School Counseling at CAMS  


Ways to see your School Counselor:

1) Ask your teacher for a Counseling Request Form (give to Mrs. Huffman in the Counseling Center)

2) Visit the Counseling Center to complete a request form with Mrs. Huffman

3) Email your School Counselor (Mr. Firebaugh: 8th grade, 6th grade A-L and Ms. Moran: 7th Grade, 6th Grade M-Z)

In most cases, students will not miss Math, English, History, Civics, or 8th Grade Science to go to the School Counseling Office. These classes cover instruction that will be on the SOL test, and it is important that students do not miss this class material.

Academic Counseling

Ms. Moran and Mr. Firebaugh provide solution-focused counseling to students seeking assistance in managing middle school academic work. While middle school is a great time in a student's life, it also can be stressful with learning how to manage homework, study for tests, and balancing extra-curricular activities. Any student who seeks help for bringing up grades, studying for tests, managing homework, or needs new ideas for study skills can find help in the CAMS Counseling Office.

Other common academic problems that middle school students seek counseling help for are listed below:

  • Test Anxiety
  • Time Management (balancing homework time with personal life)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Organizational Skills
  • Study Skills
  • Assistance with communicating with teachers

Career Counseling - The Academic Career Plan

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that every student have a completed Academic Career Plan by the end of their 8th grade year. 

Ms. Moran and Mr. Firebaugh provide developmental career guidance and counseling to every middle student as required by the Virginia Academic Career Plan. The following explains how our students receive this service:

  • 6th Grade: Sixth Graders participate in classroom guidance through one of their Core Classes in the fall that teaches them the importance that choosing a career has on their future and quality of life. Students will take personality inventories to determine what types of careers best match their interests and skills.
  • 7th Grade: As part of their Exploratory rotations, students take a Career Exploration Class for one trimester. In this class, Seventh Graders start their Academic Career Plan. If a student takes a class (such as music) that doesn't allow them to take the Career Exploration Class in the normal exploratory rotation, then one of the school counselors meet with them as a group later in the year during their exploratory time to assist them with starting an Academic Career Plan
  • 8th Grade: The school counselors meet Eighth Grade students to assist them with completing their Academic Career Plan. Students may meet with the school counselor for one session, or if they have questions later and wish to meet in more than one session, students may do so. Students frequently ask questions about what is required for their desired career during these counseling sessions.

    The Academic Career Plan then follows the student to high school.


Personal/Social Counseling

Many changes happen in a middle schooler's life that can cause distress personally and socially. Like any of us, when a middle schooler is stressed, this can greatly impact his/her academic performance.

Ms. Moran and Mr. Firebaugh are available to assist students with personal and social problems when they interfere with academic performance and school behavior. The following counseling activities are examples of personal and social interventions used in CAMS' Counseling Office:

  • Conflict Mediation (between students)
  • Small Group Counseling (including, but not limited to, Friendship groups, Social Skills' groups, and Anger Management groups)
  • Individual Counseling focused on developing Problem Solving skills
  • Individual Support for students struggling with Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns that may impede a student's academic performance.


Why Middle School Counselors?

Why Middle School Counselors

Today's young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, every student needs support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Early adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement.

Middle School Students' Developmental Needs

Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.

Meeting the Challenge

Middle school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today's diverse student population. Middle school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve success in school. Professional school counselors align with the school's mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. The ASCA National Standards in the academic, National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs, with it's data driven and results-based focus serves as a guide for today's school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.

Middle School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

School Guidance Curriculum

Academic skills support
Organizational, study and test-taking skills
Education in understanding self and others
Coping strategies
Peer relationships and effective social skills
Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution
Career awareness, exploration and planning
Substance abuse education
Multicultural/diversity awareness

Individual Student Planning

Goal-setting/decision- making
Academic planning
Career planning
Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
Transition planning

Responsive Services

Individual and small group counseling
Individual/family/school crisis intervention
Peer facilitation

System Support

Professional development
Consultation, collaboration and teaming
Program management and operation

Middle School Counselors Collaborate With:


Parent information night
Academic planning programs
Parent and family education
One-on-one parent conferencing
Assessment results interpretation
Resource referrals
College/career exploration


Career portfolio development
Assistance with students' academic plans
Classroom guidance activities on study skills, career development, etc.
Academic support, learning style assessment and education to help students succeed
Classroom career speakers
At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success
Parent communication/education


School climate
Behavioral management plans
School-wide needs assessment
Student data and results
Student assistance team building


Peer education
Peer support
Academic support
School climate
Leadership development


Job shadowing, service learning
Crisis interventions
Parenting classes
Support groups
Career education

Why Middle School Counselors?

Middle school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as a team member with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community. The professional middle school counselor holds a master's degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today's students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor's knowledge and effectiveness.

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