Counselor CARE-ier

November 2022

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Happy Fall Ya'll!

Fall is finally here! Can you believe that the semester is almost over? We know this time of year can be hectic with all the end-of-semester school stuff and the holiday craziness. We hope you will find some time over the Thanksgiving break to relax and recharge. Check out the community resources and other great information below. Your Counseling staff at SSAE is here to support you in any way we can. Do you have any suggestions for what to include in our next newsletter? Please let us know what you would like to see in the future!

Community Resources

The Campus Clothes Closet

Your counseling staff at SSAE is working on creating a clothes closet for our students. We are also partnering with Care & Share Foodbank to set up some sort of food pantry program for our students/families. This is a first for us so we will likely need to tweak some things as we build this program in order to continuously improve upon our program and ask for your patience as we perfect the process. Be on the lookout in December's newsletter for more information; we hope to have this up and running before the start of the next semester. In the meantime, if you or your family is in need of winter clothes or food, please check out the resources below and/or contact your counselor for further assistance.

If you have any gently used coats, gloves, hoodies, or jeans we are happy to take your donations. We are looking for a variety of sizes and items that match "teen fashion". Donations can be dropped off at the front office from now until Christmas break. Thank you.


Kudos to our Kids!

Last night at our Academic Awards Ceremony, SSAE awarded 9 sophomores, 13 juniors, and 23 seniors with academic awards and letter sweaters. These students maintained an overall GPA of 3.75 and higher for the last two semesters (during the 2021-22 school year) at The Campus and have earned, for the first time, an academic letter sweater.

10th Graders:

Makenna Aldrich, Malaina Jackson, Adam Lee, Ella Moon Owens, Tailynne Quist, Tatum Rasmussen, Katelyn Valdez, & Mikayla Wikoff.

11th Graders:

Curtis Beatty, Tyler Buell, Melanie DeJean, Trysten Ekern, Nicole Hamilton, Caydon Howard, Alexander Jones, Carmela Keuneke, JB Keyes, Ariana Leedy, Noah Nocita, Aaralyn Pino Hockett, & Zoe Schick.

12th Graders:

Owen Ames, Jayden Austermiller, Kimberly Beatty, Jynelle Glover, Gwen Holder, Ruby Hurley, Taylor Jones, Jillian Kramer, Ben Lacey, Alayna Martinez, Kimberly McKenna, Chloe Nelson, Cooper Owens, Celeste Persons, Alexandra Routsis, Finn Theriault, Isabella Thompson, Ryan Vanderhyde, Jacob Wenner, & Monica Yoder.

*Some names omitted due to Media Denial

CONGRATULATIONS to all the academic award recipients!

It is no secret that we have amazing students here at SSAE. We love to celebrate our students any chance we get. If you want to tell us something awesome about your student to be shared in an upcoming newsletter please send an email to Mrs. Swannn at Thank you.


Graduation To-Do List

Hello Graduates! Here is a list of reminders of things you need to take care of. The deadline for everything is February 17th, but PLEASE get things done early. Students who complete everything by the start of the spring semester will be entered into a drawing for some cool prizes. Students who don't complete all of these things by the deadline will be required to come in-building for mandatory senior days until they are done.

  • Order Cap & Gown: The basic cap, gown & tassel package is $40.00. Students have the opportunity to purchase a variety of different upgraded packages as well. Caps & gowns will be sent to the school and distributed at the Senior breakfast. All other items will be shipped to your home address.

  • Senior Photos for Yearbook: Title your photo file with your student’s first and last name. Use this link to upload your senior portrait. The password is Yetis22!

  • Senior Quotes for Yearbook: Seniors may choose one quote to go under their senior portrait in the yearbook. Quotes will be reviewed. Submit your quote here:

  • Senior Slide Show Pictures: Please upload 3-4 photos from a variety of life stages (ie: baby, toddler, childhood, & now). The slide show will be shown at the graduation ceremony. Upload photos here:

  • Accuplacer testing for graduation mastery: Take the Accuplacer (BEFORE the end of this semester) if you have not already met mastery. The state of Colorado requires mastery of English & Math for graduation. If you received an email inviting you to test, you MUST come in to test as you have not met mastery in one or both content areas. Friday, Nov 11th at 9:00 am is the next testing day.

  • YouScience: if you receive an email asking you to complete YouScience, please do so. This is also part of an ICAP Requirement for graduation. For help or questions about YouScience, please contact Mr. Mike Masino (

SAVE THE DATE! Important Dates to Remember:

  • Friday, April 21, 2023 (7:30 am -10:00 am): Senior & 3.75 Recognition Breakfast
  • Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (3:15 pm - 4:15 pm): Graduation Rehearsal
  • Friday, May 19, 2023 (11:00 am - 1:00 pm): Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony

I have a big bag of old tassels in my office. They have an old year on them which could easily be snipped off. Maybe an extra for your car or to hang in your room? If you would like one please stop by and grab one.

More information about the specific events will be shared as the dates draw closer.


Internship Information Session & Workshop: SAVE THE DATE!!!

Wednesday, Jan. 11th 2023 at 3:15pm

6113 Constitution Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO

The SSAE counseling staff will be hosting an Internship Information Session & Workshop on Wednesday, January 11th at 3:15 pm. Both high school students and parents are encouraged to join us for this event. Come learn how to find an internship, how it benefits the student, and hear from other students who have done internships and see what they have to say about this amazing opportunity! Please RSVP HERE by Tuesday, January 10th so we have an accurate headcount for the event. Thank you!

Free College?

Did you know that some colleges/universities offer tuition-free college? Do your research and see what's out there; it could save you tens of thousands of dollars! Colleges that don't charge tuition likely still charge for room, board, and other fees, so be diligent in your searches. Also, be sure to thoroughly research, read the fine print, and learn about the requirements and see if you qualify. Most qualifications are income-based (for students who come from low-income families) or nationality related. Here are just a few of those colleges:

  • Colorado Mountain College (income based)
  • CSU Pueblo (income based)
  • Ft. Lewis College (income based / indigenous students)
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University (income based)
  • Prestigious Schools (Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth)- (income based)
  • US Military Academies (West Point, Air Force, Naval, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine)- all admitted students
  • College of the Ozarks (student work program)
  • University of the People (online program for all)
  • Berea College (all admitted students)
  • MSU Denver (for indigenous students)
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Mental Health Resources

Tips for Communicating with Your Teen: Keeping the parent-child relationship strong during a tricky age

The teenage years have a lot in common with the terrible twos. During both stages, our kids are doing exciting new things, but they’re also pushing boundaries (and buttons) and throwing tantrums. The major developmental task facing both age groups is also the same: kids must pull away from parents and begin to assert their own independence. No wonder they sometimes act as if they think they’re the center of the universe.

This makes for complicated parenting, especially because teens are beginning to make decisions about things that that have real consequence, like school and friends and driving, not to speak of substance abuse and sex. But they aren’t good at regulating their emotions yet, so teens are prone to taking risks and making impulsive decisions.

This means that having a healthy and trusting parent-child relationship during the teenage years is more important than ever. Staying close isn’t easy, though. Teens often aren’t very gracious when they are rejecting what they perceive to be parental interference. While they’re an open book to their friends, who they talk to constantly via text messages and social media, they might become mute when asked by mom how their day went. A request that seemed reasonable to dad may be received as a grievous outrage.

If this sounds familiar, take a deep breath and remind yourself that your child is going through his terrible teens. It is a phase that will pass, and your job as a parent is still vitally important, only the role may have changed slightly. Here are some tips for navigating the new terrain:

1. Listen. If you are curious about what’s going on in your teen’s life, asking direct questions might not be as effective as simply sitting back and listening. Kids are more likely to be open with their parents if they don’t feel pressured to share information. Remember even an offhand comment about something that happened during the day is their way of reaching out, and you’re likely to hear more if you stay open and interested — but not prying.

2. Validate their feelings. It is often our tendency to try to solve problems for our kids, or downplay their disappointments. But saying something like “They weren’t right for you anyway” after a romantic disappointment can feel dismissive. Instead, show kids that you understand and empathize by reflecting the comment back: “Wow, that does sound difficult.”

3. Show trust. Teens want to be taken seriously, especially by their parents. Look for ways to show that you trust your teen. Asking them for a favor shows that you rely on them. Volunteering a privilege shows that you think they can handle it. Letting your kid know you have faith in them will boost their confidence and make them more likely to rise to the occasion.

4. Don’t be a dictator. You still get to set the rules, but be ready to explain them. While pushing the boundaries is natural for teenagers, hearing your thoughtful explanation about why parties on school nights aren’t allowed will make the rule seem more reasonable.

5. Give praise. Parents tend to praise children more when they are younger, but adolescents need the self-esteem boost just as much. Teenagers might act like they’re too cool to care about what their parents think, but the truth is they still want your approval. Also looking for opportunities to be positive and encouraging is good for the relationship, especially when it is feeling strained.

6. Control your emotions. It’s easy for your temper to flare when your teen is being rude, but don't respond in kind. Remember that you’re the adult and they are less able to control their emotions or think logically when they’re upset. Count to ten or take some deep breaths before responding. If you’re both too upset to talk, hit pause until you’ve had a chance to calm down.

7. Do things together. Talking isn’t the only way to communicate, and during these years it’s great if you can spend time doing things you both enjoy, whether it’s cooking or hiking or going to the movies, without talking about anything personal. It’s important for kids to know that they can be in proximity to you, and share positive experiences, without having to worry that you will pop intrusive questions or call them on the carpet for something.

8. Share regular meals. Sitting down to eat a meal together as a family is another great way to stay close. Dinner conversations give every member of the family a chance to check in and talk casually about sports or television or politics. Kids who feel comfortable talking to parents about everyday things are likely to be more open when harder things come up, too. One rule: no phones allowed.

9. Be observant. It’s normal for kids to go through some changes as they mature, but pay attention if you notice changes to their mood, behavior, energy level, or appetite. Likewise, take note if they stop wanting to do things that used to make them happy, or if you notice them isolating. If you see a change in your teen’s daily ability to function, ask them about it and be supportive (without being judgmental). They may need your help and it could be a sign they need to talk to a mental health professional.

Article written by Rachel Ehmke & shared from The Child Mind Institute Website

Second Wind Fund

The Second Wind Fund is a Colorado-based youth suicide prevention organization that covers the cost of 12-20 sessions of therapy. They exist to help eliminate financial and social barriers to mental health services. This includes ALL YOUTH regardless of ability to pay for services or insurance status. In the past, referrals had to be made by a school counselor, however, now parents, caregivers, or guardians may make a referral themselves. We hope that this provides families with greater access to mental health treatment. Referrals for services can be made HERE.

Please note: this is NOT a crisis service. In the event of a crisis, please call 9-1-1.

A New and Crucial Resource: Call 988

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. There is a commitment to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.
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