Lower School Mental Wellness

Welcome to the Pace Academy Lower School Counseling Corner! We strive to support the Pace community by promoting students' social and emotional wellness through programming, individual and group counseling, and partnerships with parents and teachers.

Resources for Students

Character Education
The Lower School weaves character education into all aspects of the curriculum. Character skills are implemented as teachers establish class norms and guidelines. Students practice these skills by listening respectfully to others and working collaboratively throughout the school day. Character skills are also taught through monthly classes, class conversations surrounding conflict resolution and school-wide community engagement opportunities. The counselor collaborates with teachers to offer specific classes contingent upon the needs of the students. Learn more about our Noble Knights' Pillars of Character Program.

Individual and Group Support
When teachers, parents or students identify an emotional challenge, our counselor is available to meet with and support them. Play counseling and group-play counseling help our counselor better understand and respond to the unique needs of each child. The counselor offers small group opportunities focused on specific needs such as managing big emotions, thoughts and actions as well as building skills to successfully resolve conflicts and be a good peer leader. If needed, our counselor also provides referrals to outside counseling and social-skills groups.

Mentoring Program
Upper School students involved in PASS (Pace Academy Student Support) serve as mentors to our fifth graders and meet on a monthly basis to discuss topics such as leadership, responsibility, stress, peer pressure and the transition to Middle School.

Resources for Parents

Parent Workshops
Consulting Psychologist Dr. Mark Crawford leads frequent parent workshops that address the mental wellness issues most relevant to the Pace community. Event dates, locations and times are published on the Pace calendar.

Recommended Reading for Parents
Click here for a list of books the counselors recommend.

Book Lists
Our counselor maintains a list of books that address character education and emotional support. Is there is a book you've found helpful that is not included on this list? Send the title and author to kacy.brubaker@paceacademy.org so we can broaden our resources.

Children's Books by Theme

Diversity and Inclusion Books
Online Resources
Additional resources for current Pace parents are available in the Pace LEAD and Parenting Connection sections of myPACE (login required).

Noble Knight Parent Letters
Are you interested in learning more about what your students are studying and how you can enhance what they are learning at home? If so, click below.

August & September

Hello, Parents!

We have enjoyed seeing your children back at school and are excited for a great year! Below you will find some updates from the social-emotional-learning world.

1) Kindness Rocks. Mrs. Edwards and I have had so much fun kicking off the Noble Knights/art curriculum with your children. If you want to continue making Kindness Rocks at home, click here for more information.

2) In September, we will turn our attention to the Noble Knights’ Pillar of Respect. I will be in each classroom teaching, and fifth graders will have a joint lesson with me and Mr. Ward from the Center for Civil and Human Rights. For more activities you can do at home to support what the children are learning in class, click here. And, for books to read with your children, click here or here.  

3) Help us celebrate International Dot Day on Monday, September 17th. The previous week, we will be reading "The Dot" and doing activities in library class. Fun events are being organized for the 17th, and everyone is encouraged to wear clothing with dots!

4) Students and faculty are encouraged to wear their Noble Knights’ T-shirts on Monday, October 1st, as Mr. Traquair’s class shares its video on Respect.

Upcoming Mental Wellness Events for Lower School Parents:

* September 5 - A Conversation with Dr. Crawford for Pre-First, first and second-grade parents

* October 24 - A Conversation with Dr. Crawford for third, fourth and fifth-grade parents

* October 29 & 30- Book Club with Counselors: How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

* November 13 - Parent event with Julie Lythcott-Haims hosted by the Parents Club Parenting Connections Committee

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

Kacy Brubaker
Lower School Counselor


Hello Parents!

I hope that you have had a great month of September!

We have loved participating in fun activities that promote healthy social emotional development. Students enjoyed Dot Day where we focused on perseverance, leadership, and making our mark.  All classes kicked off the Noble Knights’ curriculum with a focus on respect, and 5th graders went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights to deepen their understanding of respect from a local and global perspective. And, of course, our Kindness Rocks were placed on the Lower School playground for all to see!

On Monday, October 1st we will celebrate the Noble Knights’ Character Pillar RESPECT by watching a video created by Mr. Traquair’s class.  All students are encouraged to wear their Noble Knights t-shirts!

In October we turn our focus to Noble Knights’ Pillar of Character: Collaboration. Students will participate in lessons on teamwork, sharing, and gaining a better understanding of how we all thrive when we create a community where the input of all members is respected and valued.

  • Below are a few resources you can use with your children at home to enhance what they are learning at school:

o   http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/creativity-play/power-playing-together

o   https://www.teachthought.com/critical-thinking/10-team-building-games-that-promote-critical-thinking/

o   http://www2.peacefirst.org/digitalactivitycenter/files/top_ten_games_for_families_0.pdf

o   http://www.creativekidsathome.com/games/cooperative_games/

o   http://www.parenttoolkit.com/social-and-emotional-development/news/general-parenting/a-win-for-everyone-collaborative-games

Additionally, Joanne Brown, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and I will be visiting all classes for Read4Respect. This project stimulates discussion on preventing bullying, name-calling, respecting differences and valuing diversity. 

We look forward to a great October!


Partnerships with Teachers

Curriculum and Classroom Support
Our counselor frequently meets with teachers and designs character-education lessons to support to teachers as needed.

Professional Development
The counseling office equips teachers with the resources, techniques, and opportunities they need to address issues that impact students' well-being and ensure emotional health in the classroom.

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