USM's Middle School counselor, Elina Kats, supports, affirms, and advocates for all students throughout their Middle School journey. Ms. Kats provides social emotional learning (SEL) instruction in the 5th grade, focusing on the skills of mindfulness, self-awareness, emotional regulation, and peer communication. Ms. Kats regularly meets with students individually and facilitates small counseling groups as needed. She supports new students to the Middle School, creates programming to support all Middle School students' emotional, social, and academic progress. Students can make an appointment with Ms. Kats and parents, teachers, and administrators can make referrals for individual and small group counseling. She acts as a liaison between the school and outside providers so that the school can support work taking place off campus. Parents are also welcome to make an appointment and meet with Ms. Kats to discuss child development, parenting, or family issues that may have an impact on a child's school experience.