SMS Counseling Dept

January 31, 2020

School Counselor News

Southern Middle School Counseling Staff

Mrs. Connie Markle, Counseling Clerk A.M. x3520

Mrs. Jackie Winterson, Counseling Clerk P.M x3521

Mr. Jason Katz, School Counselor Last Names A-K x3523

Mrs. Lisa Hall, School Counselor Last Names L-Z x3522


Please reach out and contact us with any concerns, so we are able to work with you in a proactive manner to ensure your student gets what they need to make school a happy, safe place to learn.  You may contact us at [email protected], [email protected] or call 717.235.4811 extension 3520.

York County School of Technology 

Parents of 8th graders:  First round applications were due on December 2, 2019. Should your child’s application be submitted after this deadline, it will be submitted on a rolling basis for the second round of applications which will be due by Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  All applicants attended a visitation session with SMS School Counselors last month. Students & families will be contacted in March regarding acceptances. If you have any questions about York County School of Technology, please contact Mrs. Hall or Mr. Katz in the guidance office.  

  Wake Up Call Program

A selection of 7th grade SMS students will serve as peer leaders for district elementary schools (4th, 5th, & 6th grades) for the Wake Up Call Program. 

The Wake Up Call program is a diversity/empathy event and assists students to:   break down walls of misunderstanding between groups of students to create safer schools; promote a positive sense of self worth and respect; encourage a better understanding of differences and similarities in people; support a positive school environment; encourage students to respect and discuss their differences; help students embrace differences and learn to treat them as unique, positive qualities; and foster empathy and promote kindness. 

Dates for the event are: Southern Elementary School (February 6, 2020), Shrewsbury Elementary School (February 11, 2020), Friendship Elementary School (February 21, 2020).

*** New Feature *** School Counselors Monthly Tip

Combatting the Winter Blues

  • Get plenty of exercise, especially outdoors. Exercise can be a mood lifter.
  • Spend time with friends and loved ones who understand what you’re going through — they can help provide you with personal contact and a sense of connection.
  • Be patient. Don’t expect your symptoms to go away immediately.
  • Ask for help with homework and other assignments if you need it. If you feel you can’t concentrate on things, remember that it’s part of the disorder and that things will get better again. Talk to your teachers and work out a plan to get your assignments done.
  • Eat right. It may be hard, but avoiding simple carbohydrates and sugary snacks and concentrating on plenty of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits can help you feel better in the long term.
  • Develop a sleep routine. Regular bedtimes can help you reap the mental health benefits of daytime light.

The Student Assistance Program & 

School Based Outpatient Satellite Program 

The Student Assistance Program continues to function actively in the middle school.  As a reminder, the SAP team is a group of trained staff members who work to identify, intervene and refer students who are having difficulties due to a variety of possibilities.  The student assistance program is available to all students at SMS (the exception being someone who is already receiving drug/alcohol or mental health counseling). Please contact the Counselors Office to make a referral or obtain additional information. 

The SYCSD/PCBH School Based Counseling Program utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to bridge the gap young people who need mental health care, and young people who receive mental health care by providing coordinated mental health services at a licensed satellite office of PCBH in the familiar environment of the school setting. Please contact Mrs. Hall or Mr. Katz for more information if needed.

Follow Southern Middle School Counselors Department on Twitter – @SMSGuidance

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