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Middle School Counseling

Warwick Valley Middle School

Guidance counselors at WVMS work collaboratively with students, parents, teachers and other professionals to guarantee a successful middle school experience for our students. School counseling programs play a positive role in a student’s academic development, college and career readiness, and social and emotional well-being. Middle school counselors are involved with many aspects of student life, including class scheduling, crisis response and intervention, peer mediation, social-emotional as well as academic support and intervention, 504s, RTI, and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, among other things. 

Our counseling program is aimed at helping all students reach their potential during and beyond their middle school years. Our mission as student advocates is to provide a comprehensive guidance program that will assist students in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to become effective students, responsible citizens and lifelong learners.

Guidance counselors provide support in many areas, including:

  • Fostering positive peer relationships
  • Encouraging appropriate decision making skills
  • Providing communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Assisting with coping strategies and problem solving
  • Encouraging self awareness and acceptance
  • Teaching organizational and time management skills
  • Reinforcing academic support skills

Banana Splits

Banana Splits is a school-based group program for students who have experienced or are experiencing a parental divorce or separation. These support groups are designed to assist students in handling emotional difficulties that may occur during a separation or divorce. Banana Splits helps establish the peer support of children who share feelings of loss and change. Together, students begin to confront and learn to deal with ongoing issues relating to recent and/or past family changes. Parents can download the Banana Splits permission form here.

Bullying Resources for Students

What is the difference between name-calling and bullying?

Name-calling is calling others mean names and labels. This can happen anywhere at school, and can happen in private or in public. You have the right to be called the name you want, and to not be called a hurtful or mean name.

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength, whether real or perceived. A student who is being bullied has a hard time defending him/herself. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting or shoving (physical bullying); teasing or taunting (verbal bullying); intimidation through gestures or social exclusion (non-verbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting or threatening messages by phone or internet (cyber-bullying).

What can I do if I am being bullied?

If you are being called names or bullied, remember the four ways to stay SAFE:
Say what you feel
Ask for help
Find a friend
Exit the area

What does SAFE mean?

Say what you feel

Telling a person who is bullying you or calling you names the way that their words or actions make you feel can be a great way to let that person know that you don’t like what they are doing.

Ask for help

Sometimes you can handle name-calling and bullying yourself (possibly by using one of the other SAFE strategies) but sometimes you need to ask for help, and that’s ok. If a person who is calling you names is making you feel scared that you might get hurt, you can talk to a teacher or other adult about what is going on. Asking for help is not about tattling – it’s about taking care of yourself and staying safe.

Find a friend

Some people who name-call or bully others, often pick times and places when no one else is around because it makes them feel safer. That’s why sometimes you can avoid or end a bullying situation just by finding another person or people to be around or spend time with. Hanging out with people who make you feel good about yourself is important, and the person calling names might think twice before picking on you when you’re with your friends.

Exit the area

While it might feel like you aren’t doing anything at all, sometimes walking away from someone who is picking on you is the best way to end things. Some people who name call want you to get upset, and while it’s perfectly normal to feel hurt, angry or sad if you are being called names, sticking around the person hurting you may just make things worse. So, if you can, find a way to exit the area where the name-calling or bullying is happening.

More Information

Guidance Counselors


Lauren Ogden

  • Grade 6
  • Gold 5/6 (Galow and Klein)
  • Purple 5 (Mitchell and Lowry)
  • Orange 5/6 (Kirschke and Piascik)

Margaret Wright

  • Grade 7
  • Green 5 (Garby and Sullivan)
  • Yellow 5 (O’Connor and Lankau)

William Menkens

  • Grade 8
  • Blue 5 (Putnam and Flynn)
  • Red 5 (Thomson and McGovern)



Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)