Dear Spackenkill Families,
Below is a guide created by Todd School Psychologist Kate Casucci and Todd School Counselor Mary Camburn on the topic of bullying. It provides information and pointers for parents/guardians regarding children in the role of victim, bystander, or bully.
Included in the guide is a list of books pertaining to this topic currently available at the Todd Library.
Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at
Guidance Department at Todd Middle School
What do counselors do?
The counselors at Todd consist of guidance counselors, a school psychologist, and social workers that work as a team with students, parents, and teachers. The primary function of this team is to counsel with students on any matter that they feel is important. Many students expect a counselor to solve problems. What a counselor can do is help students (and their families) select a possible solution to a problem and continue to help select possible solutions until things improve.
How do students get to meet with a counselor?
Counselors make an effort to meet and build relationships with their students. Students are always welcome at the guidance office and can come for advice and support throughout the school day.
How are students referred to a counselor?
Students are referred to the counselors through self-referrals, teachers/staff, other students, parents, administrators, and the nurse.
What can counselors help with?
Some of the topics that have been discussed with counselors include peer relationships, divorce, loss of a loved one, peer pressure, self-esteem, personal difficulties, choices, drugs and their dangers, personal/family difficulties, expressing and managing feelings (anger, sadness, jealousy, etc.), effective communication, homework, grades, student/parent relationships, student/teacher relationships, courses required for graduation, career exploration, setting goals, and other concerns. All issues discussed with a student and/or parents are kept in strict confidence.
In addition to the services mentioned above, counselors work with students in group settings, such as group counseling and mediation, to effectively reach those with common concerns and issues. Group counseling provides a safe haven for students to share feelings and receive support when facing certain issues such as divorce, etc. Mediation between peers, teachers, etc. is sometimes necessary as a solution for an issue or concern.
What other things can counselors help with?
- Facilitation of parent/teacher conferences. Requests by either teachers or parents for team meetings are scheduled through the guidance secretary and usually take place during a team-meeting period (when a team of teachers share the same free period), or at 2:30 PM.
- Academic planning occurs in January for scheduling eighth grade students into the ninth grade. An important part of this process is the involvement of the parents/guardians. The middle school counselors work in conjunction with the high school counselors to make this a smooth process.
- Orientation for incoming sixth grade students helps ease the tensions for both students and parents.
- Schedule changes are done only on an as needed basis.
- Home tutoring will be provided if a student has a health problem or physical impairment, which in the opinion of a licensed medical examiner, will cause him/her to be absent from school for an extended period of time. Contact your child’s guidance counselor to set up this program.
- The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth was established in 1979 to develop a program to identify, challenge, and reward young people with academic talent. The CTY annual Talent Search looks for exceptional mathematical and/or verbal reasoning abilities among students in the seventh grade in order to provide opportunities that encourage them to excel. To qualify to take the SAT I: Reasoning Test or the ACT, students must score at a level four on a NYS Assessment in English or Math. The SAT I and ACT provides information that can help students recognize and develop their academic strengths. The Todd Middle School has been participating in the Talent Search since 1984. Numerous students have scored high enough on the SAT test to qualify to take academic programs during the summer at various participating colleges. In October letters will be sent home regarding eligibility for the Johns Hopkins Talent Search and an informational meeting will be scheduled for late October.
Can counselors recommend resources outside of school?
Counselors maintain working relationships with agencies that may be of help to families in need. Please contact your child's counselor for recommendations.
What services do the Psychologist and Social Workers offer?
The school psychologist and social workers also provide counseling services, however they often counsel students on a more frequent or long-term basis. The psychologist also identifies students who are in need of special education services or 504 Accommodation Plans. Please contact your child's guidance counselor, the school psychologist, or a social worker for more information.
How are students referred to the Psychologist and Social Worker?
Students can be referred to the psychologist or social worker by parents, teachers, the principal, the other counselors, or themselves. Long-term counseling services will only take place with parental consent. The psychologist and social worker will work with the students to determine the most appropriate counseling times.
How can I contact my child's counselor?
The counselors can be reached during the school day at (845) 463-7825. They can also be reached at the following e-mail addresses:
Guidance counselor for students with the last names A - J firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidance counselor for students with the last names K - Z email@example.com
School pyschologist firstname.lastname@example.org
School social worker email@example.com
School social worker firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I request homework for my child?
Homework can be requested if your child is absent from school. Please call the main office or the guidance secretary before 9:30 AM in order for homework to be requested for that day. Homework is available to be picked-up on the guidance office door after 3:00 PM.
How can I help my child prepare for the state assessments?
Additional resources, including sample assessments, for students to prepare for the New York State assessments can be found on the New York State Department of Education web site.
How can my child obtain working papers?
An employment certificate, often referred to as "working papers," is required for minors before they may begin to work. Students who are interested in obtaining their working papers can pick-up an application from the guidance office. Once an application is completed, a certificate will be issued. Students should keep this certificate in a safe place.
How do the counselors support career exploration?
Students explore a variety of careers through their class work. In addition, there is a career speaker program for eighth grade students. Through this program, students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of speakers who present information about their careers throughout the school year. Some of the careers which students have learned about include engineering, fashion design, forensic art, law and law enforcement, medicine, acting, and education.
Career Zone, an interactive web site, is a resource which the counselors use to support students' questions about a variety of occupations. Many of the descriptions include videos which provide an overview of the occupation.
How do students help other students?
Arrangements can be made for older students to assist younger students. Please contact your child's guidance counselor for more information.