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Guidance Home Page
Welcome to the Guidance Department at Blanchard Middle School
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Our guidance department works to support all students' intellectual, social and personal development. As always, if there are any questions or concerns regarding your student, we would like to hear from you. You can contact us at 978-692-5582 or send us an email at the email addresses listed below.

Mrs. Searl
Guidance Counselor
Grade 7

Ms. Dawson
Guidance Counselor
Grade 8
Ms. Leone
Guidance Counselor
Grade 6
Mrs. Voutselas
Adjustment Counselor
Grades 6-8

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Middle School Students & Their Developmental Needs
Today's young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, every student needs support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Early adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement. Middle school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.

Role of Middle School Counselors
Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as a team member with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement.
School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community. The professional middle school counselor holds a master's degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today's students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor's knowledge and effectiveness.

Middle School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:
School Guidance Curriculum     Academic skills support     Organizational, study and test-taking skills      Education in understanding self and others      Coping strategies     Peer relationships and effective social skills     Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution     Substance abuse education     Multicultural/diversity awareness     Individual Student Planning     Goal-setting/decision- making     Academic planning     Career planning    Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses     Transition planning     Responsive Services     Individual and small group counseling     Individual/family/school crisis intervention     Peer facilitation     Consultation/collaboration     System Support      Professional development     Consultation, collaboration and teaming     Program management and operation     Parent information nights     Communication/networking     Academic planning programs     Parent and family education     One-on-one parent conferencing     Assessment results interpretation     Resource referrals     College/career exploration     Assistance with students' academic plans     Classroom guidance activities on study skills, career development, etc.     Academic support, learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically     Classroom career speakers     At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success     Parent communication/education     Positive school climate     Behavioral management plans     School-wide needs assessment     Student data and results     Student assistance team building     Leadership     Peer education     Peer support     Academic support     Leadership development     Community support     Crisis interventions     Referrals     Parenting classes     Support groups     Career education

Blanchard Middle School  |  14 West Street, Westford, MA 01886  |  ph: (978) 692-5582  |  fx: (978) 692-5598

Westford Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or homelessness.