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E is for Empathy
This month's lessons will focus on respecting and understanding differences in others. Students were taught last month that we all have different strengths and "not yets."  Empathy for others means that we think about how someone else is feeling.  It's "walking in someone else's shoes."  The "R" in our school wide matrix "Be Respectful" will be reinforced. Students are taught to follow the "Golden Rule" and treat others the way they want to be treated.


Welcome Back to School

Here at Waverly Yowell we are excited to welcome our students back.  We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing.  Our initial School Counseling lessons will focus on team building in the classroom, learning about and identifying our personal strengths and "not yets."  We call the skills we are still working on and developing "not yets."  This helps develop a growth mindset in our students. 

Students will be taught about the growth mindset all year.  The growth mindset is the idea that our brains can strengthen and grow with practice and perseverance.  This differs from what we call a "fixed" mindset.

Lessons will also focus on teaching what it means to Be A S.T.A.R.  Waverly Yowell has school wide expectations which are:

Show determination
Take responsibility
Act safe
Respect everyone

Students will be encouraged through School Counseling lessons to
 Shine Like A STAR!


Back to School Preparation

Preparing for returning to school from summer vacation can strum up a lot of emotions for our students and families.  Our 1st day of school is Tues., Aug. 15.  Here are some tips to help ease the transition:

1. Be prepared by checking school supply lists and labeling your students' supplies.  You can bring these to school on Open House (Aug. 10, 1-7 pm).
2. Start adjusting your child's bedtime routine at least one week prior to school starting.  Remember, school aged children need 9-10 hours of sleep each night.
3. Make sure your child knows what to do after school BEFORE leaving home in the mornings.  Students who are uncertain of their afternoon routine experience undue stress during the school day.
4. Give your child extra love and attention during their transition back into the school year.  Make time for unstructured play and family time.
5. Be certain your child completes their homework.  A homework routine should be started on the first day of school.  This ensures that your child is confident and prepared when starting school each day.
6. Never hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns.  We look forward to working with our families this school year!




Summer break is a great time to discuss the growth mindset with your child.  Children should understand that learning doesn't stop in the classroom.  Encourage your children to use summer break as a time to strengthen their "not yets"-by learning about and practicing new things:

-Learning to do an activity they have never done.
-Visiting a new place.
-Learning a new sport.
-Spending time with a family member and playing a new game.
-Learning to do a new chore.
-Baking a new recipe.
-Creating a piece of Art for the Fair.
-Doing a science project.
-Researching an interesting topic at the library.

The possibilities are endless so give your brain a good workout-by having FUN!




This month's lessons are focusing on BULLYING.  Students are taught that bullying has two parts:

1.  Bullying is on purpose.
2.  Bullying happens over and over and over.

3rd grade learned the difference between bullying and someone bossing them around.  They also learned what to do in both situations.

4th grade focused on the difference between someone being and mean and bullying.  They also learned what to do in both situations.

5th grade learned about cliques.  Cliques can be considered a form of emotional bullying.  Students were taught how to identify cliques.  We also reviewed the "Top 10 Ways to KEEP your friends."

The focus in all grades was how to use kindness to deal with difficult situations.  Students were also taught and practiced how to use "I Messages."

I feel _________________.
When you _______________.
Because ______________.
I want ________________.


I want to welcome Meg Early to WYES as my practicum student.  Meg is a graduate student in the UVA School Counseling program and a graduate of MCHS.  Meg will be working with me this semester once a week in my School Counseling program.  Welcome!



Students at Waverly Yowell have been talking about how to show CARING.  There have been several opportunities for students to practice showing caring for others including:

1.  Coin Collection for MESA
2.  Toy Drive for MESA
3.  Canned Food Drive for MESA 

MESA stands for Madison Emergency Services Association and serves the local Madison community.  We are proud to support MESA and give to families in our own community.

Happy Holidays to all of our families!





School Counseling lessons the first 6 weeks have focused on helping students identify their personal strengths.  Students learned about "The Power of Yet" and the growth mindset.  Instead of saying "I am not good at that" we can say "I'm just not good at that, yet!"  There is much research about the power of having a growth mindset.  The skill of empathy was also introduced.  Students were challenged to "think win-win" when working with others.






Welcome Back!

Everyone at WYES is excited that the 2016-17 school year has begun.  The time to establish your child's homework routine is TODAY.  Every family has a different homework routine, and that is okay, just make sure you are consistent.  Have your child remove their agenda from their backpack for you to review and sign.  Establishing and teaching these routines to your child now will create a smooth sailing school year.




As the start of the school year approaches it is important for families to reintroduce a daily schedule to their children.  Bedtime routines can help ensure a restful night's sleep.  Remember, school age children need around 10 hours of sleep each night.  Now is the time to start enforcing those earlier bed times in preparation for back to school.





It's been a great school year!  Summer is a great time for families to spend quality time together.  I would encourage you to use this time to find meaningful activities to do with your child.  Learning can take place all summer long by:  reading a chapter book to your child, playing a game of softball at a family reunion, visiting Shenandoah National Park, catching fireflies at night, telling family stories, putting your toes in the sand (my favorite) and so many more.  Make a goal to spend quality time with your child each day.  Enjoy your summer and we look forward to seeing you in August!





The end of the school year is a busy time.  Please be aware of all upcoming dates for your student.  It is also important that you stick to your child's regular schedule as much as possible.  Children thrive with consistency.  Homework  and bedtime routines are very important this time of year.  As a reminder school age children need 9-10 hours of sleep each night.  This is a good time of year to remind or teach your child about coping skills.  Exercise and mindful breathing are great ways for school age children to deal with stress.




This month classroom guidance lessons are focusing on CAREERS.  Students are taught that a career is a job that incorporates your interests and strengths.  April 4-8 will be CAREER WEEK at WYES.  There will be daily trivia questions about careers, with winners at each grade level.  Friday, April 8 will be Career Day.  Students may come to school dressed in what they want to be when they grow up.  Please see the link on this site "Career Awareness" for  more information on careers.  Additional activities happening in our building this week include 3rd grade Marketplace Day on Tuesday, MCHS Senior Leadership Day on Thursday and some parent visitors sharing their careers with classes.

Careers = Strengths + Interests



WYES is celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb. 15-19, 2016.  Please visit https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ for more information on this internationally celebrated week.  WYES will be celebrating in several ways:

1. A RAK Week challenge board was sent home last week in all students' Tuesday communicators.  As students complete each Act of Kindness they can put a check in each box.  Completed boards may be turned in to Mrs. Keys by Feb. 22 for a prize.
2. Each day classrooms will be given a daily RAK challenge to complete as a class.  As the class completes the challenges they can color in a balloon on the sign outside their door.
3. The SCA is sponsoring a clothing collection for our local MESA.  Students may bring in gently used and clean clothing/blankets/hats and gloves until Friday, Feb. 19.  Thank you for your donations!
4. Students are encouraged to complete Acts of Kindness at home and in their community.  Parents may submit pictures of their students via email completing an Act of Kindness to be included on our Friday video announcements (to nkeys@madisonschools.k12.va.us).



Happy National School Counseling Week!  This Friday, Feb. 5 is "My Future is Bright Day!"  Students can wear their sunglasses to school to show that with perseverance they have a BRIGHT future!  Students can also dress up like what they want to be when they grow up OR wear their favorite college t shirt!





Classroom guidance lessons are focusing on INTEGRITY and decision making this 9 weeks.  Students at WYES are encouraged to Stop and Think when making decisions.  Decisions should always be made using INTEGRITY.

Students are taught that integrity means doing what is right, even if nobody is looking, they don't feel like it or nobody else is doing it.






It's the most wonderful time of the year!  The holiday season is the perfect time to teach students about kindness and caring.  Students at Waverly Yowell are always encouraged to show good citizenship.  I am encouraging them to get "gritty" with their citizenship.  Students are taught that THEY have the power to make a difference.  3rd grade students made pledge statements about something they can do to contribute to their community.  4th graders learned about reflective listening.  Please ask them to tell you the 3 steps to reflective listening.  5th grade students learned about how their actions can start a "chain reaction" of kindness. 

Classroom guidance lessons focused on EMPATHY-the ability to understand and feel another person's emotions.  Empathy is an important 21st century skill.  If we can understand another person's perspective we will be better equipped to successfully work with them on a TEAM.  Gritty citizenship and practicing empathy are NOT easy and dont come naturally to all students.  The students were reminded that practicing these skills will take PERSEVERANCE.  Children can learn empathy and citizenship by contributing to collections to help others in need.  More information will be coming home about the following opportunities:

Monday, Nov. 30 Canned Food Drive to benefit our local MESA begins
Tuesday, Dec. 1 Coins for Cancer donation collection begins


Happy Fall from the School Counseling Office!  We've had a busy start to the school year teaching our students all about perseverance and the growth mindset.  Students learned about their brains and neuroplasticity.  We read the book "Your Fantastic Elastic Brain" in all guidance classes.  Check out this short video all about the brain and neuroplasticity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7FdMi03CzI.  Students identified their strengths.  Ask your child about the ways in which they can stretch and grow their own brains!




Welcome Back to school from your School Counselor, Mrs. Keys!  A new school year brings a time for lots of changes and excitement.  It is the perfect time to establish a routine that your child will follow all year.  This routine should include a set time for homework and bedtime.  Your homework routine should include a consistent routine for checking and signing your child's agenda.  School age children should get 10 hours of sleep each night in order to be prepared for the next school day.



I am happy to announce that I will be a supervising a UVA School Counseling intern this school year, Mr. Aaron Blount.

Parents may call the School Counselor at any time to discuss concerns about their child or to set up a meeting.