Welcome to the Matthew Henson Middle School Office of School Counseling page!



Need to register your child at Henson?

1. Access Online Registration: 
2. Once the forms are completed online, call us at 301-753-1784 to make an appointment for course placement and document verification.

6th Grade Counselor - Mr. Williams

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7th Grade Counselor - Ms. Giddins

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8th Grade Counselor and Department Chair - Ms. Eichel

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Counseling Office Secretary - Ms. Garner


We hope that this page will assist you in gathering important information to ensure the success of our students!
You may contact the School Counseling Office by phone at 301-375-8550 or 301-753-1784.



Role of the School Counselor
Professional school counselors are responsible for developing comprehensive school counseling programs that promote and enhance student learning. By providing prevention and intervention services within a comprehensive program, school counselors focus their skills, time and energies on direct services to students, staff, and families. Above all, school counselors are student advocates who work cooperatively with other individuals and organizations to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of children and youth. School counselors, as members of the educational team, consult and collaborate with teachers, administrators and families to assist students to be successful. They work on behalf of students and their families to insure that all school programs facilitate the educational process and offer the opportunity for school success for each student. School counselors are an integral part of all school efforts to insure a safe learning environment and safeguard the human rights of all members of the school community.

Michelle Obama explains why SCHOOL COUNSELORS are important
More on the role of school counselors

Homework/Class Work Request 
Please contact your child's counselor if your child will be out 3 or more consecutive days due to illness.  Also, send an email or written note to Principal Caballero in order for work collection to be approved. Counselors must give teachers a minimum 2 day (48 hour) notice to prepare and provide work for parent pick up.
Parents and/or students should request work directly from teachers via email in advance when an absence, i.e., doctor's appointment or a field trip, is planned. Parents can email teachers directly.


Parents must complete the online registration for their student before scheduling an appointment with a counselor.  Click here for Online Registration.


You are strongly encouraged to contact the school counseling secretary 48 hours in advance to notify her that your student will be withdrawing. This advance notice will minimize your wait time and give us the opportunity to assemble all of the information that you will need for registering your child in his/her new school. Failure to give advance notice may result in a 2 hour delay in order for the withdrawal process to be complete. Only a biological parent or legal guardian may withdraw a student.
1. You must have a photo ID.
2. You must complete and sign the withdrawal form.
3. Student must be cleared by the media specialist (turn in all library books, pay fines, etc.).
4. Student must be cleared by the cafeteria regarding account.
5. Student must return all textbooks and pay any associated fees.
6. Student must clear out locker.
7. Student will have each teacher record grades on the withdrawal card.

Meeting with the School Counselor
Students who are self-referring to the school counselor are encouraged to stop by the School Counseling Office during lunch to receive a pass to return later. Students who have already obtained a pass to see the counselor should first check-in with the teacher for that period. If a counselor wishes to see a student, the counselor will give the student a pass asking the teacher if that student may be excused for that period. The student will be expected to make up any missed work.

If a student is in CRISIS he/she should report directly to the School Counseling Office.


Effective Communication
between Parents and Teachers1. Daily via students’ Agenda Book
2. Contact the teacher by phone
3. Contact the teacher by e-mail
4. Parent/Teacher conference

Parent Scheduled Teacher Conferences
If you want to meet with one teacher, please contact him/her directly via email or telephone to arrange a conference. If you would like to meet with multiple teachers, please call your child’s counselor or the counseling secretary to schedule a parent/teacher(s) conference. Counselors must give a 2 day prior notice, and teacher(s) will be asked to bring a current progress report and any other relevant class work or tests to share with the parent. If a teacher is unable to attend, the teacher will inform the counselor and personally contact the parent prior to the scheduled conference. If a teacher is absent the day of the conference, he/she will personally contact the parent as soon as possible.

Students are invited to attend all conferences. Parent conferences are held in the mornings (T/W/Th), before school, and begin at 7:45 a.m. and run for twenty (20) minutes. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes early to allow for parking and checking in at the main office. If you have not arrived by 7:55 a.m., please contact Ms. Wilson to discuss rescheduling the conference.

Forms/Recommendations Requests from Outside Agencies

What do I need to do to have teachers/faculty complete forms/recommendations from any outside agencies (for example: physicians, private schools, special programs outside of school)?

Visit/Contact the school counseling office to complete a release of records form

Please include any necessary contact information for the requesting agency (for example: fax number, address, name of agency/school, name of recipient, etc

All forms are either mailed or faxed directly to the agency from the school. They are not sent through the parent or student

* Note: Please give teachers/faculty a minimum of two weeks notice to complete and submit forms to an outside agency * 

Parent Visitation/Observation
Parents are encouraged to come to their child's school during normal operating hours. All visitors are asked to sign in at the main office and obtain a visitor's badge to ensure the safety and security of students and staff.

Parents may either visit the classroom at the teacher's/school's invitation or request to make a formal observation of a classroom. Making an appointment with the school at least two (2) days in advance of an observation is not only a courtesy and a requirement, but enables you to schedule the observation for the maximum benefit. Teachers cannot stop teaching to confer with parents who stop by without an appointment. Parents may schedule up to two (2) classroom observations of forty-five (45) minutes in duration each grading period.

An administrator will accompany visitors to the classroom. Siblings should not attend. Teachers will be happy to discuss the observation at a mutually convenient time. Parents are welcome to visit the cafeteria and eat lunch with their child.

Principals retain the authority to deny access to the school for any individual who has or may disrupt or disturb the learning environment or who lacks a valid or legal purpose for entering the school. Our shared commitment and cooperation is essential for the safety of our students and staff.

Help Your Child Succeed in School:
Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early
School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!
Our goal this year is to ensure that every student attends school regularly.
Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life. We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But, we also know that when students miss too much school— regardless of the reason – it can cause them to fall behind academically. Your child is less likely to succeed if he or she is chronically absent—which means missing 18 or more days over the course of an entire school year. Research shows:
• Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
• By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
• By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.

Absences can add up quickly. A child is chronically absent if he or she misses just two days every month!!
Clearly going to school regularly matters!
We don’t want your child to fall behind in school and get discouraged. Please ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time. Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:

• Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.
• Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
• Ensure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick
• Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
• Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school. Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.

Let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day. We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any questions or need more information please contact our Pupil Personnel Worker.

Helping Kids During Crisis
• Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.

• Limit exposure to television and the news.

• Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.

• Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.

• Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.

• Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.

• Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Career Cruising
  What is Career Cruising?
  Que' es Career Cruising? 
  Summary of features
  Resumen de funciones
  Guided Tour
  Visita guiada de Career Cruising


Suggested Web Sites
National PTA - Contains information about "Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children." - Talking With Kids About the News - Develop strategies for discussing today's headlines with chlldren. 
Crisis Management Institute - Ready Campaign - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign helps the public be prepared in case of national emergency
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
FEMA for Kids

Books for Kids
“A Terrible Thing Happened” Margaret M. Holmes ISBN # 1-57759-696-X Dalmation Press P.O. Box 682068 Franklin, TN 37068-2068
“Reactions” Allison Salloum 1998 Centering Corporation Chicago, Illinois
“Why Did it Happen?” Janice Cohen 1994 Morrow Junior Books New York, NY
Books for Parents:
“Children and Trauma: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Heal” Josey-Bass San Francisco, CA
“The Scared Child: Helping Kids Overcome Traumatic Events” John Wiley New York, New York