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Ms. Tourse-Principal                Ms. Perry-Assistant Principal     Mrs. Niyoka Wright-Administrative Intern  

ctourse@stamfordct.gov           cperry@stamfordct.gov              nwright1@stamfordct.gov



Nicole Ballantoni (Kearney) Taisha Medina Laure Theder  Diane Troy Anne Bartelmo
Phone: 203 977-4445 Phone: 203 977-4446 Phone-203 977-5156 Phone-203 977-5155 203 977-5623
nballantoni@stamfordct.gov tmedina@stamfordct.gov ltheder@stamfordct.gov dtroy@stamfordct.gov abartelmo@stamfordct.gov



WELCOME LETTER          RESOURCES         SBAC 2016-2017         HIGH SCHOOLS



































A warm and sincere welcome to all new and returning Dolan families. Often at the start of the new school year expectations are highest.  Our commitment as your child's guidance counselor  is to meet and exceed those expectations.  We believe that parents, students and the school are a team with the shared goal of wanting each student to achieve. 


We have weekly guidance meetings with teachers for each grade level. Parents are encouraged to schedule a meeting during these times by contacting us via email or phone. At this planned meeting the agenda is to focus on your child's academic and social development. Teachers will communicate their classroom requirements, articulate grading rubrics for academic achievement, and convey behavior expectations. Further, teachers will share tips for improving study skills, teaching strategies, proper usage of the agenda book and review the student's homework and class assignments.  In addition to parent requests, teachers may request parent conferences throughout the school year, thus we can explore teacher availability thereafter.


Maneuvering through the maze of middle school can be a challenge, however, working as a team and leaving the lines of communication open are vital to your child's success at Dolan Middle School. If, at any time, you want to speak or meet with us confidentially, we am available. As your child's middle school career advances, we can assist in reviewing his or her SBAC scores, offer after-school programs and ultimately, discuss high school options and support programs. Further, we can explore any other matter of concern or question for you and your child. 


Middle school is an exciting and productive time. However, the transition from grade to grade, especially in middle school, can often bring questions and some anxiety. Parents can help their child with this transition by staying involved in their child's education and by utilizing our dedicated team- ready and willing to help! It is our obligation to work together and communicate to achieve THE goal for all of our students to succeed. we look forward to meeting you.  An intricate part of this success is our partnership with the families we serve.





Ms. Nicole Ballantoni

Ms. Taisha Medina       





















American Speech-Language and Hearing Association:



Speech-Language Resources & Blogs:






RESOURCES-Support Staff

Stages of Adolescent Development

By Adapted from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent’s Facts for Families, 2008

This resource is a chart that briefly describes the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of students in early adolescence (11-13 years of age), middle adolescence (14-18 years of age), and late adolescence (19-21 years of age).


The Teen Years Explained

By Clea McNeely, MA, DrPH and Jayne Blanchard, 2009

This resource is a guide to healthy adolescent development in respect to physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development and how adults can support healthy development.


A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers: What’s Normal for Teen Development?

By Colleen Gengler, Extension Education, Family Relations, University of Minnesota Extension, 2011

This resource is an article for parents that explains various aspects of development and provides tips for talking to teens about relevant changes.


“Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids” - Victoria L. Dunckley M.D.



Add Social-media expectations to the list of things you tell a new babysitter: Babysitters’ social-media and tech flubs are high on the list of parent complaints.  Here’s how to avoid problems.  The Washington Post – Estelle Erasmus 12/5/16


  Teens say they’re addicted to technology.  Here’s how parent can help: Half of all teen say they feel addicted to their devices.  The Washington Post Weblog post Amy Joyce May 3, 2016


 The Smart Talk – National PTA & Lifelock Inc collaboration.  The Smart Talk is an ”on-line tool designed to help parents empower their children and become smart digital citizens in an increasingly connected world.”  This site helps parents and children discuss, design and print a written agreement about social media.

 “El Smart Talk es una herramienta en línea diseñada para ayudar a los padres habilitar a sus hijos a convertirse en ciudadanos digitales inteligentes en un mundo cada vez más conectado. Es el resultado de una colaboración entre lifelock y la PTA Nacional. “ Este sitio ayuda a padres e hijos a discutir, diseñar e imprimir un acuerdo escrito sobre medios sociales.


 Parents’ Guide to Keeping Kids Safe Online and in Social Media, Margarita Hakobyan, The Huffington Post


 Social Media and Teenage Girls: Not Your Mothers’ AdolescenceNPR 2016 author interview 2/25/2016


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Key Elements of School Success


 Healthy Children



This site is from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  The brief, one-page articles are available in both English and Spanish. Not in the mood to read?  Listen to the article in English or Spanish.  Browse through one-page articles related to:

·         specific Ages & Stages (prenatal to young adult) on various topics, such as

o    “A Teenager’s Nutritional Needs”

o   “Developing Good Homework Habits”

o   “Bedtime Routines for School-Aged Children”

o   “How Teens Can Stay Fit”

o   “Making Friends in High School”

·         Healthy Living topics, such as

o   “Helping your Child Cope”

o   “Building Resilience”

·         Safety and Prevention topics, such as

o   “Preventing Child Abductions”

·         Family Life topics, such as

o   “Disciplining Older Children”

o   “Communication Dos and Don’ts”  

·         Health Issue topics, such as

o   “Eczema: How to Help Your Child Avoid the Itch”

o   “Adapting a Style of Communication with Your Child with ADHD”

Parents can sign up to access Healthy Children e-magazine for your Apple and Android smartphone and tablets.



Information on Healthy Sleep



This site provides information on healthy sleep habits as well as teen behaviors, the teen brain and mental health.  It has resources for parents, educators and teens. 

Teen Mental Health was created by Dr. Kutcher, an internationally-renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a leader in mental health research, advocacy, training, policy, and services.



Top 10 Healthy Sleep Habits for Children & Teens



This one-page PDF from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine provides easy-to-follow suggestions for creating healthy sleep habits.


Organization & Study Skills


Homework: A Guide for Parents



This article discusses how parents can help students be successful with homework. Dr. Peg Dawson, a school psychologist, describes the three key messages that parents need to give their children about homework and provides strategies for supporting homework. Strategies include the establishment of homework routines, organizational systems, and clear communication with teachers.



How to get kids organized for middle school



This article describes five steps for getting and staying organized in middle school.  Read tips on how to set up a daily assignment sheet, when to review the assignment sheet, when to study, and how to organize materials. The article also discusses strategies for motivating students that are not motivated.



Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized: Helping Kids develop organizational skills relieves the homework struggle.



The article outlines how parents can teach children to develop organizational skills to improve homework completion. “Parents can help kids get organized by focusing on the PROCESS and LOGISTICS of school and not just 'helping with homework' and working on content.”




All Children experience loss of academic skills over the summer if they don’t engage in educational learning. 

·         Research indicates children score lower on standardized tests taken after summer vacation than they did on the test prior to summer break.

·         Most children experience loss of about two months of math skills.

·         Some students lose more than two month of reading skills.

·         Summer learning loss is cumulative.  Children can be an average of 2 years behind their peers by the end of 6th grade if they have repeatedly experienced summer loss.


2-3 hours a week of enrichment can help prevent summer loss


Sources: National Summer Learning Association & Oxford Learning.com


Top 10 Homework Tips:


·         Tips to guide homework success, such as

o   Know the teachers — and what they're looking for

o   Set up a homework-friendly area

o   Schedule a regular study time

o   Help them make a plan

o   Keep distractions to a minimum

o   Make sure kids do their own work

o   Be a motivator and monitor

o   Set a good example

o   Praise their work and efforts

o   If there are continuing problems with homework, get help


The following are some tips for parents to help their child retain academic skills:

·         Visit places such as a library, museums, and nature centers.

·         Research an item of interest (i.e. animal seen at a nature center).

·         Write a daily journal.

·         Read a book as a family and discuss it.

·         Let your child help prepare food (measure ingredients, read the recipe).

·         Play games as a family (Bananagrams, board games, cards)

Some resources:


This site provides enrichment activities as well as listings of various sites to explore (i.e. museums and educational, parks and playgrounds, state forests and parks)

http://pta.org   parent guides to success

This provides an overview of what your child will be learning at a specific grade level.  It also includes what you can do at home to help your child. Articles are also available in Spanish.


Many Dolan Middle School teachers have listed websites that are fun and educational.



 “My Top 9 Recommendations for Helping Students Avoid the Summer Slide”- article from The Advocate



This site provides quick tips on parenting your teen over the summer months.


This page has a few great videos for parents and students such as “5 ways to Stop Cyberbullying” “Cyberbullying Prevention Guide for Kids” and “4 Ways to Help Teens Avoid Digital Harassment”



This site has an informational video/article entitled “Popular App Guide for Parents and Teachers” that I found very helpful.




Anti-Bullying Network

Stop Bullying Now

Bullying Prevention Information






SBAC Training Test
6th Grade - April 3
7th Grade – April 4
8th Grade – April 5
Grade 6 Testing
ELA CAT– April 17-18
Math CAT –April 20-21
Math Performance Task – April 27-28 
Grade 7 Testing
ELA CAT– April 20-21
Math CAT –April 24-25
Math Performance Task – April 27-28
Grade 8 Testing
ELA CAT– April 17-18
Math CAT –April 24-25
Math Performance Task – May 1-2

1. Get a good night's rest
2. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready the morning of a test
3. Eat a good, wholesome breakfast
4. Take your time and do your best

*Parents, please encourage your child to take the testing seriously and do the best job that they can. Please DO NOT schedule doctor, dentist or other appointments during testing if possible. Please also make sure that students are on time for school as students can not start testing late and it will count as an absence. If students do miss testing because they are absent, it will be made up at a later date.









The 8th grader's address determines where they will attend high school in the fall. The majority of students will attend Stamford High School or Westhill High School; however, some students may opt to apply to another high school with a specialty focus.

Stamford High School
Stamford, Connecticut  


Westhill High School                                                 
Stamford, Connecticut



INFORMATION AND APPLICATION DEADLINES                                                                      


Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School                                                                                                          

300 Highland Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06854

(203) 852-9488, Option 2

For more information and to apply, please visit www.centerglobalstudies.org

Application Deadline: January 15, 2015


v    Focus on Arabic, Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture


Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE)

381 High Ridge Road

Stamford, CT 06905

(203) 977-6638

For more information and to apply, please visit http://ait.echalk.com/home.aspx

Application Deadline: February 10, 2015


v       Focus on Information Technology (IT), Pre-Engineering, and Architecture

Stamford Agriscience and Technology Center at Westhill High School

125 Roxbury Road

Stamford, CT 06902

(203) 977-4974

For more information and to apply, please visit


Application Deadline: As soon as possible


Focus on Plant Science, Aquaculture, Animal Science, Environmental Science