Counselor's Corner Newsletter

Merriman Park Elementary School 2020-2021

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A Little About Me!

Hey MPE! I am re-introducing myself as we may have some new families and students to welcome to our community. My name is Alexandria Grant, Ms. G as you will hear the kiddos call me! This is my second year at Merriman Park as a Professional School Counselor. I absolutely love my job and working with kiddos teaching them about social emotional learning, social awareness, equity, and much more! My office, in-person and virtual is always open for anything that you need- a quick chat, a hug, and even stress relieving items! Even though our new normal is a bit different, I am excited to work with students and families any way I can! This WILL be a great year! We are in this TOGETHER!

Fun Facts

  • Favorite color- Purple
  • Hobby- Shopping, Hanging out with family/friends and reading
  • Movie Genre- RomCom
  • Snack- Popcorn
  • Favorite Music- ALL genres!
  • Bad Habit- Losing my keys around the building!! GEEZ!


Dr. Stone's Latest

Please see the latest video from Dr. Stone as she continues to update the district, families, and students during our transition back to school.

COVID-19 Response Update - September 3, 2020

Returning for Face to Face Instruction: A Guide for Students

Returning for Face-To-Face Instruction: A Guide for Students
Regresar para recibir instrucción presencial: una guía para estudiantes

Student Meal Services for the 2020-2021 School Year

Applications are now open to apply for meal benefits for the 2020-2021 school year. Apply for free or reduced cost meals online here. Meal benefit applications must be completed each school year, even if approved the previous year. Families experiencing major life change such as job loss or reduced income may now be eligible for benefits. In addition, RISD Child Nutrition will be providing curbside breakfast and lunch service beginning Tuesday, August 18. Meals will be offered each Tuesday and Thursday at all school campuses, and this service is an ideal way for students taking class virtually to have access to nutritious meals. Curbside meal service is a benefit available to all enrolled RISD students, and may be available for free or at a reduced cost for eligible families.

Please click here to learn more about curbside meal service

Please click here to learn more about RISD Child Nutrition, including menus and how to deposit funds into your child’s account

Please click here to apply online for free or reduced cost meals for children

**Parents with any questions related to student meals may contact the RISD Child Nutrition Office at (469) 593-0108.**


Student Meal Pick Up Locations/Times:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • All RISD schools except Christa McAuliffe Learning Center and Memorial Park Academy
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Apartments (see the list below)


  • Bosque Estates Apartments, 9655 Chimney Hill Lane, Dallas, TX 75243
  • La Mirada Apartments, 901 S. Coit, Richardson, TX 75080
  • Lavera at Lake Highlands, 9842 Audelia, Dallas, TX 75238
  • Linear on Esperanza Apartments, 13450 Esperanza, Dallas, TX 75240
  • Newport Landing Apartments,10850 Walnut Hill, Dallas, TX 75238
  • Northgate Village Apartments, 12303 Plano Road, Dallas, TX 75243
  • Sienna Springs Apartments, 9455 Skillman, Dallas, TX 75243
  • St. Croix Apartments, 12250 Abrams Road, Dallas TX 75243
  • Sun Colony Apartments, 10075 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75238
  • The Link, 9450 Forest, Springs, Dallas, TX 75243
  • The Vineyards at the Ranch, 9350 Skillman, Dallas, TX 75243


North Texas Food Bank

Below are additional resources for food services around the metroplex.

  • To locate a food pantry/homeless shelter/soup kitchen near your home use our Partner Agency search engine:
  • SNAP Benefits - You can reach out to or call 214-269-0906 for more details.

  • 2-1-1 Texas is a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It's committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services like food, clothing and other needs. For your families to use this serve they just need to dial 2-1-1 on any phone and they will be connected to a person who can help them find what they need. This resource is available in 90 languages. For more details go to:

Contact information:

Leticia Sanchez Baber

Child Programs Coordinator

North Texas Food Bank

Direct: 214.367.3165

Cell: 469.261.8545

RISD Clothes Closet

MPE Families-

The RISD Clothes Closet is set to open on September 21, 2020- with some restrictions. This resource will be made available for students who have DIRE clothes needs; little to no clothing at all. If there is NOT a dire need, but students still need clothes, families can access the Network of Community Ministries. Please contact Ms. Grant if you are in DIRE need of clothes for your child(ren). Thank you!

Counselor Website

Below is a link for my MPE school counseling website for this year. I will keep this website up to date with guidance lessons, social and emotional learning (SEL) lessons, and racial literacy lessons. This will be the "hub" for all counseling needs! Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with this site- as it might prove useful throughout the year!

Live Wise. Live Healthy.

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Many things beyond school impact the lives of our students. To support these aspects as much as we can, RISD is spreading awareness with its liveWISEliveHEALTHY program. Each month throughout the school year will feature a topic area with designed activities for students, staff, parents and the community, organized by RISD’s Student Services Department. The following topics will be covered throughout the year:

August- Safety and Security

September- Suicide Prevention and Awareness

October- Drug and Violence Prevention Education

November/December-Mental Health Awareness

January/February-Healthy Relationships

March- Cultural Competence

April/May-Making Connections

September 2020

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504, Dyslexia, and Testing Updates

At this time, the district and its specific departments, have not released a blueprint that outlines the protocol we are to follow to resume Dyslexia and Full Evaluation testing at this time. Once this information is released, I will follow up with families accordingly to discuss protocol and testing from Spring 2020 and Fall 2020. We thank you in advance for being flexible and patient as we navigate through unprecedented times in education.
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Virtual Appointments

As we are all transitioning to a 'new normal', things may arise within us that we'd like to chat about. My door is ALWAYS open! For families doing virtual learning at this time, below is the protocol for requesting an online appointment with me!


Fill out referral form!

  1. Ms. G will contact your parents to set a time to chat with YOU only!
  2. Ms. G will review Virtual School Counseling Guidelines with parents.
  3. Find a quiet/safe space in your home.
  4. Chat with me!
  5. Schedule a follow up, if needed.

GT Services Update

Starting for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, RISD has separated Gifted and Talented Services into its own wing. Students will now be serviced by a Gifted and Talented trained teacher. At Merriman Park, we welcome Lauren Jones to our community! She is fabulous and highly knowledgeable on all things GT! Please contact her for any of your GT questions for the year! Thank you!

Lauren Jones

MPE, Advance Learning Teacher

Diving Into The Blueprint: Advanced Learning Services (Gifted)

Mindfulness and Stress Management

We all know that this can be an interesting time for our kiddos! It is important to find calm and peace during uncertain times of transition. We can teach our students how to be calm, present, and peaceful through mindful breathing and mindful practices. Please click the link below to access a read aloud story called My Magic Breath. Along with this story, I have uploaded a video practicing mindful strategies for our students. This resource is completely optional, but I hope you can find these videos to be helpful, peaceful, and FUN!


Yoga & Calm Apps...

Stop. Breathe. Think-

Cosmic Kids Yoga-

Calm App-

Insight Timer-

Go Noodle-

Contact ME!

As always, if you need to contact me I am available via email and phone- though I am most accessible via email. Please be patient with us as we are in a huge transition at this time. All RISD staff are working around the clock to make sure this transition is as smooth as possible for students and families. As we are working through this new normal, information changes, rapidly so we have to adjust accordingly. Again, please bear with us as we are developing new expectations, practices, and structures daily. Stay safe, social distance, and hug your loved ones tight

Ms. G

School Counselor, MPE

Virtual Hours: 8am-4pm