February 26, 2021

School Counselor News

Southern Middle School Guidance Staff

Mrs. Connie Markle, Guidance Clerk A.M. x 3272

Mrs. Jackie Winterson, Guidance Clerk P.M x 3272

Mr. Jason Katz, School Counselor Last Names A-K x 3523

Mrs. Lisa Hall, School Counselor Last Names L-Z x 3522

Please communicate any concerns with us 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 at 717.235.4811, extension 3272. You may also follow the Guidance Office on Twitter @SMSGuidance for articles & resources.

For those students who will be joining us for the fourth marking period, we welcome you and will do our very best to integrate you into Southern Middle School. We are happy that you will be joining us. For those that are heading to Digital Academy, we are only an email or phone call away if you need assistance with anything. It is important to create a schedule for yourself and assign a certain amount of time each day to work on your assignments.

How can your child see Mr. Katz or Mrs. Hall? Below are links to schedule times to meet with us.

Students with Last Names A-K   Schedule a virtual appointment with Mr. Katz

Students with Last Names L-Z  Schedule a virtual appointment with Mrs. Hall

  • If your child attends school on the A/B Hybrid schedule (for the next few weeks), we will be happy to meet with them during lunch or I/E or on their virtual days we can set up google meets to meet virtually.
  • It is very important to maximize everyone’s face to face time with teachers.
  • If someone is having a serious emotional crisis that prevents them from attending class, we will gladly help them and contact home for parental support.
  • Anyone enrolled in Digital Academy is welcome to set up an appointment with us virtually at any time that works in their schedule.
  • Parents are welcome to schedule a virtual meeting to discuss any needs you have with your child.  

Staying in class with teachers as much as possible on face to face days will go a long way in keeping school related stress manageable for students.

This time of the year the pendulum swings a bit in regards to the stress levels that we experience as the holidays are once again behind us and we trudge along through the bitterness of winter. The to-do lists continue to grow along with the responsibilities in front of us. Here are 5 Coping Skills Activities to help students manage their stress levels.

  1. Start with a Mindful Morning – Here is a technique called Grounding that includes deep breathing and bringing ones attention to the present moment. 
  2. Make a coping list strategies menu – Feel free to use this coping strategies list from Pathway 2 Success.
  3. Color or Draw – with these free Mindfulness Coloring Pages 
  4. Exercise – This works as a wonderful calm down technique and is said to raise serotonin levels in the brain. 
  5. Read Positive Affirmations – Pathway 2 Success offers this fabulous resource for kids.

Previously Shared (But Still Awesome Family Resources)

Five Ideas to Help Parents Empower Students during At-Home Learning

COVID-19 virtual learning and education: Thinking and learning

The Pandemic Parenting Guide

Covid-19 Mental Health Tip Sheet

Parent Tips for Distance Learning

A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Coping with Covid-19

A Teen/Young Adult’s Guide Of Things To Do At Home To Combat Loneliness And Boredom

York County School of Technology 

In order to apply to YCST, please use the link included to complete the online application process:   YCST Application. The final date to apply for full-time applicants is April 1st. First round acceptances will be announced this month.

Click here to access the York County School of Technology Resource Guide that contains information regarding the application process and details about each technical area.  

If you have any questions about York County School of Technology, please contact Mrs. Hall or Mr. Katz in the guidance office.  

The Student Assistance Program & School Based Mental Health Program – Offered Virtually

The Student Assistance Program continues to function actively in 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 guidance 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.

Crisis Intervention Services

If you are concerned for the immediate health and safety of a child call 911 and send them to the location of the child.  If you share the crisis information with a student and have any concern, please contact your school counselor as soon as possible so they are able to follow up.

  • TrueNorth Wellness Crisis Intervention – 1-866-325-0339 or 717-632-4900 (for students experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal ideation) Open for phone calls – no walk-ins or home visits.
  • York Hospital, Hanover Hospital and UPMC Memorial Emergency Departments have 24/7 Crisis Intervention Services available, but due to the influx the departments may have with COVID 19 cases, you may want to avoid these locations unless you have no other options.
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