Guidance

Our friendly Guidance department is ready to help you.

 

left to right: Kevin Williams, Dona Gomes (Secretary), Ronda Melton, Wendy Harris, Donna Mincheff

left to right: Kevin WilliamsDona Gomes (Secretary), Ronda MeltonWendy HarrisDonna Mincheff

OVER VIEW


Great Bridge Middle School feels that the guidance/counseling program plays a vital role
in the success of the student and the school. The guidance/counseling department helps students
overcome problems that impede learning by assisting them socially, emotionally, and
academically. Our desire is to enable students and their parents to make good educational and
life decisions that will hold promise for their personal fulfillment as mature and responsible
members of society.

 

 

GUIDANCE/COUNSELING SERVICES


1. Counseling

• individual
• academic
• preventive or interventional
• crisis
• referrals from students, parents, teachers, or others


2. Classroom guidance

• academic planning/scheduling
• decision making
• bullying
• peer pressure/decision making
• internet safety
• personal/social development

 

3. Consultation

 


PROGRAM DESIGN


GBMS has three grade-level counselors and one director of guidance. The role of the
director is to guide and oversee the entire department and its programs as well as manage the
administrative tasks of scheduling, grading, and testing. The director does not have a grade-level
caseload but is available to assist any and all students and parents.


Each grade-level counselor has a caseload of all the students in the grade to which he/she
is assigned. The duties include all of the standard guidance/counseling services as well as
registration and withdrawals.


With one male guidance counselor and three female guidance counselors, GBMS is
equipped to effectively deal with counseling situations that may be gender specific.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


1. How does my child request to see his/her counselor?
The child should fill out a “Request to See My Counselor” form and return it to
his/her teacher. The teacher will deliver it to the appropriate counselor in a timely
manner. The counselor will then request to see the child, making every effort to be
discrete and avoid core class time if possible. If an emergency situation exists, the
child should ask his/her teacher for a pass and come directly to the guidance office
at that point.


2. What if I have a question or concern about my child’s grade?
The starting point should always be with your child. He/She should have a clear
indication of why the grade is what it is. However, if concerns and questions
continue, get in touch with the teacher in writing, e-mail, or via phone for
clarification.


3. Will a student’s individual counseling session with a counselor be kept confidential?
If the nature of the counseling session is personal and private, then yes. If the
nature of the counseling session is educational, then a discussion with the child’s
direct teachers may be appropriate. However, if a student reveals that he/she or
someone else is in danger, the counselor has a “duty to inform.”


4. What if I want to request a change to my child’s schedule?
Schedule changes cannot and will not always be granted. However, a schedule
change request must come from a parent/guardian in writing or the “Schedule
Change Request Form” can be used.


5. We will be moving soon, what must be done to withdraw my child from school?
Please notify the guidance counselor one week in advance, if possible. The child will
be given a Transfer/Withdrawal Clearance Sheet on the last day of school. Be sure
that all textbooks and library books are returned and that all fees and fines have
been paid. The child or parent will be given a copy of the appropriate withdrawal
paperwork at the end of the last day in order to enroll in another school. The new
school will request the student’s complete records via mail or fax.


6. How is class scheduling/placement conducted?
Each spring, usually in February or March, scheduling for the next school year
takes place. The school will offer “Scheduling Information Nights” where parents
can come and learn about the course offerings and expectations of the next grade.
Each child will be sent home with a scheduling sheet with the recommended core
class already designated by his/her current teachers. These recommendations for
regular or honors level core classes will be based on specific criteria as well as work
ethic, initiative, and motivation. The student and parent will choose an elective(s)
and return the form to school. It is imperative that students and parents be certain
of their selections made in the spring because our teaching staff and master course
schedule is based on those selections. Therefore, limited changes will be allowed
after course selections have been turned in to guidance.

 

 

DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CHILD


Fact: The most rapid physical growth normally takes place between the ages of 12 and 14 years of age.


Fact: Emotional stability is inconsistent during the ages of 10 to 14.


Fact: Peer group prestige is paramount.


Fact: Brain growth declines between the ages of 12 to 14.


Resulting normal behaviors:
• Awkwardness
• Clumsiness
• Extreme self-consciousness
• Lack of endurance
• Need at least nine hours of sleep
• Erratic behavior – loving and then pouting
• Lose control easily
• Tremendous insecurities
• Want to be someone else
• Need adult approval but on own terms
• Demand independence but do not follow through on responsibility
• High standards of behavior for everyone else but themselves
• Usually conformity is the order of the day
• Attempts to break away but is lost without family and school security
• Periods of excessive day-dreaming
• Frequent periods of listlessness
• Attention spans are frequently of short duration
• Fatigue often


Source: MacMaster, Dolly, Crash Courses on Parenting Pre-adolescents, East Lansing, MI:
Michigan Association of Middle School Educators.

 


SECTION 504


STATEMENT: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to eliminate
discrimination on the basis of a disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial
assistance. This act requires that a qualified student who demonstrates a physical or mental
impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities not, on the basis of the
disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to
discrimination in any program offered by Chesapeake Public Schools. As per the law,
determination of qualification and accommodations under Section 504 shall be made by a
knowledgeable Section 504 Committee, which consists of the principal or designee, and other
professional staff deemed appropriate. The Section 504 committee will consider all information
provided by the parent/guardian during the Pre-504 Determination Meeting. However, the
knowledgeable Section 504 Committee is responsible for making the decision on qualification
under Section 504 and any subsequent accommodations.


CRITERIA: To be qualified under Section 504, a student must have an identified physical or
mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


REFERRALS: Anyone, including parents, doctors, or school personnel may refer a child
for consideration under Section 504. However, “The school must also believe that the child
is in need of consideration under Section 504 based on qualifying criteria.” (Office for
Civil Rights Memorandum, April 29, 1993.) If you wish to refer a child, please contact the
grade-level guidance counselor.

 

 

STUDENT ENROLLMENT INFORMATION


This enrollment information is provided to assist you in the process of enrolling your
child in Great Bridge Middle School. Please call 482-5128 to arrange an enrollment
appointment if possible. The following current enrollment information is required for
enrollment.

1. Certified Birth Certificate
2. Custody orders, if applicable
3. Verification of address – electric, gas, or Hampton Roads Sanitation District bills
showing usage are the only acceptable documents at the school level. All other
types of proof or special situations must be approved through the Office of Student
Enrollment at the School Administration Building.
4. Immunization record
5. Report card/withdrawal form
6. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for Special Education Services if applicable

Note: The social worker shall accompany a child in foster care for the purpose of initial
enrollment in Chesapeake Public Schools. The foster parent is encouraged to be present as well.



 


PARENT CONFERENCES


Parent conferences can be arranged by contacting the designated team teacher in writing
or via phone to make the request. To be able to meet with all core teachers at once, conferences
must be held during the school day at a specified time depending on the grade.



 

GRADE-LEVEL INFORMATION


Each grade of students is housed in a different section of the building. The eighth grade
is located on the first floor, while the seventh and sixth grades are located in opposite ends of the
second floor. Each grade level is divided into four teams of teachers. All teams have one
English, math, science, and social studies teacher.

Team teachers are located next to one another. This close proximity benefits the students
when they are changing classes. Other benefits of the team concept are:

• Core content areas can be related to one another.
• Students feel more comfortable on a small team in a big school.
• Team teachers can coordinate homework/test loads.
• Field trips are team events.

 

 

 


TRACKING YOUR CHILD’S GRADES


All parents and students are provided with accounts to Synergy. Once activated, this
allows for the viewing of current grades weekly. Please contact the school’s Synergy manager
should you run into difficulty.