El Modena Counseling Newsletter

Special Mental Health Edition 4.30.21

Kacey Musgraves - Rainbow (Live from Late Night with Seth Meyers)

Well the sky has finally opened...

Man, this song says it just right. This is exactly what we want to say to you. Please hit play on "Rainbow" and feel free to let go of that umbrella.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

As school counselors, mental health is an integral part of our daily purpose and calling. In fact, this is why many of us got into this field. We are passionate about helping our youth and we strive to provide the support needed to navigate the unchartered waters and rocky storms of teenage years. Now more than ever, mental health support is crucial in helping our students successfully transition back to campus and work through the emotional challenges that this past year has brought. We look forward to welcoming students back on campus full-time in August and we are here to support you along the way!

Love and hugs to all,

Mrs. E.


CA Student Mental Health Virtual Spirit Week

Join us in reducing the stigma of mental health issues and participate in some fun daily activities 5/10-5/14 in honor of California's Student Mental Health Week!

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Mental Health Resources - Be Kind to Your Mind

For immediate psychiatric support call 911

Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious? Time to calm the mind. Visit our Virtual Wellness Room to explore nature, music, mindfulness, movement, color and creativity, live animals and more. Research shows taking even a 5 minute break can improve the mind.


Mental Health and Wellness Resources:


Self-Care: What Does That Mean?

There's only one you! Be kind to yourself and take time out for yourself when you are feeling especially stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. Here are some ideas from namioc.org:

  • Exercise: YouTube has endless free exercise videos from yoga to hip-hop! If you are not in actual quarantine, get outside and go for a walk or run. Being in nature adds extra benefit to your exercise routine.
  • Meditation: The emotional and physical benefits of meditation are proven. Meditation can help you gain a new perspective on stressful situations, build skills to manage your stress, help you focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase imagination and creativity as well as increase patience and tolerance. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
  • Limit Your Time Online: Limit yourself to a certain amount of time online and go to those sites that uplift and encourage you. Manage your feed regularly to filter what you put in your mind to only those things that bring joy and inspiration.
  • Journaling: Write down your feelings, sketch ideas of inspiration, make a list of all that you are grateful for.
  • Laughter: Enjoy a funny movie or book; face-time with a friend who makes you laugh. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain which activate and relieve your stress response.
  • Embrace a Hobby: Do something hands-on such as sports, art, music, photography, gardening, cooking/baking, origami, crocheting, beading, woodworking, etc. Working with your hands is a way of improving your mental health. It helps improve concentration and calmness as well as brain connectivity. Tip - if you can spend more time with a hands-on activity than you do on a screen, you WILL feel better.
  • Hang out with your pet: Multiple studies indicate that pets are powerful forms of stress relief, lowering not only blood pressure but also harmful stress hormones like cortisol, which is associated with depression and anxiety, and elevating beneficial ones like oxytocin, which is linked to happiness and relaxation. Just look at how cute your guinea pig is. Or teach your dog a new trick. As the internet has proved again and again, there is nothing more amusing than a cat, is there?
  • Learn Something New: There’s a nearly unlimited number of online classes on websites like edX, Skillshare or even YouTube, whether you want to learn coding, painting, needlepoint, or American Sign Language.
  • Reach Out: This past year has left many feeling socially isolated, but that does not mean you have to be emotionally isolated. Face-time with family, friends and know your support system and who you can rely on when you need some company. If you need extra support, sign up for NAMI Peer Connector, https://www.namioc.org/peer-connector, a program that matches you with a trained mentor. Need resources or a listening ear? Contact OC WARMLINE, https://www.namioc.org/oc-warmline: Call or text (714) 991 - 6412 9am - 3am (Mon. - Fri.) & 10am - 3am (Sat. - Sun.).
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Mental Health Classes and Events

Sign up here for National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Orange County's Signature Classes - now presented via ZOOM! https://namioc.squarespace.com/classes-events

May is Mental Health Month: OC Health Care Agency Resources, Events and Online Tools https://www.ochealthinfo.com/about-hca/behavioral-health-services/bh-services/prevention-intervention-services/mental-health

El Modena Counseling Virtual Wellness Room

Have you visited our Virtual Wellness Room? Take a breather and check out our fun wellness room where you can find music, nature, mindfulness, movement, color and creativity or live animals! 5 minute breaks are proven to alleviate stress and help regain focus on the present. Enjoy! https://www.elmodenahs.org/counseling/virtual-wellness-room

Relief for Those Impacted by COVID

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.

This spring we would like all students to complete the Personality Styles Inventory as an introduction to Xello. In addition, there are many lessons and activities students can complete such as researching colleges, careers and creating a college interest list.

Just for Juniors - Let's Get Ready for College!

Calling all juniors! Summer is a key time in the college-planning process. Many juniors wait to start this process in September and find themselves very stressed and overwhelmed. We encourage you to start now! Here are some important reminders to help you prepare for fall of senior year and the college application season:

  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT: many colleges across the nation are still test optional. If you would like to have the option to submit a test score, register now!
  • SAT: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/dates-deadlines
  • ACT: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html
  • Develop a list of 15-20 colleges of interest. The college search is about finding the right fit for you. Use your Xello account, located on your student dashboard, to lead you through the process of learning more about yourself and what colleges may be a great match.
  • Stay open to all possibilities. There are thousands of colleges nation-wide and many of our students limit their options to some of the most selective California colleges. To find the best college for you, you should apply to colleges of varying selectivity. Selective colleges admit a portion of students who apply. Some colleges are highly selective while others are less selective. Make sure to apply to public, private, in-state, and out-of-state schools so that you have plenty of options from which to choose.
  • Work with your high school counselor! Your high school counselor writes your letters of recommendation and fills out the secondary report for the private colleges. While this past year has been challenging, we still want to connect with you, get to know you better and help support you through the college application process. We know it can be overwhelming and we are here to help!
  • Register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center if you are an athlete planning to continue playing a sport in college. ncaaclearinghouse.net
  • Start to gather documents for financial aid: Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns handy. You’ll use these to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens on Oct. 1.
  • Get your FSA ID: Before you can fill out your FAFSA, you need to get a username and password (also known as an FSA ID).
  • Visit colleges, even virtually. When planning your campus visits, make sure to allow time to explore each college. While you’re there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admission staff, professors, and students. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, make appointments to have interviews with admission counselors. Many colleges are offering virtual college fairs, visits, tours, etc.
  • Create a résumé—a record of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and work experiences since you started high school.
  • Begin to show demonstrated interest. Read the helpful article below to understand the meaning of demonstrated interest and how to use it to your benefit for the purpose of college admissions.

Santiago Canyon College Early Welcome for Fall 2021

Graduating high school seniors are encouraged to participate in SCC's Early Welcome Program. Students who complete all of the steps of the Early Welcome program will receive priority registration for one year at SCC and also be eligible to receive the SCC College Promise Scholarship​. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Complete Early Welcome in 3 steps:


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:


Requesting Transcripts

Seniors - Don't forget to send your FINAL transcript in June to the college you plan to attend. Transcripts are requested online through Parchment:


If you need assistance with ordering your transcript, please contact our registrar, Ms. Guzman, aguzman@orangeusd.org.

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

Did You Miss Registration for the 2021-22 School Year?

Counselors have completed the registration process for the upcoming school year. If you missed registration, feel free to e-mail your counselor your course selection for the upcoming school year and we will do our best to accommodate your requests. Remember, you will have the opportunity during registration in August to make any final changes needed.

Need to Fix a D or F Grade?

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.

Summer School

Summer school runs June 15 - July 21 (no school on 7/5), 7:45 - 12:00pm, Monday - Friday. Summer school sign-ups are coordinated by the counselors and administration. If your student needs summer school, you will be receiving notification by mail and/or e-mail in the coming weeks.

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:


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:

  • Attend you teacher's office hours and communicate your struggles early.
  • 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/

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.