Cardinal Counseling Connection

December 2022

Welcome December

This school year has flown by, we are already ending the calendar year and will soon be entering the second semester. The NWC School Counseling Department (That's me, Mrs. Pena) has been busy helping students navigate through the first semester by offering small group counseling, classroom guidance lessons, and campus-wide counseling activities. I look forward to providing many more activities in the Spring which will support student's academic, social, and emotional well-being.

December 5 - 9

Inclusive Schools Week is celebrated annually the first full week in December by families, schools and organizations in the U.S. and abroad. The week highlights and celebrates the progress that schools have made in implementing inclusive practices to ensure a quality education for an increasingly diverse student population. Learn more at At NWC we are sharing information with students over the announcements each morning. We believe all students should be included and treated with respect, love and kindness. This year's theme is "Unity within our community."


Kindness is Cooler

In guidance classes, as part of the Comprehensive Guidance Program content areas: Interpersonal Relationships(respecting and appreciating differences) we have been talking about kindness and inclusion. At NWC we believe that our lives can be enriched by spreading kindness to others. Research shows that "Happier and more successful kids care about others, they are able to relate, be concerned, and respect differences, and a lack of empathy makes kids less successful and less happy." -Dr. Michele Borba

The good news is that we can teach children how to be kind in their every day interactions with others and to go out of their way to spread kindness intentionally. Here are ways that you can encourage your child to practice kindness:

* Encourage manners saying please and thank you shows kindness

* Telling others what we appreciate about them shows gratitude and spreads kindness

* Treating others with respect even when don't see eye to eye shows kindness

* Helping someone in need shows kindness

* Listening with our eyes, ears and heart shows kindness

* Giving compliments spreads kindness

*Being kind and compassionate to ourselves is important too it fuels our kindness tank!

"No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted!" - Aesop

The Mayo Clinic Staff recently released 10 tips to help ward off and prevent the holiday blues. They suggested the following ways to minimize the stress that sometimes accompanies the holidays:

1) Acknowledge your feelings. Expressing your feelings is OK. If you are not feeling happy, there is no need to fake it, say how you feel, examine what is causing it and realize it's normal to have a lot of different feelings during the holiday.

2) Reach out. Reaching out helps us feel less stress. Try reaching out to others with a text, call or video chat. If you have time, volunteering your time or doing something to help others is a good way to lift your spirits.

3) Be realistic. Holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year, in fact because of COVID most of our year has probably looked very different. Less stress may come by knowing that even though our holiday may look different we can still find ways to celebrate.

4) Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are. We don't always know what they are feeling or experiencing, they may be feeling the same stressors too.

5) Stick to a budget. Stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

6) Plan ahead. Set aside specific days and times to get your shopping, baking and connecting with friends done. Planning is the key to avoid feeling rushed and stressed.

7) Lean to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. People will understand if you can't make it to every event you are invited to.

8) Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

9)Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Find an activity you enjoy and take a break for yourself.

10) Seek professional help if you need it. If you find yourself feeling persistently sad, anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable/hopeless, and unable to face routine chores, talking with your doctor or mental health professional is important.

You can read the full article here:

Connally, Stevenson, Zachry AND Anson Jones, Zachry & Hobby Magnet Middle Schools

It's that time again where we begin to help our 5th grade Cardinals begin thinking about MS. NWC has three main MS campuses that we feed into, Connally, Stevenson and Zachary. Students will also have the opportunity to apply to one of our three Magnet MS campuses. Our students had the opportunity hear information about the campuses this past guidance lesson. The slideshow students viewed is located below.

You can reach out to the counselors of any of those campuses or even the NWC counselor if you have any questions.


In January, students will have the opportunity to walk through their 6th grade planning guides and course catalog. The counselor will explain course selections, discuss elective options, and review special programming. Students will take home these planning guides, review them with their parents, and return the planning guides back to their elementary school counselor. All planning guides will need to be back by the end of the first week of January so that the students will have them to make course selections. If a student does not bring a planning guide back, they will complete registration without one. Some campus guides are attached below as well as the course catalog to look at or visit
Big picture


Thursday, Dec. 15th, 9:30am

7001 Culebra Road

San Antonio, TX

Northside ISD continues to host Mega Food distributions at Gus Stadium. Families should arrive at the stadium entering the drive at the traffic light on Culebra Rd no later than 9:45 am, gates close at 10:30 am. Registration link will close once 1500 families have registered. Registration fills very fast! The following Mega distribution will occur at Gus Stadium in December!

Thursday 12/15, Food Bank, being funded by the Harvey Najim Foundation

Professional School Counselor

Arcelia Pena

Pre-kinder - Fifth grade, ALE, BMC, RISE