As a part of the Health curriculum, Counselors teach 8 weeks of the Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention curriculum. This curriculum has five main themes that are interwoven throughout each lesson: empathy and communication, bullying prevention, emotion management, problem solving, decision making, and goal setting. Each 6th grade student receives these lessons, either first semester or second semester, and data is collected regarding their growth in understanding of concepts taught, as well as, their opinions about safety and connectedness to the BMS community.
Each 7th grade student takes one quarter of Decisions. Two weeks of their Decisions course is focused on information about bullying. Counselors teach curriculum that is both counselor created and based on 7th grade Second Step curriculum. During the two weeks the following topics are covered: “Bullying: What is it? Why does it happen? What should you do?”, responding to bullying (bystander power), cyber bullying, cliques, groups, labels and stereotypes, “Harassment: What is it? What should you do?”, girl bullying, warnings signs, and how to report at BMS. Counselors stress, to students, the importance of reporting bullying and harassment when they see and hear it happen. Pre and post-test data is collected regarding their understanding of the concepts taught, as well as the students opinions about safety and connectedness to the BMS community.
Every 8th grade student participates in a Career Unit, taught by the Counselors, as part of the language arts curriculum. During the Career Unit the students take 2 interest inventories that help narrow down careers that might be appealing to them, based on their talents and skills. The students pick 3 careers they have a great interest in and research them further. Also, as part of the Career Unit, the students work with BHS and BMS counselors to create a 4-year high school plan. The plan helps them to chart out which required and elective courses they will take at BHS based on their career interests and future plans.