Hi, I’m Susan Loeb, the Woodcliff Middle School counselor. As we embrace the 2021-2022 school year, there is no doubt that this is a most unusual time in all of our lives, and that certainly impacts what school is like for our students. However, that being said, WCMS remains a safe and academically stimulating environment for learning.
I believe that with a combination of patience, positive thinking, flexibility, and open communication, we can really make this work for all students. Some things will need to be tweaked as we go, and that is okay. I have learned that resiliency is probably the most important trait we can strive for in children. With it, the most challenging experiences can be overcome and without it, simple obstacles become insurmountable.
At WCMS, we encourage our middle school students to be self-advocates. Some arrive with that ability. Others develop it through their time here. Your children need to feel comfortable talking to their teachers, asking a question, requesting clarification, or expressing a concern. There are times where parents need to step in to gain better understanding, share important information, or express a concern. I encourage that too, especially before a problem gets too big. Open, honest, and respectful communication is the key. Please remember, there is a chain-of-command and that begins with the teacher.
I can be reached by email, phone, or we can plan to meet virtually. When you reach out, please don’t apologize for bothering me. That is what I am here for. And in the same way, I don’t repeat what your children share with me, unless it’s dangerous, the same is true for parents too. You are always welcome to call and know that I will keep our discussion confidential, again, unless it’s dangerous. Sometimes, you just need some help to process though a situation. Our teachers communicate daily with me. That can be in-person, by phone or by email, but please know regardless of the method of communication, your child’s teachers do not hesitate to share a concern.
At Woodcliff Middle School, we have a team approach, Mr. Andriulli, our nurse Mrs. Herrmans and I, along with the entire staff, help to guide your child through middle school. The challenges at times can feel over whelming for both student and parent. We are here to help. So please don’t hesitate to contact us.
I plan to meet with your child during this school year. These check-ins provide the opportunity to expand the connection with my students, identify potential issues, set goals, and develop plans. In order for you to stay up-to-date on your child’s progress, be sure to regularly check on PowerSchool. I suggest twice a week. This provides an opportunity to celebrate successes and eliminates the surprise of growing missed assignments or less than expected performance on an assessment. Please contact the main office if you are having difficulty accessing PowerSchool.
Please check my website. I will post information that comes my way from various organizations that you might find useful. I am not promoting programs, but rather offering the opportunity to learn about the different offerings. One program that you might find particularly useful is RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery’s Hope and Healing Program. It offers emotional support services, education and community-based resources for individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.: https://www.rwjbh.org/treatment-care/institute-for-prevention-and-recovery/programs/hope-and-healing/
Lastly, please know that I will reach out to you, if I notice a concern or learn of one from a teacher. I believe that the best way for us to navigate through this time is by working together. Again, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can’t promise to give you the answer you want, but I can promise to listen and give you an honest answer to the best of my ability.