Baird Middle School Guidance Department Staff
Ms. Emily Herring, Guidance Counselor: Grade 6
Mr. Patrick Cadigan, Guidance Counselor: Grade 7
Ms. Marie-Claire Foley, Guidance Counselor: Grade 8
Mrs. Megan Lutz, Licensed Social Worker: Grades 6, 7 & 8
Mr. Stephen Ziemba, School Psychologist: Grades 6, 7 & 8
Mr. James Connery, Student Adjustment Counselor: Grades 6, 7 & 8
Mrs. Robin Robitaille, Guidance Secretary
"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."- James Powell
WHAT DO COUNSELORS DO?
The role of the School Counselors is to support the mission of the Paul R. Baird Middle School Counseling Department by facilitating the development and empowerment of all students to reach their potential in academic, career, and personal-social areas through a comprehensive and developmental curriculum. School counselors, with the assistance of parents, teachers, administrators and the community, encourage all students within the school to become effective learners, responsible citizens, and contributing members of society. Paul R. Baird Middle School supports the values of honesty, respect, resiliency, and empowerment and works to develop those qualities in each and every student through a safe and caring learning environment that encourages social responsibility and lifelong learning.
Counselors are trained and educated in a Masters degree program to help students find solutions to problems, meet the challenges of growing up, and better understand and appreciate themselves and others. Students may seek out their counselors to speak about academic course selections, peer relationship problems, sorting out emotions, or even exploring future plans. Everything said between a school counselor and a student is held in the utmost confidentiality, UNLESS the safety of the student, or another, is in jeopardy. School counselors are mandated reporters, meaning they must report any signs of abuse, neglect, or safety concerns to an appropriate superior.
Throughout the year the counselors will be presenting a number of relevant workshops to the students.
1. Orientation Counselors and Principals will travel to the 5th grade to introduce them to the Middle School. Students will learn about the expectations and will set Action Goals for themselves to achieve while in 6th grade the following year. Tours will be given over the summer for prospective students and families.
2. Tolerance/Bullying Counselors and teachers will address the causes and consequences of bullying in the school. Tolerance and acceptance will be taught. Students will be introduced to a school-wide culture and climate curriculum.
3. Career Exploration Students will discuss and be given a chance to explore their future goals. Careers, school, values and interests will be explored. Students will start to create their six-year career plan to help prepare them for success.
Suggestions for future workshops are always welcome!
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
Parents may want guidance in helping their children through middle school. These three years can be very difficult emotionally and academically for students as well as parents. Many changes are taking place and new expectations are being demanded. We suggest…
1. Stay involved in your child’s life. Even though many children start to push away from their parents to gain independence, stay involved. Know where they are going and who their friends are.
2. Ask questions. Even if your children may seem annoyed or frustrated with you asking questions, it shows you are interested in their lives. This goes a long way and whether they show it or not, your children will appreciate it.
3. Work with the teachers. If you can’t seem to get a clear answer from your child about school, ask the teachers. They are here to help and will give you an idea of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Many will have concrete suggestions for you to help your child succeed.
4. Support and encourage your child! Instill an expectation that school is important.
Sometimes children need more help than can be provided in school. Listed below are some agencies that can help:
GriswoldCenter at WingMemorialHospital: 413-284-5400
Family Care Counseling 35 PostOffice Park, Wilbraham: 413-596-6922
Psych Care Associates, Winsor St, Ludlow: 413-583-6750
Jim Levine & Assoc., 9 College St, Hadley: 413-534-7400
Or contact your child’s Pediatrician or Health Insurance Company for other local listings
Behavioral Health Network: 733-6661 Psychiatric Crisis Services 24 hr.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford