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MS Parent Newsletter (January 2022)

Dear Parents,

Middle School would like to send out a monthly parent newsletter that has a different topic or addresses different subject areas. This month our focus is from Mr. Andy and the Counseling office. 

Enjoy,
Madeleine and Diane

Mr. Andy Krauthoefer – Counseling

Mr. Andy Krauthoefer

Background

Hello RIS Parents! My name is Mr. Andy Krauthoefer and I am coming to you from the United States. This is my 13th year working in education. For the last six, I have been a middle school counselor. Additionally, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and have provided private therapy to families and teens for the last three years. I love working with this age group. I embrace their passion for life, their awkwardness, and even their emotional rollercoasters. This is a time in their life of incredible growth and we need to be there for them to support them on their journey.

What do I do here?

My job as a counselor is to ensure that students feel safe and comfortable at school so they can focus on engaging in academics. School is much more than content covered in class. They need to learn how to learn, how to engage with their peers, how to communicate with their teachers, and how to be global citizens of this world. I am here to provide multiple levels of support. 

  • Tier 1: I develop advisory lessons that are taught by myself and Advisory teachers. ALL students receive these lessons. They are developed based on student need and on what we know our students need developmentally.
  • Tier 2: I run small groups to target specific skills or areas of concern students may have. These include, but are not limited to: social skills, stress/anxiety, body image, study skills, peer relationships, and self-esteem. 
  • Tier 3: I also work with students in a 1-1 setting. Sometimes students come to school and are not ready to learn based on external factors. My goal is to work with them to address any barriers to engagement in their education and get them back to class so they can focus on their academics. 

Parent support: I am here for you! Being the parent of a teen is hard! Some days, you may feel that you don’t recognize your child and ask yourself what happened to them. This is NORMAL! Your child is not broken. I am here to listen and offer any perspective I have.

Parent Coffee #1: The Teenage Brain

I was able to offer a presentation on the Teenage Brain discussing the development of the brain, how it impacts choice and decision-making, and how to engage in meaningful conversations with your teen based on your understanding of where they are developmentally. If you missed it, check it out with the links below! Check this page for more information regarding upcoming Parent Coffees. 

Presentation Slides

Zoom recording

Tips for Talking With Your Teen

Talking to your child can be difficult. Here are some tips to help with engaging in conversations with them. Here are some tips!

Advisory

Students meet with their Advisor each morning for 10 minutes and once per cycle for 45 minutes. The goals for Advisory are: to build authentic relationships and a sense of community, to support students and develop their social, emotional, and academic abilities, to develop trust and create safe spaces for students, and to have fun! Ask them about what they have talked about in their Advisory lessons and ask them to explain it to you! 

6th grade Advisory Lessons (Presentation Slides): Middle School Survival, Executive Functions, Goal Setting, The Brain, Self-Regulation, Empathy, Active Listening

7th Grade Advisory Lessons (Presentation Slides): Empathy, Compassion, Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Healthy Relationships, Introvert/Extrovert, Conflict Resolution/Perspective Taking. 

8th Grade Advisory Lessons (Presentation Slides): Personal Identity, Authenticity, Active Listening, The Teenage Brain, Social Media & Peer Relationships. 

House Points: All students are part of one of five house teams: Pink Elephants, Emerald Cobras, Titanium Tigers, Golden Gibbons, Hornbills. Throughout the year, students participate in competitions to earn points. 

  • Trivia: For example, students participated in a House Trivia competition. In grade level advisory teams, students answered questions in five rounds. See if you can answer the questions and ask your child for correct responses! 
  • KNOWLEDGE BOWL: The day before Christmas Break, we will have the Knowledge Bowl. Advisories will compete in teams to answer content related questions developed by their teachers. 

You can view a live points leaderboard here

High School Counselor Visit: December 14th.

High School Counselors will be visiting our 8th grade students to talk about course selection for Grade 9 and high school transition. 

Peace Week 2021!

  • The Middle School Leadership team planned a week of activities in line with the United Nations Peace Day. The theme of this year was: Recovering Better For A Sustainable and Equitable World. Each day, students wore a different color to represent a different cause. They watched videos and discussed these topics each day in Advisory. 
    • Social issues discussed: Pride/Embracing Diversity, Black Lives Matter/Stop Asian Hate, Cancer Awareness, Climate Change/Healthy Oceans, COVID Impact & Awareness. 
  • They also shared their challenges and uplifting messages. These were put together to the tune of the MS/HS Choir singing the song “More to Me”. The video can be seen here: More to Me
  • Because we were not able to be on campus, students created a Bitmoji and added it to a picture of campus to create a Peace Week photo that is typically taken on campus. See it here!

I am here for YOU! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, want to discuss anything further, or just need someone to talk to about your child. Thanks for reading!

Mr. Andy Krauthoefer, MS Counselor
andrewk@rism.ac.th