El Modena Counseling Newsletter


Lean on Me

Lean On Me

This year we've been asked to stay home, slow down, distance learn, figure it out, find new ways, get passing grades, do our jobs and stay mentally healthy all the while being socially disconnected and giving up what most would consider the fun and joy of school and life. WHEW! It's A LOT, a BIG ask and I feel that for you, for us, for all.

Today I write for those that do not feel the joy of the season, for those that feel broken, robbed and resentful for all that we have lost. I feel you. If you are feeling more than down, I feel you. And it's okay.

But here's the thing, going into this three-week winter break and ultimately second semester, I have more to ask of you: Stand by. Lean on. Hang in. Don't stop. Breath deep. Find peace. Find contentment. Seek calm. Dig deep and there you find a resilience you did not know existed. We all have it. We just can't give up.

Do you know how the body builds muscle? By resistance, stretching the muscles, pushing the limits, working hard and thoroughly exhausting the energy within. How does the mind build strength? Same way. It's the only way. It can't always be easy. We cannot simply coast at all times and while this feels like forever and most are mentally and emotionally exhausted, hope is on the horizon.

When you feel that you just can't, I am asking you to hit play on that song above, put it on repeat and lean on each other. There is strength in being vulnerable. "For no one can fill those of your needs that you won't let show (Lean on Me)." Seek a friend, a trusted adult, be a friend, listen well, be kind to others, be kind to your mind.

We will get through this together; your counselors are here to help you weather the storm.

Love and hugs to all,

Mrs. E


Be Kind to Your Mind - Mental Health Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish & more.


Parent/Family Workshops

Looking for more support during these challenging times? Check out the upcoming parent and family workshops:


Relief for Those Impacted by COVID-19

College and Career Planning with XELLO

Xello is our new college and career exploration platform that allows students to customize their college and career research according to their individual strengths, interests and goals. Xello is available to all OUSD middle and high school students and can be accessed through your student’s OUSD single sign-on.

Your El Modena counseling team will be introducing this program and guiding students through lessons in the spring semester. We are excited to offer such an amazing program to our students!

Please refer to the following informational letters:

English version: https://xello.mcoutput.com/117047/Introducing%20Xello%20to%20Parents%20-%20English.pdf

Spanish version: https://xello.mcoutput.com/117049/Introducing%20Xello%20to%20Parents%20-%20Spanish.pdf

College Application Season!

Your counselors have been working hard this fall! As a team we completed:

  • Over 125 letters of recommendation
  • Over 100 college applications & recommendations
  • Numerous individual scholarship applications and recommendations

We wish you the best of luck with your acceptances and look forward to sharing in your celebration as you hear back! Your counselors are here to help you navigate the process of acceptance and decision in these unprecedented times.

UC Campuses Still Accepting Applications Through January 8th

Three UC campuses will welcome applications until January 8. UC Merced is open for new freshman and transfer applicants. UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz are open for transfer applicants. All majors are open.

If you wish to apply to one or more of these three campuses, the deadline to submit your fall 2021 application is January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PST. For more information, or to log back in to the application account, go to https://apply.universityofcalifornia.edu/my-application/login.

Planning to Attend Santiago Canyon College?

Check out SCC's Outreach Page For All the Important Info You Need!


In addition, we have three SCC representatives assigned specifically to El Modena to assist our students personally. Reach out to any one of them to schedule a one on one virtual meeting:

Student Services Specialist:

Career Coaches:

Community College Info

Did you know that you can receive FREE tuition for the first 2 years of community college?

This program is called the CA Promise Grant. Find more info in the link below:


Not sure which community college is right for you? There are 116 community colleges in CA and many have specialty programs only offered at their college. Use their helpful website to search colleges and programs to learn more:


Financial Aid - Have you filed your FAFSA?

The FAFSA opened October 1st and it is important to submit as soon as possible to ensure you have a better understanding of the net cost of college. The deadline is March 2.

Apply at: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

Need help filing the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application?

SCC is offering a final workshop on Feb. 23 from 4-6pm. Register via the link below:


Other financial aid resources:


Check our El Modena website frequently for scholarships being offered in our local area. These are the ones you don't want to miss as the pool of applicants is much smaller than scholarships you find online. https://www.elmodenahs.org/counseling/scholarship-information

More helpful tips on obtaining scholarships: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-and-scholarships/scholarships-start-here

Take a College Class While in High School

Would you like to get ahead on your college credits or perhaps explore a subject not offered in high school? This program is referred to as dual enrollment and your counselor can assist you in getting signed up if you find this opportunity right for you. Learn more here:


Need to Fix a D/F Grade You Received?

Remember, all F grades must be made up to stay on track for graduation and the 4-year colleges do not accept D grades.

APEX online credit recovery is offered to all at any time of the year, not just during summer. Reach out to your counselor to be enrolled if you need to fix a D and/or F grade you received.

Tutoring/Academic Support

We know that distance learning is challenging to many and we want you to feel supported! Here are some virtual tutoring/academic support opportunities:

  • Virtual Tutoring Sessions(all subjects): Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30 - 3:30pm. Google Meet code: meet.google.com/uhn-hbko-fue
  • Personal Statement Tutoring Sessions: Mondays and Tuesdays through 12/7, 2:30-3:30pm Google Meet code: meet.google.com/mwf-zibn-obd
  • Math Tutoring: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 3-4 pm

    Google Meet code: ElmoTutoring

  • Paper: 24/7, on-demand, unlimited academic support. Check out your student dashboard for this awesome free tutoring resource!

  • Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/

Requesting Transcripts

Transcripts are requested online through Parchment:


If you need assistance with ordering your transcript, please contact our registrar, Mrs. Gresham, mgresham@orangeusd.org

In addition, if you qualify for free and reduced lunch, you also qualify for a Parchment fee waiver. Please contact Mrs. Gresham to utilize your fee waiver BEFORE you order a transcript.

Need a Work Permit?

Work Permit Instruction:

  1. Select the work permit link and electronically complete the PDF form. You may also print and fill the form with a blue or black pen. https://www.elmodenahs.org/counseling/college-and-career-information/career/work-permits
  2. Your employer, and parent or legal guardian must complete and sign the form.
  3. Email the COMPLETED work permit to Ms. Sjule, the EMHS Career Guidance Technician at ksjule@orangeusd.org. A scanned image is preferred, but you may take a picture with your phone provided the information is clear. You may also return a physical copy to Ms. Sjule in the library.
  4. Allow 1-2 days for your work permit to be approved and signed.
  5. Follow-up with Ms. Sjule in the library to receive a copy of your signed and approved work permit to provide to your employer.

Need a Device/Hot Spot or Tech Help?

Laptops and internet hotspots are available for distribution at the District Office Monday - Friday, 12:30 - 3:30, Building J. No appointment is needed.

Resources for Free/Reduced Internet:


Are you experiencing some technical difficulties with distance learning? Get help here:

Community Tech Support can be reached at 714-628-5372 or Email: techsupport@orangeusd.org

Please note that the community tech support line remains open for all OUSD students and parents Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.