November & December Students of the Month

Students of the Month November. December 235CMS Recognizes Students of the Month

Congratulations to the following students who were recognized as “Students of the Month “at Caroline Middle School for November and December.  The students were selected by their teachers for demonstrating good character traits such as responsibility, honesty, respect and dependability.  The School Counselors recognized this achievement by displaying the students’ pictures on the grade level wings.  The students also received a certificate and a treat from our principal, Ms. Angela Wright, on Thursday, December 13, 2012. 

The Sixth Grade students are:  Myles Garrison, Alan Goldberg, Jonathan Honeycutt, Paul Johnson, Elvira Nolasco-Lopez, Genevie “Liana” Owen, and Elizabeth Schwartz.

The Seventh Grade Students are: Dy’Mon Blaze, Cheyenne Burton, Lauren Grace Chewning, Jeremiah Gaskins, Destiny Kinard, JaQuan Parker, Aubrey Reese, and David Sigmon

The Eighth Grade Students are:  Zachary Balthia, Sabrina Hernandez, Kendell Hunter, Emily Johnson, Kanayja Martin, Cyanne McAlpin, Camila Ramirza, Aaron Tate, and Tre’von Wilson. 

Each month Caroline Middle School will be recognizing “Students of the Month” who display good character traits!

Tips for Talking with Children About Violence

This handout from the National Association of School Psychologists may be used by other organizations without receiving specific permission as long as it is reprinted or posted to websites verbatim, credits NASP, and includes links to the NASP website. More in-depth information is available now and additional information on related topics will be posted over the next few days.

A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope

Tips for Parents and Teachers

Whenever a national tragedy occurs, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, children, like many people, may be confused or frightened. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. As more information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions and perhaps even use the process as a learning experience.

All Adults Should:
1. Model calm and control. Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.

2. Reassure children that they are safe and (if true) so are the other important adults in their lives. Depending on the situation, point out factors that help insure their immediate safety and that of their community.

3. Remind them that trustworthy people are in charge. Explain that the government emergency workers, police, firefighters, doctors, and the military are helping people who are hurt and are working to ensure that no further tragedies occur.

4. Let children know that it is okay to feel upset. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy like this occurs. Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective. Even anger is okay, but children may need help and patience from adults to assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

5. Observe children’s emotional state. Depending on their age, children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of grief, anxiety or discomfort. Children will express their emotions differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express grief.

6. Look for children at greater risk. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Be particularly observant for those who may be at risk of suicide. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

7. Tell children the truth. Don’t try to pretend the event has not occurred or that it is not serious. Children are smart. They will be more worried if they think you are too afraid to tell them what is happening.

8. Stick to the facts. Don’t embellish or speculate about what has happened and what might happen. Don’t dwell on the scale or scope of the tragedy, particularly with young children.

9. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate. Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that the daily structures of their lives will not change. Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence and threats to safety in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. They will be more committed to doing something to help the victims and affected community. For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener!

10. Monitor your own stress level. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, religious leaders, and mental health counselors can help. It is okay to let your children know that you are sad, but that you believe things will get better. You will be better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner. Get appropriate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

What Parents Can Do:
1. Focus on your children over the week following the tragedy. Tell them you love them and everything will be okay. Try to help them understand what has happened, keeping in mind their developmental level.

2. Make time to talk with your children. Remember if you do not talk to your children about this incident someone else will. Take some time and determine what you wish to say.

3. Stay close to your children. Your physical presence will reassure them and give you the opportunity to monitor their reaction. Many children will want actual physical contact. Give plenty of hugs. Let them sit close to you, and make sure to take extra time at bedtime to cuddle and to reassure them that they are loved and safe.

4. Limit your child’s television viewing of these events. If they must watch, watch with them for a brief time; then turn the set off. Don’t sit mesmerized re-watching the same events over and over again.

5. Maintain a “normal” routine. To the extent possible stick to your family’s normal routine for dinner, homework, chores, bedtime, etc., but don’t be inflexible. Children may have a hard time concentrating on schoolwork or falling asleep at night.

6. Spend extra time reading or playing quiet games with your children before bed. These activities are calming, foster a sense of closeness and security, and reinforce a sense of normalcy. Spend more time tucking them in. Let them sleep with a light on if they ask for it.

7. Safeguard your children’s physical health. Stress can take a physical toll on children as well as adults. Make sure your children get appropriate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

8. Consider praying or thinking hopeful thoughts for the victims and their families. It may be a good time to take your children to your place of worship, write a poem, or draw a picture to help your child express their feelings and feel that they are somehow supporting the victims and their families.

9. Find out what resources your school has in place to help children cope. Most schools are likely to be open and often are a good place for children to regain a sense of normalcy. Being with their friends and teachers can help. Schools should also have a plan for making counseling available to children and adults who need it.

What Schools Can Do:
1. Assure children that they are safe and that schools are well prepared to take care of all children at all times.

2. Maintain structure and stability within the schools. It would be best, however, not to have tests or major projects within the next few days.

3. Have a plan for the first few days back at school. Include school psychologists, counselors, and crisis team members in planning the school’s response.

4. Provide teachers and parents with information about what to say and do for children in school and at home.

5. Have teachers provide information directly to their students, not during the public address announcements.

6. Have school psychologists and counselors available to talk to students and staff who may need or want extra support.

7. Be aware of students who may have recently experienced a personal tragedy or a have personal connection to victims or their families. Even a child who has merely visited the affected area or community may have a strong reaction. Provide these students extra support and leniency if necessary.

8. Know what community resources are available for children who may need extra counseling. School psychologists can be very helpful in directing families to the right community resources.

9. Allow time for age appropriate classroom discussion and activities. Do not expect teachers to provide all of the answers. They should ask questions and guide the discussion, but not dominate it. Other activities can include art and writing projects, play acting, and physical games.

10. Be careful not to stereotype people or countries that might be associated with the tragedy. Children can easily generalize negative statements and develop prejudice. Talk about tolerance and justice versus vengeance. Stop any bullying or teasing of students immediately.

11. Refer children who exhibit extreme anxiety, fear or anger to mental health counselors in the school. Inform their parents.

12. Provide an outlet for students’ desire to help. Consider making get well cards or sending letters to the families and survivors of the tragedy, or writing thank you letters to doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals as well as emergency rescue workers, firefighters and police.

13. Monitor or restrict viewing scenes of the event as well as the aftermath.

For information on helping children and youth with this crisis, contact NASP at (301) 657-0270 or visit NASP’s website at

Modified from material posted on the NASP website in September 2001.

© 2002, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, (301) 657-0270, Fax (301) 657-0275;

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Phone: (301) 657-0270 | Toll Free: (866) 331-NASP | Fax: (301) 657-0275 | TTY: (301) 657-4155

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CMS Career Day 2012

Caroline Middle School’s Annual Career Day

The middle school counselors, Kristin Clark, Christine Hayek and Regenia Vessels, and School Counselor Intern, Kami Denton, hosted the annual Career Day on Friday, November 16, 2012. In preparation for Career Day, all middle school students were introduced to the Virginia Education Wizard. Students took a career assessment inventory which matched their interests with prospective career choices. The inventory identified primary and secondary interests and matched students to at least three of the sixteen career clusters. The students then researched careers by considering two years of college, 4 years of college, or more than 4 years of college. Students completed a worksheet and examined careers by considering future job demands, salary, skills needed, and school courses that related to the career.
More than 45 professionals, many of them Caroline Middle School alumni, represented a wide array of career clusters, including scientific research and engineering, information technology, education, human services, hospitality and tourism, finance, marketing, government, manufacturing, agriculture, law and public safety, transportation, health sciences, arts, audio/video technology, and retail sales and services. The Career and Technical Education programs from CHS were represented by the teachers and their students. This allowed middle school students to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge about future high school course offerings.
In celebration of National Career Development Month and Career Day, students competed in the annual poetry and poster contest, “Inspiring Careers, Honoring History”. The winner of the poetry contest was seventh grader Savannah Dyer and the winner of the poster contest was eighth grader Brittney Roberts.
Caroline Middle School students commented that they enjoyed having so many professionals and high school students meet with them and share their experiences. The school counselors are confident that Career Day will have a lasting positive affect on their future career path decisions.

Students meet with professionals in the Health and Sciences field.




October Students of the Month

CMS Recognizes Students of the Month!

Congratulations to the following students who were recognized as “Students of the Month” at Caroline Middle School for October.  The students were selected by their teachers for demonstrating good character traits such as responsibility, honesty, respect and dependability.  The School Counselors recognized this achievement by displaying the students’ pictures on the grade level wings. The students also had lunch with our principal, Ms. Angela Wright, on Friday, November 9, 2012.

The Sixth Grade students are: Taylor Brooks, Turner Dalton, Gavin Driggers, Chris Farmer, Grace Fowler, Elijah Pope and Jade Wilson

The Seventh Grade Students are: Rachael Fogg, Quenaysha Houchens, Jalen Jones, Remarius Jones II, Macey Owen, Janna Ridley, Matthew Satterwhite and Robert Thurston Jr.

The Eighth Grade Students are: Cabel Busic, Morgan Ellis, Mikayla Ferguson, Joseph Graham, Kendol Hunter, Renee Soderlund, Robert Toles and Jordan Wilson.

Each month Caroline Middle School will be recognizing “Students of the Month” who display good character traits!

School Counseling

The middle school’s counselor’s role encompasses counseling, consulting and coordination as well. A comprehensive school counseling program covers three areas of student development:

  • Academic
  • Career
  • Personal/Social.

The school counseling program reflects the progression of student’s skills in these areas across the year–kindergarten through grade12. The school counselor may deliver services through a variety of methods:

Individual Counseling

In a confidential setting, the professional school counselor employs specific counseling techniques to assist students in areas such as:

  • educational planning for high school and college,
  • career planning,
  • developing positives attitudes and behavior,
  • developing skills related to decision making and problem solving,
  • dealing with interpersonal relationships, and
  • crisis intervention.

In a counseling relationship counselors must at times be mindful of their actions in terms of the rights and welfare of the student. Individual counseling services provided by the school counselor include topics that are specific not only to adolescent development and academic concerns, but also topics that are specific to the needs of the demographic area served.

Small Group Counseling

In small group counseling, the counselor meets with two or more students. In this setting students work on shared tasks and develop supportive relationships. Through giving and receiving feedback, students have the opportunity to gain valuable skills in how to learn and live with others. Group discussion may be problem centered, where attention is given to a particular concern or problem; or group discussion may be growth oriented, where topics are related to personal and academic development.

Small group counseling is especially suitable for middle school adolescents. Groups provide a place where they can safely experiment with reality and test their limits. A unique quality of group counseling lets adolescents be instrumental in one another’s growth.

Small group counseling is an essential aspect of the role of the middle school counselor. The topics of the groups are mandated by the needs of the population.

Classroom Guidance

Through a series of planned classroom learning experiences, counselors assist teachers with meaningful activities targeting the personal/social, academic, and career development of students. This is a planned, sequential developmental program. The guidance program may focus on topics such as

  • Career Awareness
  • Test Information
  • Test taking skills
  • Interpersonal skills

The program is proactive and seeks to prevent problems by developing skills in areas such as communication, decision making, conflict resolution, cross cultural effectiveness and personal safety.


Consultation is a key vehicle to addressing the needs of the early adolescent student. The middle school counselor consults with parents, teachers and other educational professional on matters inclusive of, but not restricted to personal/social career and academic nature.

As a consultant the middle school counselor participates as an interdisciplinary team member, provides in-service for staff and parents on issues relevant to early adolescents, assists at parent conferences, and provides information to teachers about how to meet the needs of students experiencing academic and emotional problems.Counselors confer directly with teachers, parents, administrators and other helping professionals.

Consultation provides for the mutual sharing and analysis of information and ideas to assist in planning implementing strategies to help students.

Consultation may take place in individual or group conferences, through staff development activities, or parent education classes.


The middle school counselor’s role as coordinator involves managing various aspects of indirect services that help students succeed.

Counselors serve as a liaison between teachers, parents, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful school development. This may include assisting parents to obtain needed services for their children through a referral and follow-up process. They also serve as liaisons between school and community resources.

Middle school counselors, as coordinators,

  • help identify resources needed by parents, students and teachers,
  • provide interpretation of standardized tests results,
  • facilitate the distribution of information pertinent to student needs,
  • assess students’ needs and
  • develop programs and selects material and resources to be available to parents.

Coordination also includes orienting new students to the school and coordinating student transition to the next educational or career level.


Career Day, Friday November 16, 2012

The Caroline Middle School Counseling Department will be hosting a Career Fair on Friday, November 16th. The purpose of this event is to expose students to the wide variety of careers available to them.  In order for this event to be a success we need YOU!  Career Day participants will have a table to set up displays, handouts, posters, and/ or other materials.  Students will be walking from table to table interacting with our Career Day Volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact one of the counselors listed below:

Regenia Vessels (6th Grade)  (804) 633-6561 or

Kristin Clark (7th Grade)  (804) 633-6561 or

Christine Hayek (8th Grade) (804) 633-6561 or

Thank you for volunteering for our annual Career Day!

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

As a new school year gets underway, now is a great time to think about goals you may have. Maybe you would like to make Eagles’ List? Maybe you would like to join a club or athletic team? Maybe you would like to make more friends? Watever the goal, it needs to be SMART.

Specific (S): Your goal should be clear. What is your goal?

Measurable (M): You should know when you have reached your goal. How will you know when you have reached your goal?

Attainable (A): You should be able to reach your goal if you work hard and stay motivated.

Realistic (R): Your goal should be something that is “do-able” for you.

Timely (T): This is when you want to have achieved your goal by.  It could be the end of the first nine weeks or the end of the school year.

Please contact your school counselor if you need help in achieving your SMART Goal!

Welcome Back!

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,

The Counseling Department is excited about this upcoming school year and would like to inform you of some our responsibilities as school counselors:

•Teaching classroom guidance lessons on a variety of topics pertaining to the wellbeing of students (Personal/ Social, Academic, and Career)

•Counseling individual and small groups of students

•Guide students in educational and career plans

•Consult with parents and teachers

•Plan and organize programs and special events

•Share information about various community services that are available

Our goal as school counselors is to help each student realize and reach their full potential here at Caroline Middle School. We believe that each child has something special to offer.  We look forward to getting to know each student and encouraging them to succeed. We look forward to meeting parents and students. Please feel free to call or email us with any questions or concerns.


Caroline Middle School Counselors