Counseling Program

Enjoy each new adventure and know you can handle all of it

Vision & Mission

BMS School Counseling Program Vision Statement:

Through engaging in the Biddeford Middle School Counseling Program, students thrive in the changing world. All BMS students who pursue goals of high school and beyond are: resilient, leaders, lifelong learners, and are positively changing the world. All students are empowered with knowledge to make healthy choices, cope through adversity, and to speak up to help others. BMS citizens are responsible, respectful, empathetic, and growth-minded. These critical thinkers are culturally aware and consistently persevering. By contributing to their community, they have found their place and experience fulfillment while making a difference in the world.

BMS School Counseling Program Mission Statement:

The Mission of the Biddeford Middle School (BMS) Counseling Program is to collaboratively create a school culture where all youth are resilient, empowered leaders, lifelong learners, and changing the world around them. Through our equitable program, all students learn skills and are respectful, responsible, and celebrating their own uniqueness while honoring the differences of others. All students at BMS are valued, connected to trusted adults, and problem solvers. We proactively foster perseverance and accountability so all students have the skills to learn and succeed in a changing world. Our comprehensive and developmental counseling program is shaped by data-driven decisions and advocacy to create an equitable learning environment for all students.

Spread Kindness Mural

Tiger PRIDE

PROACTIVE PROGRAMMING THEME - Tiger PRIDE

All of our classroom lessons and core curriculum, small group counseling, and whole-school initiatives will be based on the following themes:

  • Perseverance (coping skills, stress management, trusted adults)

  • Respect (self and others, upstanders to bullying)

  • Integrity (kindness, responsibility, speak up for what’s right)

  • Determination (goals, careers/college, growth mindset)

  • Empathy (strong leaders changing the world, community and citizenship)

GOALS

  • Connect EVERY student to Trusted Adults

  • Promote kindness and empathy toward all students

  • Decrease bullying and suicide ideation

  • Teach coping skills and that it's OK to ask for help

  • Teach students how to persevere and be resilient

  • Help each student to Reach Higher toward their future aspirations

Classroom Lessons and Core Curriculum

6th Grade

RESPECT & BULLYING PREVENTION

In sixth grade, students learn about respecting themselves and others, being kind friends, and reporting bullying. We use the Second Step curriculum to teach skills that help students learn to work together in their school community.

We also present a Bullying Presentation to the students in the fall, explaining what the difference is between bullying and teasing, as well as who to report concerns to in the middle school.

7th Grade

COPING SKILLS & ONLINE SAFETY

We work with the 7th graders on teaching them coping skills to manage different feelings.

We present a THINK Before You Post presentation to the students, teaching online safety tips and ways to be kind instead of participating in cyber bullying.

Color Post-It

8th Grade

DECISION MAKING & AWARENESS

We offer a lot of awareness topic events in the eighth grade at BMS. Our focus is encouraging our students to think about their futures and the goals they want to achieve in high school and beyond. Part of considering their life goals involves making positive choices for themselves - like avoiding drugs and alcohol, treating others respectfully online and in person.

We come together in January for 8th Grade Awareness Day, where we dive more into the topic of respect and being leaders.

We host a substance abuse prevention guest speaker in December, and talk more with students about the dangers of sexting and the important topics of cyber safety later in the winter.

We visit with every 8th grader individually during our Minute Chats in the spring, after they hear from the high school staff about what heading on to 9th grade is going to be like for them. We try to answer as many questions as we can about the course signup process and their academic goals as they move past middle school into high school.

We assist our staff with college tours for the 8th graders, these are our favorite trips!

Minute Meetings

Minute Meetings

We meet with every student individually each year in Minute Meetings. These are our favorite thing to do each year! We ask students a handful of questions about how their year is going, if they have a Trusted Adult in the building who they could talk to if they needed to, if they have been bullied, and if they have any questions for us. It's a great way to connect to each student and let them know we are here if they ever need to talk to us.

Group Rules

Group Counseling

We LOVE groups! It's tons of fun to get kids together who have similar interests or concerns and then see them problem solve through those issues, realizing they aren't alone with however they are feeling. Students who participate in groups meet weekly for 6-8 weeks, once a week, we rotate the day group meets so they don't get behind in class work.

Mrs. Avery and Ms. Gordon offers groups on the following topics:

  • 8th grade respect, future goals

  • 8th grade family changes

  • 7th grade body image, healthy self esteem

  • 7th grade respect and leadership

  • 6th grade lunch meet and greets

  • 7th and 8th grade social skills group

  • 6th grade friendship

  • Coping Skills With Art group to help decrease anxiety

Social worker Mrs. Carlson offers 6th grade social skills groups.

Whole-School Events

Whole-School Events

We love Monday Morning Meetings and any chance to talk with ALL of our students and staff together!

You will see us teaching on stage, usually with our Peer Educators, throughout the school year. We strive to teach about the following important topics - and others as they come up during the school year.

  • SEPTEMBER- Coping skills, mental health, and suicide prevention. Perseverance.

  • OCTOBER- Respect, Bullying Prevention Month, Unity Day, Red Ribbon Week

  • NOVEMBER- THINK Before You Post to 7th and 8th grade students, cyber safety

  • JANUARY- Great Kindness Challenge, empathy, kindness for all, equality, Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • FEBRUARY- National School Counseling Week, College & Career Week, Responsibility

  • MARCH- De-Stress From the Tests

  • APRIL- 8th Grade Transition to High School

  • MAY- Mental Health Awareness and Hope Day

Attend today, achieve tomorrow

I attend, I Rise, I Matter

Attendance Success Plans

Attendance in school is very important. The more you attend school, the more likely you are to achieve your goals - now and in your future with careers and college. If students miss more than 7-10 days of school that is considered truancy. When that happens, letters and phone calls are sent home, as well as meetings held to try to figure out what is getting in the way of students attending school.

If students have struggled with attendance, we may start an Attendance Success Plan for you to set goals, incentives and brainstorm ideas to help school feel like a more positive place that you WANT to come to! We will help break down those barriers to ensure that you can access teachers, friends and clubs in school.

We are here to help! Parents and guardians, if your child is struggling with getting up and coming to school, please reach out to us. We can make a plan that works.