June 2021 School Counselor Newsletter
Dear St. John Families,
We made it to June! This year has been challenging in so many ways, but I hope as it’s wrapping up, you and your children can feel a sense of pride in what we accomplished as a school community this year. I have been so impressed by the patience, flexibility, and resilience demonstrated by our students and their families. I hope you are heading into a peaceful and rejuvenating summer—your family has earned it!
As we look toward the summer, I want to let you know about a summer learning incentive being facilitated by the St. John Student Support Team, which is comprised of Mrs. McCarthy, Mrs. Olsen, Mrs. Ocampo, and me. This summer, we are encouraging students in all grades to “Take 10 Jumps,” or complete 10 activities. Activities are flexible this year—ideas include reading 10 books, completing 10 math pages, writing 10 poems/short stories/comics, doing 10 activities that promote mental health, or mixing and matching and completing any combination of these!
Students can record their activities on the “Take 10 Jumps” activity log. And if you need some help thinking of activities to promote mental health, I have created a Summer Learning Resources page on my teacher website that is full of fun ideas. Mrs. McCarthy, Mrs. Olsen, and Mrs. Ocampo have excellent reading, math, and writing resources on their websites as well!
In our final stretch of the year, I want to remind you of the supports I offer our students:
- Google Classroom (K-5th Grade): The theme in my classroom this month is a little different than those in the past. I’ve selected a few of my very favorite children’s books for this month’s lessons. There are stories that teach about feelings, growth mindset, perspective taking, learning differences, and more!
- Virtual Calming Room (Middle School): Students are invited to check out my Virtual Calming Room. This site has many resources to support positive mental health, including: guided meditations and breathing videos, journaling prompts, yoga videos, and more.
- 1-on-1 Counseling (All students): I’m available to work with students as requested on a goal-oriented, short-term basis. Please email me to arrange this service.
If I can do anything at all to support your family during the final days of the school year, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I would be so happy to help you in whatever way I can.
Wishing your family a very happy and healthy summer vacation!
- In my May newsletter, I wrote about the Family Charter, which is an excellent tool for fostering a positive and supportive home environment. Another great strategy is the Family Meeting. Family meetings are a way for members of a family to plan, problem-solve, and bond as a team. Children can learn so much during family meetings, such as listening, respecting differences, problem-solving, and more. If the concept of a family meeting is new to you, I encourage you to read this article from Positive Discipline—it covers what a family meeting is and offers suggestions for how to structure one.
- With vaccinations ramping up, the end of the pandemic is increasingly in sight. Things like playdates, camps, trips, and more are slowly becoming possible again. It’s an exciting time that brings its own novel challenges. The Child Mind Institute recently wrote a fantastic article called, Encouraging Optimism, which addresses what caregivers can do to help kids navigate the last uncertain phase of the pandemic.
- On June 15th, ParentMap is hosting a free online talk for parents and teens called Start Talking Now: Tackling the Teen Mental Health Crisis Together. In the talk, teens will learn how to honestly engage their parents about what they are struggling with, build healthy habits, and discover resources and forms of support available to them. Parents will learn the signs of mental health issues, the building blocks of a successful conversation, how to encourage their teens to express their thoughts and feelings, and more. Learn more and register here.
- Looking for a fun, free, and no-prep family activity? Check out this Family Selfie Scavenger Hunt! This could be fun to do on a vacation or just at home. Break the family into teams or complete it all together!