1414 24th Street, South
Arlington, VA 22202-1500
Fax: 703-271-0529
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Resource Staff

We are a Recognized ASCA (American School Counselor Association) Model Program!!
For more information on what this means, please visit:  http://www.ascanationalmodel.org/learn-about-ramp
Oakridge Elementary School
School Counseling Program
Mrs. Terwilliger (Mrs. T), Ms. Gaeta and Mrs. Harrington
For recent news from the Counseling Department, check out our Fall 2014 Counseling Newsletter
 ***Attention Parents/Guardians of 5th Grade Students***
Middle School Information Night is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd from 7-9pm at Washington and Lee High School
For more information, please see attached flyer
Aspire2Excellence is an academic planning initiative designed to provide families with information as they are planning for their child's future in APS. Aspire2Excellence underscores the importance of every student taking rigorous courses and meeting rigorous graduation requirements in order to be ready for life after high school.
For more information, please download this flier Flyer (English) / Flyer (Spanish) or visit the APS website for more information: http://www.apsva.us/Page/27046
October is Disability History and Awareness Month

Disability history education and awareness will promote positive attitudes in schools creating a culture of mutual respect, understanding and equal opportunities for all. (Virginia Department of Education)
Are you ready to spend a day of learning and celebration together?!  We are, and we've planned a terrific day for families to acknowledge and celebrate Disability History and Awareness Month.  Space is limited, so sign up now for morning and afternoon workshops, and plan to join us for lunch!

The Special Education Parent Resource Center's Disability History and Awareness Celebration Day
Thursday, October 23, 2014:  10:00am to 2:00pm
Syphax Education Center at Sequoia Plaza, 2110 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22204
Morning Sessions - 10:00am to 11:30am

  • Behavior Strategies:  All families occasionally (or more often) must respond to behavioral challenges at home.  Join Behavior Specialist Keieownna Hightower, who will share techniques and positive behavioral strategies to support your child's social/emotional development, and encourage cooperation and responsibility at home. (Room 101)
  • PEP: Have you heard about PEP - the exciting new Program for Employment Preparedness at the Arlington Career Center?  Join Special Education Coordinators Linda Saiidifar and Brian Stapleton, and Transition Assistant Chris Williams, to hear about the unique opportunities provided for young adults with disabilities through this program. (Room 171)
  • Early Adolescent Development:  Adolescence is one of the most important phases of change during life.  Dr. Kathy Heer, School Psychologist and Behavior Specialist, will help families understand what to expect and how to prepare as our children transform from children to young adults. (Room 103)
  • Learning Disabilities:  School Psychologists Kelly Mountain and Dr. Ricia Weiner will be on hand to help us understand more about learning disabilities.  There are many kinds of learning disabilities that may pose challenges for our children at school and at home.  Join us for this session to learn more about characteristics of learning disabilities, and what families can do to help. (Room 105)

During our lunch break from 11:30am to 12:30pm, join us in Room 171.  You can bring your lunch or purchase lunch at our Sequoia Cafe, and join us to network with the PRC staff, parent liaisons, other families and staff, and representatives from Arlington's Special Education PTA (SEPTA), and the Arlington Special  Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC).  The PRC will provide dessert and beverages.

Afternoon Sessions: 12:30pm to 2:00pm

What about the siblings?
  Siblings of children with disabilities play an important role in the family, and in the lives of their brothers and sisters.  Join newly certified Sibshop Facilitators, Phyllis Thompson, School Social Worker, and Kathleen Donovan, Special Education Coordinator, for a deeper understanding of sibling issues.  What are the gifts of having a sibling with special needs?  What are the unique challenges?  What are the educational and informational needs of your typically developing children?  What do siblings of children with disabilities want us to know?  Join us to uncover the answers! (Room 101)

  • Ask the Autism Specialists!  Do you have a child with characteristics of an autism spectrum disorder?  This session is for you!  Looking for some new ideas to support your child at home?  Having some struggles at home you'd like to brainstorm about?  Bring your questions, ideas, and tales of parenting a child with ASD along as two of our terrific autism specialists, Laura DePatch and Josh Taylor, will be here to share their insights and creative solutions. (Room 103)
  • Low Incidence Disabilities Panel Discussion:  What do families of children with less common disabilities have in common?  Often, a desire to connect with others and learn more about services and supports available to their children.  We are delighted to welcome Dr. Karen Gerry, Stratford Principal, Dr. Patt Jones, Special Education Coordinator, Ms. Laura Cunningham, Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and others who support children with low incidence disabilities, to this panel discussion to share information about supports, services and programs. (Room 105)

Registration for sessions is required, and space is limitedRegister early to ensure space is available!  You may register online, or call the PRC at 703.228.7239.

Mondays, October 27-December 8.  Strengthening Families

For all Arlington families with youth ages 10-14.  Get ready for the teen years!  Learn techniques to talk with your child about Drugs & Alcohol.  Program includes class for parents and children, childcare for children younger than 10, and dinner.  Free.  Fall session will be held at Barrett Elementary School.  Register online at http://strengtheningfamiliesarlington.com/ or contact Jen Landis at 703/228-1108 or jlandis@arlingtonva.us

School Counseling Program Overview
Welcome to Oakridge Elementary School's Counseling website!  My name is Mrs. Terwilliger (the kids usually call me Mrs. T) and I am the full-time school counselor at Oakridge (primarily serving Grades 3-5).  Ms. Gaeta and Ms. Harrington are both returning this year as part-time counselors at Oakridge.  Ms. Gaeta (2nd Grade Counselor) is at Oakridge on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and Ms. Harrington (K-1 Counselor) is at Oakridge on Tuesdays and Fridays.  As school counselors, we work with students and parents through a number of different services. Each service is designed to support the academic program of our school.  Some of the services offered through the counseling program are:
  • Group Counseling (topics include: Separation/Divorce, Study Skills, Loss, Friendship, Self-Esteem, Social Skills, and more!)
  • Individual Counseling
  • Classroom Guidance Lessons (topics include: self esteem, feelings, goal setting, problem solving, career awareness, and more!)
    • Classroom Guidance Lessons have started!  Ask your student about the classroom visits from the counselors!
    Parent Workshops
  • Mentoring Program
If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance, please call me at 703-228-8158 or email me at anne.terwilliger@apsva.us.
If you need to contact Mrs. Harrington, please email her at laura.harrington@apsva.us. For more information on Arlington Public Schools' School Counseling Program: http://www.apsva.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2315.
Thank you for supporting the guidance and counseling program!
Bullying Prevention and Intervention
October is Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month.  Here are some of the great activities Oakridge students are participating in to celebrate this month:
The 3 R's of Bullying (adapted from Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program)
Recognize - Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening or leaving someone out on purpose.  
Refuse - If you feel safe, 1) Get calm, 2) Stand straight and tall, 3) Look at the person you are speaking to, 4) Say what you mean in a strong, clear, respectful voice. Example: "Stop! That is mean."
Report - Reporting isn't tattling!  Reporting is telling an adult in order to keep people safe. Any time is a good time to report bullying.
New Academic Planning Information from APS
Please visit the College and Career Corner website and view the Academic Planning Map
Notes/Handouts from Evening Events at Oakridge
I know your schedules are hectic...no worries!  Below are notes and/or handouts from the evening events we have hosted:
Too Smart to Start
January 8, 2013: Parent Presentation
Celebrate Calm - Presentation by Kirk Martin
Sign up for Kirk Martin's weekly newsletters at www.celebratecalm.com -- I highly recommend it!
Internet Safety Night
November 17, 2009: Internet Safety Handout
Also, check out www.netsmartz.org for more GREAT information!
Presentation by Dr. Marilyn Benoit, child psychiatrist.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is the repeated infliction or attempted infliction of injury, discomfort, or humiliation on a student by one or more students. It is a pattern of intentionally aggressive or hostile behavior that occurs repeatedly over time. Bullying typically includes an imbalance of power. Simply speaking, bullying is behavior that deliberately hurts, frightens, threatens, or excludes someone.


Bullying Can Include:

  • Name calling
  • Teasing, making fun of someone
  • Spreading rumors and gossip
  • Insulting someone
  • Telling or writing lies about someone
  • Expressing sarcasm, subtle negative comments
  • Excluding specific persons
  • Pushing, tripping, hitting
  • Threatening, intimidating or scaring people
  • Belittling people because of their race or culture
  • Making sexual comments or innuendos


What Can You Do?

  • Talk to your child about bullying and harassment.
  • If you think your child is being bullied, ask him/her what has happened.
  • Encourage your child to report bullying at school to teachers, school counselors, or the administrators.
  • Make a follow-up contact with school staff yourself.
To view Arlington County's Bully Prevention Policies, please visit: http://www.apsva.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2772

For more information on bullying, please visit: http://www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing/

Want more information about Cyberbullying?  Check out this recently released summary from the Cyberbullying Research Center: Cyberbullying Research Summary

Printable Resources for Parents

Test Taking Strategies
If...Then...Rule (English and Spanish)
Using Time Outs Effectively (English and Spanish)
Web Resources for Parents
Parents, please find some helpful links below!
Getting to School Safely
Miscellaneous Article and Podcasts (including Social Skills, Separation/Divorce, School Success, Learning Disabilities, and more!)

Parent's Guide for Preventing Gangs



Back to School Tips




Healthy Family Lifestyle



Managing Stress - Campus Calm



Information on Separation/Divorce





Family Education Network



Helping Your Child with Academics



School-Family Partnerships



Resources for Parents with Children with Disabilities





Downloadable Parenting Tips



Drug Prevention



Study Skills and Homework Help



Child Development


Web Resources for Students


For additional resources, please contact the Parent Resource Center: 


Oakridge School Counseling
Piecing It Together
"Piecing it Together"
Last Modified on October 20, 2014