SCHOOL COUNSELOR CONNECTIONS

December 2021

DEAR CEDARS FAMILY,

DECEMBER, The last month of 2021 is here and it came very fast. Another year is quickly going by. We hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoy time with your family and friends. The students are doing amazing Project Based Learning and working well together. Please continue to follow COVID protocols and stay safe and healthy.



Also, please see the resources at the end of the newsletter it has a link to mental health resources, food banks, COVID resources, housing and financial resources, safety, etc..


Month of December Important Dates:


Teachers and faculty will receive a virtual mental health presentation from NAMI on December 10, 2021.


Student Holiday Break begins December 20, 2021and return on January 5, 2022.

Teachers return on January 3, 2022.


If your child needs an eye exam and glasses and you have no insurance or means to pay please reach out to me so I can provide you with a VSP Eyes of Hope Sight for Students Gift Certificate. It will cover a comprehensive eye exam, Otis & Piper brand frame within $115 allowance, Single-Vision or lined multifocal lenses, Polycarbonate lenses at a provider under vsp.com. (Limited amount)


If you need to refer a student please complete the counselor referral form below.


Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.


School Counselor

Roxanne Contreras

rcontreras@cedars-academy.org

512-419-1551

Counselor Referral Form

If you need assistance from a school counselor please complete form.

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This month's theme: Do Good December

This month, we're encouraging you to carry out small acts of kindness. This has been another difficult year of uncertainty and ups and downs for many of us. Kindness is contagious, and helping others has been proven to make us feel better too! Let's try to focus on being generous with our time and attention rather than money - it's free and better for everyone, as well as our planet!

This December, you can help change the world by spreading kindness. Even small things can make a big difference, like asking someone how they are and really listening, or simply making them a cup of tea!

Our December Kindness calendar is packed with inspiring actions so please share it with others and help spread the kindness.

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Printable Guide

Targets Social Emotional Learning

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FAMILY CONNECTIONS

This week’s printable, our Entertainment Holiday Pack, has family movie suggestions that will allow your child to witness stories of perseverance, personal growth, kindness, compassion, and friendship.
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Holiday Printables for Social and Emotional Learning

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6 Every day activities for your classroom

  1. Box Breathing (Self Awareness, Self Management)
  2. I Have, I Am, I Can (Self Awareness, Self Management)
  3. Behavior Challenge (Social Awareness, Relationship Skills)
  4. Dance As Activism (Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making)
  5. Support Systems (Self Awareness, Relationship Skills)
  6. Super Star Icebreaker (Social Awareness, Relationship Skills)

5 Ways Parents Can Help Children Improve Social Skills

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher, important long before their peers, and a crucial role model for the development of their social and emotional skills.

From a very early age, children observe interactions around them and mimic those interaction styles and attitudes for themselves. For example, if parents show respect to each other, the child expects people in the world to show respect to one another.

In addition to observation, children also learn from parents through behavior reinforcement. Positive reinforcement of a behavior increases the likelihood that the behavior will occur again in the future. For example, if you praise your child for asking for something politely, he’s more likely to be polite when asking the next time. Through these many small interactions over time, children begin to decipher the rules that dictate social interaction.

By using the following strategies, you can help your kids develop a “compass” to understand and navigate social situations and improve interpersonal skills.

To help parents like you, we’ve partnered with leading youth mental health researchers, educators, and authors to provide practical approaches for dealing with modern problems.

Prioritizing the ME in Merry

Reposted from Harvard Health Publishing David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

The holiday season is filled with hustle and bustle. There’s plenty of excitement from seeing family and friends, but also stress, travel, long lines, planning, preparation — and a range of emotions from positive to negative.

For many, the holiday season means planning and taking care of others. However, this leaves little time for taking care of oneself. Below are a few ideas on how to practice self-care during this holiday season.

  • Regularly schedule time to engage in self-care activities. Schedule self-care activities (exercise, meditation, a hobby you enjoy) at the same time each day so they become routine or set a timer or alarm to remind yourself.
  • Practice gratitude for the people and events in your life. This might include writing in a journal about what you appreciate in your life, or letting others know the gratitude you feel.
  • Engage in deep breathing or other relaxation skills. This can include listening to soothing music or engaging in an imagery exercise. You can also engage in a number of other relaxation skills.
  • Tune into the emotions you are experiencing. Emotions may be positive, negative, or a combination of the two. Call “time outs” for yourself and check in on your feelings. Write down your feelings in a journal.
  • Try to understand why you might be experiencing negative emotions.For some people, negative emotions might be related to unrealistic expectations or goals of themselves around the holidays, or from feeling overwhelmed. Readjust goals so they are specific and attainable.
  • Monitor your stress level.Write down your stress level in a journal at various times during the day. Take note of the situation you are in when feeling stressed. Is it around certain people? Or engaging in specific activities? Have a list of activities you can engage in to relax for a few minutes. Perhaps this is taking a walk, doing a few minutes of yoga, or watching a favorite TV show or movie.
  • Being present around the presents. Practice mindfulness and meditation. This can include spending a minute or two being present in your environment. Take notice of the smells, sounds, and sights of the holidays. Notice the differences between the holiday season and other times of the year. Mindfulness techniques can be more than quiet contemplation.
  • Take care of your physical health. Ensure adequate sleep and a nutritious diet. Develop a plan to enjoy the special foods and treats around the holidays, while balancing them with healthy eating.

So, enjoy the holidays and remember to take time to care for your own needs and emotions. Remember, as the flight attendants say as part of their safety preparations, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. This may help you more fully appreciate and find meaning this holiday season.

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FAMILY RESOURCES/RECURSOS DE FAMILIA

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Quick Link Guide to Community Resources in Austin/Guía de enlace rápido a recursos comunitarios en Austin