Dragon Connection

Carroll Senior High School, Counselors' Newsletter

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Stay up-to-date on important information and events with your CSHS Counseling Team

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February 2021

Welcome Students and Parents

We hope you have begun to establish healthy habits, have been sticking with your goals and priorities, and continuing to invest in building meaningful relationships with others. We want this to be a great year for all! CISD Counselors continue to be present for all students, parents, and staff. Your well-being is important to us. Please let us know how we can serve you this year.

Mark Your Calendars

February 6- ACT @ CSHS

February 12 - Bad Weather Makeup Day

February 14-20 - Random Acts of Kindness Week

February 15 - No School/ Presidents Day

February 15-25 - All Students Enter COURSE REQUESTS into Skyward

February 26 - Half Day

March 3rd - SAT SCHOOL DAY (for Juniors who registered by Jan. 27)

March 12 - Half Day

March 13 - SAT @ CSHS

March 15-19 - SPRING BREAK

March 23-25 - Arena Scheduling for Current 11th Grade Students

April 2 - Bad Weather Makeup Day

April 6-8 - Arena Scheduling for Current 10th Grade Students

April 16 - Half Day

April 17 - ACT @ CSHS

April 30 - Half Day

May 8 - SAT

May 3 -14 - AP Testing

May 26 - Half Day

May 27 - Last Day of School/Half Day

May 28 - Graduation Practice @ Dragon Stadium 8:00 am

May 28 - Graduation Ceremony @ Dragon Stadium 7:30 pm

June 5 - SAT @ CSHS

June 12 - ACT

July 17 - ACT

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Feb. 14-20

Our mission in Carroll ISD is to support and promote kindness and to create opportunities for students to practice being kind and compassionate.

The Science of Kindness

Kindness is Teachable and Contagious: The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!

Kindness Increases:

Happiness: Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re in anxious or shy in a social situation. Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!

ENERGY: “About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” Christine Carter, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center

LIFESPAN: “People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.” Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”

Kindness Decreases:

PAIN: Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller!

STRESS: Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population!

ANXIETY: A group of highly anxious individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. University of British Columbia Study

DEPRESSION: Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self- realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.

BLOOD PRESSURE: Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.

You Can Do It: Tips for Developing Self-Motivated Students

Possessing a strong sense of self-motivation doesn’t just make your students better equipped for excelling in the classroom. Being self-motivated is a critical skill for life. It’s an integral part of achieving goals, feeling fulfilled, moving up the career ladder and experiencing greater personal satisfaction.

There are lots of ways to help motivate students. But finding ways to help them develop their own intrinsic sense of motivation will stretch far beyond your time with them—impacting the rest of their lives. Here are five ways to help your students think about their own self-motivation:

1. Take the time to think about what motivates you. By truly taking the time to think about what intrinsically and extrinsically motivates us on an individual level, we can more easily set ourselves up to maximize our motivation—and therefore increase our likelihood of success. A few good questions to ask yourself to find out if a specific task is a motivator are: Do you look forward to doing it? Does doing it make you feel energized? After doing it, when you talk about it, do you light up? This could apply to being analytical, leading a group, solving a problem, using your creativity, etc. Whatever it applies to, find ways to work those things into the task at hand to increase your willingness to dive in and get it accomplished.

2. Stay positive. Negativity has a far greater negative impact on an outcome than most people think. The easiest way to avoid it is to keep it in check and not allow it to creep in and take over. Focusing on the positive and trying to see the silver lining in a situation can help. To do this, try recalling and reliving past achievements, recognizing and stopping negative self-talk, ditching all-or-nothing thinking and severely limiting (if not altogether avoiding) the most negative people and sources of information in your life. Pretending you're giving advice to a friend in your situation—then actually taking your own good advice—is another great way to practice positivity and self-love. Calling to mind three things you’re thankful for on a regular basis is another simple way to increase positive thinking patterns, along with proper self-care, including eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Remember: negativity is the single biggest cause of procrastination.

3. Compare yourself to yourself. For some, it’s best to compete with themselves. By setting a goal and charting individual progress toward that goal, it becomes easier to see how far a person has come compared to where they started. It’s a great way to draw attention to progress, focus on momentum gained and keep it going. That’s because sometimes when we compare ourselves to others, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. This can have the reverse effect of making us feel more easily defeated—especially when we compare ourselves to someone we see as having already “made it.” Think about weight loss as an example. If you’re 50-pounds overweight, losing 10 pounds is a great start—you’re already 20% closer to your goal. But if you’re comparing yourself to a swimsuit model, you’ll likely still feel like the task is insurmountable and that you’re a failure. Setting smaller, bite-sized mini-goals (as opposed to focusing on the end goal) makes it easier to achieve. Plus, that gives you more mini-victories to celebrate and reward yourself for along the way.

4. Verbalize and visualize your intentions. By giving words to what we want and what we plan to do to attain it, we’re one step closer to making it a reality. Talking about our intentions to those we trust and are close to is a powerful way of starting the process of giving it a shape and form. Telling someone our plans helps ensure those intentions become a priority. It holds us accountable for taking the necessary steps to make it happen (because we said we would). Without sharing our intentions and goals with others, it becomes easier for them to fall by the wayside and never come to fruition. Picturing exactly what it will look like when you achieve your goal or accomplish your intention also increases its potential for becoming reality. If your goal is to get into a specific college, spend time visualizing every last detail and feeling—from the moment you get your acceptance letter to the way your dorm room is decorated and how you’ll feel walking across campus to class.

5. Your surroundings matter. While most people can attest to having a sunnier outlook in a bright, organized space with lots of windows than they do in a dark, dreary basement filled with boxes, the same goes for the people we surround ourselves with. It’s important not to underestimate the power of spending time with (and energy on) people who bring out the best in us. We are what we surround ourselves with—which can be inspiring or downright scary. To make sure it’s the former and not the later, befriend people who already possess the characteristics you want to embody. No matter how strong you are, you’re not immune to negativity and bad influences. Peer pressure is real—so make sure it’s the positive kind that will help you live up to your potential.

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Teen Life Spring 2021 Support Groups

Teen Life is excited to continue to serve students during the Spring 2021 semester! We are excited to offer our traditional eight week in-person groups as well as four week virtual groups this semester. Please email your school counselor if your student would like to join a Teen Life support group. For more information, visit: www.teenlife.ngo

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Join Newport Healthcare’s Kristin Wilson for an advance screening of My Ascension - A documentary film by director/producer Greg Dicharry

About this Event:

Every day, more than 20 young people die by suicide in the United States. This inspiring and eye-opening film shares the story of one who survived, 16-year-old varsity cheerleader Emma Benoit, and her quest to walk again after a suicide attempt left her paralyzed. We follow Emma as she uses her painful experience to help others find hope and to raise awareness about this devastating reality.

Kristin Wilson, Newport Healthcare’s Vice President of Clinical Outreach, will host a screening of the film followed by a panel discussion with Emma, filmmaker Greg Dicharry, and community activist Tonja Myles, focusing on the state of teen and young adult mental health and the issues brought to light by this powerful film.

Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive a link to the film's premiere being streamed on OVEE. We look forward to you joining us for the powerful documentary.

Register here to view: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/join-newport-healthcare-for-an-advance-screening-of-the-film-my-ascension-registration-136676187155

Mentoring Roundtable at House of Shine

The Mentoring Roundtable Program is a unique leadership experience offered to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors by House of Shine, a Grapevine based non-profit. These students get to spend an evening with an accomplished leader who answers questions and tells stories about their life journey. Our goal is to inspire students and help them envision their future path by exposing them to paths taken by various fulfilled and purpose driven professionals. These programs are scheduled to occur every other Tuesday evening from 6:30 – 8:00pm through the end of May. Register for an upcoming Mentoring Roundtable at www.houseofshine.com/mentoring.

Mindful Parenting Family Tool Kit

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, to the present moment, with non-judgment. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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CISD Counselors are here for you!

View our video below to learn more about us!

Attention Juniors: Sign up for Your Junior Conference (if you have not had one)

Your Junior Conference will cover your questions about: graduation requirements? Senior schedule? SAT/ACT tests? Service hours? Naviance? College? Career Planning? and More!

  • Make sure your email address as well as your parent’s email addresses are updated in Naviance. Information regarding scheduling your junior conference will be sent via email using the email addresses you have listed in Naviance. Be on the look out for this email towards the end of October.

  • Watch the video below, "Junior Fall Guidance Naviance Super Match". You will learn how to find Colleges that are the best fit for you. You will also learn how to login to Naviance and update your email address in case your forgot. :)

To get the most from your Jr. Conference be sure to complete the following before you attend

  • Have your YouScience Assessment completed as well, you should have received an invitation from YouScience in your SouthlakeCarroll.edu account, if you are having trouble finding this email please email your counselor.

  • Log on to your Naviance account and complete your "Super Match" college wish list (we showed you this in your US History class back in September) and enter 3-5 college choices in your "Colleges I'm Thinking About" list (you will find both of these items under the "Colleges" tab.
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Great news! Your student now has access to YouScience - a tool that will help them discover where their natural talents and passions meet. We believe YouScience is a great way for students to learn more about themselves, explore high-demand careers that are a good fit for them, and gain a better understanding of how their unique talents are needed in the economy.

Through a series of engaging 'brain games,' YouScience measures aptitudes (natural abilities most important to career choice). We then translate those talents (combined with interests) into real world, high-demand careers.

YouScience has been proven to engage students effectively and provide the direction they need to make the most important education and career decisions.

The insights students get from YouScience are meaningful and actionable. We want parents to be in the know and able to engage their students in conversation about their results and plans for the future. We have provided some FAQs and conversation starters to help get them talking!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is YouScience?

YouScience is an online assessment that uses 11 "brain games" to find where passions and talents meet. We then match each student to more than 500 high-demand careers to recommend the paths that best fit their natural abilities.

How is YouScience different than other tests?

Most career guidance relies on interest-only surveys, but YouScience goes beyond that to measure natural abilities. While interests can be limited by exposure and understanding, aptitudes are able to give a broader spectrum of options and opportunities. Most importantly, you will never see a score on a YouScience profile. There is no pass/fail or good/bad. Every student has talent - we want to help them understand what makes them great and how to make most of it.

More Info For Parents

Conversation Starters

Click the link below to learn more about YouScience and what it means for your student.


The Problem YouScience Solves


We tend to idealize childhood as a carefree time, but youth alone offers no shield against the emotional hurts and traumas many children face. Children can be asked to deal with problems ranging from adapting to a new classroom to bullying by classmates or even abuse at home. Add to that the uncertainties that are part of growing up, and childhood can be anything but carefree. The ability to thrive despite these challenges arises from the skills of resilience.

The good news is that resilience skills can be learned.

Building resilience — the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress — can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else's loss or trauma.


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Our New Anonymous Reporting App: STOPit

Carroll ISD is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment. Implementing programs that address the emotional and physical well being for all of our students, making personal connections with each student, and providing an anonymous system for reporting potentially dangerous situations are some of the ways we can accomplish this goal. We are pleased to announce that STOPit is now a part of our anonymous reporting efforts.

STOPit is designed to help students, parents and community members anonymously report concerns in our school community. Information about self harm, suicidal thoughts, bullying, harassment, drugs, violence, weapons, theft, or any other potential threat to school safety should be reported.

A New Type of Help: Crisis Text Line



With today's teenagers living in the age of texting, the Crisis Text Line has noticed they feel more comfortable texting rather than calling into a helpline when they are in need of help. The great thing about this support is it is available 24/7 to anyone in any type of crisis. You can text confidentially between classes, in the middle of a situation without anyone knowing who you are talking to. Crisis counselors are on stand by 24/7 to help you from the heat of the moment to until you are calm.

Crisis doesn’t just mean suicide: it’s any painful emotion for which you need support.

See how the Crisis Text Line Works

See the Article about Crisis Text Line in USA Today


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Financial Aide - FAFSA Information

Scholarship Information

Visit your Naviance Account for a full list of scholarships available to you. There is a TON of money out there, APPLY and maybe you will be selected!

Check the Scholarship list in Naviance Monthly:

  1. Log in
  2. Click on the Colleges Tab
  3. Then click Scholarships and Money.

**Seniors this list will grow, make sure you check at least once per month.

You can also visit:



Our Counseling Team

Tracey Flores, M. Ed., Lead Counselor

Serving Students Last Names A-D


Melissa Woodward, M. Ed.

Serving Students Last Names E-K


Keri Bettencourt, M. Ed.

Serving Students Last Names L-Q


Tammy Grasmick, M. S.

Serving Students Last Names R-Z


Deborah Warner, M. Ed.

Intervention Counselor - CSHS 504 Coordinator


Counseling Office Support Staff

Deidra Mulloy



Ann Fore



Shela Daniel