Aug. 29th Parent Coffee

Thank you for attending last week’s parent coffee. As we said, the purpose is always to help fuel conversations and partnerships within our community. There were many links that we went over quickly so as requested we have included the presentation here.

As mentioned in the presentation, I wanted to also present some recent research regarding the impact of sleep, screentime and regular exercise on impulsivity. Impulsivity is often considered a part of Executive Skills and can have a large impact on academic development and achievement as well as social development. We will explore this in more depth in an upcoming parent coffee.

For any suggestions or feedback regarding parent coffees please follow this link.

Happy New School Year 19-20!

Welcome to new students and families and welcome back to our returning members of our school community. The new school year is two weeks underway and we hope you feel excited to be part of our middle school and that the transition has been smooth. ‘

Some ideas for how to help your child succeed in middle school are presented in this article. At the MS parent coffee mornings, we will be presenting on a variety of topics and sharing related resources with you.

Course Selection

Dear grade 5, 6 and 7 parents,
Recently we have met with all grade 5, 6 and 7 students to review our process for elective requests for the 2018-2019 school year. In our presentation, we covered elective requirements, course descriptions and the new process of collecting their requests.

This school year we have begun using a new method of collecting elective requests where the students log into PowerSchool and directly select their choices regarding World Language, Music and, in the case of grade 7 and 8s, other elective choices.

In our presentation students have been shown how to access this course selection feature by first logging into PowerSchool (student login). Once logged into PowerSchool students should select class registration.

Included at the top of the screen are all of the required classes. For these classes, there is no need to select or edit. Below the required class there will be fields for World Language, Music, and other electives. Please know that this will look different for each grade level.

Select the field of electives that you have a choice in and select your world language, music or elective choice. Once done the red exclamation mark will turn to a green check. When all selections show a green check click submit.

You will have the ability to edit course selection from March 13th to March 27th.

If you have any questions regarding this process please feel free to email your child’s counselor directly.



Below is a brief overview of the process that has been presented to students. Please note that screens may look slightly different on an iPad compared to a personal computer.


Here is a downloadable PDF of the Elective Selection

Grade 5 Parent Presentation

Use THIS LINK to ask questions to us about your child’s transition to MS. We will review the questions weekly and update the blog with answers.

Additional Note for Music Selection:


Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass

Band – Brass

Trumpet, trombone, Tuba, French Horn, Euphonium

Band – Woodwind

Saxophone (tenor, alto, bari), Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Basson


Grade 8 Parent Coffee – PeOPle Project Introduction

We recognize that a parent event scheduled for 8:30 am on a weekday presents a conflict for those with other commitments at that time. So, many thanks to those Grade 8 parents who joined us for the presentation on February 12, with the aim of introducing you to the Grade 8 PeOPle Project (POP). The slides from the presentation can be reviewed by clicking on the link below. More detailed information is also provided on the PoP Blog.

Parent PeOPle Project Intro

Executive Function Parent Coffee – Jan 24th, 2018

Thank you for your participation in this weeks parent coffee where we discuss the meaning of Executive Skills/Functions and specifically the changes that occur in MS through the onset of puberty.
In recent years I have been drawn to the research from Dr. Zelazo, who has made connections between brain development and the executive function, stating that the massive amount of growth in the prefrontal cortex (seen during the puberty years) creates an increase in neurons activity, which results in a “too many cooks in the kitchen scenario”. What has been seen as an individual matures is the neuron pathways get prioritized and streamlined, making connections between different parts of our brain, most significantly the frontal cortex and amygdala more efficient.

In the presentation below he touches on the impact that this shift in Executive Skills will have in Empathy. The full presentations, and other by Dr. Zelazo, relating to executive function can be found on youtube.

The presentation is noted here.

Copy of Parent Coffee – Executive Function .en.ko (1)

Additional resources that were used in this presentation was research from Peg Dawson titled Best Practices in Assessing and Improving Executive Skills. If you would like to read that entire article you can ExecutiveSkillsChapter. Please note that not all of the strategies presented in this work would be appropriate for all students in our school setting as there are many factors that would need to be considered.

Here is a link to the article regarding a mother’s conversation with her son regarding the brain’s changes through puberty.

Other publications that were noted in our presentation was the work of Dr. Daniel Seigal including The Whole Brain Child and Brainstorm. His work is very interesting and his books are appropriate for anyone that works with children, from parents to coaches to teachers. His works can be found by clicking here.

We also mentioned the book Mean Girls (which is a workbook that we have in the counseling office) and Siblings Without Rivalries.