Sullivan Middle School Counselor

Brunell, Jason

Jason Brunell

Sullivan Middle School
701-893-3230
Jason.brunell@jp2schools.org

Counseling Philosophy:

The philosophy of the Sullivan Middle School Counseling Department is to offer support services to help each student maximize their potential. Mr. Brunell provides help with questions or concerns related to school, home, friends, careers, jobs, the future, and personal matters. The goal is to help students achieve a successful middle school experience by offering person-centered and solution-focused services to students in the areas of personal-social, academic, and career counseling. These services are implemented through individual, small group, and classroom guidance lessons. The counseling office is a safe place for students to explore questions and issues in their education, personal, and spiritual lives. Confidentiality will be maintained within all legal limits.

Sullivan Middle School believes that parents are the most significant people in children’s lives. Mr. Brunell believes collaboration and communication with families is needed for optimal student success. He is dedicated to all families and is a connection between parents and their child’s education. During counseling sessions, when possible, Mr. Brunell will encourages and guide students to communicate with their parents about educational concerns, personal issues, and decision-making.

The Sullivan Middle School Counseling Department will encourage the support of students as a whole person. This will focus on acceptance and respect of self and others, academics, as well as individual faith. The counseling department will aid student’s development by focusing on developing a positive self-concept and the ability to relate positively to peers, parents, and teachers. School counselors not only help students in need, but serve all students.

Counseling Services:
What is a School Counselor?

Holds a Master’s Degree in school counseling and is specially trained to address the needs of students.

  • A support system to all students
  • A resource for students, teachers, families, and communities
  • A Coordinator, Communicator, Consultant, & Collaborator for school staff, students, parents, and community
  • A group leader and facilitator
  • A caring & understanding person who listens and helps students with their personal-social, academic, career & spiritual needs

How can I see the School Counselor?

  • Self- referral (Sign-up sheets are available outside the counseling office)
  • Parent referral (In-person, phone call, and/or email)
  • Staff referral (Academic or personal concerns)
  • Student referral (Peer or friend)
  • Counselor check/in (Academics, testing results, and/or personal/social concerns)

How do School Counselors provide Student Support?

The counselor can be reached by phone, email, or scheduled appointment at school

  • Address personal-social, academic, and career needs of students
  • Help create a safe school environment where children can learn & be successful
  • Advocate for all students by listening & helping students solve problems with reasonable options
  • Visit with students both individually & in group settings
  • Provide classroom guidance lessons for all students to address the specific needs of each grade
  • Maintain student confidentiality within all legal limits
  • Coordinate referrals to outside agencies and health care providers
  • Coordinate events with other school specialists
  • Help identify the specific needs of students at Sullivan Middle School
  • Assist teachers & parents in helping children both academically & socially.
  • Help students demonstrate acceptance, respect, and responsibility for themselves and others
  • Promote a positive attitude & Christian values among students toward self, family, peers, & community
  • Work with at-risk students in the areas of academics & personal issues
  • Use assessments to provide information about students’ abilities, achievement, & needs
  • Assist students in learning how school performance relates to future opportunities & choices
  • Help implement interventions to enhance student success in all areas of life
  • Work with students to ensure optimal attendance & minimal tardiness
  • Support students by teaching skills for achieving success
  • Provide responsive services: Meet students immediate needs and concerns
  • System Support: Consultation, collaboration, and teaming among teacher and administration

Times to Contact your Childs School Counselor?

As a parent you know your child best, but connecting with your child’s school counselor can enhance your child’s school experience. Working with a school counselor can help identify resources and solve problems. A school counselor is a partner and support system for your child’s education and preparation for life beyond school.

Important times to contact your school counselor

The beginning, middle, and end of a school year

  • The beginning of the school year is an excellent opportunity to initiate contact with your child’s school counselor. This will improve communication and help ensure your child has a positive school experience. (Helping a counselor understand a student’s home life from a parents perspective helps a counselor understand and develop a complete person)
  • Connecting with your child’s counselor in the middle of the school year will aid in collaboration about academics and/or any questions and/or concerns about your child.
  • Transitions occur at the end of each year. Checking in with your child’s school counselor will promote a successful transition to a new grade!

School Environment and Social Interactions

Middle school is often a time where adolescences place added investment in social interactions. Having an accepting and friendly school environment is very important at Sullivan Middle School.  Students are in a search for their own unique identity and often move towards peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation. Middle school students can be very sensitive to the comments from others and rely on peers to provide understanding and approval.

  • Counselors:
    • Work with students on peer pressure, bullying, and reporting
    • Facilitate students expression of hopes, needs, and frustrations
    • Help parents locate resources in the community
  • Parents Can:
    • Understand students dress code policy
    • Recognize important school dates
    • Service support
    • Get student involved in extracurricular activities

Transition Information

Elementary School to Middle School

Middle school is often a time where adolescences place added investment in social interactions. Students are often in a search for their own unique identity and often move towards peers rather than adults for ideas and affirmation. Sullivan Middle School prides itself on having an accepting and friendly school environment where students grow through faith, learning, and service.

Helping your child understand his/her schedule and communicating with them about their concerns and successes can be instrumental to their success. Mr. Brunell, school counselor at Sullivan Middle School believes communication between parents and school can add to the success of your child. Mr. Brunell welcomes communication through email and his work phone number, located at the top of the page.

2014-2015 Transition Information (5th to 6th)

Start/End Time: Classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and end at about 3:30 P.M. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesdays classes will end at about 2:30 P.M. for the 2014-2015 school year.

Classes: Students are grouped together by principal and teachers recommendations from fifth grade.

Schedule: Classes Consist of:

Every day Classes:

–          About 75 minutes: Language Arts and Math

–          Split Classes: (About 32.5 minutes each) Social Studies/Religion and Science/Readers Workshop (Students should bring material for both classes – there will not be a 3 minute transition period between these classes)

Every other day classes: (Alternating)

–          Music/Physical Education, Health/Art, Band/Novels

Location: Classes and lockers are located in the 6th grade wing except for Band, Choir, and Physical Education.

Class Size: Roughly 20 students per class

Transitions: 3 minutes in between classes

Organization: All Sullivan Middle School students will be given an agenda/assignment book. Every student is expected to bring their agenda to each class. Agendas are used to write down assignments, remember important dates, and understand school policy.

Lockers: Each agenda will have a sticker on the inside with locker combination. One more reason why students should bring their agenda to all classes.

Homework: More homework than 5th grade, expect 30 minutes a night, depending on the student.

Lunch: About 11:00 to 11:30 A.M.

Ala Carte: Is much like a concession stand with specific food that students can buy. (Only at certain times and days) An example of how students can earn Ala Carte is assigned table washing duty.

Student Council: Students will elect three peers (classmates) to be a part of the Student Council. Elections for 6th grade take place at the beginning of the school year.

Advisory Program: Parents/students will be assigned a faculty member to meet three times during the school year. At orientation, fall conferences, and spring conferences. Faculty will contact parents to set a meeting date to discuss student/s progress, testing scores, and other information.

Extracurricular Activities: Basketball, (Winter) Volleyball, (Spring) Track, (Spring – After Volleyball) Yearbook Committee, Theater Club, and T.A.R.C.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)      Is there a study hall for 6th graders?

No, study hall becomes an option for 7th & 8th graders.

2)      Is there recess?

No, just a break over lunch time

3)      Does my child need to change for gym class?

There is a locker room, but changing for gym is optional. A lot of students don’t change, but some students take advantage of the changing option. Deodorant for both boys/girls is extremely important at this age.

4)      Does everyone eat lunch at the same time?

No, sixth grade students will eat with just sixth graders.

5)      Who is the principal?

Mr. Knodel is the Principal for Sullivan Middle School.

6)      Who is the school counselor and what does he do? 

Mr. Brunell. He will help students with personal/social, academics, career, and developmental concerns. He is the primary person for middle school students to utilize for conflict resolution and any other concern they may have.

7)      Will the counselor visit the classrooms?

Yes, he will visit classrooms for guidance lessons, but not as often as elementary school.

8)      What is a small group in counseling?

A small group is often held during lunch (Students eat while group is going on) and a time where students get together and discuss a related topic. (Social skills, study skills, ect…)

9)      My child is struggling, how do I get him/her help?

Calling the school counselor or child’s teacher is a great place to start. Involving multiple support structures in your child’s life, such as teachers, counselors, and parents will optimize their success.

10)   What are students common fears coming into 6th grade?

Classes: Harder, longer, more homework, and having to switch teachers throughout the day.

Making Friends: Different students than elementary school

Lockers: Learning locker combos and keeping them organized

Transitions: Having enough time between classes