Bulldog Counseling Newsletter

April/May 2020

This newsletter's purpose is to share events and information from the Counseling Department. Please contact your counselor should you need further or specific information. Here is a link to counselors by alphabet along with their Calendly Link should you want to schedule a Zoom meeting.

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We Are Here for You! Here's How to Reach Us

The best part of being a School Counselor is our direct work with students. We love seeing faces, even if it’s virtual! Please continue to schedule meetings with us about personal/social, college/career or academic needs. We know these are tough times and if we can help, we are here. Contact information is below.


If you'd like to schedule an appointment, please click on your counselor's name at the link below to request a date and time. If you would like to request a time that is not listed, please email your counselor directly to see if they are available.

Below is a list of counselors by student alphabet along with their Calendly Link should you want to schedule a Zoom meeting.

Counselor/ Student Last Names

Kim Libby A- Chai

Liana Cox Chaj- Forb

Laura Loza Forc- Jenr

Heather GallierJens- McD

Kim Gilbert McE-P

Clare Smith Q- St

Nicole HepburnSu- Z

Carli ValverdeCollege & Career Counselor

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Support for the Times We Are In

You’ve heard it said again and again: these are unprecedented times. The pandemic we are experiencing can take a huge toll on our emotional well being. Sometimes this comes in peaks and valleys, but rest assured, it is nearly impossible to escape the unsettling effects. Here are some tools to help - not enough to overload, but hopefully enough to explore. Please reach out to your counselor if you are feeling overwhelmed. Even though we are not together in school, we are still together virtually and we are here to support you. (The links to set a zoom meeting are in this newsletter.)

Together, we will get through these times!


6 Tips for Coping with Covid-19 Related Stress

Anxiety Expert, Dr. Lynn Lyons Weighs In


How Mindfulness Empowers Us

Meditation for Teens

Meditation for High School Students from Kahn Academy

Mindfulness Breathing Meditation


Bowie is also proud to partner with Vida Clinic, an in-house counseling center that provides counseling services to students, families and staff who need on-going mental health support. Vida counselors are currently open to see students, their parents, siblings, or grandparents. They take most insurances and provide a sliding scale for payment. You can complete this google form and Vida staff will reach out about next steps. You can also schedule a meeting with your school counselor if you would like more information first.

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Seniors - Please see below for important information for your Graduation!


Unfortunately we were unable to have our Senior Check Out meetings that were originally scheduled for after Spring Break. We would love to still meet with you via Zoom to check in, make sure you are on track for graduation, answer any questions you may have, and discuss what your plans are for after high school. You will have to schedule the meeting with your counselor and we will be sending an email with that link. We would love to meet with you the week of May 4th through the 8th, but if that does not work for you please pick another time on the calendar that works for you!


May 1st is the day we like to celebrate all of our seniors and their post-graduation plans. The emphasis is on all because this is not only a shout out to seniors going to a 2-year or 4-year college, but we also want to share and celebrate those that are enlisting in the military, taking a gap year, going to a trade school, or any other choice or decision you have made. Each path you take is just as special as the next and it's our time to brag about you all. If you don't mind us sharing you through our social media sites please upload a picture you'd like to share here. Please send these by April 30th.


Each year the district encourages all seniors to complete the AISD Senior Exit Survey. This provides important information on how we can support you all throughout the summer months after graduation as well as how to support our future Bowie graduates. Please click on this link to complete your exit survey here.


As you are aware, graduation has been postponed to August. During the ceremony we have a slideshow and a graduation program where we highlight the schools or programs you will be participating in following graduation as well as all the scholarships you've been awarded. This is another opportunity for us to brag about you! :). Please completed this form by April 30th: http://bit.ly/BowieClass2020


Be on the look out! An email will be sent out to parents' emails and students's AISD email addresses with an electronic Google Form to acknowledge your endorsements as they will be listed on your transcript. Please review and sign. If you have questions about your endorsements or think there is a mistake, check in with your school counselor. For final transcripts, we must have a signed acknowledgement for all seniors by May 8th.

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Important: Update Your Naviance Account

Information about upcoming events, progress in classes, and updates from the district and the state will be sent out via Naviance to your e-mail. To ensure you receive information in an accurate and timely manner, please log into your Naviance account to add or update your e-mail address. To sign on, simply log into your AISD portal and enter "Naviance" in the search bar. You will be taken right to Naviance without further sign on info. If you have questions, please reach out to your counselor who can assist you with this process.
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Garza Online

What are Garza Online Classes? Garza High School is the AISD alternative graduation campus, and their online classes are available to all AISD students. Students can take courses to get ahead (such as Health) or for credit recovery if they have failed a course. Check out their courses offerings here.

But what does it look like? Students must first complete a short introductory module on expectations for taking an online course. From there, they will be able to access course material. Please note that all Garza Online classes are self-paced, so it is difficult to give a time frame for how long it takes to complete the course. We encourage students to create their own schedule with a regular, dedicated time to work on their online course over the summer, and we also encourage students to have a tutor available if necessary. Each course has several modules to complete before students take the final exam. Depending on the course, most students will have to take the final exam in person at Garza High School. Students must make a 60 or higher on the final to get credit for the course. COVID-19 Note: Garza is still making decisions about how final exams will be given, but they are encouraging students to continue signing up now.

How does it affect my transcript? Once students attempt the final, Garza will send the course grade to Bowie to transcript it just like any other class. Most of the classes are unweighted.

Can I drop it if it is too hard? Students who sign up for the course, but realize they will not be able to complete it, should email Garza Online (diane.sidoroff@austinisd.org) to drop the course.

How do I register for a course? Contact your counselor who will guide you through the process.