Middle School Guidance Curriculum
Student Success Skills
This researched based program focuses on five things: goal setting and progress monitoring, creating a caring, supportive and encouraging classroom, cognitive/memory skills, performance under pressure and building healthy optimism.
Students learn how to respect themselves while still being respectful of others in hopes of win-win outcomes in their interactions. Aggressive, passive and assertive personality types are explained. Students learn to use “I” messages as opposed to accusatory “you” messages to allow them to take ownership of their feelings and de-escalate conflict.
Students view movie clips and participate in group discussions about respect, tolerance, types of bullying, why people bully and how to help someone who is bullied. Students learn the definitions of many words including: bully, bystander, target, prejudice and empathy. The DSMS Mission Statement, respect vocabulary, a bullying incidence pie chart, ways to be an ally and ten steps to stop bullying are included in a packet given to students.
Signs of Suicide (SOS)
Through health classes, the counselors and the health teacher, present a Signs of Suicide Prevention program: SOS-Get into the ACT. Following a brief introduction, students view an educational video, participate in a discussion about adolescent depression and complete a student response card.
Through the Career Cruising website, students link their favorite school subjects to careers that interest them. They learn about the education, job description and working conditions of numerous careers and gain knowledge of the wonderful opportunities available to them in various career fields. This curriculum is co-taught through the Technology Literacy classes. Upon completion of the career explorataion module, students then create a power point I-Search project presentation.
Harassment and Respect Seminar
Students are given a questionnaire that establishes how much they actually know and understand about sexual harassment. An informational video is shown to the class explaining sexual harassment and showing clear examples of each type: physical, verbal and non-verbal. Differences between flirting and joking in regards to sexual harassment are illustrated. Counselors review the DSMS policy in the school handbook and provide an educational booklet to all students to take home and discuss with their parents.
After completing a career interest inventory, results are tabulated by a computer program and a list of careers are generated that match the students' interests. Students spend time reviewing the results of their completed interest inventory and complete worksheets to help them research more information about careers of interest. Students develop a better understanding of their interests, abilities, and aptitudes as well as an understanding of the importance of exploring careers and learning how to utilize career resources.
Vocational School Assembly
The entire 8th grade attends a fall assembly to learn about vocational school options for high school. Students attend their respective school based on location. Sherborn students have the opportunity to attend Tri-County Regional High School in Franklin and Dover students can attend Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington. Boston students are able to apply to their respective vocational school based on their home location.
Getting Ready for High School
In February, during the school day, the high school guidance department hosts an informational assembly for all eighth graders. High school curriculum is introduced and schedules, courses and credits are explained. In the spring, in small groups, Dover Sherborn High School Peer Counselors provide a question and answer session and take all 8th grade students on a tour of the high school.