SHMS School Counseling Department Newsletter

SHMS School Counseling Department Newsletter

SHMS School Counseling Department Newsletter

March 2017
Important Dates:

March 2 - Mental Health and Wellness Parent Seminar Series, 6:30 - 8:30pm, LCPS Administration Building, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148, Managing Bumps in the Road: Building Resilient Relationships with Your Teen

March 2 - Monroe Technology Center Open House, 7-8pm, Discover how the Monroe Technology Center can help prepare students for college and careers, 715 Children's Center Road, Leesburg

March 6 - Rising 9th Grade CAMPUS applications are due to 8th grade counselors

March 16 - Mental Health and Wellness Parent Seminar Series, 6:30 - 8:30pm, LCPS Administration Building, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148, Cyberbullying and Internet Safety

March 29 - Mental Health and Wellness Parent Seminar Series, 6:30 - 8:30pm, LCPS Administration Building, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148, Anxiety and School Refusal

March 30 - Our March Parent Coffee will be held on March 30th at 6:30pm with special guest, Rachel Bailey. She will be presenting on, "Helping Students Who are Perfectionists or Students Who Have No Motivation At All. The coffee will take place in the SHMS Auditorium.

April 1 - Open House for prospective Fall 2017 candidates at Thomas Jefferson High School, 9-12am, 6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria

Parents: Thank you so much to those of you that completed our School Counseling Survey. Your feedback is essential to customizing our program to meet the needs of our students and families!
Parent Coffees: We had a wonderful response to our February Parent Coffee, with Neil McNerney. Over 60 parents attended a presentation on, “The Teenage Brain - Temporary Insanity”. Please be on the lookout for future Parent Coffees. March’s Parent Coffee will be on March 30th with presenter Rachel Bailey. She will be presenting on “Helping Students Who are Perfectionists or Students Who Have No Motivation at All”. Please RSVP below:

Scheduling: The option for you to make changes to your child’s course requests through ParentVUE has closed. If there are changes that you would like to make, please contact your child’s counselor directly. Please remember that the absolute last day for changes is May 26th. No changes will be made after this date.
Hygiene: It’s that time of year again! The Counseling Department would like to ask your help in giving a “gentle reminder” to your son or daughter regarding hygiene. Considering the approaching warmer weather and the fact that their bodies are changing, a talk with them about deodorant use and taking care of their bodies would be greatly appreciated!
Social Media Apps:
The SHMS Counseling Department would like to pass on an article regarding social media apps that students might be using outside of school. It is a good idea for parents to be aware of the social media apps that are popular with youth today and for you to understand how each works. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing if your child has an account with one or more of these apps, it is valuable to be monitoring how your child is using them. Please contact your grade level counselor if you have any questions.

Monroe Technology Center Open House: Monroe Technology Center will be hosting an Open House on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Discover how Monroe Technology Center can prepare students for college and careers. Explore leadership and skills competitions that may lead to college scholarships. Students will be able to learn about Career and Technical Education programs, meet with faculty, and receive lab tours. Please visit our website at for more information.

Parent Resource Center: The Parent Resource Center through LCPS has many wonderful opportunities for parents to attend classes. They have classes on parenting students with disabilities, anxiety, autism awareness, ADHD, executive functioning, and general positive parenting strategies. Here is a list of their upcoming classes:

Here are some additional parent offerings through the Department of Pupil Services:

6th Grade News from Mrs. Alberth and Mrs. Quarles

We have had a successful first semester and are looking forward to a wonderful second semester! We are very proud of our 6th grade students. They continue to excel not only in their academics but also socially with their peers. They have done a wonderful job of getting to know one another and making new friends.

Course Selection for 7th grade classes - Scheduling has finished for our rising 7th graders. If any student would like to make a change between now and May 26th, please email Mrs. Alberth () or Mrs. Quarles ().

Career Interest Inventory - 6th grade students in Keyboarding during the 1st semester used to complete an interest inventory. After completing the inventory, students were given an opportunity to research careers that match some of their interests. Students in Keyboarding during the 2nd semester will participate in the interest inventory and related career search inmid March.

6 Year Plans

Mrs. Alberth and Mrs. Quarles will continue to work with small groups of students through Resource and English classes to discuss their 6 year plan of studies and complete Naviance surveys with the plans they created in Resource in January. Please know these plans are truly just a WORKSHEET and are a VISUAL representation of what their plan COULD look like. Nothing is written in stone, as parents and students are able to review course selections yearly. Our goal is for students to understand the high school graduation requirements for the Standard and Advanced Diploma and how their plan of study might fit in with those graduation requirements. We understand and expect that this plan may change from year to year.

Counseling Groups

Mrs. Alberth and Mrs. Quarles will be starting up new counseling groups for the spring in early March. If your child is struggling with making friends, handling situations that cause anxiety, frustration or other feelings, feel free to call your child’s counselor to discuss whether one of our groups would be appropriate for your child.

7th Grade from Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Quarles

We were very busy this month in the 7th grade. Scheduling has been a big focus! Your children were seeking me out to ask me about courses next year, taking Geometry via Virtual Loudoun over the summer. Here is some of the information I have shared with them (and would like to share with you):
•Scheduling has concluded for our rising 8th grade students. Any changes between now and May 26th will need to be emailed to me and I can change courses manually for you. The absolute last day to change courses is May 26th. We can make changes for students at Stone Hill and Brambleton. I will be working with teachers throughout this 3rd quarter to review student grades and course selections for next year. We do our best to ensure that each student is prepared for the classes which they sign up for and that means I may be calling you to suggest a specific class. If you have any questions about scheduling or specific classes, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at or
•We have some students who are in Algebra I this year and are interested in taking Geometry over the summer. We have not received any official information yet from the Virtual Loudoun office, so I am not able to give out definitive answers yet. Here is the website where more information will be found when they do update the summer school session class offerings: We will send out a Naviance email to all families when more information has been received. For the last few years, Geometry for middle school students was a virtual, online course. The expectation was that students spend approximately 4 hours every day on the material. Please have a conversation with your child’s math teacher to see what his/her recommendation is with regards to your child taking Geometry over the summer. It is a year long course packed into 10 weeks, which means it is at a very high level of rigor. It is important for families to understand the time commitment and expectations. If your child signs up for Geometry over the summer, I will change their course requests to reflect Algebra II/w Trigonometry for next year. This change will not take place until June and I will resend a course selection letter out to those families that are affected by this change.
We have quite a few small group counseling sessions that have started. Please let me know if you feel that your child could benefit from participating in one.
8th Grade News from Mrs. Bagdasarian and Mrs. Barrett

The last two months have been very busy for our rising ninth grade class and we have several very important events coming up in March for our eighth graders transitioning to the high school! This winter, students heard a presentation by the RRHS counseling department, along with a variety of RR department chairs, and registered for ninth grade courses. Please feel free to contact either Ms. Barrett or Ms. Bagdasarian with any questions regarding the course selection process. We have already met or spoken to many of you and want to make sure that you are comfortable with the transition that your son/daughter will be making to high school. The deadline for making changes May 26th. Please adhere to this deadline as we will not be able to make any changes after this deadline.

8th Grade Writing SOL
During the month of March, 8th graders will be taking the Writing SOL. Their teachers have been working diligently to prepare students and we are certain they will all do well on the exam. We would recommend a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast the morning before their test.

Rising 9th Grade EXPO
Our tentative date for the Rising 9th Grade Expo is March 30th. All 8th grade students will participate in the EXPO (we are currently ironing out the details on whether they will all go together or whether we will send them on their individual RR days). Students will have an opportunity to explore all of the RRHS Clubs, organizations, and sports teams available. They will hear musical presentations and be able to take a tour of the school (outside of the areas with which they are already familiar). More details to follow!

The application form for the CAMPUS program is due by March 6th. Students must complete it online (If your son or daughter would like to use the computers in the library, please ask him/her to see Ms. Bagdasarian or Ms. Barrett). The CAMPUS application can be found here:

The CAMPUS program looks to support and assist first generation prospective college bound students with college readiness information and experiences. More information on CAMPUS can be found here:

Thomas Jefferson and Academy of Science Updates
All of the applicants for TJ, AOS, and AET should be so proud of all the hard work they have accomplished through the admissions process! Final decisions on applications will come out shortly.

Summer School Information
Official summer course offering information has not been received yet. When information from the Virtual Loudoun Office has been received, it will be pushed out to parents via Naviance. In the meantime, here is the website where information will be posted as it becomes available: