H. P. Garcia Elementary, Temple ISD

CREST 2018-2019


Counselor: Blanca Howells



Hector P. Garcia Elementary

2525 Lavendusky Dr.

Temple, TX 76501

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The counseling program at Hector P. Garcia Elementary School, without a doubt, provides a vital role to our students by ensuring a safe, healthy, and active learning environment. A safe and healthy school environment created by the counseling department was possible by ways of acknowledging student contributions, addressing students by name, creating yearlong counseling groups, and by learning to respect and understand different perspectives. Academically, Hector P. Garcia did tremendously well on the Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) due to our counseling program setting high expectations and providing the support students needed to achieve individual goals. As a unit, the counselor and the Campus Leadership Team work together to identify ways to address behavioral concerns and resources needed to create a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) system that could range from school-wide to individualized strategies to attain top social and learning results. Once problematic social, emotional, and cognitive behaviors were reduced, goal setting began, and learning bloomed, connecting our counseling program to our comprehensive plan to meet or exceeds academic expectations. Implementation of the four components of the Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program addressed by the National Standards of School Counseling are done accordingly. Guidance curriculum, responsive services, individual planning, and system support components are used to voice, address, and improve student personal, career, and academic performance. In accordance with the American School Counselor Association® (ASCA) beliefs, guidance lessons and program delivery is driven by the needs of the student and design to promote student growth.


The Campus Leadership Team (CLT) is an essential part of Hector P. Garcia (HPG) Elementary. The purpose of this leadership team is to review, revise, and approve a comprehensive plan to improve teaching and learning in our school. Our objective is to improve all student performance in regards to state and district assessments By using district and state assessment data, the CLT adjust the campus needs, assess learning, and monitors progress so that all students meet or exceed academic expectations. For our comprehensive plan to be successful, our CLP is comprised of different stakeholders ranging from our school administrators to school volunteers. The Campus Leadership Team members are selected by the school principal at the beginning of the school year and meet every two months. An example of an agenda item would be the exchange of ideas on what tools and strategies to use in order to increase an overall student performance. As a team, the CLT addresses concerns such as low Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and guides the school counseling program into improving student academic performance via sleeping and healthy eating guidance lessons.
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The school counselor, Campus Leadership Team, school faculty and staff work together to ensure all students are safe while attending school. As a strong team, together, we offer a safe and positive school climate by advocating for a school environment in which diversity is valued and learn to be respected. Character counts, peer mediation, conflict resolution, discovering culture, and anti-bullying presentations are primarily led by the counselor and seconded by students and staff. Exercising of Trust Based Relational Interventions® (TBRI) strategies are also done daily in order to create a physical, social, and psychological safety net for our students. Another intervention of the school counselor is student attendance. Working with parents, teachers, and students, the school counselor identifies barriers for students to attend school, targeting those who are chronically absent by doing home visits, calling, texting, emailing, promoting grade level attendance competitions and parent workshops. In addition to these roles and responsibilities, the school counselor is also a member of the Campus Crisis Team where she assists with emergency drills such as lockdown, severe weather, shelter-in-place, medical emergencies, and fire evacuation drills. According to the American School Counselor Association Model® guidance lessons and counseling services are done in whole groups, small groups, and individual meetings in order to maintain the safety and well-being of students.

School wide safety, all visitors must sign in at the front office, where identification is required and run through a computer system before access is granted to school grounds. All school volunteers must pass a background check before working with students. Parents and students are kept informed of school events via phone calls, letters, flyers, school website, and home visits.

The following graph is an example of what the school counselor and the CLT have accomplished concerning student safety and school climate.

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Schools should carefully track data regarding student behavior and use it to make smarter decisions with positive results. Hence, the counseling program at Hector P. Garcia (HPG) collects and study district and campus data to be use in accordance with the American School Counselor Association Model®. By analyzing school data, the counselor, in conjunction with the Campus Leadership Team (CLT) focused on reducing bus suspensions and inappropriate physical contact.


On the first goal, district and campus data indicated a large number of students being absent or extremely late due to bus suspensions. Thus, the counseling program and the CLT assigned community and school mentors to those students, especially those with two or more bus suspensions. By using this personal and prevention approach, students were thought to be responsible and able to interact appropriately with others. The counselor also conducted small groups and individual counseling targeting social skills, communication, No Place for Hate® activities, and bus safety. Accordingly, bus suspensions decreased by 39% leaving room to improve next school year.

The graph for goal 1 states: The counselor and the CLT will decrease the number of bus suspensions by 39%.

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For the second goal, we wanted to drastically lessen our inappropriate physical contact offenses. For this particular goal, the counselor worked with students during their lunch time and using the Character Counts-The Six Pillars of Character® as needed focused on character development, followed by a discussion, and closing with a reflection. Other methods used were peer mediators who display responsible behavior, creative rewards, talking to their parents on a regular basis, conducting home visits, and offering increase online learning for math, reading, and science. Surprisingly, the inappropriate physical contact decreased by 64%.

The graph for goal 2 states: The counselor and the CLT will decrease the inappropriate physical contact by 64%.

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The Major Achievements of Hector P. Garcia counseling program are presented below. The four major components of a comprehensive counseling and guidance program are represented and coincide with the National and Texas Standards for School Counseling Programs. The counselor, Campus Leadership Team, parents, and community partners work collaboratively for our students to feel safe, healthy, engaged, supported, and challenged.



Guidance lessons double in the 2017-2018 school year, which attributed to a 64% drop in Inappropriate Contact and a 39% decrease in restitution and theft. Kelso’s Choices, Bully Blockers, Trust Based Relational Interventions®, and Restorative Discipline are taught and exercised with fidelity throughout the school year.



Kindergarten-5th grade weekly small groups are focused on the tenets of the Whole Child Approach. Community mentors and counselor consistently work with 4th & 5th graders and all staff members mentor or assist with at-risk students providing yearly support.



Counselor met individually with all 5th graders and engaged with parents to smooth the middle school transition process. In fall and spring, local presenters came to school and introduced opportunities to different careers.



The counselor provided staff development to teachers and parents on topics of bullying, test anxiety, 504 Plans, homelessness, child abuse, and testing through the Duke TIP Program.


  • CREST Award 2017: The Counseling Program at HPG was recognized by the Texas School Counseling Association (TSCA) for having an important program that assists all students, parents, and community alike. This award applies to all 4 domains.
  • Model Professional Learning Community (PLC) Recognition in 2017: HPG was recognized as a Model PLC by Solution Tree due to high, continuous schooling and exemplary collaboration within the faculty, staff, counselor, parents, and students.
  • Texas Education Agency (TEA) Recognition: Hector P. Garcia received state distinction for the school year 2017-2018 by TEA for Top 25% Comparative Academic Growth and Top 25% Comparative Closing the Gaps. The counseling program along with the Campus Leadership Team worked as a team for students’ academic growth.
  • No Place For Hate® (NPFH): For the school year 2017-2018 Hector P. Garcia counseling program was awarded a banner for participating in a national anti-bias program where students learn bullying prevention approaches and understanding challenging bias.
  • Hector P. Garcia Elementary, honored by the Texas Educational Agency (2015), met State Standards with Distinction in Science. The Counseling Program assisted students to reach their goal by promoting a safe and welcoming learning environment where the student’s needs were the primary focus.


Over the years, our Hector P. Garcia counseling program has collaborated and participated with our community partners to provide the support and resources needed for our students to experience academic, career, and personal growth. together, the Campus Leadership Team, school counselor, and community members work to provide opportunities that enhance the “Whole-Child” approach. The following partnerships are an important factor in the nurturing, yet rigorous learning environment of our HP G students:


  • Veterans of Foreign Affairs Bell Post 1820: This organization has been extremely generous in donating two large shipments of school supplies, assuring all students have the necessary school materials and replenishments throughout the whole school year. On top of that, they also provide grade level read-alouds and assist with our yearly school events.
  • Duke TIP: Duke Talent Identification Program identifies academically talented students while providing rich scholarly opportunities to enhance their critical and creative thinking skills. Enrolling in the 4th-6th talent search empowers our students to reach a higher educational level and be acknowledged by their own learning achievements.


  • 4/3D CR, Quicksilver Troop: This unique United States Army partnership provides the students with the chance to ask questions, investigate, and learn about the military, deployments, and trainings. Military personnel are present on a regular basis by attending school events throughout the year, including Career Day.
  • Baylor Scott & White Health Care: This partnership presents various health and wellness topics concerning opportunities in the medical field. Scott & White doctors’ perform hands-on presentations in the fall and attend Career Day in the spring.


  • Bell County Community Relations and Prevention Services Department: Prevention Technicians come to school several times a year and present the juvenile referral process, conflict resolution strategies, bullying, the meaning of Red Ribbon Week, and are present on Career Day.
  • Health Screening: School nurse and Baylor Scott & White Health Care nurses conduct health screening to identify health barriers to personal/social development. Visual Acuity, Air conduction, Spinal for Scoliosis, Self-Responsibility and Hygiene Talks are provided for our students. Referrals are done with parent input and health needs such as hearing or visual aids filled by community business support.


For children to have a greater academic achievement, the school counselor involves the parents in their student’s education and provides an open door policy for parents to attend, view, and give feedback on the counseling program.

The major components of the counseling program and examples of how the school counselor engages parents for an increase parental interaction with the school are as followed.


According to the Texas Education Code (TEC) 33.004(b), parents are given the opportunity to view the counseling curriculum at any given time. Letters, face-to-face, phone calls, and teacher meetings are ways for parents to view our guidance curriculum. Parents also complete a Needs Assessment for feedback and additional guidance lessons.


Services and resources are provided to students who are struggling or are facing an immediate need. Phone calls are made immediately to parents to discuss and work collaboratively on resources available such as individual or group counseling, guidance, community services, and Communities in Schools referrals.


Parents are active members of our 504 Plans, Special Education and Gifted and Talented programs, along with Response to Interventions (RtI) furthering student learning and progress into their technical field or career choice.


The counselor provides several one hour parent workshops per semester on various topics and communicates with parents throughout the school year by flyers, phone calls, home visits, email, video conferencing, the Garcia website and face-to-face parent meetings. Counselor, administrators, and staff meetings are conducted monthly.