The February Counselor Courier

Your Monthly Message From the Elementary School Counselors

Big picture

This Month's Focus


Classroom Guidance Lessons:

Body Safety


Hippo Way Trait:

Fairness and Freedom From Prejudice

Dear Families,

The theme of February is love, wouldn't you say? Valentine's Day for sure falls under that umbrella, and Groundhog Day is a fun time to show some love for a precious little... rodent.


Black History Month is also celebrated this month, and one of the most prolific leaders of the movement toward racial equality, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., used love as his platform:


"Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."

"I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization."


In perhaps the most racially divided time in our country since the era of Dr. King, it is up to us to accept hard conversations about race and equality and base them in a foundation of love- being open to what our children are asking and observing, taking a hard look at our own hidden biases, and committing to do the work with humility and, yes, love.


We are honored to partner with you and your child's teacher to lay the foundation for tolerance, acceptance, and love for their fellow man, and we celebrate the contributions of the African-Americans who helped shape America.


In a spirit of love,

The Elementary Counseling Team

Play it Safe Body Safety Program

Dear Parents and Guardians,


Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) is an organization that proudly provides children hope, healing and justice to the children and their families in Williamson County. This year, WCCAC is proudly partnering with HISD to empower students to be safer in the real world through lessons called, Play It Safe (Body Safety).


All HISD students K-5 th grade, will participate in Play It Safe (Body Safety) lessons, which teaches is children to identify situations that could be unsafe or confusing to their body and the steps to take to get help. The presentation will cover the following objectives:

 Saying NO

 If possible, get out of the situation

 Talk to an adult you trust, and continue asking for help until you get help

 The child is NEVER at fault


In addition, WCCAC will provide supplemental handouts to students for you to continue the conversation at home. It is important to find time for “teachable moments” for these situations. The information provided to the students will help guide you in continuing these lessons and conversations at home.


If you are interested in additional information here are some free resources:

 Play It Safe - www.playitsafe.org/index_parents.php

 Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas - www.cactx.org/prevention-awareness-materials

 National Center of Missing and Exploited Children - www.missingkids.org/theissues


If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your campus counselor or call WCCAC.

Wishing the best to you and your family!

Tiffany Sturman, MPH

Director of Community Engagement

tiffanys@wilcocac.org (o) 512-943-3701

Articles for Parents

Hippo Way Spotlight

This month, students will explore fairness and freedom from prejudice with their teachers. Here is a list of awesome books you can read with your kids to start the conversation at home.


  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
  • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham- 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Anti-Racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
  • A Mighty Girl- This site is chock-full of books about prejudice and discrimination


Here are books specific to Black History Month:


  • Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
  • This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
  • Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans by Kadir Nelson
  • Who Was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
  • The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano adapted by Ann Cameron
  • Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
mindful bull creek
Big picture

Have a Laugh!

Your Elementary Counselors

Student Services Team

The Hutto ISD Student Services Team is comprised of Licensed Mental Health Professionals (Professional Counselors and Social Workers) located at your child’s school. We work closely with school administration, counselors, and teachers to create a plan for service that reflects the needs of each campus. Our purpose is to improve your child’s well-being - in the classroom as well as at home and in the community. Case management, individual and group counseling provide your child access to additional help in order to meet their educational needs. Our team uses a variety of supportive, therapeutic, and psychoeducational strategies to enhance functioning and increase opportunities for your child’s success.


Rebecca Heidt- HES, KES, HNES, NJES

rebecca.heidt@huttoisd.net


Gabby Nanney- VHES, RES, CCES

ana.nanney@huttoisd.net

Resources

In the event of a medical or mental health emergency, please do not email your school counselor.

The following is a list of resources available to you in an emergency:

For help accessing local community resources, please reference the following directory providers and local organizations:


NEW - FREE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING FOR TEXANS: Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

*for more information visit Texas Health and Human Services website


For the most up to date HISD Covid-19 Information, click here.

For HISD Counseling Information for Parents & District Staff, click here