OHT Counselors' Corner

Oak Hills Terrace ES Counseling Department Newsletter

May-June, 2021

Mental Health Awareness

During the month of May, we highlight mental health--specifically, our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

If individuals experience mental health problems, their thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health specialists say that one in five--that number may be closer to one in four-- individuals suffer from some form of mental illness. Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Individuals may experience anxiety or depression. Some individuals suffer from a mood or bipolar disorder. June is the month we recognize the plight of PTSD- (Post-traumatic stress disorder) sufferers. Unfortunately, several persons in our community may also have thoughts of suicide (suicide ideation).

It is important to recognize the warnings in others or ourselves. With intervention, many mental health concerns may be alleviated to some extent. Please consider accessing one of the buttons below for more information:

SAMHSA 1.800.662.HELP (4357)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Career Day @ OHT

Oak Hills Terrace will host Career Day on Friday, May 28 to help students learn about the "day in the life of" various career folks. Since we are limiting school visitors to minimize COVID exposure, all presentations will be virtual. We hope that you or a colleague will consider volunteering to make a presentation to our students.

Presenters who report to a job site are encouraged (with company permission) to provide a tour. Interviews and other visuals also enhance the presentation. Since all sessions will use a zoom link, career volunteers will have access to the screen for the presentation.

We would also appreciate showcasing a career video from our presenters who are unable to appear live in a zoom session.

Please call the counseling offices with questions:

Ms. Castillo: 210.397.0576

Mr. Koog: 210.397.0575

Thank you for submitting the form below. Please tell your family members, neighbors, and co-workers!


Please note the dates for the 2nd round of STAAR in May. Tests will be administered for both in-person students:

11 Math (Grades 3 & 4)

12 Reading (Grades 3 & 4)

13 Reading (Grade 5)

17 Science (Grade 5)

18 Math (Grade 5)

Although we are authorized to use make-up days to administer these tests, we are asking that parents make every effort to adhere to this schedule for their children as best they can. In addition, please be aware of this schedule when making appointments that require children to be absent from school. Lastly, the school strives to ensure that a safe testing environment is maintained.

Please do not hesitate to call an administrator or counselor with STAAR-related questions.

"Tips to Go" for Reducing Test Anxiety

Testing can be stressful for many individuals but especially for important tests such as STAAR. With planning for the night(s) before and the day of the test(s), students' lives can feel a lot less worrisome. Try these TIPS to Go:

  • get a good night's sleep
  • set out clothes, backpack, and mask the night before
  • eat healthy meals
  • drink water
  • exercise
  • remember your test strategies
  • concentrate
  • breathe
  • take mental breaks
  • don't give up

Trauma Review

Maria Benavides, a licensed social worker with the San Antonio Housing Authority, spoke to some members of the OHT community in April on what trauma is and its effects on individuals. In short, trauma refers to the way we respond to a stressful event. Our trauma may stem from a single event or from prolonged exposure to multiple events.

Our ability to weather these storms depends on our own psychological makeup: Have we experienced trauma before? What is our approach to managing emotions and stress? A caretaker (or person experiencing the trauma) may recognize one or more of these emotional and psychological responses:

  • denial
  • anger
  • fear
  • sadness
  • shame
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • numbness
  • guilt
  • hopelessness
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating

It is possible that you have experienced one or more of these symptoms:

  • digestive symptoms
  • racing heart
  • sweating
  • feeling jumpy
  • headaches
  • fatigue

Traumatic events can occur at any point during one's lifetime and may include one or more of the following:

  • bullying
  • harassment
  • physical, psychological, or sexual abuse
  • sexual assault
  • traffic collisions
  • childbirth
  • life threatening illnesses
  • sudden loss of a loved one
  • being attacked
  • being kidnapped
  • acts of terrorism
  • natural disasters
  • war

Fortunately, doctors, counselors, and other caregivers can help. Individuals affected by trauma have felt less stressed when taking on exercises, learning how to breathe, practicing eye desensitization, using touch therapy, taking medicine, and putting into effect better sleeping/eating habits.

Communities in Schools

San Antonio homeowners, please take advantage of this offer! If your home sustained damage during the winter storm and needs plumbing repair (for health or safety reasons), consider applying for assistance through Merced:

Northside Threads

Northside ISD has opened a clothes closet: Tops, bottoms, underwear, socks, and jackets are "on the menu" at Northside Threads. If you would like to participate in this program, please call the counseling office (210.397.0575 or 210.397.0576).

If you would like to donate items, please drop off your clothing at the district office on Evers Rd., at Student Services on Grissom Rd., the Athletic Center at the Farris Complex on Hwy 1604, or at NAC on Culebra Rd.

Food Distribution

Northside ISD and the San Antonio Food Bank are preparing MEGA food distributions at Gus Stadium: on selected Fridays in May and June:

May 7

May 21

June 4

June 18

All events begin at 9:00 AM although participants are encouraged to arrive early. Everyone must register using the following link:


Many families in our community have suffered the loss of employment and are struggling to meet the financial hardships that the pandemic has created. Each distribution supports between 1300 to 1800 families with food during the pandemic. Northside ISD hosts the distributions on alternating Fridays at the stadium located on Loop 410 at Culebra Rd. If you are interested in volunteering, please report to the parking lot at 7001 Culebra Rd between 7:30-8:00 AM. The shift generally ends by 10:30 AM.

Northside also offers curbside meal service at several schools. Families who live in the Oak Hills Terrace area may visit the following locations between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM daily.

McDermott ES, 5111 USAA Blvd

Holmes HS, 6500 Ingram Rd

This meal service is intended for anyone up to age 18. Please be ready to show proof of age (or school enrollment).

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Our OWLsome Owls

Summer Activities

As more things begin to reopen, it may be worthwhile to look into fun and free things to do int he surrounding area. Click on the link to find some summer possibilities:

Support Our Partners!

Guidance Materials

As we wrap up the school year, you may find these guidance materials helpful to reference.

Important Dates

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Department Stats


68 Guidance lessons

35 Responsive services (1-on-1)

10 Group sessions

12 Students completing groups

33 Parent consultations

2 Parent events

193 Staff consultations

1 Campus professional development training

2 Campus events

19 Tier 3 (RTI) meetings

Contact Us

Please click on the form below to request to speak to a counselor.

Feel free to email or call us with a student concern. You may also take advantage of a variety of parent links by accessing this site: