HGMS Counseling Connection

April 2021

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Hello and Happy April

We hope this newsletter finds you and your families safe and healthy. It has been a wonderful feeling to see many new faces return to in-person learning environment. As students transition back onto campus , they will likely experience a new set of challenges. Many have experienced isolation, loss of loved ones, financial and other stresses during the COVID epidemic- in addition to academic challenges.

Positive relationships are critical to navigating these challenges , and yet they have never been more challenging to build. We know all youth need positive relationships to grow , thrive, and help them weather the storms of life. They provide stability and have lasting benefits. We are here to ensure your child has a smooth and successful transition.

Our wish is for all students to feel positive about their school climate. We have many activities and events planned for students. We hope to finish the 2020-2021 school year strong and motivated for a great 2021-2022 year!


Garcia Counseling Department

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Clarity Event: Connecting With Your Children During Rough Times with Trevor Romain

San Antonio earned the name "Military City, USA" by having one of the nation's largest active and retired military populations. With bases across town, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't have family and friends who served.

Given how prevalent military service is in our community, military kids' mental health needs cannot be overlooked!

To celebrate the Month of the Military Child, Clarity Child Guidance Center is hosting two virtual events focused on military children's mental health. We hope to see you at both!

Connecting with Your Children During Rough Times

Speaker: Trevor Romain

Date: Thursday, April 8

Time: 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Cost: $0

Kids and Traumatic Changes

Speaker: Monica Escamilla, PhD

Date: Friday, April 9

Cost: $25

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5 Strategies for Overcoming Test Anxiety

With testing season underway, your child may be showing signs of test anxiety. Here are five helpful strategies from Psychology Today for overcoming test anxiety.

1. Change your mindset

Do you see stress as a friend or enemy? Most people would say enemy because stress is usually associated with loss of sleep, headaches, poor eating habits, and the list goes on and on. But what if you change how you thought about and interacted with stress? What if stress wasn’t trying to screw up your life, but rather it was trying to help you? In fact, studies have shown that stress isn’t a big problem to your health, or your life for that matter? The problem lies in whether you perceive stress as a friend or an enemy. As an enemy, stress can wreak complete havoc on your life, but odds are you already know that. In reality stress is not your enemy. It wants you to be ready to excel at what you are doing. The mission of stress is not to destroy you, but to help you out. Studies have found that those who understand and accept stress actually live happier lives and aren’t any more prone to disease than those who experience minimal stress in life. If you want to change your response to stress, you have to change your mindset.

2. Plan your time wisely

You’ve got a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. So, how are you going to tackle this task? The most efficient and productive way is to come up with a study plan. Map out what you need to accomplish and then break the task into small manageable pieces. You probably know by now that cramming will only make your stress levels skyrocket. So, give yourself plenty of time to properly prepare. First, get organized. Start by reviewing the material you will be responsible for knowing and next sort through your notes. Last, develop timeline to review the material and stick to it. Give yourself a few days to spare at the end of your timeline for a final review of all of the notes. Remember, the final review is a just a review, not a cram session.

3. Cover the basics

Basic #1 – Eat well. Your body needs good fuel (food) to work efficiently. Research shows that when people are stressed they often opt for ease and convenience which often translates to junk food. If you want to give yourself the best shot at acing that test then fill up your tank with premium foods and eat nutritiously. On another note, there are also some foods that contribute to and exacerbate anxiety and stress levels. You may want to steer clear of these foods and beverages in stressful times, as they can make your anxiety levels increase.

Basic #2 – Get some shut eye. Sleep is a great way to soothe anxiety and stress. Sleep helps calm the nerves by letting your body and mind relax and reset itself. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed, you may not be getting enough sleep. In a sleep survey approximately 18 percent of teens reported that when they do not get enough sleep, they feel more stressed and 36 percent say they feel tired because they are stressed. So, if you want to give yourself a running start at a good grade, be sure to unwind, get some extra ZZzzzz time.

Basic #3 – Get moving. Exercise has so many great benefits, such as improving your mood, giving you more energy, and helping to decrease stress. With benefits like those, it’s a mystery why so many people report that they don’t do it regularly. This exam season be sure to schedule some extra time to clear your mind by going for a run, walk, bike ride or sign up for a yoga class!

4. Live in the Present

It’s important to take time in your day to regroup, collect your thoughts and focus on living in the present moment. The ability to live in the moment is called "mindfulness.” Often you may get so busy thinking about what’s going to happen in the future (whether you’re going to pass the test) that you may forget to pay attention to what is happening right in front of your nose. Put some time in your day to focus on what's happening right now in your life. Go outside and listen to the sounds that fill the air, see the colors of nature that surround you, feel the breeze as it brushes across your face, breathe in the scents of fresh air, and feel the warmth of the sun embracing you. Take time to be present in the moment, not only will it refresh your senses, but it will help calm your nerves too!

5. Take care of yourself

In life we have to carve out some “me time.” I once heard it said that "Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it.” Talk to yourself positively. When life throws you a curveball say, "I can handle it, " "This will be over soon," or "I have handled difficult things before, and I can do it again." Remember - stress is not your enemy, it’s just trying to help you get through this part of your life.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Cardboard Kids

ChildSafe created Cardboard Kids®, a city-wide public awareness campaign to draw attention to the pervasiveness of child abuse and the fact that every story is different and every child unique.

Cardboard Kids are more than two-foot-tall cardboard figures. They represent one of the thousands of children that are abused and neglected at the hands of adults in our community each year. They start the conversation, not only by creating a visual symbol for children to identify with but also by providing valuable tips for caregivers on how to talk to their children about child abuse and neglect.

Kindness Club Rocks

The HGMS Kindness Club met to create kindness rocks for the Garcia garden. Our students came out with some great creativity and made some awesome displays of kindness. These students really take the time to remind others that it is so easy to be kind to another person.
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Course Protection Enrollment

Concerned that your student is in danger of retention due to failing grades? The Middle School Course Protection Program is designed to help students overcome failing grades in core courses and select high school credit courses. The program began in January! If your student failed a core class and/or select high school courses for Marking Period 1,2 or 3 they have been enrolled into course protection. Their course protection tile will be in the Schoology account. Act quickly so that your student can be successful.

New Student Parent Tours

We had another round of new student parent tours. We really love showcasing our great campus to our future Gladiators. The parents and students get so excited to tour the school and see what a day at Garcia truly looks like. If you are a parent of a future Gladiator, and would like a tour, contact Ms Julie Minnis in the Counseling Department. We have our last round of tours coming up in May.
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2021-2022 Registration Begins

Can you believe it? Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is already underway. Grade level counselors have visited classes and discussed this year's course selection process. Students will need to monitor their emails and the Counseling Schoology tile for important updates. Parents also need to go online to their HAC account and complete the priority registration for next year. This can be found under the registration tab in your HAC account.

Do you need to make a course request change?

-If so, please fill out the form below and we will do our best to accomodate the request.

-Please keep in mind that we may not be able to make the change, but we will contact you either way as soon as we can!

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O'Connor Class of 2025

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March Monthly Stats

new registrations 12

guidance lessons 59

individual planning sessions 96

responsive services 330

parent consultations 493

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Home Access Center

To request a HAC account or report a problem, complete this online form and a technician will contact you via email or phone within two business days.


To login to HAC:

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Staying Connected with the HGMS Counseling Department & Garcia Middle School

Counseling Department Twitter: @HGMSCounseling

Garcia Twitter: @NISDGarcia

Garcia Instagram: NISDGarcia

Garcia Facebook:

Garcia PTA Facebook: www.hgmspta.com

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