Community outlook: Middle School Counselors Wedeking, Hass

STC Middle School Counselors Crystal Hass and Blake Wedeking

At the Middle School level, our students have had the least consistent year. However, our students have remained resilient and adaptable as we face the challenges associated with COVID-19. As a school, we were virtual for 13 weeks after the building was damaged. This week concludes 6 weeks of hybrid learning before we return 100% on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

While this has shown how resilient our students are, we have also seen in the past year an increase in students that struggle with mental health, feeling isolated, and general stress and anxiety. In Guidance classes, an emphasis has been put on Mindfulness activities, coping strategies, and developing a growth mindset. Self-care lessons and 1:1 sessions have also been beneficial for our students.

Many of our students that deal with stress and anxiety fly under the radar until it affects their grades. To help identify students that may be struggling, the Middle School Counselors are introducing a new program called Closegap. This free program allows students to share how their day is going so far, determine if they would like a teacher or counselor to check-in with them, and ends with an activity that can help improve the situation.

To access the program, students will utilize their ipads and check-in daily. Student choice is incorporated into the activities that follow the check-in. These activities include breathing exercises, journaling, stretching, and mindfulness practices to name a few. Parents are encouraged to check-in with their kids at home as well. Starting the day with a good breakfast, getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep, and drinking plenty of water helps students stay focused throughout the day. If you would like more information on Closegap, feel free to contact the counselors at the middle school. We hope this free program will help address the social/emotional needs of our students and better prepare them to succeed in the academic setting.

Contact information:

Blake Wedeking

5th & 6th Grade Counselor


Extension 4213 at the Partnership Center

Crystal Hass

7th & 8th Grade Counselor


Extension 4004 at the Partnership Center