Middle School Counseling

     Middle School Office


    Ms. Bristow's Bitmoji Office


    I am so excited to be here for my 14th year at Florence-Carlton Middle School. I really enjoy my time working with students, staff, and parents in this amazing community. Some of my early work experience includes working as a special education teacher as well as a school counselor in an inner-city school in Phoenix. I also enjoyed working as a crisis counselor for a suicide prevention center in Tempe, Arizona. I earned a Masters's in Counseling from the University of Phoenix and my Bachelor's in Psychology from Arizona State University. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends doing the things I love; hiking, traveling, flyfishing, teaching dance fitness, and starting new projects at home. 

    ***Update on COVID-19 for Parents/Meetings- Please feel free to reach out to me via email or phone if you would like to schedule an appointment to meet.  Parents and children under the age of 5 are required to wear a mask and remain in the classroom/office area of their designated appointment. We appreciate you helping us all stay safe!

    406-273-0587 ex 3300 or bristowa@florence.k12.mt.us


    Programs in the Middle School

    Bully Prevention

    Florence-Carlton K-8 has been able to purchase the award-winning Olweus anti-bullying prevention program. The goal of the program is to make the school a positive and safer place for students to learn. Students grades K-8 participate in guided classroom activities to help students learn about bullying behavior and standing up for each other if it occurs. We are committed to helping each child feel safe coming to school to ensure their full potential.  This program is not just focused on the classroom curriculum but as a whole school change agent to facilitate a climate of trust.  For more information on Olweus, visit their website at http://www.violencepreventionworks.org/public/olweus_bullying_prevention_program.page or ask your classroom teacher or counselor. Please see our Bully prevention tab under the counselor page for more info. Olweus lessons and classroom meetings are presented in each grade in social studies classes throughout the year. 

    Suicide Prevention

    A shockingly sad Montana statistic that I want to share with you is our state's high suicide rate. Montana ties with Wyoming as the highest death rate by suicide compared to all other states. This past year, death by suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death of Montana teenagers. Over 6 years ago, a partnership was formed with Riverfront Mental Health and Florence-Carlton Middle School, to provide suicide prevention training to staff and 8th-grade students.  The program, Look, Listen and Link, is the first middle-school level suicide prevention program in the nation earning “Best Practice” status from the Suicide Research Prevention Center. (SRPC). http://www.yspp.org/curriculum/look_listen_link.htm.  The goals of the program include learning about depression, learn effective coping skills, and how to link a depressed teen to a trusted adult. Look, Listen, Link is presented in 8th-grade health classes by trimester with Ms. Bristow and the health teacher. 

    If you know of a teen or adult struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, please call 406-273-TALK or contact Riverfront Mental Health suicide prevention coordinator, Ryan Wetzel at 532-9101. If someone is an urgent need of mental health services please call 911. 

    Whole-Class Guidance Grades 6-8

    New 2019-2019! I am so excited that our school has received a grant by the Montana Office of Public Instruction to receive a new comprehensive guidance program for grades 6-8. Second Step Middle School is a "first-of-its-kind social and emotional learning curriculum that’s modern, web-based, and responsive to the needs of today’s students and educators" The curriculum was developed with the latest research in adolescent brain development and social psychology. Second Step Middle School program is geared to helps teach our students how to handle strong emotions,  make good decisions, and develop positive relationships. More information can be found at https://www.secondstep.org/middle-school-curriculum

    We also take an early look into careers by creating portfolios with Montana Career Information System Jr (MCIS Jr) for 6th and 7th graders. Students take interest profilers and learn about their unique talents and skills. Eighth graders get to try luck and skill finding and keeping a job in a really cool whole class game called "The Real Game" similar to the game of Life while getting exposure to new job market and planning for high school classes. Students learn how specific and transferable skills are important to various jobs and also get an early look a lifestyle dreams vs real-world costs (budgeting!)

    I also invite various organizations from the community, i. e. Western Montana Addiction Services, Riverfront Mental Health Center, and local area mental health providers to present on areas relating to students' emotional and social health. 


    Groups: Groups offer an opportunity for children to learn friendship, communication, and anger management skills in a supportive setting that, in turn, helps students attain academic success.  Just like adults, when students are experiencing a high level of stress from relationship problems, they may have a great deal of difficulty concentrating on their work, until that issue is resolved. Other support type groups help children who are experiencing changes in their families such as divorce, illness, or loss of a loved one.  I offer these types of groups with parent permission and as time permits. 

    Individual: It is a privilege to provide a safe place for children to share their concerns and feelings.  I value the time I spend in individual sessions with children and try to provide avenues for expression of feelings.  I connect with parents to inform them of any concerns and seek permission to continue individual support if needed.   

    Parent education: A valuable part of our role as school counselors is to help parents with concerns of how to help their child succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. I can also offer to help navigate the mental health system in Montana, as well as make connections to other agencies that might be of assistance. Parent/staff consultation: I consult with parents and staff individually and as a member of our multidisciplinary team (CAT).  

    Assessment: Our teaching staff uses many different academic assessments throughout the year to measure student’s proficiency and progress in various subjects. As the district test coordinator, I oversee many of the planning, training and implementation of national, state, and school-level assessments. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about school-wide assessments.  

    If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call or email about any questions or concerns, I am here to help!

    Looking forward to a great year!

    Ms. Bristow