Welcome to Piccowaxen Middle School's  
Counseling Department Page  


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Valerie Benton email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Bill Marchione email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Our school counselors advise students on course scheduling and assist students in making appropriate choices to achieve their future goals. We offer brief, solution-focused counseling services to students who are experiencing problems in any area that affects their academic performance.

You will notice that our counselor caseloads are divided by alphabet. Our counselors have split all three grade levels. Ms. Benton is the counselor for students whose last name begins with A through K. and Mrs. Clancy is the counselor for students whose last name begins with L through Z.

Other department personnel include Ms. Shaw, Guidance Secretary and Ms. Boswell, Data Entry Technician.

As we begin this school year, the Counseling Department ask parents and guardians to reinforce to your child(ren) the regular use of your their agenda book. Students should be writing in their agenda every day. In addition, we ask that parents and guardians regularly use edline to check your child's grades. If you have any questions regarding a class or a grade within that class, we encourage you to email or call the teacher.

We strongly encourage parents and guardians to contact their child's counselor with any questions or concerns that may affect their child's academic, personal/social and career development.

Thank you,
The Counseling Department  


 Content List:  



What is a School Counselor?  

First and foremost the school counselor is a Student Advocate. It falls to the school counselor to be a voice for student needs and an agent for change as well as creator of services to meet these needs. The role of the counselor as a change agent includes conducting student needs assessments, collaborating with on site-based improvement teams, monitoring changing demographics, transience concerns, community issues, addressing parental concerns, meeting school system goals for student achievement and safe and orderly school environments, and coordinating the development of a school counseling program plan.

School counselors offer consultation to students, parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and service providers.

They identify students' academic, personal, developmental, and social-emotional concerns. Counselors work with all those listed above to address these concerns.

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Services Provided by the School Counselor: 

Individual Counseling - a one-to-one personal interaction between a counselor and a student to resolve problems, undertake new tasks, or explore concerns. In school settings, this counseling interaction is typically based upon a brief, action-oriented counseling model. although, some student concerns may require multiple counseling sessions. The counseling relationship is founded upon trust and rapport which result from the unconditional positive regard the counselor demonstrates to the student.

Developmental Classroom Guidance - Operates on an instructional approach and involves all students at respective grade levels. These sessions are based upon developmental tasks, assessed needs, and emerging situational concerns. A variety of teaching strategies are employed including the creative use of cooperative learning methods, multimodal learning approaches, using mixed media, and designing well-constructed activities. Subjects covered during Guidance Lessons Include Bullying, Conflcit Resolution, Study Skills, Career Education, Suicide Prevention, School Safety, and Time Management. 
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How to Register Your Child at Piccowaxen or Other Schools in Charles County 

Please call Piccowaxen at 301-934-1977 with questions or to schedule an appointment for registration.
For detailed information on how to register your child in Charles County, click here. 
You can complete and print the registration papererwork that is avialable online. Click here for the paperwork.  

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Student Transfers and Withdrawals 

When moving within the Piccowaxen School zone you must provide the following documentation:

When moving out of the Piccowaxen School zone you must do the following:

You must notify the Counseling Secretary 48 hours in advance of the student being withdrawn so that the proper documentation can be completed. Failure to give required advance notification will result in a delay when processing the required withdrawal paperwork. 


Checklist for Withdrawal of Students:

  • Parent signature on withdrawal form
  • Student needs to be cleared by the media specialist. (no overdue books or fines)
  • Check with cafeteria about any money still on student's account.
  • All textbooks turned into teacher. If books are not returned, you will receive a bill for the book.
  • All grades are given to student.
  • Student is responsible for clearing out his/her locker.
  • Student must get lock from gym locker.
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Tips for Students 

  • Be in school every day.
  • When you miss school, you miss lectures, notes, class discussions, homework explanations, assignments, quizzes and tests.
  • Set yourself realistic short and long term goals.
  • Short term goals are goals that you can achieve within days or weeks; long term goals are goals that may take weeks, months or possibly years. Making an "A" on your next Science test could be a short term goal, whereas majoring in Biology when you go to college might be one of your long term goals.
  • Get involved in school activities.
  • There are many clubs and after school activities at Piccowaxen that a student may enjoy being a part of. These activities will allow you to spend more time with your friends and meet new people, try something new, relieve stress, further develop your skills and talents, and to just have more fun.
  • Doing your best to get along with your parents will make life in middle school much more enjoyable.


During middle school there will be many times where you and your parents will disagree. Here are some points to remember to help reduce those times: 

  • Talk to your parents about what's happening in school and about what you and your friends are doing. If you let them in on what's going on in your life, they are less likely to feel like you're hiding things from them. Telling them the simplest thing like, "today I got a B on my Social Studies quiz", could make all the difference in the world.
  • Know that your parents care about you and that sometimes when you're out with your friends, they worry about you.
  • If you've done something wrong, don't lie about it. Admit what you have done and accept the consequences. Your parents will be more understanding if you tell them the truth. If you lie, you may start to lose their trust.
  • Always tell your parents where you are going and when you will be home. Check in with them often. It is a dangerous world at times and your parents worry; checking in will help your parents feel more at ease.
  • Never be disrespectful to your parents.
  • Communication is the key to having a good relationship with your parents. If there is something you need or want, or if you have a problem of any kind, tell your parents. They are not mind readers; you have to help them understand what you need from them.


Tips for Students, by Students: 

  1. "Try to be nice to everyone. If you do this, then you will have a ton of friends."
  2. "Take your grades seriously, but don't let your life revolve around an A."
  3. "Focus on your schoolwork, and if you don't understand something, ask for help."
  4. "Don't follow the crowd - people will like you better if you are not afraid to be you."
  5. "Get involved in activities, even if you don't think you're that good. You don't have to be good at something to have fun."
  6. "Be organized. You'll save lots of time, and you won't always be stressed out because you forgot something."
  7. "Don't worry about how 'popular' someone is. If you like them, then hang out with them."
  8. "Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone does stupid things in middle school - just forget about it and move on."
  9. "Concentrate on doing well in your classes, and don't get caught up in the school drama."
  10. "Have fun - middle school goes really fast."
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Counseling Programs 

  • Individual and Group Counseling
  • High School Course of Study, College, and Career Counseling
  • Social and Emotional Counseling
  • Instruction on Conflict Resolution, and Peer Mediation
  • Student Support Team (A team of specialists who meet weekly to help those students who need more specific supports)
  • Peer Tutoring - (Students helping other studnets with academic concerns. Meetings held during lunch)
  • Student Groups such as Teens Influencing Every Student (TIES), Social Skills Groups, Anger Management Groups, or other various groupd depending on the need 
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If one of our students is being bullied, we strongly suggest that a Bullying, Harrassment, and Intimidation Reporting Form be completed. This form can be completed by the parent/guardian of the student being bullied, a friend of the person being bullied, a teacher, or the student who is being bullied.
** You can click here to view the online Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Reporting Form. ** 


Some Important Definitions: 

  • Bullying – A pattern or behavior when a person repeatedly uses power in an intentional manner, including verbal, physical, or written conduct or intentional electronic communication against one or more students.
  • Cyberbullying – The use of electronic communication to harm or harass others in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.
  • Harassment – Includes actual or perceived negative actions that offend, ridicule, or demean another individual with regard to race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, familial status, physical or mental ability, or disability.
  • Intimidation – subjecting an individual to intentional action that seriously threatens and induces a sense of fear and/or inferiority.


Impact of Bullying

Impact of Bullying:
Bullying is one of the most serious challenges facing our schools. Surveys indicate that students view bullying as the worst experience of childhood, other than losing a loved one. Being taunted verbally or attacked physically can be a painful ordeal that can leave lasting psychological scars. In some cases it can have life-long consequences. Victims of bullying may experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts. They may come to view school, where most incidents of bulling occur, as an unsafe place. In fact, many bullying victims refuse to go to school to avoid facing the possibility of bullying. Bullying also affects students who are not victims but who witness these incidents. Bullying can create a climate of fear and anxiety in a school.


Why do students Bully?

  • to gain power
  • to get attention or become popular
  • to get material things
  • to act out problems at home
  • to copy another person they admire
  • to fit in or to belong
  • How does being bullied make us feel?


How does Bullying Make Us Feel? 

  • hurt
  • lonely
  • confused
  • sad
  • angry
  • anxious
  • singled out


Below We Have Listed Some Helpful Resources About Bullying That Will Inform Both Students and Parents

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Suicide Prevention

What to do when a friend or loved one is depressed or suicidal:

•Treat the problem seriously
•Express your concern and support
•Don't judge the person
•Don't argue with the person
•Never promise to keep the disclosure a secret. (If you are tricked into promising, BREAK THE PROMISE!)
•Listen well until you can get assistance. If you think the threat is immediate, don't leave the person alone.

Some common warning signs:
•Mood Swings
•Giving away possessions
•Withdrawal from people, especially close friends, family and favorite activities
•Change in eating or sleeping patterns
•Chronic pain
•Restlessness - inability to concentrate
•Lower academic achievement
•Talking about or threatening suicide
•Previous suicide attempt

Where to go for help:
•School Counselors
•A Friend
•School Psychologist
•Pupil Personnel Worker
•Help Hotlines ◦Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline - (800) 422-0009 or 
◦Covenant House - (800) 999-9999 or  

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Conflict Resolution

The Conflict Resolution Program at Piccowaxen Middle School Includes:
Conflict Resolution - classroom lessons
Conflict Resolution - guidance lessons
Ongoing Staff Training

What kinds of conflicts can be mediated?
Teasing, disagreements, name-calling, rumors, friendships, misunderstandings, and more....

How do you schedule a mediation? 
Mediation is completely confidential. Forms are located in the counseling office as soon as you walk in the door. If you are having trouble locating them just ask and someone will direct you. Next, fill out the form and return it to one of your school counselors. A mediation will be scheduled as soon as possible.

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