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The staff of the CMS school counseling department, (also known as the guidance office), work to help students and parents navigate the often difficult transition from childhood toward independence and personal responsibility.

The middle school years begin a young person's struggle for self-realization. While many students are eager to be independent, they are not necessarily ready for the challenges that come with taking charge of some decisions in their lives.

Parents may not be ready either! The process can be difficult, sometimes even painful, but it can also be exciting and rewarding.

The CMS support services staff is ready to help parents and students to prepare for the personal, social, and academic changes that lay ahead. We encourage you to work with us in this effort.

Your child can contact us directly by asking his or her teacher for a pass to come to the office to discuss a matter that is of concern. Usually, most issues are handled quickly between the counselor or psychologist and the student(s). For many typical middle-school issues such as peer quarrels, occasional academic or social problems in classes, immature behaviors, etc. our first line of action would be to help students recognize the part their own behavior may have played in whatever the problem is and to figure out what they can do about it with our support and guidance.

There may be times we need to call parents if the problem is one that the child cannot handle by him or herself with our assistance. We will always keep parents informed of anything serious that requires your knowledge or support.

Parents who wish to contact us with questions or concerns, or to alert us to family issues which are impacting your child, should feel free to call or email at any time.

Links for Students and Parents

Student Success Plans

Counselors will be working with students in grades 6-8 to create individual student success plans. The objective of the student success plans is to help students begin to think in depth about and explore their academic, personal-social, and future career development. We are using Naviance, a web-based program, to have students in grades 6-8 create their success plans in an electronic portfolio.

We will be working with 6th graders using Naviance to explore their personal strengths and learning styles, and how awareness of these can help them to improve as students. In grades 7 & 8, students will do some career exploration using inventories and surveys on Naviance. 7th graders will be completing the Career Key, an inventory that will help them identify careers that would fit their personality style. The career exploration component of the student success plans will be implemented throughout the winter. 8th grade Student Success Planning culminates in the spring with our "Career Cruising," which will allow students an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of a person in a career field of interest. We will also discuss post-secondary planning with 8th graders.

We are excited to be working with students to help them start exploring these important aspects of learning! Students will continue to use Naviance at CHS to help with post-secondary planning.


Naviance

Below please find the link to Naviance Family Connection for students and parents. This is where you can find your child's electronic portfolio for his or her student success plan. If you need assistance with login information, please contact us.


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Is Your Child Interested in Technical High School?


Every fall, representatives from the Connecticut Technical High School System (Vinal Tech. in Middletown, Prince Tech. in Hartford) will come to CMS to visit our 8thgraders and tell them about options available for high school. This presentation occurs in October. The focus of this presentation is on the programs offered and the application process.

Vinal Tech held an Open House for prospective 9th grade students and parents in November. If your child is interested in Vinal but cannot attend the Open House, please call 860 344 7100, ext. 313.

If your child is interested in attending a technical high school, please remember a few things:

1. There is an application process. This involves you and your child completing part of an application and then submitting it to Mrs. Webster or Miss Nordmark in the guidance office. If your child hands in an application, then you will receive notification confirming receipt of the application.

2.Please be aware that there are several aspects of your child’s educational background that will be looked at for the application process. These include report card grades, attendance history, standardized test scores, disciplinary records, and extracurricular activities.

3. After submission of your child’s application, Vinal representatives will process applications and then contact you directly to make you aware of your child’s status (usually by March).

4. Although most applications are handed in and processed in December, they are accepted at any point during the school year.

5. If your child thinks he or she might be interested in attending Vinal Tech, but isn't sure, he or she should still complete and hand in an application. Students who are accepted to Vinal can decline and attend Cromwell High School if they so choose.

If you would like more information about Vinal Technical High School, or any regional technical high school, please visit www.cttech.org. Applications are available on this website or in the Guidance Office.

Applications are usually submitted to Vinal in December so if your child is interested, submit the application to Miss Nordmark or Mrs. Webster in the Guidance Office.

Is Your Child Interested in Agricultural Science and Technology?

The Agricultural Science and Technology Center at Middletown High School offers opportunities for students interested in the agricultural field. Representatives from this program will also visit in the fall to make our 8th graders aware of this option for high school. There is also an application process for this program. For more information call 860-704-4599 or visit http://middletownschools.org and search "agricultural science & technology."

What's Going on in the Guidance Department?

Transition to High School:
If your 8th grade child will be applying to a high school other than CHS, please be sure to submit applications and/or requests for records in a timely manner to the guidance office.

Visits from schools such as Vinal Tech and the Vocational-Agricultural Program at Middletown High School will take place in October-November.

Student Success Planning:
Grade 6-
Counselors will be meeting with with language arts classes and social studies classes throughout the year to work on their Student Success Plans using Naviance. The first activity students will complete for is was the Strengths Explorer, an inventory that helps students identify their strengths. The second activity is the Learning Styles Inventory, a survey that helps students identify their best way of learning.

Grade 7-
Counselors will meet with 7th grade language arts classes to begin the career exploration component of their Student Success Plans. Students  will complete the 'Career Key' on Naviance to help them identify their personality type and some careers the best fit their personality type.

Grade 8-
8th language arts classes will do some further career exploration in the winter, and later will attend our Career Cruising events, featuring volunteers from the Cromwell community speaking to students about their occupations. Additionally, counselors will work with 8th grade social studies classes to give them a taste of high school and post-secondary planning. Students will use Naviance to get the hang of researching a college!

Any time you or your child have a question about Student Success Plans or Naviance, please feel free to contact the guidance office!