Guidance & Counseling
Mrs. Greco and Mr. Keogh
It is our mission to provide a comprehensive developmental counseling program addressing the academic, career and personal/social development of all students in grades 6-8, in partnership with our school community and with an emphasis on preparing students to be self-directed learners and responsible members of our school community.
769-5500 ext. 2602
769-5500 ext. 2603
- The Role of the School Counselor in 6th, 7th and 8th Grade.
- Contact the Counselor
- Talk With a Counselor
- Special Guidance Programs
- Bullying Prevention
- Transition From Fifth to Sixth Grade
- Eight to Ninth Transition Programs
The Role of the School Counselor in 6th, 7th and 8th Grade.
- Counselors advocate for students.
- The counselor reviews schedules to make sure that students are appropriately placed according to math level, foreign language, required electives and support class. Counselors coordinate RTI meetings.
- The counselor reviews class lists/schedules with both teachers and administration. The students’ personalities, work habits, aptitudes are mixed and matched so that the end result is a heterogeneous class population.
- The counselors work collaboratively with the Special Education department to make sure an identified student’s I.E.P. is reflected in the schedule. In terms of the electives, some are mandated. The counselor helps the student determine his/her strengths, abilities and interests.
- The counselor case manages the student who has a 504 Accommodation Plan as well as the declassified students. The accommodations and modifications are maintained throughout the year. The counselor is responsible for arranging a 504 Annual Review.
- Parent Conferences: This establishes a strong home-school connection. Topics often covered are: the child’s educational progress, personal growth, strengths, weaknesses,goals, extracurricular activities, enrichment, homework, teachers, concerns, work habits,etc. As needed, parent/teacher conferences are arranged.
- The counselor assists faculty, parents and students in the interpretation of test scores.
- The counselor reviews: The parent portal, RTI criteria, interim reports, report cards, administrative (discipline) referrals and teacher contact forms. In this way, a profile is developed to help us to understand the whole child. When necessary, intervention services are put into place.
- The counselor serves as part of the Crisis Intervention Team. This includes crisis management, intervention, coordination and follow-up. The protocol and team support benefits the student’s needs and ensures quality care.
- The counselor recommends students for the summer intervention program (if available).
- The counselor facilitates team meetings on a weekly basis. This pro-active approach helps identify students at risk and to plan appropriate interventions. The counselor meets weekly with administration and support staff.
- Through monthly joint Guidance Department meetings, with the high school, common issues and and concerns are shared.
- The counselors meet with their students in small groups during lunch. It is an opportunity to get to know the students better as well as to discuss any concerns they may have.
- In the spring, the counselors coordinate selection and placement of students in our accelerated classes, i.e., Earth Science, Living Environment, and Algebra, and assists with selection of Foreign Language and Electives.
- Attend the Committee on Special Education (C.S.E.) meetings when appropriate / necessary.
- Arrange home instruction for students who are absent for an extended period of time.
- Facilitate the RTI Program, along with Administration.
- Work with Administration to devise, brainstorm and implement the student / teacher schedules for the coming year.
Contact the Counselor
Talk With a Counselor
The School Counselor is a valuable resource for students...from providing guidance and support with academic, social, and emotional needs to educating on career and vocational development. The counselor will listen and try to help. What the student tells the counselor is confidential. However, serious issues that require further interventions will be discussed with administration and parents.
Special Guidance Programs
- New Student Welcome Lunches
- Anti-bullying initiatives
- Education: Push-In lessons and Naviance activities
- D.A.R.E. (Define, Assess, Respond and Evaluate) Program: Foster good decision-making. Internet Safety and Cyber bullying
- Maintain information on current enrichment opportunities
- Stress management
- Social groups
- Tutoring Buddies
- Locker Buddies
- Sixth Grade University
- Westlake Foundations-Sixth grade course
The Westlake Middle School community defines bullying as a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over a period of time. Any acts of bullying are against the school Code of Conduct and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Through Advisory sessions, classroom presentations, review of the code of conduct, students are learning to identify the types of bullying and coping skills to address them. Types of bullying are:
- Mocking, name calling or taunting
- Malicious teasing about appearance, clothing, personal possessions, ethnic background, religious affiliation, etc.
- Verbal threats of aggression and/or violence
- Gossiping, embarrassing someone or spreading rumors
- Excluding from group or social rejection
- manipulating social relationships
- Any physical contact, such as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, spitting, tripping
- Defacing, kicking or stealing personal property
- Demeaning or humiliating acts
- Inappropriate use of e-mail, text messaging and/or social media which exposes, interferes and/or infringes on the general health, safety or welfare of another student
Transition From Fifth to Sixth Grade
- The transition activities provide an opportunity for professional dialogue between the Columbus Elementary School and Westlake Middle School personnel.
- The transition process for 6th graders is on-going and includes parents.
- Opportunities are provided for parents and staff to discuss student expectations, goals, growth and development, academically and socially.
- Solicitation of music choices
- Counselors may attend special education articulation and C.S.E. meetings at Columbus Elementary School
- Placement recommendations by elementary teachers and remedial and learning specialists
- Counselor meets with 5th Grade teachers at Columbus Elementary School to complete the articulation form
- Fifth grade visitation at middle school
- 5th grade students and 6th grade buddies spend the morning together in classes
- Panel discussion by current 6th grade students
- Fifth to Sixth grade evening Parent Orientation Presentation
- Follow-up contact with individual elementary teachers as needed
- Special Education services scheduled
- Mass scheduling begins
- Special Education services scheduled
- Student scheduling with administration (contact with parents if necessary)
- Students are invited to visit and tour the middle school to familiarize themselves with the school’s floor plan, resolve schedule problems and set up and try out their lockers
- Sixth Grade University
- Welcome Assembly
- Students meet the guidance team
- New student lunch
- Small Lunch groups throughout the year – Transition follow-up
Eight to Ninth Transition Programs
- Parent Conference-as requested to discuss their child’s educational progress in the middle school as well as personal and social growth development and concerns.
- Recommendations for Westlake High School classes are made through the counselor’s coordination with current eighth grade teachers. This includes Regents and Honor Classes.
- Counselor collaborates with the high school to schedule a high school visit which includes introduction to staff, presentations and a panel of high school students.
Private School Applications
- The 8th grade counselor completes private school applications as requested. This involves coordinating teacher recommendations, sending reports, contacting schools, etc.
- The eighth grade counselor coordinates high school recommendations based on criteria listed in the course catalog.
- Individual scheduling appointments take place in the high school Guidance Office with their new counselor. Students review and select ninth grade classes for the coming year.
- When possible, high school counselors attend 8th grade annual review meetings for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 Accommodation Plan to ensure plans will appropriately meet individual needs for when students come to the high school.
- Eighth grade visitation is scheduled by the middle and high school Guidance Departments. Eighth grade students are invited to spend three periods at the high school. Students are broken up into small groups and rotate among different activities which include informal sessions with the Principal, Assistant Principal and Guidance Counselors. Various topics covered range from extracurricular activities to high school expectations. One period is spent with a panel of high school student representatives who explain what life is like in the high school. The panel’s focus is to address eighth graders’ questions and concerns as well as explain the many opportunities available at the high school. During this day 8th grade students also fill out questionnaires which help match them up with high school mentors as part of the PALS (Peer Advice and Leadership) Program.
- Middle school counselors coordinate the paperwork for Regent students who have to attend local summer school. This may involve registering to take a course, review class, or New York State Regents examination in August.