledging bullying.  When someone is not respectful, ask them to stop. Don’t allow bullying to be rewarded.
  3. Students should report bullying and speak up if they see it happen. School officials can make sure it is addressed.

Portions of this post were taken from:

Bullying and Harassment Prevention in Positive Behavior Support: Expect Respect, (2013) University of Oregon. 

October Outreach–It’s Here!

October Outreach is Here!! Want to know more? See the link below for a 2 minute video. Ask yourself–What can I do?

Take the October Outreach Challenge Today!!   Forms are distributed through Eagle Hour!! Earn your Pathways 2022 bracelet!!

Important Dates and Reminders

Classroom Guidance: Throughout September

Interim Reports: Sept. 14

Picture Day: Sept. 20

Parent/Teacher Conferences: Sept. 26 3-7 pm

Benchmark Testing: Oct. 5-Oct. 12

Fall Break (No School!): Oct. 16

Report Cards: Oct. 20

September is Attendance Awareness Month!!

Parents and Students…..

DID YOU KNOW?   Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a student’s future. The effects start early and spiral dramatically over time.

  • Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are much less likely to read on grade level by the third grade.

  • Students who can’t read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

  • By high school, regular attendance is a better dropout indicator than test scores.

  • A student who is chronically absent in any year between the eighth and twelfth grade is seven times more likely to drop out of school.

School attendance is so important–even during the elementary years. Students have to be in the good habit of attending school regularly. Make sure your child has good attendance!