Hi! I am Laura Samide, the counselor at Maple and River Birch Elementaries. I am pleased to share with you the many wonderful programs available to our students. As your school counselor, I am dedicated to ensuring that your child has every opportunity to succeed in a safe, nurturing environment. Our goal is that your child will be enriched intellectually, emotionally, and socially so that they will become productive citizens and life-long learners. We understand that every child is unique, which is why we offer a variety of services to meet every child's needs. I serve our entire student body by presenting guidance lessons in every classroom on a regular basis. Throughout the year, I present lessons on many different topics, such as friendship skills, study skills, bullying, healthy choices and problem-solving, to name just a few. In addition, the counseling department offers many programs and resources to meet the needs of all our parents and students. I am here to serve you.

  • Cash for College!

    This topic becomes more poignant the closer my own girls get to graduation. Whether your kids are kindergartners or seniors, we can all agree that secondary education provides opportunities and that it is expensive. Right now, our school is launching our Cash for College campaign.  I would encourage you to take this opportunity to talk to your children about their options after high school. You can go to to determine how much money you and your child will need to save for this next phase of life. In addition, please visit the website below for activities to do with your child and to register to win $100 to start a college savings plan! It is never too early to start preparing for the future!

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    Mark Your Calendar Now for ISTEP!!

       Once again, our 3rd and 4th graders will participate in ISTEP in 2 sessions this year. They will be taking the Applied Skills, or written portion, of ISTEP on Feb. 27-March 10 and the Multiple Choice (computerized) portion on April 17-May 5. In addition, our 3rd graders will be taking IREAD during the week of March 13. These statewide standardized tests are critical in demonstrating the tremendous growth of our students and they provide invaluable data that informs our instruction starting in kindergarten. It is very important that all of our students are present and ready to do their best during testing. Please keep these dates in mind when scheduling doctors/dentist appointments to avoid absences. Also, make every effort to ensure that your child gets 10 hours of sleep each night and has a healthy breakfast each morning, which includes some protein. We greatly appreciate your help in making this a successful part of our school year!
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