Safe2Tell Colorado gives students a safe, anonymous way to help someone who is struggling or hurting. Learn what to look for, what to listen for, and what to report at the Safe2Tell website here.
Colorado Crisis Services – New Text Service
Coloradans can now use text to receive immediate and professional help to deal with any type of crisis situation. The new statewide crisis text service launched by Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, a provider of Colorado Crisis Services (CCS), is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The text service is the latest resource for individuals needing mental health, substance abuse or emotional help before, during or after a crisis. Read more about the service here.
Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs) are part of The Denver Plan and are graduation requirements. Starting in sixth grade and continuing to 12th grade, schools, including McAuliffe, incorporate the use of electronic ICAPs for each student as a counseling and guidance tool. The district wide tools for this process include using Naviance and counselor-led lessons.
Change to Naviance Program
Keep an eye out for your student’s ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) as we make the much anticipated switch from using the College In Colorado program to the Naviance program. We are very excited to be making the change from the College in Colorado program to the Naviance program as it will make the transition from middle school ICAP to high school ICAP much smoother. Students will begin plugging into Naviance in early October for 8th grade, late October for 7th grade, and 6th graders will be introduced to Naviance and their plans in January. We will be sure to post lessons via the Activities group on Edmodo so if a student misses a lesson, they can find instructions to make it up there.
Service Reflection and Recording Hours
As our students participate in service learning this school year, we kindly request that they take a few minutes to log into their College in Colorado accounts to log their hours and answer a few questions related to the service they’ve performed. Students are encouraged to keep track of the service hours they provide so that as they later apply for jobs and college they will have a running tally. Here are instructions (will be updated with the transition to Naviance):
- Go to http://connection.naviance.com/mcauliffeis
- Username: student ID # (for example: 1234567)
- Password: 6 digit birthday (mmddyy, for example 090102)
- Find ‘About Me’ tab > Interesting Things About Me > Resume
- Add Volunteer Service
Reflection of service can include a description of the service provided, what need the service filled in the community, what value the service had to the recipient and to the student volunteer, and what was learned in providing the service. Also, you might engage your student in a conversation about service learning in general, and how it might apply more widely to the world at large.
Action (learning by doing and experiencing) and service are integral values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service – making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the program, especially in the Middle Years Program.
Student service reflections should include:
- How did I feel while performing the service?
- What did I perceive?
- What did I think about the activity?
- What did the activity mean to me?
- What was the value of the activity?
- What did I learn from the activity and how might this learning (for example, a change of perspective) apply more widely?
Student Support Groups
McAuliffe offers several student support groups to help students cope with stress, grief, parent divorce, and other social and emotional issues. For more information about any of our support groups, please contact one of our counselors.
Rainbow Alliance is a student club that provides for the concerns and interests of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered students and friends. Students can socialize in a supportive community of peers who either identify within the LGBTQIA+ or are supporters of this community. Rainbow Alliance will meet Mondays during Advisory in Room 315 and Wednesdays after school in Room 315 from 4:05-4:50pm.
High School Presentations and Guidance
Every fall during 8th grade morning meetings, we host local high schools to make a short presentation to our 8th grade students to learn more about their school options. Be sure to check the website of any high school your student is interested in to verify their open house dates and shadow registration information. For questions about DPS’ options for secondary education, please contact Katherine Howes (Katherine_howes@dpsk12.org).
College and Career Resources from DPS
You are your child’s best partner as they begin to make big decisions about their future beyond high school. Whether your child wants to enter college or immediately enter the workforce, being an active partner in planning can make a big difference in easing fears and helping your child to be successful. There are many online resources to help you plan for and discuss college.
DPS has also created a guide to talking to your student about college. Click here to download.
Five Ways to Help Your Student Start the Year Strong
The following tips are provided by Counselors Laura Herbst and Jennifer Perez to help your student get a good start to the school year:
- Get organized
Binders, notebooks, and binder checks-oh my! Help your student find a system of organization that works and use it every day; consistency is key. Planners are your friend! Your student should get in the habit of using a planner every class period every day so nothing slips through the cracks. If your student is having trouble finding a system that works have him/her ask a teacher or counselor for ideas.
- Be patient
It’s intimidating to start middle school, begin a new school year, and be in a new building, not to mention all the changes going on with your teenager’s body, mood, and mind. Teenage years are full of changes and feeling like life is a bit of a roller coaster is normal (one day tears the next happy as a clam). Know that it’ll take some time for to feel “normal” and that’s ok, try to roll with the changes and enjoy the ride!
- Be healthy – Good enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet
It’s easy to stay up and sleep in late during the summer months so it’s important to begin the school year with good habits like getting enough sleep and eating healthy. Teenagers need anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep, so make sure to turn off the electronics, power down, and get some shut eye. Equally as important is avoiding chips for lunch in favor of a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Making healthy choices can have a great impact on a student’s ability to pay attention and do well in school (not to mention affect their attitude!).
- Ask for help
No one knows everything and no one is perfect so make sure to ask for help if an issue arises or you’re confused, and help your student do the same. Middle school students are gaining more independence and it’s the perfect time for them to practice self-advocacy; allow them to reach out for help and find solutions before coming to the rescue so they can learn these skills.
- Take a deep breath and relax
As you well know, you’re only young once, and sometimes we have to remind ourselves and our students of this. Of course, ensure that school work is completed and full effort is put forward, but don’t forget to allow your student to be young and have fun. Remind your student of this too! There are many sports, both competitive and recreational, available to students as well as numerous clubs. Trying something new is fun and helps kids make valuable connections with other students and adults. Kicking back and doing something simply for enjoyment can be just as important to mental and physical health as getting sleep and being productive.
For more ideas, visit the following websites: