Guidance Dept

Wayland Middle School Guidance Counselors

6th Grade - Stephen Farina: Stephen_Farina@wayland.k12.ma.us

7th Grade - Amy Parker: Amy_Parker@wayland.k12.ma.us

8th Grade - Suzanne Bernstein: Suzanne_Bernstein@wayland.k12.ma.us


To reach the counselors by phone, please dial the school's main number. 508-655-6670


The student's experience at the middle school goes beyond classroom learning. The developmental period of early adolescence is a time of rapid growth and change, physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. There is great variability among children of the same chronological age. Physically, the growth spurt is accelerated with the onset of puberty. This growth makes both boys and girls self- conscious about their bodies and their appearance. Along with physical changes, new cognitive abilities begin to develop. These allow the early adolescent to move from concrete toward abstract reasoning, to consider alternatives, and to organize and remember an increasingly larger, and more complex, amount of information.

In addition, middle school adolescents begin to change their relationships with other students, adults, and family members. Paradoxically, just as they gain the cognitive capacity to take other people's perspectives, emotionally they become more self-centered. Socially the peer group becomes increasingly significant.

The school environment facilitates the cognitive, social, and emotional growth of the preadolescent and early adolescent by providing a program and structure that allows for the great variability among students within this developmental process, and at the same time it aims to develop increased responsibility and maturity. The counseling program focuses on these developmental issues with which students are struggling and helps them learn to adapt and cope with these changes. The counselor in grade 8 also has a key role in preparing students for the transition to high school.

The counseling program involves four main areas:
Short-Term Counseling – individual and group
Parent Consultation
Consultation to Teachers
Special education team participation, including assessment.

Short-Term Counseling
Counselors are available to help students with the developmental issues of the middle school years. They try to help students to adapt and cope with the many changes taking place, particularly in the areas of increasing academic expectations and friendship issues. In addition, counselors provide individual and group support for the many students who are dealing with mental health issues and life stresses in such areas as anxiety and depression, chemical dependency, parental separation, divorce or remarriage, adoption, illness or death in the family, learning problems, or sexuality concerns.

Parent Consultation
Parents remain key figures in facilitating their child's development. Counselors consult with parents to discuss concerns regarding the student's personal, academic, and social development. By working together, the school and home can provide a healthy, consistent environment in which the child may grow. Counselors invite parents to discuss educational and developmental issues at any time. Sometimes counselors meet with groups of parents at morning or evening discussions. Counselors also work with parents who need referrals to an outside therapist or a medication consultation for their child.

Consultation to Teachers
Wayland Middle School is organized in a House system with designated teams of teachers, counselors, and house leaders meeting together on a regular basis to plan joint activities, communicate about students, and formulate plans to facilitate student progress.

In addition to house meetings, counselors consult frequently with teachers and administrators on an individual basis to support the successful academic and social/emotional development of their students. Counselors may facilitate conversation between teachers and students, and may provide psychoeducation to the team of teachers on relevant topics.

Special Education Team Participation
Counselors work closely with the special education staff to help in the evaluation of student needs through testing, observation, or consultation. They attend team evaluation meetings and help to formulate individualized educational plans appropriate to the needs of the individual student. They assist in the implementation of individualized educational plans as needed. Counselors are also the primary liaison for 504 federal plans.