Did you know kids 6-12 years old need 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night? That’s a lot! Thinking in my own home, I know sometimes this can seem tricky. This is especially true now that the sun is going down later and later at night! However, sleep is crucial to a student’s success.

According to the CDC, most students do not get enough sleep. This can cause serious impairments to their success.

“Adequate sleep contributes to a student’s overall health and well-being. Students should get the proper amount of sleep at night to help stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance.

Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries.1-4 They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor academic performance in school.”

So what can parents and guardians do? Here are some tips:

  • Model and encourage habits that help promote good sleep. Setting a regular bedtime and rise time, including on weekends, is recommended for everyone—children, adolescents, and adults alike. students with parent-set bedtimes usually get more sleep than those whose parents do not set bedtimes.
  • Dim lighting. Students who are exposed to more light (such as room lighting or from electronics) in the evening are less likely to get enough sleep.
  • Implement a media curfew. Technology use (computers, video gaming, or mobile phones) may also contribute to late bedtimes. Parents should consider banning technology use after a certain time or removing these technologies from the bedroom.

See HERE for more information.

What Do I Do?

Have you ever asked yourself what I do all day as a school counselor? If so, you’re in luck. Part of my professional development this year has been to be more proactive in sharing what I do. Therefore, I have created infographics at different points in the year with updates as to who I have been helping!

You can find these under “What Does a School Counselor Do?”


Tomorrow is the first day of 2nd semester conferences. Conferences are Wednesday, February 23rd, and Monday, February 28th. If you are not sure when your student’s parent teacher conference is, feel free to call the school and they can share that information with you.

If you are wondering how to best be prepared for conferences, I found these helpful tips:

Before the conference

  • Ask your child how she feels about school.
  • Ask your child if there is anything that he wants you to talk about with his teacher.
  • Tell your child that you and the teacher are meeting to help her.
  • Make a list of topics that you want to talk about with the teacher.
  • Prepare a list of questions such as:
  • 1. What are my child’s strongest and weakest subjects?
    2. Does my child hand homework in on time?
    3. Does my child participate in class?
    4. Does my child seem happy at school?
    5. What can I do at home to help?

During the conference

  • Be on time (or early) for the meeting.
  • End the meeting on time. Other parents will probably have a conference after yours.
  • Relax and be yourself.
  • Stay calm during the conference.
  • Ask the most important questions first.
  • If your child receives special services such as English classes, ask about your child’s progress in those classes.
  • Ask for explanations of anything you don’t understand
  • Ask your child’s teacher for ways that you can help your child at home.
  • Thank the teacher.

After the conference

  • Talk about the conference with your child.
  • Talk about the positive points, and be direct about problems.
  • Tell your child about any plans you and the teacher created.
  • Keep in touch with the teacher during the school year.

What’s “normal”?

While I always hesitate to use the word “normal”, there are things that are more common in life and things that may seem outside of these common norms. This is true when it comes to kids’ mental health too.

While many children are facing stressors related to friends, school, family, and of course COVID, some children may need more support than others to deal with our world’s new “normal.” If you are wondering if additional support is needed, here is a good article to read that also includes a link to “Possible Red Flags.”

If you are wanting some additional mental health support for your child, feel free to reach out to the school and we can provide a list of providers who can work with you.


I Am Worried About My Child’s Mental Health

COVID and Kids’ Mental Health

Nearly two years ago, we first learned of COVID, and I was part of the team tasked with creating a Student Supports website directly related to COVID. The site is still up today, and can be found HERE.

However, here we are two years later still dealing with the pandemic.While there are so many things going on that may seem to be of utmost importance, sometimes the quieter needs, such as children struggling with their mental health, can be overlooked. Several resources have become available regarding helping children cope. HERE is one article that adults may find helpful as we continue to deal with not only our own stressors and worries, but those of our children too.

It’s All About Relationships

More and more, the world of educators is focusing on relationships. Afterall, this is the block that all of education is built upon. If a student and teacher do not have a relationship, the odds of the student pushing through and giving effort when the work is hard goes down. The student is less likely to want to come to school, much less engage with learning. All of these greatly impacts a student’s academic success. Therefore, last quarter I started a BIG project.

I wanted to assess for the presence of an adult relationship in each student’s mind. Thus, I met with each student individually, and asked, “Is there an adult you could talk to if you were having a bad day?” I then slowly scrolled through a Google Form on my computer that contained the name and pictures of each student in our building, from administrators to teachers to paras. Everyone.

While I can use this data for many purposes, the main reason is to help catch those students who have no adult they feel a relationship with. I filter not only the students who answered 0 adults, but also students who responded they had only 1 adult to talk to. These students will all start in groups with me next week, grouped by grade level, in order to help form a relationship with adults in the building. While I will be facilitating these groups, other adults such as Mr. Long, Mrs. Paul, Miss Ann, etc. will stop in and engage with the students too in a way to help form relationships.

The great news is that 93% of students already have identified at least 2 adults they could talk to, and many identified several. We want to make sure all students feel like they belong here and have at least a couple of adults to talk to.


We have a HUGE THANK YOU to the Lincoln City Church. They reached out wanting to help and ended up providing our staff with treats for the last three days of school! It was such a wonderful surprise for all staff (teachers, paras, nutrition services, technicians, and custodial staff) to go to their boxes each day and find goodies! Thank you again to Lincoln City Church!


We have started the bullying lessons throughout the school. These are part of the Second Step curriculum, and are monthly lessons that I teach in the classrooms. This makes it a “Tier 1 Intervention” in that all students are part of the lessons. The first lesson really focuses on what bullying is, or how to RECOGNIZE bullying. Ask your student what bullying is, and even more importantly what it isn’t!