OHT Counselors' Corner

Oak Hills Terrace Counseling Department Newsletter

April, 2021

APRIL is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month

During the month of April we pay close attention to the needs of children who suffer from the trauma of physical and sexual abuse and neglect. In addition, we must be aware of those students who participate in some form of human trafficking. When families work together with schools and their communities, kids feel safer, protected.

Supportive communities nurture families. Families can take some time to know neighbors. Visiting the local library and park, spending time walking around your neighborhood, worshiping at a place of faith, volunteering with some person or agency within the community, or making connections with your employer are ways to strengthen your community.

Engaging schools help build your child's developmental assets. Make time to know your child's teacher. Set up conferences, attend school functions, and volunteer to help with one or more events. The school is your best partner to enrich your child's academic, social, and emotional life.

Thriving homes ensure that children's basic needs (food, shelter, medicine, for example) are met. help instill a sense of right and wrong in children. Moreover, parents and other caretakers instill in children a sense of right and wrong (empathy), a sense of resilience (bouncing back from crises and traumatic events), a sense of connection with relatives who may or may not live in the home, and a sense of future--that what happens at home and at school matters "down the road."

If you feel that a child in our community is being abused or neglected, please call or access one of the websites below:

April Parent "Cafecito" on Trauma-Informed Care

The COVID pandemic has created a new "normal" for everyone. We have all tried to adjust to new rules requiring the wearing of masks, separating ourselves from others who are nearby, and isolating ourselves altogether. Whether we have thought about it in terms of trauma, we have and are experiencing a traumatic event.

More than the fear of being ill, some families have worked with family members and friends who have become ill or lost their lives due to this illness. Others have experienced the loss or change in job status or living situation.

Of course, trauma is not limited to COVID. The recent snow storm was also traumatizing for some individuals. Other life events such as poverty and abuse/neglect add to the list of traumatic events.

Unfortunately, it is is common for individuals who have experienced trauma to exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Given the importance of this topics, it is necessary to discuss the implications of trauma when considering care of our children:

WHAT: Meeting to discuss Trauma-Informed Care

WHEN: Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6:00-7:00 PM

PRESENTER: Maria Benavides, M.S., Manager of Family Support Services at SAHA working with at-risk youth and their families

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 893 2899 8911
Passcode: 693139
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World Autism Month

April is World Autism month and April 2 has been designated as our opportunity to become more aware about individuals with autistic spectrum disorders. Organizations around the world that support autistic communities are asked to aid in things such as research, diagnoses, treatment, and acceptance for those with a developmental path affected by autism.

Locally we can help to raise awareness by advocating for the inclusion of individuals with autism spectrum disorders in all aspects of society such as education. IT may also involve advocating legislatively or fundraising. In addition, we can all LIGHT IT UP BLUE in honor of these individuals!


State Testing--STAAR--is here! Our campus is preparing for the first round of state testing in just a few days:


6 Writing, Grade 4 (In-Person and Virtual)


11 Math, Grades 3 and 4 (In-Person and Virtual)

12 Reading, Grades 3 and 4 (In-Person and Virtual)

13 Reading, Grade 5 (In-Person and Virtual)

17 Science, Grade 5 (In-Person and Virtual)

18 Math, Grade 5 (In-Person and Virtual)

Although we are authorized to use make-up days to administer these tests, we are asking that parents make every effort to adhere to this schedule for their children as best they can. In addition, please be aware of this schedule when making appointments that require children to be absent from school. Lastly, the school strives to ensure that a safe testing environment is maintained.

Please do not hesitate to call an administrator or counselor with STAAR-related questions.

Anxiety-Reducing Strategies

In an effort to reduce anxiety, parents and students are asked to consider one or more of the following tips when preparing to take the STAAR:

1. eat a good dinner

2. lay out clothes with other materials for school (a book to read and #2 pencils)

3. go to bed early (NO electronic devices)

4. get up early to dress and have a good breakfast

5. arrive at school early

Students , thank you for preparing to take the test using the many strategies that you have learned over the year. Remember to take a deep breath and RELAX. Pace yourself. It's ok to take a 10-second brain break...and then get back in the game! You can do this!

Career Day at OHT

Oak Hills Terrace will host Career Day on Friday, May 28 to help students learn about the "day in the life of" various career folks. Since we are limiting school visitors to minimize COVID exposure, all presentations will be virtual. We hope that you or a colleague will consider volunteering to make a presentation to our students.

Presenters who report to a job site are encouraged (with company permission) to provide a tour. Interviews and other visuals also enhance the presentation. Since all sessions will use a zoom link, career volunteers will have access to the screen for the presentation.

We typically have 4 sessions of 30 minutes (from ~8:00-10:00 AM) when we schedule presenters. You are welcome to appear 4 times (each audience will be different). If you are able to present during a portion of the morning only, that's great also.

Thank you for submitting the form below. Please tell your family members, neighbors, and co-workers!

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Over the past several months we have focused on the 5 individual elements of social-emotional learning:

  • self awareness
  • self management
  • social awareness
  • relationship skills
  • responsible decision-making

No aspect is more important than the other. To be sure, successful students are able to navigate several (if not all) elements simultaneously. Parents and educators know that these skills are taught and managed through a cooperation between home and school. It is an integration of these 5 elements that help students build social skills, form healthy relationships, and manage their emotions.

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Northside Threads

Northside ISD has opened a clothes closet: Tops, bottoms, underwear, socks, and jackets are "on the menu" at Northside Threads. If you would like to participate in this program, please call the counseling office (210.397.0575 or 210.397.0576).

If you would like to donate items, please drop off your clothing at the district office on Evers Rd., at Student Services on Grissom Rd., the Athletic Center at the Farris Complex on Hwy 1604, or at NAC on Culebra Rd.

Food Distribution

Northside ISD and the San Antonio Food Bank are preparing MEGA food distributions at Gus Stadium on Friday, April 9 and Friday, April 23. Both events begin at 9:00 AM although participants are encouraged to arrive early. Everyone must register using the following link:


Many families in our community have suffered the loss of employment and are struggling to meet the financial hardships that the pandemic has created. Each distribution supports between 1300 to 1800 families with food during the pandemic. Northside ISD hosts the distributions on alternating Fridays at the stadium located on Loop 410 at Culebra Rd. If you are interested in volunteering, please report to the parking lot at 7001 Culebra Rd between 7:30-8:00 AM. The shift generally ends by 10:30 AM.

Oak Hills Terrace also distributes a daily meal between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM at the bus loop for anyone up to age 18. Please be ready to show proof of age (or school enrollment).

Communities in Schools

Dear OHT Families:

The CAM (Christian Assistance Ministry) is hosting a clothing and resource distribution on April 17 from 8:30-10:30 AM. There will be a special drawing for the first 25 families in line, and 3 lucky families will win $100 gift cards each. Be sure to check out this resource at 110 McCullough Ave,

For more information, call the CAM Center @ 210.222.1553.

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Thank you, parents, for all that you do to ensure that your children attend school regularly. Attendance has taken on a new meaning this year with COVID, as some of our students are still accessing lessons remotely. Whether in-person, or virtual, it is important to be counted present AND to submit all assignments in a timely manner.

If students are accessing their teachers' lessons from home, please be engaged throughout the day and know that you can log on and submit assignments up to 11:59 PM and still be counted present.

As a reminder, the first bell rings at 7:40 AM for our in-person folks with a second bell at 7:45 AM. Students arriving after this time are considered tardy. When absent, please bring a note to explain your absence.

Our Owls Are OWLsome!

A note from the American Heart Association:

On behalf of the American Heart Association, thank you very much for your school’s donation of *$2,789.87 from your school's recent Kids Heart Challenge (KHC)/American Heart Challenge event. Your efforts make a tremendous impact and help millions of Americans through increased awareness of cardiovascular disease, lifesaving scientific research and critically needed education efforts.

Once all donations are processed, and if your school qualifies, a US Games certificate will be sent via email and/or your direct contribution will be mailed as a check to the school. These give-backs will arrive in 3-4 weeks and we hope they enhance the wellness education efforts within your classroom and school with our sincerest thanks.

Additionally, the American Heart Association’s Grant Program offers participating schools grants ranging from $250 to $3,500 for health and wellness initiatives including physical activity equipment. Eligibility requirements are available through your online Headquarters under Teacher Resources.

The American Heart Association also provides up to 12 professional development hours in partnership with OPEN’s Teacher Learning Center. Families and schools are critical links in providing the foundation for cardiovascular wellness in our country. Your support and participation in the AHC/KHC goes a long way in helping others.

Special thanks to the Kinder classes which raised nearly half of the proceeds and to Coach Felux for organizing this event!

Support Our Partners!

Guidance Books

These media may be helpful as your speak to your child concerning April topics such as test anxiety and safety.

Important Dates

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Department Stats


64 Guidance lessons

39 Responsive services (1-on-1)

19 Group sessions

47 Parent consultations

160 Staff consultations

3 Campus professional development trainings

14 Tier 3 (RTI) meetings

Contact Us

Please click on the form below to request to speak to a counselor.

Feel free to email or call us with a student concern. You may also take advantage of a variety of parent links by accessing this site: