• CMS Counseling Program
    Sarah Greco          (counseling students with last names A-K)   
    sgreco@carmelunified.org 
    Melissa Magreta
     (counseling students with last names L-Z)       
    mmagreta@carmelunified.org
     
    Mission:
    The Mission of the school counseling program in Carmel Unified School District Community is to ensure that all students acquire (develop) the academic, career and personal/social knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to become lifelong learners who are prepared for the challenges of continuing education, the workplace and their role as self-actualizing citizens in an ever-changing global community.

    Carmel Middle School Counselors help our children find success in school by:

    • Helping develop positive attitudes among students towards self, family, and community.
    • Counseling with students individually and in groups to understand and appreciate their unique qualities and to grow personally and socially.
    • Supporting students in developing an individual plan for academic success.
    • Developing and delivering classroom guidance lessons that teach skills such as making healthy decisions, resolving conflicts, and respecting others.
    • Assisting students to become invested in their school success by showing them how school performance relates to career opportunities.
    • Working collaboratively with students, parents, and teachers to identify and remove barriers that may impede student achievement.

    Carmel Middle School Counselors help our children prepare for the future by:

    • Assisting students to develop personal awareness and explore career goals.
    • Counseling students regarding career planning and preparation.
    • Helping develop communication and interpersonal skills needed to relate well to others.
    • Providing a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counseling program that impacts all students K-12. Our program is based on the National Counseling Standards with focus on Academic, Social/Personal, and Career Development.

    Academic Development

    Matriculations:

    In the spring we are part of the team that meets with 5th grade parents and students to acquaint them with Carmel Middle School curriculum, routines and expectations. We facilitate students in preparing for this big step.

    8th grade to 9th grade at Carmel High School
    We assist the CHS Counselors in registering our students for classes in the fall. We also accompany the 8th grade students on a tour of the high school which acquaints them with the programs, athletic teams, clubs, activities, eligibility requirements and a typical freshman class schedule.
     
    New Student Orientation 
    New students registering at CMS for the first time meet with us in August. They receive a personal orientation about our school, home to school communication and expectations.

     

     
     Student Services:
    • All 6th graders experience a fifth period rotation which includes: Eco-literacy, Study Hall, Coding, Health, and Middle School Success.
    • We review mid-trimester and trimester grades to determine appropriate interventions.
    • Counseling groups emphasize organization, study skills development and other needs determined by student need.  

    Interventions:

    Student Study Team 

    A process initiated by teacher,parent, or Response to Intervention whereby all of the student’s teachers are assembled to problem solve strategies to improve student success.

    Support Classes

    These classes are offered within our school day to support students who are struggling in an academic area. Placement is based on counselor/teacher recommendation.

    Study Hall

    Offered during 5th period for all students however, certain students will be enrolled by counselor due to academic need. This class allows students to complete 50 minutes of homework daily.

    One on One Academic Counseling

    Identified students who are performing below “C” level are counseled every Thursday on their academic performance.
     
    Testing:
    • The State of California standardized testing usually occurs two weeks every year. It is important that all students are in attendance the entire duration and come to school well rested and well fed. All doctors and dentist appointments should be avoided during that week.

    California Junior Scholarship Federation

    This is a nationally recognized organization designed for 7th/8th grade students who qualify with exceptional grades and have a passion for community service.  We accept applications twice a year based on previous trimester grades.  After first trimester grades are final students are able to apply.  CJSF Application

    Personal/Social Development

    BAC (Building a Connection):

    7th/8th grade leadership students are trained to support our new incoming 6th graders with a variety of activities. This program is designed to make ALL 6th graders feel safe, confident and a part of our CMS community.

    Intentional Guidance:

    Brief Solution Focused Counseling is utilized for students in need. 

    Conflict Resolution:

    Assistance is given to students who are dealing with a wide variety of conflicts. Students are guided on how to resolve conflicts on their own.

    Group Counseling Sessions:

    Provides students with the opportunities to:

    See that their concerns are similar to those of others
    Learn and practice new behaviors and skills
    Gain self confidence in working with others
    Share solutions to their common problems
    Learn tolerance for others

    Candidates are screened and selected based on a common need. Groups are centered on a common issue and require parent permission.

    Alcohol and Drug Education (Click to follow the link)
     
    Anti-Bullying Education  (Click to follow the link)
     
    Career Development

    8th Grade Career Exploration:

    Students understand the relationship among personal qualities, education and training, and the world of work. We accomplish this by going into the 8th grade Language Arts classes each year and instruct the students on their own individual career exploration. 

    Career Day:

    Every three years CMS hosts a Career Day. This involves the entire school, highlighting the different types of careers. All careers presented involve such skills as leadership qualities or being in charge, working with tools or being outside, challenges your mind and likes to problem solve, people skills or like to explain things, strong organization skills, like being part of a team, creative thinkers, or those with great imaginations.

    College Day:

    The entire school learns about A-G requirements and learns the difference between private, CSU and UC systems. Teachers share their own college experience and discuss the schools they attended. This day is followed by a college bowl activity at the end of the week.


     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I ensure a smooth transition from elementary school to middle school?

    • Stay involved, stay involved, stay involved in your student’s school experience. Opportunities include: “Back to School Night” in the fall, PTO, Open House, chaperone field trips/dances or any other school sponsored events.
    • Make learning part of everyday life.
    • Encourage curiosity, problem solving and independent thinking with your child.
    • Become “positive coaches” when helping your student with school work.
    • Have high but realistic expectations for your student’s success.
    • Model lifelong learning and the value of education
    • Support the school’s discipline policy.
    • Understand your child’s learning styles and how to develop and strengthen them.
    • Encourage positive behavior with your child.
    • Encourage language development through reading, talking and listening.
    • Realize there is no substitute for attendance in school and limit the amount of time you take your child out of school for additional vacation time, dentist/orthodontist appointments, doctor appointments, etc…

    How do I know if my child has homework?

    • Check Online Gradebook. Click on link at http://aeries.carmelunified.org enter your student’s username and password. This allows you to check current grade in all classes. This program is updated at least every 10 days.
    • Voicemail (with a response usually within 48 hours)
    • Checking your child’s “CMS Google Calendar” nightly. 
    • E-mail. Our web site is http://www.carmelmiddle.org/, and has an email directory of all our faculty and staff.

    How much homework can I expect every evening?

    We believe depending on your child’s ability to attend to tasks at hand (ie: not talking on the phone, getting a snack, all types of interruptions) you can expect an average of:

    • 1 hour in the 6th grade
    • 1 ½ hours in the 7th grade
    • 2 hours in the 8th grade

    Recognizing that schoolwork, tests and assignments can build up; our faculty has adopted the following test schedule. (Occasionally a department will get together and change a test date with another department)

    • Language Arts Monday & Thursday
    • Math Tuesday & Friday
    • Science Tuesday & Thursday
    • Social Studies Wednesday & Friday
    • Electives/Life Skills Monday & Wednesday

    No written homework is assigned on a Friday, however this does not include long term projects.  In addition missed work due to absences or falling behind need to be made up over the weekend.

    Are there any resources available for both students and parents to deal with the adolescence years?

    Yes. The middle school years are often a difficult and emotional passage for our children and their families. The following is a list of resources we feel are very informative.

    How to Talk

    Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (ParentMagazine).  Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to: 
    ·      Cope with your child's negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
    ·      Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
    ·      Engage your child's willing cooperation
    ·      Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
    ·      Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
    ·      Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
    ·      Resolve family conflicts peacefully

    Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. 

     

    2

     

    3

    Some of the foremost authorities in the field of loss, grief and death share their insights on this critical topic. Each chapter is written by an expert, examining the variety of losses adolescents encounter, as well as offering ways to support grieving adolescents and adolescents facing their own death. Topics include living with a life-threatening illness (Doka), ethical aspects of adolescent end-of- life care (Jennings), adolescents coping with a parental death (Worden), sibling death (Hogan) support groups for adolescents (Schuurman). The book also includes five personal perspectives of adolescents who have lived with loss.

    4

    "This is the story of an extraordinary boy with a brilliant mind, a heart of gold, and a tortured soul. It is the story of an illness, a fight to live, and a race against death.

    I want to share the story, and the pain, the courage, the love, and what I learned in living through it. I want Nick's life to be not only a tender memory for us, but a gift to others. . . . I would like to offer people hope and the realities we lived with. I want to make a difference. My hope is that someone will be able to use what we learned, and save a life with it."—Danielle Steel

    From the day he was born, Nick Traina was his mother's joy. By nineteen, he was dead. This is Danielle Steel's powerful, personal story of the son she lost and the lessons she learned during his courageous battle against darkness. Sharing tender, painful memories and Nick's remarkable journals, Steel brings us a haunting duet between a singular young man and the mother who loved him—and a harrowing portrait of a masked killer called manic depression, which afflicts between two and three million Americans.

    At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of life, hope, healing, and understanding to us all.

     5

    Written directly to kids in grades 4 to 12, of special interest to readers are the ways anger messes up their lives. Child psychologist Jerry Wilde discusses the causes of anger in relation to Rational Emotive Theory. Exercises in the books will help kids think clearly and be less hostile.

    6

    Hot Stuff to Help Kids Cheer Up is the newest book in the successful Hot Stuff series. This handy guide is designed to help kids work through their depression and self-esteem issues in a way that's positive and effective.
    Author Jerry Wilde has used his experience as a school psychologist to create a workbook that is proven effective in giving kids the tools to break out of the ruts of depression and low self-esteem.

    Kids will learn: 
    --How to think differently so they can feel differently
    --What causes depression and low self-esteem
    --How to stop worrying about what other 
    people think
    --And much more

    7

    Written directly to kids in grades 4 to 12, of special interest to readers are the ways anger messes up their lives. Child psychologist Jerry Wilde discusses the causes of anger in relation to Rational Emotive Theory. Exercises in the books will help kids think clearly and be less hostile.

    8

    From the son of Dr. Phil McGraw comes Life Strategies for Teens, the New York Times bestselling guide to teenage success, and the first guide to teenage life that won’t tell you what to do, or who to be, but rather how to live life best.

    Are you as tired as I am of books constantly telling you about doing your best to understand your parents, doing your homework, making curfew, getting a haircut, dropping that hemline, and blah, blah, blah? —Jay McGraw, from the Introduction

    Well, you don’t have to be anymore! Employing the techniques from Dr. Phillip C. McGraw’s Life Strategies, his son Jay provides teens with the Ten Laws of Life, which make the journey to adulthood an easier and more fulfilling trip. Whether dealing with the issues of popularity, peer pressure, ambition, or ambivalence, Life Strategies for Teens is an enlightening guide to help teenagers not only stay afloat, but to thrive during these pivotal years.

    Whether you are a teen looking for a little help, or a parent or grandparent wanting to provide guidance, this book tackles the challenges of adolescence like no other. Combining proven techniques for dealing with life’s obstacles and the youth and wit of writer Jay McGraw, Life Strategies for Teens is sure to improve the lives of all who read it.

    9

    From Jay McGraw, the New York Times bestselling author of Life Strategies for Teens, comes a workbook chock-full of quizzes, tests, and questions to help you figure out who you are and where you are going.

    Are you the Teacher’s Pet? The Slacker? The Jock? Do you let yourself be labeled by terms like these because it’s easy, because you dress a certain way or listen to a certain rock band? Do you act the way you think others expect you to? Here’s a more important question: Who are you really?

    Jay McGraw’s New York Times bestseller Life Strategies for Teens shows teens that Life Strategies are not just something for their parents, but that teens can use them to take over the driver’s seat and steer their own lives as well. Jay speaks to teens as equals, and gives them the straight story he knows and has been through himself.

    Now with the Life Strategies for Teens Workbook, Jay McGraw has created a fun-filled companion book to help teens work their way through the Life Strategies, and, in turn, through those tumultuous years between playing like a kid and acting as an adult. In the Workbook, Jay introduces a variety of entertaining quizzes, activities, and questions to help teens better answer the question of who they are. From figuring out the roles they play to determining the things they want to change about their lives, this is the perfect guide to showing teens the power of the Life Strategies, as well as the power of their own lives.

     

    10

    The Motivation Breakthrough explores proven techniques and strategies—based on six possible motivational styles—that will revolutionize the way teachers and parents inspire kids with learning disabilities to succeed and achieve.

    Backed by decades of experience in the classroom, educator and acclaimed author Rick Lavoie explodes common myths and gives specific advice for motivating children with learning disabilities. He outlines parents’ and teachers’ roles, suggesting ways in which they can work together to encourage any child to reach his or her potential. Finally, he reveals what we can learn from some of the most powerful motivators in the world: advertisers. With empathy and understanding, Lavoie offers parents and teachers the key to unlocking enthusiasm and responsiveness, proving any child can be motivated to learn.

    11

    Imagine you had a roadmap—a step-by-step guide to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Your goals, your dreams, your plans…they are all within reach. You just need the tools to help you get there. 

    That’s what Sean Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success. Now updated for the digital age, this classic book applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to the tough issues and life-changing decisions teens face. In an entertaining style, Covey provides a simple approach to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, and get along with their parents, as well as tackle the new challenges of our time, like cyberbullying and social media. In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world. 

    An indispensable book for teens, as well as parents, teachers, counselors, or any adult who works with teens, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens has become the last word on surviving and thriving as a teen and beyond.

    12

    When cabin pressure drops, there's a good reason airline passengers are asked to secure
    their own oxygen masks first before helping others. If they didn't, they wouldn't be much
    good to the gasping child or elderly person in the next seat. Such is the philosophy behind
    author Diane Chambers' new book Solo Parenting: Raising Strong and Happy Families (Fairview
    Press, $12.95), a step-by-step guide to help readers deal with the turbulence and pressure
    changes of parenting alone. According to Chambers, a former single parent and self-proclaimed
    cabin pressure expert, taking care of personal needs first is the key to successful single parenting.

    13

    How do teens know when they might be “one click away from the clink”? In Teen Cyberbullying Investigated, Judge Tom Jacobs presents a powerful collection of landmark court cases involving teens and charges of cyberbullying, which includes: sending insulting or threatening emails, text, or instant messages directly to someone; spreading hateful comments about someone through emails, blogs, or chat rooms; stealing passwords and sending out threatening messages using a false identity; and building a Web site to target specific people. Each chapter features the seminal case and resulting decision, asks readers whether they agree with the decision, and urges them to think about how the decision affects their lives. Chapters also include related cases, important facts and statistics, and suggestions for further reading. With an ever-increasing number of serious cases of cyberbullying and school violence, this book is needed more urgently than ever.

    14

    This latest offering in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series explores a host of challenges faced by today's teens. Teen contributors share their thoughts and feelings on difficult issues, ranging from poor self-image to thoughts of suicide, from family discord to coping with the loss, from peer pressure to school violence.

    15

    Bullies. Cliques. Peer pressure. Teenage girls have had enough! Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks is the first book to give teenage girls the lowdown on everyday issues in today's tough girl world, from gossip to gangs. Girl guru “Dr. Erika” has talked to more than 1,000 girls about the major issues in their lives and compiled lots of fun and useful information to help smart girls empower themselves against mean chicks.

     

     

    For more individual therapy we also keep a list of credentialed counselors and agencies that specialize in adolescence and their families. Local Therapists

    What is there to do after school?

    • Our school library is open after school until 4:00 PM daily. 
    • There are after school sports teams, both with the school and the local YMCA, which has quite an active program.
    • Youth Center in town (Carmel-By-the-Sea) accessible by our CUSD Bus transportation with a parent note
    • Extended Learning Center open until 5:30 PM Monday thru Thursday.