Home → Departments → Counseling Services
Resource Counselor - Ms. Alexis Simmons
Naviance Student! is a comprehensive website that you and your student can use to explore and begin mapping out post-secondary plans. Naviance Student! is aa online tool in MCPS Secondary Schools to actively engage students and parents in the college and career exploration, and post-secondary planning process. Parents and students each have their own accounts for accessing Naviance Student!. Please review the Parent Letter for details.
Counseling Department and Students Support Staff
Mrs. Wilma Drakes, Wilma_A_Drakes@mcpsmd.org -Grade 8 Counselor
Mrs. Alexis Lee, Alexis_R_Lee@mcpsmd.org - Resource Counselor; Grade 6 Counselor (Student Last Names A-J)
Mrs. Brittany Cephas, Brittany_L_Cephas@mcpsmd.org - Grade 6 Counselor (Student Last Names K-Z)
Mrs. Lisa Tran, Lisa_L_Tran@mcpsmd.org - Grade 7 Counselor
Mrs. Ebony Reddix, Ebony_N_Reddix@mcpsmd.org - Registrar, Secretary
Mrs. Rachel Larkin, Rachel_K_Larkin@mcpsmd.org - School Psychologist
Mr. Duane Smith, Duane_A_Smith@mcpsmd.org - Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW)
Counseling Services Links
Informative sites on our guidance links page
Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the role of the counselor at Benjamin Banneker MS?
Counselors provide many services to support students, parents, staff, and the community. These services are provided in the areas of:
- Academic Development
- Career Development
- Personal/Social Development
How do the school counselors provide these services?Counselors provide these services in a variety of effective methods, including:
- Individual Student Planning
- Responsive Services
- Individual/small group counseling
- Consultation with staff and parents
- Referrals to the community
- Classroom guidance lesson
- Group activities
- System Support
- Data gathering and interpretation
- Family involvement
- School Improvement Plan involvement
How is course enrollment decided for my student?The students’ teachers decide placement based on the student's grades, test scores, and work habits. Questions about how a student is placed should be directed to a team leader or department resource teacher. Placement tests, teacher recommendations, student and parent requests are used for placing students in academic classes. Parents can appeal the teachers' recommendation through a written request to the GT coordinator.
If I have a question on a grade my student received on his/her report card, whom do I contact?With any academic concern, you should always contact you child's teacher first. The teacher is the one who knows your child the best and will be able to answer specific grade related questions.
How can I contact my child’s teacher(s)?
Staff emails are avalible in the academic section based upon what the teacher teaches. A teacher can also be contacted by telephone.
What is the purpose of a team meeting or parent conference?A team meeting would be scheduled when your child is having difficulty in some or all of her/his classes and a discussion with all teachers is warranted for information sharing and problem solving. Team meetings can be scheduled through calling the team leader.
What are alternatives to the team meeting if I wish to contact my child's teachers in regards to her/his progress, or to express my concerns?
Individual teachers will be happy to speak with you by phone or in person (with an appointment). You are welcome to contact you child's counselor, but they will usually redirect your call to the teachers. Therefore, the most direct route is to contact the individual teachers first.
How is a student invited to a counseling group?
Students are invited to become a participant in a group that promotes academic, career, or personal/social development through self-referral, staff recommendation, and/or parent request.
What to bring to enroll a new student:
- Proof of Residency: Your current property tax bill or settlement sheet if you own, your lease if you rent
Current utility bill – electric, gas or water in parent or legal guardian’s name, must accompany older documents
- NOTE: If the person enrolling the student is not his/her parent, the family is referred to the Residency and Tuition Office (301-315-7324)
- Student’s Birth Certificate or Passport: Students who are NOT U.S. citizens, who have not been in public school in the USA for at least the last two years, must call the International Student Admission Office (301-230-0686) to begin the admission process
- Student’s Immunization Record
- Name, Address, and Phone # of the last school attended by student
- Student’s Most Recent Report Card
- Copy of the Student’s I.E.P. if student receives Special Education services
- Clearance Form if student is transferring from a MCPS school during the school year, or a School Transfer form if student is coming from any other public school
Parent or legal guardian of student must complete and sign the following:
- New Student Information (Form 560-24)
- Benjamin Banneker MS Class Registration Card
- Authorization to Request/Release Student Records (form 550-2)
- Emergency Information (Form 565-1)
- NOTE: If a student wants to participate in any extracurricular activity the Extracurricular Activity form must be completed and the fee paid. Remittance and mailing instructions are on the bottom of the form that is mailed to homes in the summer. Additional forms are available in the School Counseling Services office