Welcome to the Bonita Vista Middle School Counseling Department:
The goal of the Bonita Vista Middle School counseling team is to promote academic success by working cooperatively with students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community . We embrace the diversity of our students and advocate for equity, access, and success for all students.
Counseling Center Staff
The BVMS Counseling Department is comprised of 2 full-time counselors, one part time counselor and a school registrar.
If you have any questions or concerns, parents are always welcome to contact us over the phone, email or schedule an appointment. All counseling center staff can be reached by calling the counseling center (397-2220) or calling the main office (397-2200.) Counseling staff can also be reached via email. Parents are welcome to drop-in but appointments are strongly recommended so we can put 100% of our focus toward your concerns.
The counseling secretary, assists in scheduling most parent/ teacher conferences. If you would like to schedule a conference or to “shadow” your student for the day, please feel free to contact the counseling secretary.
Students are welcome to visit their counselors before and after school and during nutrition break and lunch. If the counselor is not available, students can complete a “Counselor Appointment Request” form, available in the counseling office, and the counselor will call the student to the office during the school day.
Each student is assigned a counselor based on last name:
Homework Request Policy
The counseling secretary can assist in collecting homework when a student misses three or more days of school. If a student is out fewer than three days, we recommend that the student request the homework directly from the teacher. Students missing more than five days may be eligible for an Independent Study contract.
Counseling Services Available:
The BVM counseling team provides individual and group counseling, and classroom presentations to students regarding academic and personal/ social issues. Some of the counseling team activities include:
- Compact for Success and Early College Planning
- Parent/ student conferences regarding academic & personal issues
- Individual registration of every student into a rigorous course of study
- Incoming 7th grade orientation
- Academic counseling
- Crisis counseling
- Conflict resolution and conflict mediation
- Orientation for newly enrolled students and their families
- Referrals to community-based agencies for on-going counseling & support
Counselors meet with students in a one-on-one capacity when the student or an adult requests a meeting. These meetings are confidential (unless safety is a concern) and are to discuss issues such as academics, problem solving, goal setting, personal problems affecting school and other issues that may be impacting learning. Counseling sessions are generally brief but a counselor may make a referral to on-going counseling if necessary. School counselors are not licensed therapist and therefore we do not provide long-term counseling.
Small groups are formed when a common need surfaces for a small group of students. Some examples include, resolving a conflict amongst a group of students, goal setting, adjusting to middle school, etc. Participating in small groups can help students relate with other students who have similar challenges.
Classroom Guidance Lessons
BVMS counselors provide lessons in the classroom in the three core counseling areas: academic development, career development and personal/ social development. Several of our presentations are available on our school website. The following presentations can be found on our website:
- Incoming 7th Grade Orientation
- 8th Grade Registration Presentation
- CST Analysis Presentation
- Academic Group Counseling Presentation
- Promoting School Success: Helping your student be successful in middle school.
- College: Making it Happen (English)
- College: Making it Happen (Spanish)
- Test Anxiety Handout
Student Recognition & Involvement
There are a variety of opportunities for students to get involved at BVM. In addition, we have opportunities for high achieving students to be positively recognized on campus. BVM and its students have consistently won awards for academic, athletic, and musical/ artistic abilities. Feel free to view our BVM trophy case in the front office! The following are a few of these opportunities:
- Honor Roll: All students who have a 3.0 and above in scholarship & citizenship. Only 1 “C” allowed and no “D or F” grades allowed for Honor Roll qualification.
- Recognition Assemblies & Parties: Several parties are held throughout the year for students who show high achievement in grades, attendance, and performance on school-wide testing.
- Straight A luncheon: Straight A students (Fall semester) and their parents are invited to a luncheon honoring the student’s achievements.
- 8th Grade Awards Assembly: 8th grade students will receive awards for academics, citizenship, athletic, artistic accomplishments. In addition, awards are given to the top 8th grade boy and girl. Each department provides awards for stand-out students in their department.
- Knowledge Bowl: Academic team competes against other district schools. Our team consistently receives top honors across the district. Open to all students, practice held during advisory.
- BVMR: Open to all students, this club focuses on reading, community service, fundraising for library services and fieldtrips. Meetings are generally during lunch in the library.
- BVM Intramural Athletics: After-school sports program for boys and girls. Practice held twice per week with games against other district schools held on Fridays.
- Athletics: If your student has notable athletic abilities, please let us know. Counselors often receive scholarship, leadership, & recognition opportunities and would like to nominate your student.
- Community Service/ Involvement: If your student is actively involved in his/ her community, please let us know. Counselors often receive scholarship, leadership, & recognition opportunities and would like to nominate your student.
- Science Fair Projects: BVM students will compete at BVM, some will advance to the district competition and a select few may make it to the County-wide competition.
- Spelling Bee: held on campus and top students proceed to district & County competition.
- District Art Show: Students enrolled in art class often have their art pieces displayed in the main office. Students showing notable artistic achievement will be honored at the district art show.
- Band & Choir: represent BVM and will perform in local and regional competitions, assemblies and festivals.
Parents- Tips for Success
- Attend Back-to-School Night: Each teacher will review their class expectations and will explain their grading policy. In addition, they will share the best way to get in contact with them and how parents can monitor their student’s progress.
- Check your student’s planner: Each student is provided a school planner free-of-charge. Review the planner on a daily basis to monitor that assignments are being written and completed.
- Access the school website on a regular basis: Many teachers have class websites that allow parents to monitor daily assignments and even grades. In addition, the school website has up-to-date bulletin announcements.
- Write down progress report dates in your calendar: Each semester the students will receive two progress reports (early September, late October, mid February, early April. ) These will go home through the student. The final semester grades will be mailed home (December & June). If you do not receive the report card, please contact the counseling center for another copy.
What should I do if my child is not achieving to his/her ability level?
- Talk to your student. Find out what they are struggling with and what steps they have taken to get help.
- Talk with the teacher. Is the student struggling with tests, quizzes, homework, and/ or behavior? Ask about what interventions are necessary to improve the student’s achievement level in the class. Ask about tutoring that may be available.
- Advisory pass: Many teachers issue advisory passes so the student can come to their classroom during advisory and get extra help.
- Talk with the counselor about other available interventions, such as weekly progress reports, school tutoring, private tutoring, shadowing, counseling, etc.
- Weekly Progress Reports: Students and parents can monitor weekly progress by using the Weekly Progress Report. Every Friday, the student takes the WPR to his/ her teacher at the beginning of the period and brings it home to the parents at the end-of-the-day.
- “Shadow” your student. Contact the counseling secretary to schedule a day or class period to sit in class with your child.
- Provide rewards and consequences for achievement.
Middle School Promotion Requirements
The Sweetwater Union High School District has established Middle School Promotion Requirements that your child must successfully complete by the end of the 8th grade. Promotion Requirements to receive a middle school certificate for the class of 2016 and beyond is as follows:
1. 21 total credits earned in both 7th and 8th grades
- (Students will earn 12 semester credits in grade 7 and 12 semester credits in grade 8)
2. All Core Class subjects must be passed. This includes passing/completing the five subject areas of: 1) English/Language Arts 2) History/Social Science 3) Mathematics 4) Science 5) Physical Education.
Promotion Requirements to participate in the promotion ceremony and related activities are as follows:
- 21 total credits must be earned in the 7th and 8th grades.
- No “F” grade in ANY of the Core Class Subjects/P.E.
- All debts, library holds, IPADS, detentions, Saturday Schools, etc. must be cleared
- Receiving an “F” grade entails there is no credit earned for that class. Students who receive an “F” grade in any of the five subject areas noted above, prior to the second semester of 8th grade, must repeat the course. Credit Recovery (based on availability) will be offered to students to remediate the credit they need with passing grade of “D” or better.
Counselors will notify students and parents via mailing if their student is not on-track with the promotion requirements. Every effort will be made to enroll them in a credit recovery class. Currently summer school is not being offered for credit recovery.
Transitioning to Middle School
The transition to middle school can be a scary, exciting, fun and/ or challenging time for many students. It is normal for students and parents to feel nervous, excited, anxious or scared. Students are not only making a change to a new school but they are also going through many physical and emotional changes that accompany adolescence.
Middle school serves as a two-year transition between elementary school and high school. During this time we assist your student in learning the academic and independent skills needed to be successful in high school and in life.
How to help your child make a smooth transition:
- Reassure your child that it is okay to feel nervous.
- Highlight the positive
- More independence
- New opportunities: more clubs, new friends, dances, etc
- Opportunity to learn new subjects
- Take a tour of campus over the summer
- Attend 7th Grade Orientation
- Attend “Back-to-School” night
- Reassure your child that middle school is a safe place with many caring adults to help
- If your child is still having difficulty after several weeks, please make an appointment to see your child’s counselor.
Registration & Class Scheduling
The school counselors individually register every student into a rigorous course of study. We utilize placement guidelines provided by the Office of Curriculum and Instruction. To view the guidelines, click on the following link: http://curriculum.suhsd.k12.ca.us/. We utilize test data (CST, End-of-Course, CELDT), academic grades, GATE, English Proficiency, IEP’s, and 504 plans to make appropriate class placements. In addition, we utilize student, teacher, and parent recommendation for placement into accelerated and support classes.
Counselors make the majority of academic placements in the Spring semester (February-May) before summer vacation. If you have any questions, recommendations, or concerns regarding your student’s academic placement, please feel free to contact your student’s counselor. You can also indicate any requests on the students course selection form.
7th Grade Registration
Incoming 7th Grade students will be registered through their elementary school in late January. The BVM counselors will visit our feeder elementary schools and provide a one hour orientation presentation. In addition, we will provide an orientation presentation for incoming 7th grade parents. During the student presentation we will provide a green “Student Course Selection” form. This form is collected from the elementary school in early February. Additional registration materials (proof of residency, shots, etc) will be required. Registration dates and information will generally be provided in mid-February/ early-March.
8th Grade Registration
Students going into the 8th grade are registered during PE class in early February. We will provide a presentation to all 8th grade students. The presentation reviews academic expectations, class placement/ scheduling, and Compact for Success. In addition, we provide a yellow “Student Course Selection form” to all students to take home and share with their parents. We provide approximately one week for student to complete their form. During PE, students will individually meet with their counselor to select their classes for 8th grade. Additional registration materials (proof of residency, shots, etc) will be required, more information to be announced.
Middle school is the perfect time to begin setting goals to attend college. At BVMS we provide a number of opportunities for students and parents to begin early planning and awareness. Here are some ideas to begin preparing for college in middle school:
- Attend the 7th Grade field trip to SDSU sponsored by the Compact for Success
- Attend “College: Making It Happen” night offered at BVM in the Spring semester.
- Earn A’s & B’s in your classes and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
- Consider taking Algebra and foreign language.
- Consider taking at least one accelerated class.
- Talk to your counselor about achieving your college goals.
How to be competitive for college and scholarships
- Enroll in rigorous college-prep classes
- Maintain a strong grade point average GPA
- Develop your leadership skills
- Contribute to your school and/ or community
- Develop your unique skills, abilities and talents
- Be a well-rounded individual
- Start planning in middle school- meet with your counselor to share your goals
Helpful college websites
Southwestern Community College has provided free access to this website until September 1, 2013. This website provides a wealth of information about careers and provides online assessments to measure student’s skills and interests. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your counselor. To access the website go to www.careercruising.com and use the following log-in information:
Start with the Career Matchmaker assessments and then move onto the “My Skills” and “My learning styles” assessments.
This is a free career website provided by the federal government.
Community Resources & Referrals
At times parents may need referrals to outside agencies for additional assistance. The counselors are knowledgeable of social services in the community that may be available to assist families in need. Many of the resource centers offer group counseling for youth and parents in the areas of anger management, substance abuse, building healthy relationships, divorce, grief, and parenting teens. In addition, the resources may be able to assist with referrals for medical and dental care, food banks, and other social services. A few of these resource centers include:
- Chula Vista Family Resource Center
- South Bay Community Services
- Turning the Hearts Center
- South Bay Family YMCA
- San Ysidro Health Clinic
- Dial 211