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    Dear Parents:
     
          Be prepared to marvel at the tremendous physical, emotional, and intellectual growth that punctuates the middle-school years. It is quite normal for these changes, along with the demands of academics, peers, and society, to create tension and conflict that affect student behaviors. It can be a difficult and awkward time as students continue to adjust to changes in their bodies, worry about peer acceptance, and try to stay atop the standards of our youth’s culture. Rest assured, inside is still that child that needs a parent’s love and protection though they will certainly clamor for independence and privacy.
     
          With the challenges presented by the “in-between years,” our goals as school counselors are clear:
             • To aid students in the acquisition of decision-making, problem-solving, and coping skills.
             • To help resolve any issue that interferes with student learning.
             • To be leaders in the area of bullying prevention.
             • To provide a supportive learning environment.
             • To assist students in developing an understanding of self and others.
             • To improve the self esteem of students.
             • To help students become more responsible and independent.
             • To assist students in developing effective communication and interpersonal skills.
             • To maximize the academic success of students.
             • To facilitate the transition at each grade level.
      
          To meet these objectives, we will provide individual counseling, visit classrooms to facilitate small group and whole-class lessons, and work closely with staff to foster academic and social-emotional growth. We will also work to organize and coordinate educational, community, and family resources. It is our approach to be proactive in the journey of a student rather than purely reactive.
          We encourage parents to communicate concerns and questions but also request that a teacher’s right of first communication be respected when dealing with specific classroom issues. In our experiences, a polite conversation with a teacher will often bear positive results.
          We look forward to working with you and your child to promote a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment.

    Sincerely,
    The Counseling Department at Hopkinton Middle School