Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary

B.F. Day

School Counselor

B. F. Day School Counselor

School Counselor Mr. Taylor

Hello B.F. Day Community,

John Taylor and Intern Shellie F.

I am John Taylor, the school counselor at B.F. Day. We are excited to make this year a great year. This school year we will have a school counseling intern, Ms. Shelly. She is currently getting her Master’s in Education, specializing in school counseling from Seattle University. Ms. Shelly did her practicum last school year at B.F. Day, and this year she is completing an internship with us. We are lucky to have her join our team! She will be here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The school counselor role is one that is multi-faceted and unique. Duties may include, but not limited too; individual student planning, small groups on friendship/anxiety/emotional regulation/family separation collaborating with community resources to support families, advocating for students and families, responding to daily concerns from students/staff and families and lastly, being an advocate for our students and their needs. It truly takes a village to raise and support a child. I am happy and lucky to be able to play my part. Thank you again, and I look forward to continuing my career at BF Day for years to come. Thank you B.F. Day families for your continued support of my role here at B.F. Day.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”   ~Dr. Seuss

B.F. Day Earns Prestigious Counseling Recognition

John Taylor

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) announced B.F. Day as a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP). The school is the first in the district to achieve the designation.

The RAMP designation recognizes schools that are committed to delivering an exemplary school counseling program. Honorees are awarded for aligning their program with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, a framework for a data-informed school counseling program.  

B.F. Day Principal Natalie Zisko expressed her admiration for the school’s counselor, John Taylor. Read Full Post on the District News Page!

Message from Mr. Taylor

Hello B.F. Day Community,

RAMP Recognized ASCA Model Program Logo

Earlier this week (March 2024), our school counseling program at B.F. Day was Recognized for a Comprehensive American School Counseling Program (RAMP). This recognition is awarded to programs that exhibit evidence of how each student received academic, social/emotional, and career development. One of the components of the RAMP application is showing how students benefited from our school counseling program. For the application, we showed how four academic lessons in fourth grade (academic anxiety, organization, time management, and academic mindfulness) raised student scores on unit tests. In addition to raising their test scores, students also reported increased knowledge of their own academic anxieties, helpful strategies to cope with those anxious feelings, and an understanding of the intersection between organization and time. This brings to light how social-emotional learning works alongside academic confidence and achievement.

I want to say thank you for all the support and recognition. Our school community has provided me with an opportunity to be at B.F. Day full-time for the past 8 years! Without the ongoing support and funding for my position, this kind of honor would not be possible. This recognition is a celebration for all of us. Together, we’ve done great work in supporting the social-emotional wellness of our students. 

Thank you,
John Taylor

Career Week Was a Success!

Watch Recap on SPS First Bell

Watch from 2:12 – 3:52 for B.F. Day Interviews.

Thank You Guest Speakers!

Career Week. John Taylor

Our B.F. Day Elementary held its annual Career Week this week thanks in large part to the school’s counselor, John Taylor, and counseling intern, Shelly Frappier. Throughout the week, fourth and fifth grade students heard from guest speakers who talked about their pathway to their career, obstacles they overcame, and responsibilities of their career. There were representatives from public service, arts, public safety, technology, and trades. The week ended today, with a special visit from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Thank you to all our speakers for sharing their journeys with our students. Thank you to our families that continue to support school counseling at B.F. Day. Career Week is celebrated during National School Counseling Week in February 2024. We’re looking forward to Career Week in the School Year 24-25, and already thinking about our upcoming panelists! ~ B.F. Day Principal Natalie Zisko

Continue Career Conversations at Home

Ways to Continue Career Conversations at Home From Counselor John Taylor

Hello B.F. Day Family, In creating a comprehensive school counselor program, my focus is supporting students social/emotional well-being, their academic skills and their future aspirations. This school year we are building on last year’s first ever career week at B.F. Day. Career Week activities will span from kindergarten all the way up to 5th grade. Kindergarten thru 3rd graders participated in classroom discussions and activities in the classroom that are designed to provide an opportunity for students to learn about their teacher’s career path, as well as learn more about their own strengths and interests. 

For our 4th and 5th graders, students were visited by various professionals from the community. Fourth and 5th graders saw seven speakers in all for career week. In addition to sharing aspects of their career, speakers shared moments of resiliency and perseverance that may have been required to achieve their goals. Visit our Career Week page for updates and photos from our week!

What are some fun ways to continue career related conversations at home?
  • Share your own career path with your family
    • How did you end up in your current job? What do you like about it? What don’t you like? 
    • Did you have to receive special training (college or on-the-job training) to be good at your job? 
    • Did you always want to have that job?
  • Family and friend interviews
    • Has your student learned about the careers of your own family members or friends? Have your student choose someone they know to interview about their career. 
    • Help them brainstorm questions they would like to ask during an interview.
  • Help a child with an interview.
    • Your student could identify jobs that they are interested in, by talking to anyone you know in your community (a neighbor, a church member, etc.) has that job. 

Talk about an everyday object your child uses (e.g. smartphone, ice cream) and brainstorm the jobs that helped develop, manufacture, sell, distribute and/or maintain that item (All Grades)

Create a “My future” growth chart
  • Each year ask your student what they want to be when they grow up or after high school.
    • Mark it on the wall in the same way you would your child’s height. 
    • You may choose to make the chart more horizontal.
  • Each year, update the chart with… When I grow up, I want to be…

Friday Game Night- Play a game of Career Charades

  • Have each member of your family brainstorm careers and write them on individual pieces of paper. Set a timer for 2 minutes and have each player act out the profession and see who can guess it!

Additional resources in a PDF in the emailed Dayette or check in the office: Books that explore careers and expand on workers in the community.

Taylor’s Tidbits & Resources for Families

Watch updates in the Dayette, for a section called “Taylor’s Tidbits” where I shares relevant and helpful tips or strategies to support our students both at school and at home. This may be in response to current events going on in the world, or it may be in response to trends or patterns we are seeing at school.

LEEP Summer Enrichment Opportunity for 5th Graders

The Lakeside Educational Enrichment Program (LEEP) is a free four-week summer program designed for Seattle Public School students entering grades 6 or 9 in fall 2024. Through engaging and fun activities and classes, LEEP aims to build students’ confidence, nurture excitement about school and learning, prepare students for middle or high school academics, and connect them with new friends. The program will go from July 8-Aug. 2, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

What is LEEP?

Think of LEEP as a blend of summer camp and summer school. Through engaging and fun activities and classes, LEEP helps students build excitement around school and learning. Classes are interdisciplinary and intended to improve skills like organization, time management, and self-advocacy. 

Important 2024 dates

  • Feb. 1: LEEP 2024 application available online in Ravenna
  • April 1: Application deadline
  • May 1: Notification date

Open House Dates

  • Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. (West Seattle Library)
  • Saturday, March 9 at 12:00 p.m. (Lakeside School, Kent Evans Auditorium)

Free Health Care Clinic (dental, vision and medical):

From February 15-18, Seattle Center is partnering with local organizations to provide free dental, vision and medical care at the annual Seattle/King County clinic. Seattle/King County Clinic is a volunteer-driven, free health clinic that occurs for four days each year at Seattle Center All are welcome to attend, especially for those families who may struggle to access and/or afford healthcare services. Learn more about this year’s health clinic at Seattle Center on the Seattle Center website.

Tips for Helping your Child Manage Meltdowns after School!

Our students are working hard to navigate the ups and downs of a school day. This exertion of consistent energy and focus within a school setting is exhausting. Coupled with the fact that you are their safe space, they may feel comfortable letting go of everything they have been holding onto throughout the day. But it’s okay, because you got this!

Below are nine proactive and reactive strategies for supporting your child’s after-school meltdowns.

  1. Collaborative, Child Led Play Time: Provide the space and time to dedicate at least 10 minutes each day to play with your child after school. They use their need for autonomy to choose the activity and all distractions are set aside for those 10 minutes each day.
  2. Consistent Routine: Establish, then lean on, the consistent after-school routine. This will help support structure and predictability.
  3. SnackTime: Have a healthy snack ready. Hunger can contribute to kids being susceptible to big reactions because their tank is empty.
  4. OpenCommunication: Share a rose (positive moment/activity), at horn (negative moment/activity) and a bud (something they may be looking forward to) from that day.
  5. Start with Small Wins: Start with easy requests before building up to higher requests. The belief is that as children start with small and incremental positive choices, they then be more likely to respond favorably to higher level requests.
  6. Teach/PracticeCopingSkills: As a family, develop 2-3 coping strategies for our big feelings. If possible, have your child practice these coping skills when they’re not dysregulated. When they are practiced at a baseline level, they are more likely to be remembered when they are dysregulated.
  7. Positive Reinforcement: Find moments to verbally recognize your child’s success. You can add a level of reinforcement by adding a tangible incentive for desired behavior.
  8. Seek Professional Help: If your concerns remain, feel free to reach out toy our school counselor (Mr. Taylor) or your pediatrician for help connecting with outside resources.
  9. EXTRA – Track the Frequency of Meltdowns: It can be helpful to track the relevant data around a child’s behavior. An idea could be to track the behavior for 1-2 weeks, where you will note the day/time, the adult request, and the behavior. This can help paint the picture of trends or patterns associated with the behavior, which can support proactive strategies rather than reactive. This practice can also shift our perception of the problem using facts, rather than emotions.

Emotional Awareness

The beginning of the school year is off to a great start, and we are beginning to dive into our school wide social/emotional practices. Data and research indicate that when elementary students learn social and emotional skills at an early age they are more likely to have positive life outcomes. 

For the month of September, students in every class are learning about our emotional awareness tool, the Mood Meter. Because the Mood Meter has been taught schoolwide, all students are familiar with the tool. Recently, I have been teaching weekly Mood Meter lessons with our kindergarteners, supporting the great work the kindergarten team has already undertaken. October’s SEL focus will be anti-bullying and how to be an upstander.

What could the Mood Meter look like at home?

Mood Meter colored blocks showing faces happy, sad, angry
  • Create your own family Mood Meter.
    • Have the Mood Meter in a place where your family can see it
    • Have fun with it, put pictures of characters or yourself in various zones of the mood meter.
    • By modeling that we all feel feelings, you are encouraging dialogue and emotional intelligence.
  • Develop a menu of strategies or activities for when you feel upset.
    • Develop agreed upon coping strategies for when we do get in those uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings.
    • By modeling these strategies and openly talking about them as a family, you are equipping your child with tools they can start practicing now.

Food Assistance

Food Bags for Families

I want to share a resource for families who may need weekly food assistance. We partner with Wallingford’s Family Works Food Bank to provide weekly, non-perishable food bags. Students will receive a bag each Friday afternoon. If you are interested in this form of assistance, please reach out to myself or Ms. Sonja and I will connect with you to follow up! ~John Taylor, School Counselor

Counseling Program: Goals & Services

“The elementary school years set the foundation for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Elementary school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment.” (American School Counseling Association, 2017)

Please Note*  I provide brief solution focused therapy I do not provide long-term therapy. Simply call 206-252-6016 or email your concern.

Counseling Program

“The elementary school years set the foundation for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Elementary school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment.” (American School Counseling Association, 2017)

Please note*  I provide brief solution focused therapy I do not provide long-term therapy.

Counseling Program Goals

  1. Empower students to be the best version of themselves, both academically and emotionally.
  2. To provide social and emotional support by supporting students and teachers in the explicit teaching of life skills through one on one counseling, group counseling, and classroom guidance lessons.

Basic Services 

  1. Classroom Guidance Lessons to every classroom every week
  2. Small Group Counseling: to expand, enrich, and reinforce specific skills in areas such as social skills, emotion management, divorce support, anxiety, problem solving.
  3. Individual Counseling: to address specific needs of individuals who may need additional support.
  4. Supporting students and families who are in crisis

Additional Services 

  • Academic Problem Solving
  • Connecting Families to Community and Mental Health Resources
  • Collaborating with Teachers
  • Collaborating with Families
  • Assisting with School Transitions
  • School-wide Anti-Bullying Efforts
  • Assisting with implementation of the BF Day Way.


We utilize resources and curriculum from a variety of sources including:

  • Second Step Social-Emotional Curriculum
  • RULER (mood meter)
  • Sound Discipline: Positive Discipline

How to Access Services 

Anyone can access or request services for a student if concerns arise. Those who typically refer students to the counselor are:

  • Families
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Specialists
  • Students (self-refer)

How? Simply call 206-252-6016 or email your concern.

Online & Community Resources

  • Puget Sound Adlerian Parenting Calendar: A great online resource for parenting classes, support groups, and parent education events in the local area.
  • Sound Discipline: Helps families and schools build respectful relationships with children using Positive Discipline approaches.
  • SENG: Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted: A resource to help families of academically advanced students meet emotional needs and challenges.
  • Books that Heal: A bibliotherapy blog with children’s books on various topics to help address emotions, development, and life’s changes and challenges.
  • Parents Helping Parents: A nonprofit parent-directed family resource that provides guidance, support, and services to children with special needs and their families.

Additional Resources For B.F. Day Families

Life Skills Classes with Mr. Taylor

At B. F. Day elementary we believe that social emotional learning skills are at the heart of academic growth, thriving relationships, intentional decision making, and well-being.

This priority can be seen in the opportunity I have to teach students weekly social emotional lessons in my “life skills” class. It has been proven that teaching students these “soft skills” (empathy, problem solving, coping strategies, growth mindset etc.) build the foundation for current and future success.

In years past I visited each classroom every week to teach social emotional lessons, this year I will have my own “space” to teach our kids skills to help them cope with this ever-changing world. Like when students visit the P.E. or Art, students will receive instruction to support the development of their social and emotional skills.

I will predominately be using Committee for Children’s Second Step social-emotional curriculum. Second Step is an evidenced based curriculum that has shown to support students intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, as well as increasing academic performance! I look forward to supporting students and families this school year. In addition to doing whole class instruction I will continue to have small group sessions for our kids.

Breathing Strategies to try with your kids at home

  1. With your child, stick out your right hand holding all five fingers out. Now pretend your fingers are tops of a roller coaster and the bottom of your fingers are the bottom. Using your other hand trace each finger; take a slow inhale going up the rollercoaster then a deep breath going down the roller coaster for each finger. You should have at least five “roller coaster breaths”. During my lessons with the kids we will usually finish with this strategy, so they may be able to help teach you!
  2. Another strategy is using a breathing buddy. Lay on your back, put a favorite stuffed animal on your tummy, and watch that animal slowly move up and down as you inhale and exhale. Do this together — it’s playful and helpful for the whole family. From Sesame Street: Elmo Learns to belly breath.

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that individuals who believe their talents and skills can be developed through hard work, learning from mistakes, and not giving up.

This is counter to a fixed mindset, which tells us that our skills and abilities are fixed and innate.

When I visit classrooms, the focus will be on the importance of continuing to try hard things (even if we don’t want to) and understanding that every time we display a growth mindset our brain “stretches” that much more. ~ John Taylor, MA Ed., School Counselor

Growth Mindset
Fixed Mindset