Ready, Set, Grow!

We are continuing to learn about GROWTH MINDSET in classroom counseling lessons this month. Websites like this one (Mindset Works) explain the science behind mindset messages and how they can help our brains grow and make new connections, leading to higher achievement. It’s pretty fascinating stuff, really! If you’re interested in learning more about it, look up Carol Dweck’s “Ted Talk.” A simple way to change a statement from fixed mindset to growth mindset is to add the word “yet!” For example, “I don’t understand fractions” becomes “I don’t understand fractions YET”; “I can’t ride a bike” becomes “I can’t ride a bike YET”; “I’m not good at organizing my things” becomes “I’m not good at organizing my things YET.” Continuing to try instead of quitting when facing a challenge is one of the most useful skills we can develop.

As part of our lessons, students decorated bookmarks with growth mindset messages. A few even added their own personal messages!

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Don’t let your brain go on Spring Break!

This month, our classroom guidance lessons in every grade focused on how the brain works. We learned that, like a muscle, brains get stronger when we exercise them! Any time we learn something new or face a challenge, our brains get exercise. Here are some fun ways for you and your family to exercise your brains over Spring Break: 10 Brain Exercises.

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Higher Achievement Program

Higher Achievement is now recruiting for their 2018 Summer Academy and next year’s After School Program! If you have a current 4th or 5th grader who is zoned to eventually attend Wilder Middle School, learn more about Higher Achievement here. Homework help, field trips, mentoring, dinner, fun electives… what more could you ask for?! And did I mention… it’s FREE!

For more info or an application, contact Ms. Jess Pare at or (804) 441-8303.

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The Great Kindness Challenge of 2018!

Last week, Chamberlayne participated in the nation-wide Great Kindness Challenge! Students and staff who completed a Random Acts of Kindness checklist earned a heart for their grade level. Hearts are being posted on this bulletin board today to see which grade level had the most students complete the challenge, and the results will be announced tomorrow! Our counseling lessons this month were about how every person – regardless of age, income, beauty, intelligence, athletic ability, etc. – can do “ordinary” acts of kindness that create “extraordinary” ripple effects of kindness to make the world a better place.

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Critical Teen Issues workshop

If you have teenagers in your family, check out this free workshop coming up this Thursday evening, 11/30, at Hermitage High School! Topics that will be covered include Depression, Substance Abuse, Grief, Healthy Friendships, Internet Safety, and more! Register or get more information by clicking the link below.

Critical Teen Issues Workshop_Flyer


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Silence Hurts link

Did you know that every single Henrico County school has one identical link on its homepage? It’s called “Silence Hurts,” and it’s a way to anonymously report bullying, violence, or safety concerns to the school’s administrators. Can you find our link? Image result for clip art eyes Hint: it’s on the top left of the page.

Still can’t find it? How about now??? 

As School Counselor, I work hard to establish relationships in which students and parents feel safe coming to me with concerns, and our teachers and administrators do the same. Still, some people have difficulty sharing concerns, so I wanted to make sure I pointed out that link. School is a place everyone should feel safe and ready to learn!

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Change is in the air!

The leaves are changing colors and changes are in the air EVERYWHERE at Chamberlayne! Students in grades 3-5 have set goals and changed their biweekly test scores by double-digit increases in many cases; students in K-2 have changed behaviors to begin earning tickets to spend in our new “Roar Store”; and several classes are getting ready to change locations to the learning cottages so our school’s renovation can begin. We are on a roll changing in amazing ways here at Chamberlayne (or should I say Change-erlayne?)!

This week we are celebrating Red Ribbon Week with daily Spirit Days, and we’ll cap off the week with tomorrow’s Fall Festival from 5:30-7:30 pm. Next week, October 30-November 3, is College & Career Awareness Week for HCPS. We will celebrate at Chamberlayne by having College Spirit Day on Wednesday (students and staff should wear shirts/attire from their favorite college or university). We will also have mystery speakers on the morning announcements each day sharing about jobs they had before switching to the education field. Each mystery speaker’s name will be revealed on the afternoon announcements later that day. We will still have our annual career day later in the school year, but this will be a neat preview to get our students thinking about their career and college goals!

Stay tuned for more changes as the first quarter of school comes to a close in less than 2 weeks!

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Here comes Fall!

Chamberlayne’s Gamechangers are cool every day of course, but Fall is about to make us all even cooler… BRR! During the month of October, our monthly character focus school-wide will be RESPECT. Talk about this character trait at home to help your child make connections. What rules do you have for showing respect at home? What about at stores or restaurants? Why is respect important to you as a family?

We have TONS of fun activities coming up this month to build school community and learn about respecting ourselves and others:

  • Walk to School Day Wednesday 10/4
  • First Friday assembly Friday 10/6
  • Red Ribbon Week with daily Spirit Days 10/23-10/27
  • Fall Festival Friday 10/27
  • Mix It Up Day Tuesday 10/31
  • College & Career Awareness Week 10/30-1/3

…not to mention – picture day, a student half-day, and the kickoff to our Fall fundraiser! Keep checking your student’s Friday folder for more information on these events.

We will also host a district parent information session for Gifted Programs at Chamberlayne 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4th. That is geared towards families of students already identified as Gifted in HCPS as well as families who are interested in the identification/referral process. One last thing – families of 5th graders, don’t forget IB applications are available now (due back November 6th)!

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Happy New Year!

We are getting so excited about the new school year here at Chamberlayne! One of my “new year’s resolutions” this school year is to update my blog more frequently. Last year I did not post as much as I intended to, and I know I can do better!

Our staff is also now using the Remind app to communicate with parents. Remind is a free phone app that allows teachers to send messages to students’ parents through the app or by text, either individually or as a whole class (such as “Don’t forget – field trip money is due tomorrow!). I will be exploring how to best use this app as well, and if you’d like to sign up for School Counseling messages from me, here’s the link: The types of things I may send messages about are upcoming spirit weeks, career day, community events, or deadline reminders for things like middle school IB applications or gifted identification referrals. Your child’s teacher will have a separate link/code to get messages from him/her. That link will be available at Open House!

Speaking of Open House… put it on your calendar! Open House is this Thursday, August 31st! PreK orientation is 9:00-10:00, Kindergarten orientation is 3:00-4:00, and Open House for 1st-5th grades is 4:00-6:00. Save the date for Back to School Night, too, which will be Thursday, September 14th starting at 6:30. We can’t wait to hear about your summer!

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The Great Kindness Challenge is here!

great kindness challenge

Chamberlayne is participating in The Great Kindness Challenge this week, January 23-27, 2017. This is a national event that reminds students and educators that being kind leads to a better school culture, fostering greater academic growth and enjoyment of school for everyone! On Monday, students in grades K-5 will be given a list of “random acts of kindness” for them to complete. Students who complete every act on their sheet and turn it in to their teachers by the end of the day Thursday will get to participate in a fun reward activity at the end of the week (or next Tuesday, depending on the student’s grade level schedule). Stay tuned for pictures and remind your Chamberlayne student that KINDNESS MATTERS!

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