Counselor's Corner: Mrs. Oakes

Welcome Back!

Welcome back for an exciting new year!  This year I will be the counselor for 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade.  I can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces at Meet and Greet on Monday.  Stop by the counseling offices for a selfie station while you are here.  This year we are lucky to have Annie Peskin as our counseling intern.  She will be with Ms. Rees and I all school year and she is excited to see all the fun things that happen at Mt. Bethel.  Parents, throughout the year please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.  My email is and my phone number is 770-578-7248 ext. 229.  Throughout this school year we will be tweeting about what we are teaching during our counseling lessons as well as parent resources.  Follow us @MBEScounselors for updates!

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Community Resource

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Welcome Back!

I hope you all had an exciting summer and are ready for the 2017-2018 school year.  This year I will be the counselor for 1st grade, 2nd grade and 4th grade.  I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces in 2nd and 4th grade and can’t wait to meet my 1st graders and new to Mt. Bethel students.  If you have any concerns or need to talk with me, I can be reached at 770-578-7248 or


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Proactive Parenting at Art it Out

Proactive Parenting

Led by Janet Burr,

Licensed Professional Counselor

Saturday, March 5th 10am


Join us next Saturday!!

Make this year your year to become an even better parent! Our proactive parenting group is intended for parents of children ages 3 to 12.  We know parenting is difficult and we understand.  Parenting techniques that work on one child may not work as well on another. Our parenting support group is for parents seeking help with managing their child’s behaviors, including:

  • Outbursts & Temper Tantrums
  • Lack of Problem-Solving Skills
  • Being Overly Sensitive
  • Low Frustration Tolerance
  • Oppositional Behavior
  • Impulsivity
  • Difficulty Following Directions
  • Lack of Organizational Skills

This support group is $35 per person or $50 per couple and meets on the first Saturday of each month 10:00-12:00pm.


To register, call 770-726-9589 or email



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5th Grade Human Growth and Development

The parent preview for Human Growth and Development is scheduled for Friday, March 20th.  You are not required to attend the parent preview in order for your child to attend the program.  This is optional.  However, your child must have written permission from you to attend the classes.  There will be two sessions.  The first session will be at 8:00 and the second session will be at 10:30.  You do not need to attend both sessions.  I will show the girl video and boy video at each session.  We will meet in room 711.  If you have other questions please contact me at or 770-578-7248 ext. 229.


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Vote and PTA Meeting with Speaker Jeff Dess


The week of November 3rd is very busy!


Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day. THERE IS NO SCHOOL ON TUESDAY, 11/4! This election is important as we will be electing officials (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State School Superintendent) that will impact public school education for the next four years. Please exercise your right to vote and head to the polls on Tuesday. Take your child(ren), too, so they can watch you in action! Do you need more information before heading to the polls? Please visit the PTA’s Legislative News portion of the blog by clicking HERE.

We are participating in the VOTER STICKER CHALLENGE and will collect stickers on Wednesday, 11/5. If our school has the highest percentage of voter participation, the ENTIRE SCHOOL will receive EXTRA RECESS! Want more info? Download the file here: VOTING STICKER CHALLENGE

dess copy

On Thursday, November 6th, our PTA will hold a general meeting with Budget Amendments and Nominating Committee Elections on the agenda beginning at 6:30 pm. Following the meeting, Prevention Intervention Specialist, Jeff Dess, will speak on the topic of Child Safety in a Digital World. Jeff is an author, renowned speaker, and has decades of experience keeping kids safe. You will not want to miss this opportunity to learn about parenting digital learners. Childcare will be provided for students enrolled at Mt. Bethel. Click HERE to reserve childcare (provided by our ASP workers). Jeff is a speaker that is enlightening, informative, and will truly help you to keep your child safe. We hope to see you on Thursday night!

Thank you for your constant support of your child, for engaging in our community, and for all that you do!

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Did you know that every Mt. Bethel student receives Computer Lab and Science Lab during their Specials Rotation? Your contributions to the Foundation pay for a Computer Lab instructor, a Technology Resource Coordinator, two Science Lab Instructors, and their teaching supplies!

Visit to learn more about our Foundation and donate! Click here to visit Ms. Appleyard’s post about Science & Technology at Mt. Bethel.



Off to a Great Start!

It’s crazy to think we have already been in school for 6 weeks! Time is already flying by. In first and fifth grade we have been busy. I’ve been able to get into each class at least twice. I’m on my third lesson now and will finish that up after the break. Below you will find more infomation about the topics that have been covered during my bi-weekly counseling lessons with the students.

First Grade: We started the year off with school bus safety.  Whether your child rides the bus everyday or just a couple times a year, bus safety is important for all students.  I told them that even if they only go on the bus for a field trip or a playdate with a friend, they need to know the rules.  We watched a video called Riding the Bus with Willy Whistle.  Ask your child to tell you about the danger zones around the bus.

We have also spent some time working on problem solving.  We started off with the De-Bug System.  Your child should have come home with a bookmark that listed the steps.  The steps of the De-Bug System are: 1. ignore 2. walk away 3. talk friendly 4. talk firmly 5. get adult help.  I explained that in most cases they will need to follow the steps in order.  There might be times they can’t move away from the person who is bothering them and they might need to move on to talking friendly.  We discussed the difference between tattling and reporting.  If a student immediately goes to a teacher for something that is bothering them, but is something they could handle themselves, it would be tattling.  If it ever involves a student being physically hurt or in danger it is reporting.  In those cases it is ok to go to an adult immediately.  This can be a little confusing for first grade, so it’s great to practice scenarios with them.  You can give them examples like, “if someone took your crayon without asking first could you use the De-Bug system or would you report that to a teacher?”  You can also talk through how they would use the De-Bug system.  What would talking friendly sound like?  What would talking firmly sound like?

Your child was also given a sheet that gave them tools for solving their problems.  On this sheet were things like: avoid, apologize, share, talk it out, ignore, games of chance (ex: rock, paper, scissors, flipping a coin, or roll the dice), and taking turns.  We discussed how using these tools can help prevent arguments with friends and siblings.  Each teacher was given a copy to keep at school.  I encouraged the students to take home their copy so they would have a reminder to use the tools at home too.

Fifth Grade: The common theme I’ve heard throughout fifth grade is, “I’m feeling stressed with homework, classwork, and outside activities.”  It is hard to find a balance.  Time management is a skill that comes more easily to some, but can be very difficult for children.  For this reason, I’ve decided to do most of my academic focused lessons at the beginning of the year.  I am required to cover standards in three domains: academic, career, and personal/social.  I feel like it would be most helpful to the students to teach them skills that might help them with their organization, homework, and time management at the beginning of the year.  This way I hope they will use the skills throughout the year.  I’ll focus on the career and personl/social standards later in the year.  The first three lessons have focused on responsibility, learning styles, and motivation.  For the responsibility lesson we played a game called Responsibility Four Corners.  The students were given a statement such as, I take responsibility to turn my homework in on time.  Each corner of the room had a sign (always, often, sometimes, and never).  The students had to go to the corner they felt best described them.  We talked about how our responsibilities change over time.  We also discussed how when we show responsibility for something, we are showing others what is important to us.  For example, if my homework is always late or I don’t study for my tests, I am sending the message to my teacher that my homework and school work really isn’t that important to me.

Your child was provided a sheet that gave tips for studying based on his/her learning style.  The fifth grade teachers did a learning style inventory with each class and I also gave them a survey.  Some students discovered that they were a combination and learned best in different ways depending on the subject.  I suggested they share the results with their parents as well as the tips for studying sheet.  You might be able to come up with some more ideas that weren’t listed.

Finally, we talked about the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.  Although we are all motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, we talked about the importance of having the inner drive to do well in order to succeed throughout life.  Your child should have come home with an article for you to read with him/her as well as a list of things that motivate him/her.

I hope you all have a restful and fun fall break!


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Science Fair….Coming Soon!!

Attention Parents of Young Scientists!
coolscncComing soon- Registration for the Annual
Mt. Bethel Science Fair begins on August 22nd. Encourage your aspiring scientists to sign up and show their creativity and expertise in this non-judged event. It’s a night of fun and exploration all in the name of Science!

For project ideas, check out:

Science Buddies:

Science Fair Guide:

Elementary Science Fair Ideas:

Registration form, complete rules and other information can be found at on the
Foundation Website. Looking forward to seeing all of those projects at the Science Fair on October 16th!

Are you a 4th or 5th Grader interested in Science Olympiad? You can find information, forms, and ALL THINGS SCIENCE OLYMPIAD on the SO section of Mr. Morris’s blog.

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Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a restful and fun summer! I was excited to see all the kids this week and look forward to working with them this year. I will be working with 1st and 5th grade this year. We were fortunate enough to earn a half time counselor this year, so Kristie Gordon will be taking over my third grade classes. She will be here Tuesday, Wednesday and every other Thursday. If a third grade student or parent needs assistance on a day she is not here I am happy to help. During the next two weeks I will begin going into my 1st and 5th grade classes. I will review my role at the school and let the students know how to find me should they need anything. Right now I do not have a phone in my office because I have relocated. My office is now located in the PPO area. The best way to reach me is through email. The counselors should be getting phones soon. When we do I will be able to receive phone calls and I will post my extension on the blog. I’m looking foward to a great year!

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