South Pasadena Middle School

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Counseling » Guidance Counselors

Guidance Counselors

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Mrs. Diana Olivarez
Mrs. Marcile Montoya
In the office:  Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursdays
Ms. Sandra Jarrous
Mrs. Kimberly Woo
Assisting Mrs. Montoya
In the office:  Mondays & Fridays
Mrs. Kimberly Woo
Mrs. Diana Olivarez
Mrs. Sandra Jarrous
Taken during National School Counseling Week; February 2018
2019-2020 Elective Classes - given to 7th & 8th Grade students/families the last week of February 2019
Everything you need to know about the SPMS Counseling Department:
Monday, August 20, 2018

Counselors are no longer accepting schedule change/request forms for the rest of the year, as stated in the bulletin last week. Please do not fill out a counselor request form about this. All forms that were 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!

Monday, August 20, 2018
Welcome to 2018-2019!! Thank you for your email. As we are settling into the new school year, below we have a few of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) inquiries -- that may help address your needs while patiently waiting for our response. We will return your email/voicemail as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience as we make sure students are off to a great start!

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.

Please note that due to scheduling issues, schedules may be subject to change without prior notice.


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.

We did not get the Stem class even though I checked the option for
STEM certificate, what do I do?

Please have your child fill out a counselor request form for schedule changes within the first couple days of school (found in the office)
and explain this on the form and your counselor will contact the student, to confirm stem is scheduled within their year. Note: STEM is
on the wheel and offered quarter long in 6th grade. Other classes are also included when wanting to receive the STEM certificate.

Please look on the SPMS website for our electives description and which apply to the 'stem certificate'.

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 each
year (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 on the SPMS website:

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 Friday, August 17, 2018. 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 me as I am 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.

Warm regards, your Counselors
For Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night Paperwork (Thu., March 15, 2018):  click here
** For Math **
Please refer to the board approved criteria for MATH PLACEMENT PROTOCOL.




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 
Ms. Dawn Mays
(626) 441-5830
Mr. Abraham Fuerte
Speech Therapist
Mrs. Karen Grace
Occupational Therapist
Ms. Natasha Prime
TYB Counselor
Ms. Libby Vracin
Speech Therapy



What is an Upstander?

An Upstander is someone who stands up for what is right, even if they are standing alone. Upstanders believe in helping others and being inclusive and welcoming to everyone.


What does an Upstander do?

Upstanders have two main jobs on campus.

  1. They help solve conflicts between peers, they are the peer mediation group on campus.
  2. They work to improve the overall culture on campus.


How do you get help from an Upstander?

Students who have a conflict with a peer are encouraged to self-refer to a peer mediation. All they need to do is fill out an Upstanders Peer Mediation Request form in the office.



College Career Day For All Grades - April 15, 2016

Middle School Behavior 2015 Powerpoint

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.

ASCA National Model

American School Counseling Association National Model - Professional School Counseling Standards for K-12:

The Need for Middle School Counselors

Outside counseling referrals

Here is a list of outside therapists, counseling agencies and hotlines:

Counselor-recommended Books

Dear Parents/Guardians of SPMS Students,

Below is a link to a list of books we recommend. We have found they are helpful in working with middle school students.

Teaching our students the "ABC's"

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