Welcome to Ridgetop Counseling

2023-2024 School Year


Hello, Rattlers old and new. If this is your first year at this tiny but mighty school we call Ridgetop, we are so happy to have you. If you've been here all along, welcome back! Ridgetop is a special place close to my heart. The teachers, administration, students, and families make Ridgetop what it is, and I am so proud to be a small piece of it. This is like my second family, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have enjoyed greeting the kids in the morning, even though it means sometimes coaxing them away from their parents. I promise once the day gets going, they are fine:) I've checked in on classrooms and done check-ins with some kiddos; there's been so much growth over the summer (physical and emotional). I have to say the procedures are going VERY smooth. Hallway and outdoor cafe etiquette is the best I've seen since I've been here, thanks to the amazing staff and your reinforcement at home.

Thank you for allowing me to support your child while here at Ridgetop. I look forward to working with every one of them!

-Mrs. Lopez

Who am I?

A little about me…

My name is Christina Lopez. I grew up in Austin and Midland, Texas (I went to Hill Elementary). I attended UT Austin and graduated in 2000. Since then, I've lived in Boston, California, and we returned home to Austin 9 years ago. I live in the Brentwood/Crestview neighborhood with my husband and English bulldog named Lola. We have a College Freshman at Texas Tech University (Pablo) who I already miss dearly.

As an elementary student, I was an anxious kiddo with sensory issues who could have used a bit more TLC at school, which is why I decided to become a school counselor upon our return to Austin. It is the best decision I've ever made! I love connecting with kids. Their innocence, sense of humor, and authenticity make my heart happy and full.

Classroom Lessons

Starting in September, I will visit your child's classroom twice a month. We are finalizing the schedule. The classroom teachers will reinforce the topics I cover in the classroom. Ridgetop values the whole child and understands that for students to learn, they must feel safe. SEL is embedded throughout the school day at Ridgetop. My classroom lessons will be in English and cover topics like:
  • Acceptance/Equity Building

  • Anti-Racism

  • Anxiety, Worry, Stress Management

  • Assertiveness

  • Bullying

  • Career

  • Communication & Collaboration

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Empathy

  • Friendship & Kindness

  • Goal Setting & Decision Making

  • Grief

  • Growth Mindset

  • Personal Safety

  • Self- Awareness

  • Self-Management and Self Regulation

  • Social Skills

  • Team Building

How do I refer my child to the counselor?

Students can be referred by teachers, staff members, parents, or themselves. The best way to communicate with me is through email at christina.lopez@austinisd.org. It is challenging for me to retrieve messages from ClassDojo, as they get lost in the 20+ classes that I am registered for. I will do my best to get back to you within 24 hours.

Students can make a self-referral by filling out a blue student self-referral form outside my door then place it in my white mailbox. I have moved my office to the front hall, and so far I love it! I will be visiting classrooms to remind them how the process works. Please keep in mind that there are 350+ students on campus, and sometimes it can take time before I can see them. Here is an example of the form. For the younger students, their teachers usually help fill it out, or they will send me a direct message.

Will I be notified when a student visits the counselor?

Parents will be notified of a child’s visit, depending on the nature of the visit. Parents must grant permission for a student to participate in a small group outside of the classroom curriculum and individual short-term counseling. Small groups are need-based, and unfortunately, not all students can participate. There are many things taken into account when forming groups (topic, age, number of participants, connection between kids, schedule, other services...).

Typically, parents are not notified of student/counselor “Check-In” unless a concern with a student warrants short term counseling and parent permission. I will also share if the student gives me permission.

What is the confidentiality policy?

  • I respect the right to the confidentiality of students, parents, teachers and other school staff.

  • Disclosures of abuse and/or imminent danger to self or others are reported to the appropriate agency in accordance with the law.

  • Situations jeopardizing student safety including incidents of abuse, imminent danger to self or others, bullying, and sexual harassment are reported to the campus administrator in accordance with school policy.
Big picture

What if my child needs more than a few visits with the counselor?

The counselor provides individual assistance to students when a problem or concern is affecting their educational achievement. Individual counseling is limited to 3-5 meetings. The counselor may also meet with small groups of children who share similar concerns.

The school counselor does not provide therapy but will provide therapeutic referrals at parent request.


A few of my favorites at the moment...

Connection Opportunities

We will offer Caregiver Connections this year. A time to build community and reflect. Last year we covered What Happened to You and Good Inside. We are in the process of planning for this year, but I will keep you posted through ClassDojo.

Feeling generous?

Snacks are always welcome. Sometimes a student may just need some food in their tummy to feel better and get back to class.

  • Nutrigrain Bars
  • Pretzels
  • Smartpop
  • Pirates Booty
  • Mints