scc logo
The SCCoop
Words on Wellness

September 2018

The SCC runs on an academic year schedule, so back to school means back to work...on wellness! This year we have some exciting plans for improving our School Liaison program, relocating Sixth Grade Ethics Days (due to construction in our usual spots), and bringing back and revising the Prom Note program, which fell by the wayside when paper tickets went away. We're also starting to plan our spring speaker event, so stay tuned for more information on all of these!

As we did last spring and through the summer, we are continuing to post important wellness, parenting, and other content for parents and kids on Twitter and Facebook. Please follow and like us @mcleanscc so we can build our coalition and share important events and resources.

Follow us on Twitter       Like us on Facebook

The mission of the SCC is to provide programs and resources to reduce stress, foster mental wellness, and empower our youth to thrive and make responsible choices about their health and safety. To that end, we are planning a series of articles addressing these topics. Through interviews with experts and other research we would like to put out our own content that parents, educators, and other adults can use in our own families and communities. We look forward to pushing these out to all our readers here in the newsletter, on Twitter and Facebook, and in our local print newspapers.

As always, let us know how the SCC can help in your community, school, and home!

Brad Kuebler, President, and Elizabeth Hale, President Elect

Reading List 

Book Talk Series:  The Self-Driven Child
The McLean HS PTSA is partnering with MHS Student Services to offer a Pyramid-Wide book talk series and author event on  The Self-Driven Child, The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud, PhD, and Ned Johnson. All are welcome to join as the year goes on!

The Self-Driven Child empowers parents with practical tools to help their children reduce stress and anxiety, while building capacity for resilience, success, and optimal development. The authors work with students in the Washington, DC metro area and offer keen insights into the stress and anxiety that children of high-achieving schools are experiencing. The strategies shared in the book are relevant for parents of children of ALL ages...from age 2 to age 18 and beyond!

Kathleen Otal, M.Ed., a former elementary school counselor and current counselor at McLean High School, will lead three book talks in the pyramid throughout the year.  In addition, the authors of the book will speak at McLean High School in the spring. Even if you don't have time to read the entire book, you will learn valuable parenting strategies that will help your child develop the skills to succeed!

Please join us for our first meeting in the series on Wednesday,  October 10th at Longfellow Middle School from 7-8 pm as we discuss  Chapters 1-5:   

You will learn:
  • Why giving children a sense of control is so important and practical strategies to do it. 
  • How to help your child learn to deal successfully with stressful situations. This is how your child will develop resilience! 
  • How to support children in making their own decisions and developing a strong sense of motivation.

Program Spotlight: School Liaisons

This year the SCC is planning to make our School Liaison program more robust. Liaisons represent each elementary, middle, and high school in McLean/Langley High School areas, including private schools. Liaisons meetings are used for communications in both directions, sharing SCC information with schools/PTAs/PTOs/PTSAs, as well as bringing to the SCC what parents are hearing and/or needing in their school communities that coincides with our mission. It's also useful for parents from different schools to communicate amongst each other, as there is no longer an FCPS administrative grouping that includes McLean and Langley pyramid schools. This year we would like to keep liaisons more engaged by sharing content (speakers, resources, etc.), holding coffee discussions, and growing their expertise in our mission areas. Everything is on the table, including creating social events or bringing in FCPS representatives who run interesting program topics. For example, years ago we held a yoga night where we talked about mindfulness and shared the practice of yoga. We'd love to have your ideas! Share them with us at

Juuling and Vaping Update

Health Alert: Teen E-Cigarette Users More Likely to Become Smokers 
In a study involving 2,222 high school students, researchers observed that ninth graders who regularly used e-cigarettes were almost four-times more likely to start using cigarettes, cigars, or hookahs before they entered their sophomore year.   Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2018 

On  Wednesday,  September 26th at 7pm in the MHS Lecture Hall ,  Brian Maslowski from FCPS will be speaking on vaping and juuling. Brian will educate our parent community about the prevalence and methods of adolescent e-cigarette use.   Additionally, he will display sample devices and answer any questions you may have.   We look forward to supporting our students by becoming a more informed parent community. All are welcome!

In the community...

A free screening of  Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety will be held Sunday, September 16 from 5:30 - 7 pm at Herndon United Methodist Church,701 Bennett Street, Herndon,VA 20170.  Angst is a 56-minute IndieFlix Original documentary that explores anxiety, its causes, effects, and what we can do about it. The filmmakers' goal is to have a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Angst features candid interviews with kids and young adults who suffer, or have suffered, from anxiety and what they've learned about it. The film includes discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, as well as help, resources, and tools . This event is free and open to the public but RSVP is requested. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Dr. Rene Hackney will lead informative and supportive discussion on about ways to discuss school shootings with children. The talk is sponsored by Moms Demand Action and will be held Monday, September 17 at 7:30 pm at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Vienna . Dr. Hackney will share advice on discussing gun violence with children of all ages, as well as providing reassurance and support to anxious children. This will include guidelines for media exposure, ways to present difficult topics, answer questions by age and provide reassurance. She will also discuss typical concerns by age, signs of stress and how to best address if children are feeling anxious. Full details and the RSVP link are HERE .

Registration  is now open for the fifth annual  FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference  that, for the first time, will also include an Our Minds Matter Teen Summit for middle and high school students, sponsored by the Josh Anderson Foundation. The conference will be held from 8am to 1:30pm at Fairfax High School on Saturday, September 29. Dr. Scott Brabrand, FCPS Superintendent, will open the conference, and Dr. Amy Przeworski, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, will present the keynote message: Using Stress to Your Advantage in Achieving Academic Success and Emotional Well Being. Participants in this conference, which is free to staff, parents, and community members, will be able to choose from 35 breakout options (many offered more than once). Additionally, there will be more than 50 resource tables available, representing public and private agencies providing wellness-related services within our schools and in our community. Details and registration are HERE.

Longfellow Middle School and Cooper Middle School are jointly presenting If I Could Have a Do-Over: A Father's Hard-Earned Lessons About Cyberbullying, Depression, and Suicide on October 29 at 7 pm. From This true story inspires students to make positive changes in their lives to reduce bullying, cyberbullying and prevent teen suicides. Students are encouraged to examine themselves and how they treat others. Bystanders are inspired to no longer stand by and let others get bullied at school or online. A potent lesson about forgiveness is also imparted. All will leave this presentation feeling loved, hopeful, and changed. For more information, click HERE.


Sept 16, 5:30 pm: Angst screening

Sept 17, 7:30 pm: Moms Demand Action Presentation on Discussing School Shootings with Kids

Sept 26, 7:30 pm: MHS PTSA Presentation on Vaping and Juuling

Sept 29, 8 am: FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Oct 29, 7 pm: LMS-CMS Presentation on Cyberbullying  Safe Community Coalition |  Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

If you have an item that you would like to share with the SCC community, please send to . We reserve the right to not post if the material is not appropriate.