Welcome to Middle School Guidance

The South Lewis Middle School motto is:

Pride | Determination | Success | Respect

Guidance Services

The Middle School Guidance Counselor is Mrs. Julie Kraeger. The Middle School Secretary is Mrs. Gail Houghton.

The Middle School Guidance Counselor is available to meet with students individually, in small groups and in the classroom setting. Guidance counseling is provided to help students sort out problems, discuss feelings, explore options and make decisions.

The counselor is there for you to talk to. The guidance counselor can help you with personal problems, social issues, academics and study skills. The counselor also helps students plan their high school course plan and discusses future career options.

The counselor may meet with you in the classroom or in a small group setting. Students also meet with the counselor individually to discuss personal issues. In addition, meetings are held with parents and teachers to discuss ways in which we can help students be more successful.

The most important thing to remember about the counselor’s office is that it is a place for students.

Parents Corner

We are off to a great start and students are busy with their coursework and extracurricular activities. Parents often call to ask about their child's academic progress. It is great that parents want to know how their child is doing in school. We have a super program available called the "Parent Portal" where parents can view their child's grades online as they are recorded by our classroom teachers. There is also information available including the student's attendance record, contact information and schedule. This information is made available to parents in an effort to strengthen the connection between school and home.

It is easy to sign up for the "Parent Portal" program. On our school website, there is a link to the parent portal page. At this page, a parent can print out and complete the Parent Portal Consent Form. This form is then returned to the Principal's Office. In order to protect your child's confidential information, parents are required to show identification at the time the consent form is submitted. This form is then given to our Technology Department and a login and password will be issued for access to the Parent Portal Program. It's a great way to stay up to date with your child's assignments and progress!

Student Assistance Program

The Student Assistance Program is a prevention/intervention based counseling program. Student Assistance helps students in 6th through 12th grade with numerous adolescent issues such as: alcohol or other drug use, parental alcohol/drug use, depression, decision-making, conflict resolution and motivation to be successful in school and life. The program is available Monday through Thursday.Referrals can be made by calling 348-2530.

Academic Support Services

Several academic programs are offered at our middle school.Many students receive help through one or more of our various support services. These services include the Academic Intervention Services (AIS) Program and Resource Room Program. Students also receive help from teachers during activity period (12:43 pm - 1:12 pm) Monday through Friday.

Students are chosen to participate in the AIS program based on the following criteria: standardized test scores, academic performance and teacher recommendation. Parents may also request that their child receive academic intervention.Students receive assistance from classroom teachers as well as our reading specialist. They meet in small groups (five to six students or less) with their AIS provider for a minimum of three (3) periods during a six (6)-day cycle and up to a maximum of six (6) periods in a six (6)-day cycle. It is not a time set aside for homework. Rather, this time is spent building skills and strengthening a student's understanding in identified subject areas.

Students identified under the Committee on Special Education (CSE) receive services as recommended on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).These plans are developed annually and specify the types of services each identified student receives. Students typically receive resource room assistance due to an identified learning disability in a particular subject area such as reading or math. They are assigned to work with a certified special education (resource room) teacher who will assist them with their assignments and provide any necessary accommodations. Similar to the AIS Program, students meet three (3) or more periods during a six (6)-day cycle with their resource room teacher.

The Activity Period Program allows all students to seek assistance form classroom teachers from 12:43 pm -1:12 pm on Monday through Friday. Students whose averages fall below 71 in a core subject area are assigned to work with classroom teachers. However, any student can receive assistance during activity period.

We are proud of the support services we offer in our middle school. We are interested in preparing students with good work habits and study skills as they prepare for their transition to high school, college and the work place.

Alternative Learning Center

The Alternative Learning Center offers a unique approach to self-discipline in the middle school setting. The ALC provides uninterrupted learning in an alternative setting. The student keeps up with the assigned class work, makes up the back work as well as uses the time to create an action plan for corrected behavior. This model can tailor a program to the individual’s need whether it be anger management, goal setting, social skills or restitution. The middle school is very proud of the development of this unique alternative to discipline.

Challenge Week

Challenge Week is a summer program available to all South Lewis students entering eighth grade that fall. A fifth grade version of Challenge Week, called KIDSKAMP started during the summer of 1999. Challenge Week has been available each summer since 2000.The motto for Challenge Week is: Dream Big. Listen Well. Work Hard. Several days we take field trips and the other days we stay on campus at South Lewis.

Several field trips are taken during Challenge Week. Last summer, we spent a day visiting two colleges in the Syracuse area. In the morning we visited LeMoyne College and in the afternoon we visited Syracuse University. Many of the students had already visited the Utica area colleges when they attended KIDSKAMP in fourth grade. Those colleges were Utica College, Hamilton College and SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica. We tour the campuses and get to talk to students and college staff. It's a long day but well worth it.

Another day trip taken during KIDSKAMP is to Beaver Camp where the students spend the day working with The ROPES Course. The website for Beaver Camp is: http://www.beavercamp.org/.This is a great time. There are many lessons that can be learned on the ROPES Course: the importance of teamwork, listening, and perseverance among others. Our primary reason to take students through the ROPES Course during Challenge Week is to teach them that life is full of many challenges and adversities.When confronting a challenge, whether it is a tough test coming up or a personal difficulty outside of school, the choice is always very clear: either give up and turn away from the challenge or face the challenge and overcome it. We strongly recommend facing the challenge and overcoming it.

On the other days we have tremendous guest speakers come to talk to the students about the importance of having and accomplishing goals and dreams. We have visitors who travel many miles to speak with the students. We also have South Lewis graduates who are achieving great things come to share their experiences. The students also learn a great deal about how to overcome obstacles and challenges in and out of school. In addition to speakers, the students see several motivational movies. Challenge Week kickball is also an important part of the week.

Before Challenge Week is over, each of the students is asked to set three goals for the upcoming school year. Two of these goals must be related to performance in school during the coming school year. The students are assisted to work on these goals during the school year.