Guidance Objectives

  • Provide academic, personal, social and future career competencies to students at St. Mary’s Parish School.
  • Teach classes grades 1-5 on subjects to promote strong, independent individuals, as well as a culture at St. Mary’s of mutual respect and empathy.
  • Coach students on personal and social issues, organization and goal setting in order to decrease stress and aid in the educational process.
  • Involve students in discussion, planning and implementation of service projects that help them to think and act in the wider global community (Repairers of the Breach/feeding the homeless, Blanket Project for the Homeless, Thanksgiving Meal Project, “Change” The World Project, etc.).

The staff of St. Mary’s Parish School works hard to ensure that all students are happy and healthy as they learn not only to succeed in life, but to do so while being Disciples of Christ. In an effort to empower our students and make them all part of this process, we added a program of Social Inclusion- where every student feels included and accepted. We began in the classrooms in September and we will be talking about it throughout the year and going forward, making it a part of our culture at St. Mary’s. It is called “Start With Hello” and we are excited about empowering our students so that when they see someone alone, they reach out and help by “starting with hello!” 


Thoughts from the Guidance Coach on Resilient Kids

My job as Guidance Coach is to help students feel happy, healthy and safe at school, but all of the stress in the world these days makes that job a challenge. I know that you as parents can relate! We at St. Mary Parish School have the honor and blessing of helping to teach and mold your most precious blessing- your children. We are companions on this journey. It is a powerful thing when we can be on the same team and support each other in shaping the future through these amazing humans!

We are doubly blessed to have the ability to teach using examples of the life of Jesus. Every year, the kids of St. Mary’s do amazing work with each of their class service partners. You parents know first hand how important this work is, and how you are helping to raise children who are aware of the world we live in, and how good it feels to think outside of ourselves and care for the most needy.

We continually focus on treating others with respect. At the beginning of the year, your children, and you, all signed “The Promise” to make a powerful difference in our school by treating others with respect and inclusion. This year, we are also focusing our attention on an important word/theme each month, such as Kindness, Love, Generosity, and Self-control, just to name a few. The staff spends countless hours teaching these values, and in Guidance our classes consist of discussion topics such as Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Trust, Caring, Fairness, Perseverance, and Self-Discipline.  Your participation and opinions are important in reinforcing these lessons at home, with those around you, and in the bigger world we live in. Research shows that children learn most from parents modeling good behaviors. Relationship skills like speaking kindly, listening, building up friends, including others and the Golden Rule of treating others as we want to be treated are paramount to our own happiness and success in life.

Equally important is for you as parents to discuss the fact that there will be times when things will be said by others that may be unkind, and children need to know how to deal with these difficult situations. We parents and educators need to do our best to provide them with tools to navigate the problems that life inevitably brings. A great man (my dad) often said, “Life is a series of problems to solve.” We will be focusing in Guidance on these three questions that you may want to add to your family discussions:

Does this choice:

  1. Hurt me?
  2. Hurt someone else?
  3. Make a new problem for me?

When our children make poor choices, as they will because they are human, we need to ask:

  1. What did I do?
  2. What should I have done?
  3. What will I do next time?

Encourage communication with your children. When your child comes to you with a problem, help them to develop several possible solutions before springing into action. Try to brainstorm at least 4 possible ways to solve the problem. In teaching these skills, you will be helping them for years to come.

Thank you for all you are doing at home to help your kids to be happy and productive in their lives!

Resources for Families:


Click here to see "The Promise"
signed by all students and parents.

Back-to-School With Healthy Young Minds | Common Sense Education

Gratitude Jar
Gratitude Journal
Life Balance Wheel
Stress Management

Check out our VBRC (Virtue Based Restorative Character  Development) page for more information and resources!

This year, our theme is:

"Do small things with great love."

-St. Mother Teresa

To help us live as disciples through our words and actions,
we will be learning about different virtues.
 Below are the virtues that the students will be practicing throughout the year:

  • Responsibility
  • Courtesy
  • Gratitude
  • Good Judgment
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Prayerfulness
  • Fortitude
  • Self-Control
  • Foresight

Guidance "Quick Tip" of the Month:


For more information about
St. Mary Parish School's
Guidance Program, contact:

Carolyn Jarecki
Guidance Coach