COUNSELOR'S CORNER

Name: Mrs. Roy

Office: Room 103

Email: sroy@salemacademycs.org

Phone: (978) 744-2105 ext. 103

Hello! My name is Sarah Roy and I'm the Lower School School Adjustment Counselor at Salem Academy Charter School. This is my ninth year working at SACS and I work closely with the 6th-8th grade students. I'm here to offer support to students who need both short-term and long-term support. Please reach out to me anytime you have questions or would like for me to meet with your child.

STARTING OFF THE SCHOOL YEAR CAN BE ROCKY. WE CAN HELP!

Adjusting to the new school year routine can be challenging for students and parents. After a relaxed, fun-filled summer break it can be difficult to readjust to the long days, academic demands and social group changes. While it's normal for middle school students to feel nervous at the beginning of the school year (especially if they are new to Salem Academy) there are a few things that can be done within the home to ease them back into the school routine. Helping your child get organized while remembering to establish self-care routines (i.e. enough sleep, healthy meals, etc.) and having coping strategies to use in times of stress are always recommended.

Additionally, school counselor support is available for students that may need a break throughout the day to regroup and readjust. If you would like to discuss the needs of your child and any concerns related to their transition back to school please reach out to Mrs. Roy.

For more tips on easing your child's anxiety related to the start of the school year read below!

Think Before You Send!

Families often ask me how to support their child in making responsible choices with social media. Middle school students often utilize sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to connect with friends and family. At this age, students benefit from adult guidance around what types of photos and text they are posting. We encourage parents to closely monitor what their child is posting and to regularly discuss how their posts can impact themselves (especially their future) and others. I encourage all parents/guardians to reach out to me when/if they have concerns around what their child is posting or when/if their child is being cyberbullied and we will offer support and guidance.

Please see the below links for more resources on responsible social media usage.

Tips for Online Safety

Social Media Smarts

IS SCHOOL REFUSAL A PROBLEM FOR YOUR CHILD?

Every year, I work with a few middle school students who have developed a pattern of school refusal. You may notice that your child feels overwhelmed at the prospect of getting to school, particularly on Monday mornings or after a school vacation. While some resistance to getting up in the mornings is very typical (anyone have a grumpy, groggy pre-teen in their family?), you might notice that there seems to be an underlying theme of anxiety related to coming to school. If that is the case, there are things that I can do to support your child in coping with their feelings and easing into the school day. School-related anxiety is complex and can often feel overwhelming to manage. I am here to support your family. Please reach out to me directly if your child needs support around this issue.

How To Handle Anxiety-Related School Refusal



Feeling Stressed?

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives and for many middle school students it can often feel completely overwhelming. In middle school, students often encounter stress related to increased academic pressure, social relationships and changes in their mood (often related to the onset of puberty). I often speak with students about the importance of self-care to manage daily stress. Incorporating relaxing and rejuvenating rituals and activities into their schedule is essential for long-term health and wellness.

How we cope with stress is an individual choice. Listening to music, deep breathing, going for a run, calling a friend or even cleaning your room can dramatically reduce your stress level. I encourage students to experiment with healthy coping skills so that they have a variety of tools in their self-care toolbox to manage stress, anxiety, anger and other difficult emotions as they arise. I often practice these coping skills while incorporating mindfulness and yoga in my meetings with students. As always, I am happy to speak with students individually about stress management. It's always a work in progress!

Resources related to stress management and self-care:

Helping Your Child Manage Stress

Self-care Video

Talking to Teens About Stress