Welcome to the CMS Guidance & Counseling Department


The middle school age student goes through more changes physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially than he/she has experienced since age two. These years are a time when young adolescents are dealing with feelings of autonomy versus dependency, coping with a new social and educational environment and higher academic expectations. It is a period of mastery, conformity, and testing; a time of uncertainty toward self and others, frequently hidden behind a mask of bravado and experimental behavior. Many are also dealing with changes in their family structure and familial relationships. It is miraculous that some are able to take such giant leaps educationally at the same time. However, there are few children who experience no disruption in their educational involvement and/or achievement, social adaptability, or emotional adjustment.

The primary goal of the Concord Middle School Guidance Department is to be of assistance to students as events occur which disrupt their educational process. In order to do this, it is first necessary to have a relationship with the student whenever possible. It is also important to have open access to and dialogue with whatever adults impact on his/her life: family, school staff and administration, and community resources. It is, therefore, not surprising that counselors spend approximately forty percent of their time directly with students and forty percent of their time with adults who have direct contact with students.

As disruptions in the educational process occur, the problem must be analyzed and decisions made on the most effective intervention strategy, if any. Both analysis and strategy planning might be made in coordination with parents, teachers, student, administrators, specialists, health professional and/or outside agencies. Once a strategy is decided, the counselor may or may not be directly involved but continues to reassess the effectiveness of the intervention and replan according to needs.

Through the Guidance Department, the Concord Middle School provides services and offers programs dealing with instructional, developmental and/or personal issues which affect a student’s learning process.

5th Grade to 6th Grade Transition

Guidance and the elementary teachers/social workers work very hard to make the 5th to 6th grade transition go as smoothly as possible.
Elementary teachers begin giving information to the middle school in the month of March.

Parents and their child fill out a middle school course selection form to indicate which Foreign Language and which elective cycle (band, orchestra, chorus) they want for middle school. These forms are returned to the elementary teacher and sent to the middle school by the end of March.

8th to 9th Grade Transition

Students begin the high school transition process as early as November.
The high school transition calendar is on the CCHS web site.

High school placements will be sent home from the 8th grade teachers the last week in February. If you have a question about a specific placement, please contact your child’s teacher directly.

In the beginning of March, guidance counselors from Concord Carlisle High School will be meeting with Peabody and Sanborn 8th graders to discuss the high school program of studies and extra curricular opportunities.

By mid-March, 8th grade guidance counselors will be available to answer any questions and help students fill out their course selection requests using the high school’s Aspen online system.

There is plenty of time built into the scheduling timeline so that departmental overrides will be completed and put into the high school’s scheduling system. Of course parents will be notified of the result of the override and further discussions settled by the end of March.


Kim Cyr

Guidance, Special Education

Molly Burkhard

7th Grade, Guidance

Team Leader

Jennifer Moran

Department Chair, Guidance, Special Education

Katie Grotenstein

Guidance, Special Education