Counseling Office

Phone: (240) 740-3510
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Counseling Program at Pyle Middle School focuses on the rapidly changing needs of adolescents. These changing needs unfold in every aspect of a youth’s life and range from the emotional to the physical as well as from the personal to the social. As students in Grades 6-8 struggle for an identity, counselors help them to balance these needs with those associated with the school setting.

 Focus and Delivery of the Counseling Services
 Frequently Asked Questions
 Registration and Cluster Information


Pyle Counseling Services

Meet the Counselors Presentation 2022-23


The Pyle Middle School Counseling Department is dedicated to ensuring that all students achieve their potential to be successful in their academic, social, and emotional lives by learning in a nurturing environment where unique talents and backgrounds of individuals are valued and respected.  Pyle's school counselor leaders utilize a school-wide approach to support an environment in which students feel cared about, supported, valued, and able to grow.   Pyle's school counselor leaders deliver interventions such as "Smarter, Stronger, and Kinder by the Quarter" activities to equip students with skills to increase to their leadership, resiliency, ability to develop relationships with peers and adults, and confidence. 



Students at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School will become equipped to be mentors, lifelong learners, kind and global citizens, who make successful transitions to post-secondary options.   Our students will demonstrate their responsibility to help and respect others and strive to maximize their potential. Every student will leave middle school with increased 21 st century skills, including a focus on grit, growth mindset, digital citizenship, collaboration, and an appreciation of others.  


 Focus of the Counseling Services

 The Counseling Program at Pyle Middle School stresses student development in three major areas: academic achievement, career and educational decision-making, and personal and social growth.

 Academic Achievement

  • Identify programs available to students and the requirements for participation in these programs.
  • Help students adjust to the school and plan their programs.
  • Help students with time-management.
  • Consult with teachers on ways to improve student academic achievement.

 Career and Educational Decision-Making

  • Develop a 4-year plan for high school.
  • Review graduation requirements.
  • Assess student aptitudes & interests and explore career options.
  • Reinforce problem-solving and decision-making skills.

 Personal and Social Development

  • Help students discover their strengths and weaknesses in relation to school performances.
  • Help students use their problem-solving and conflict resolution techniques.
  • Help with conflict management and interpersonal relationships.
  • Help students become their own advocates.

 Counseling Service Delivery

Counselors deliver the program in a variety of ways. Responsive counseling services are provided in individual and group settings when students need help in any of the three areas of emphasis. The student, parent, or member of the staff who sees the need for a particular issue to be addressed may initiate these services.

Counselors also meet with individual students to help them make decisions about career and educational planning. Another vehicle, group counseling, provides systematic large-scale instruction for all students at the middle level. Counselors plan with teachers and then teach specific objectives. This professional teamwork gives teachers the necessary resources to reinforce (in their content areas) the appropriate objectives.

Counselors support the overall school program by designing and coordinating activities necessary for the effective implementation of the school’s guidance program. Such activities include, but are not limited to, orientation of new students and parents, membership on the Counseling Advisory Committee, participation on interdisciplinary teams to determine special services for students, and providing for the academic placement of students in classes.


Signs of Suicide Prevention Program


Pyle students participated in the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention program in October 2018. This Signs of Suicide® (SOS®) lesson helps students recognize the symptoms of depression and/or suicide in themselves, friends, or loved ones. The program helps students recognize symptoms of depression that indicate a need for follow-up. Remember, if you are concerned about yourself or a friend, or if you have more questions about the video and lesson, please talk to a trusted adult and/or stop by the counseling office to talk to a counselor.
Here are some resources as a follow up to today’s lesson. 

 ACT Pamphlet  & Mental Health & Wellness Guide

Naviance Information

 Naviance Family Connections 

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Counseling Presentations

February 2024 CAC Meeting: "Course Registration 2024-25: Answers to Questions You Didn't Know to Ask"

February 2024 CAC Meeting: "Being the Parent Your Middle Schooler Needs" with Julie Baron

October 2023 CAC meeting - "Parenting In Middle School: Tactics For Teen Anxiety And School Refusal"

February 2023 CAC meeting " Pyle Course Registration 2023-24: Answers to Questions You Didn't Know to Ask" FAQs

October 2022 CAC Meeting - "Parenting in Middle School: Tactics for Teen Anxiety and School Refusal" PresentationNotes

March 2022 CAC Meeting - "Building Understanding of LGBTQ+ Youth” with Peter Bachman

January 2022 CAC Meeting - “Course Registration 2022-23 - Answers to Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask” 

December 2021 CAC Meeting - “Promoting the Positive Use of Technology” with Dr. Sameer Hinduja

December 2021 CAC Meeting - “Navigating Teen Anxiety, including School Refusal” with Dr. Lindsay Scharfstein

April 2021 CAC Meeting - "Return to Normal!?: Helping our Kids Readapt to Life Beyond Covid” with Julie Baron Presentation | Notes

April 2020 CAC Meeting: Field of Memes: Healthy Use of Digital Technology in Adolescents with Dr. Clifford Sussman

April 2020 CAC Meeting: # Restructuring with Julie Baron

February 2020 CAC Meeting - "Field of Memes: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Screen Use." Dr. Clifford Sussman

November 2019 CAC Meeting: "Don’t Stress!! Helping Teens (And Their Parents) Work Through Middle School Stress and Anxiety." Lindsay Scharfstein, PH.D.,  Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change 

October 2019 CAC meeting: “How to Talk to your Teen about Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination”; Michelle Magner and Amy Berman (ADL)

April 2019 CAC meeting: "The Teen Brain: Linking Neuroscience and Drug/Alcohol Abuse Prevention." Dr. Ruben Baler of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

March 2019 CAC meeting: "Irritability In Teens And Youth" Wanda Wheeler, LCSW-C and Dr. Rami German, PhD. of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)  .  Brochure for NIHM Irritability Study

January 2019 CAC meeting: "How To Talk To Your Kids About S-E-X" Julie Baron, LCSW; Dr. Peter Warfield, MD  

November 2018 CAC meeting:  "It's Telling, Not Tattling: How the Pyle Counseling Team Can Help your Child through those Tricky, Middle School Social Situations"

March 2018 CAC Meeting -  "What Parents Should Know about the Teen Drug Scene in Bethesda" with Dr. Joshua Cohen, Cohen Psychological Health Providers

February 2018 CAC Meeting - "Preparing for High School Socially and Emotionally" with Dr. Alan Goodwin, Principal of Walt Whitman High School

January 2018 CAC Meeting - "Everyday Mindfulness" led by Rebecca Best and Erika Huck, Pyle Counselors.

February 2016 CAC Meeting - Book Discussion - "How to Raise an Adult" by Julie Lythcott-Haims led by Resource Counselor Erika Huck

January, 2016 PTSA Meeting - "Helping our children to grow and reach for more without breaking them"  by Dr. Stixrud


Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  How is placement decided for my student? The student’s 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 the team leader or department resource teacher.
  2.  If I have a question about a grade my student received on her/his report card, whom do I contact? With any academic concern, you should always contact your child’s teacher first. The teacher is the one who knows your child the best and who will be able to answer questions.
  3.  What is the purpose of the “team meeting”?A team meeting would be scheduled when your child is having difficulty in all her/his classes and discussion with all teachers is warranted for information sharing and problem solving. Team meetings can be scheduled through the team leader or counselor. Because of the difficulty in scheduling team meetings, a team meeting should be scheduled after all avenues of contact have been exhausted.
  4.  What are alternatives to the team meeting if I wish to contact my student’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 your child’s counselor, but she will usually redirect your call to the teachers; therefore, the most direct route is to contact the individual teachers first.

    The Pyle plan book can be used as a way to communicate between teacher and parent. You may want to call the teacher first to let the teacher know you wish to communicate this way, so the teacher will know to look at your child’s plan book.
  5.  How do I know what my child’s homework is? All students have the Pyle plan book and are required by teachers to write homework assignments in their plan books. Check your child’s plan book for homework. If your child does not have anything written down, ask her/him why! If this pattern persists, call the teacher and ask about your student’s homework pattern. In addition, teachers post homework assignments to myMCPS classroom.
  6.  My 6th grader is nervous about coming to middle school. She comes home every night distraught and overwhelmed. What should I do about this? Be supportive and understanding. Many 6th graders experience stress as they make the transition to middle school. Do not feed into your child’s stress, but instead give your child time to adjust: usually within a month things settle down. If your child is still experiencing stress, please let her/his counselor know.

    Remember, incoming 6th graders have summer orientation, mock 1/2 day, and school visits from both the administrator and the counselors to help make the transition to middle school easier. Parents have their own orientation meeting too.
  7.  How do I Apply to Private School?
  • Follow the application directions.
  • All requests must include the student's name and be signed by a parent.
  • Submit any teacher recommendations directly to the appropriate teacher's mailbox and include a stamped envelope, addressed to the requested school.
  • All requests for transcripts/school records should be made to the guidance office. Please allow ten (10) days for preparation. (We will submit transcripts as quickly as possible. We will have many applicants with multiple transcript requests.)
  • Each transcript request must be accompanied by $3.00 cash or check, made payable to T.W. Pyle MS.

Contact the guidance office, 240-740-3510 if you have any questions.

PLEASE NOTE: For parent/teacher convenience, there are Secondary School Application and Recommendation forms that some schools accept. They can be accessed by going to: Please check with the school(s) the student is applying to determine if any or all of these may be used.

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Registration and Cluster Information

 Student enrollment information - Start here to learn about the process for enrolling a new student in MPCS.

 Cluster Elementary Schools 

 Bradley Hills 240-204-5210
 Burning Tree 240-740-1750
 Wood Acres 240-740-1120
 Carderock Springs 240-740-0540
 Bannockburn 240-740-1270
*Chevy Chase 301-657-4994
* Only a small number of students feed into Pyle  

 High School
 Walt Whitman 240-740-4800
Guidance Office 240-740-4820
Registrar's Office 240-740-4830

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