South Pasadena Middle School

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Guidance Counselors

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Parents Resources During School Closure
2019-2020 Elective Classes

Everything you need to know about the SPMS Counseling Department:

Counselors no longer accept schedule change/request forms after the first week of the school year.  Please do not fill out a counselor request form about this. All forms that are turned in last week will be followed up with by the end of the week by your counselor. Please be patient as we make changes and go through our many emails and request forms. Any other counseling questions/concerns can be brought to your Counselors attention by filling out the blue counselor request form found in their boxes. Have a great year!
Who will be our students counselor?
Counslors are assigned to students on teh first day of school, it will be listed in the class schedule.  That counselor will remain their counselor while they are at SPMS.
How can I reach my counselor?
Students at the beginning of the school year are encouraged to ask questions, to their counselors via the "Pink/Purple" Counselor
Schedule Form located in the main office. We will attempt to reach out to each request form as soon as we are able to process them.

We didn’t get the elective we requested, what do we do?
Students are given a request form at the end of 5th-grade year, a google form in 6th & 7th grade or upon registration to fill out to
give us an idea of what classes students are interested in.  Unfortunately, we may not be able to honor each request but we do the
best we can. When it comes to specific semester/yearlong electives, they may be in high demand and these electives are randomly selected from the computer based on the initial request.

What is the "wheel" (6th grade) and other grade levels elective system?
The wheel is computer generated and in 6th grade will include a rotation of 4 classes (not to be repeated for more than 1
quarter/semester). If a student does not get the wheel elective they wanted in the 1st quarter, they might get it in one of the other
quarters/semesters. Students do not have the option on which quarter an elective is given. In 7th & 8th grade, students are given either semester or yearlong electives--but again, not guaranteed.

Can teacher(s) requests be made?
Due to balancing classes and being fair to all students and teachers, per administration, teacher requests are not accepted.

I want an honors class, what do I do?
All honors classes are looked at carefully based on set criteria and students must meet the criteria in order to qualify for an honors
class. Every student is given a chance to reach the criteria at the end of each year. Due to reevaluating the students at the end of eachyear (except 8th graders in the spring), students may also be dropped out of an honors class if they do not meet the current criteria.  Honors classes are not guaranteed year-to-year.

**For Math Placement**Please refer to the board approved criteria for Math Placement Protocol.

I would like to receive Math Placement Data?
You may come into the main office to request your information from the main office clerks by the Friday of the second week of the new school in August. Please note that teacher recommendation scores are confidential and cannot be released.

How can I set up a parent meeting?
The beginning of the year is extremely busy. Email is the best way to reach counselors as they are with students and may not be able to answer a call.  If you would like to meet, please email to make an appointment, which will begin after the first few weeks of school. We can also make phone call appointments.

I left you a voicemail, but I haven't heard back?
We are glad that you sent us an email, we only check voicemail at the end of the day--with students in and out of the office, with exception within the first few weeks of school where it may take a bit longer.  With email we are able to communicate more directly. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please note that due to scheduling issues, schedules may be subject to change without prior notice.

For Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night Paperworkclick here
Math Placement
Please refer to the board approved criteria for Math Placement Protocol
School Counselors
If you are having difficulties in school, with your friends or family, speak with your school counselor.  The counselors help by offering you a safe and confidential environment in which to talk to someone, and can help you:
  • Work out personal issues.
  • Get used to the middle school.
  • Set and achieve goals.
  • If you or someone you know are being bullied.
  • Understand yourself better so you make good choices.
  • Find ways to improve your grades and attitude.
  • Mediate conflict.
  • Think about your future (school and career).

School Specialists

Ms. Amanda Tarca
(626) 441-5830 
Mr. Abraham Fuerte
Speech Therapist
Mrs. Karen Grace
Occupational Therapist
Ms. Dawn Mays
(626) 441-5830
Ms. Natasha Prime
TYB Counselor
Middle School Behavior
Please click on the link below in order to view the Middle School Behavior Powerpoint that was presented at 5th Grade Orientation Night on March 12, 2015 by Program Specialist, Nancy Goldstein.

The Need for Middle School Counselors

Outside Counseling Referrals
Here is a list of outside therapists, counseling agencies and hotlines:
Counselor-Recommended Books
Below is a link to a list of books we recommend. We have found they are helpful in working with middle school students.
ASCA National Model
American School Counseling Association National Model - Professional School Counseling Standards for K-12:
Habits of Minds