Counselor's Corner

Hello Parents and Guardians of Superheroes,

As we continue attendance awareness throughout the month of November I thought I would take this opportunity to remind you just how important attendance is.  It’s easy to think that because an absence is excused that your child isn’t affected by it, but that is not true. All types of absences (excused/unexcused/suspensions) mean time your child is missing out on learning. Here are some statics and facts regarding absenteeism that you might find interesting:

  • Even 2 or 3 nonconsecutive absences a month can lead to academic failure.

  • The academic impact of missing school is the same whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

  • A child is considered chronically absent when they miss just 2 days per monthà that adds up to 18 days a school year.

    • Children chronically absent in Kindergarten are at risk of repeating a grade.

  • Being late adds up quickly! 10 minutes a day equals 30 hours of lost class time a school year! WOW—that’s a lot!

  • Too many absences in kindergarten through 2nd grade can lead to a child not being able to read proficiently by 3rd grade.

  • Students who have poor attendance are at higher risk for dropping out of high school, entering the juvenile court system, having social problems or being unemployed.

  • Children who are in school every day have a stronger bond with their school and school staff.

  • Poor attendance that directly impacts a student’s academic success can be considered educational neglect and can be reported to CPS.

  • Attendance may be the single MOST important factor in school success!

It is so important that your child be at school every day possible. Remember, our staff is here to help you and we want to see your child achieve great things! If you receive notice from the school about attendance concerns, contact us immediately. We want to work with you to resolve the issue.


Amanda Doss Harmon, M. Ed., NBCC
HLES School Counselor

October 5, 2017

Hello Parents and Guardians,

October is a month filled with excitement and lots learning. The last week of October we will be celebrating Red Ribbon and our students will have an opportunity to show their school spirit. Be on the lookout for a letter regarding our school's spirit week. We will also be celebrating attendance the entire month of October, so it is important that your child be at school EVERY DAY.

Since attendance is SO important, I thought I would offer some tips that might help De-Stress your morning routine.

  • Set a regular bedtime—Children need at least 10 hours of sleep every night. When children are rested, they are easier to wake-up.

  • Do it the night before:

    • Anything you can do the night before to make the morning easier, do it ex: lay out clothes, make-lunch box, get backpack together.

  • Select a spot:

    • Decide on a special spot where your child’s things next should be put every night, so you don’t waste time looking for them. Ex: backpack, jacket and shoes by the front door.

  • Take a moment to connect

    • Set the tone for the day by taking the time to wake your child up kindly and offer good morning hugs.

  • Create a “Good Morning Playlist”

    • Put together some of your child’s favorite upbeat songs to listen to in the morning as you get ready.

  • Have your child get dressed before eating or getting their things together

  • If you still feel rushed-- try going to bed 15 min earlier and getting up 15 min earlier

  • Model the behavior you want to see.

    • Get up, get dressed, and show your child what a good morning attitude looks like.

  • Breakfast is FREE To ALL students at HLES… so if slow eating in the morning is making it hard for you to get out the door, just have your child eat at school.

I hope some of these tips were helpful. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your child please don’t hesitate to set up an appointment to talk.

Amanda Doss Harmon, M. Ed., NBCC

School Counselor

August 29, 2017

Hello Parents and Guardians of Superheroes,

My name is Amanda Doss and I am your child’s school counselor. I am very excited about this school year and I cannot wait to see all the amazing things your children will achieve. I wanted to let you know that I will be sending home a counseling packet with information about how to make a referral for counseling as well as what services I provide in the next week or so. I plan to begin individual, small group and classroom guidance in September.

I wanted to use the rest of my space to talk a little about routines. Routines are so important!  The beginning of the school year can a be difficult transition for littles who are used to summer schedules, but setting routines at home can help make the nights and the mornings much more pleasant for everyone. Here are some tips for setting school year routines in the home:

  1. Have a set bedtime. Tip: Elementary age children need on average 10 hours of sleep every night.

    1. If bedtimes are hard, establish a bed time routine: Ex. take bath, brush teeth, read story, say prayers, good night hugs and lights out.

      1. Tip: Turn off the TV-- watching TV while falling asleep actually inhibits deep sleep and keeps your child from fully resting.

  2. Establish a place for books, back packs, shoes, etc… to be placed every night after homework. This will help your child to more readily find their things in the morning.

  3. Have a set homework time. Clear your schedule and be prepared to help your child complete their assignments.

  4. Decide where your child will eat breakfast that way you don’t have to stress of this in the mornings.  All Houston School District students can have breakfast for free here at school, so that might help in getting out the door.

  5. Be Consistent. Routines may seem like a struggle to establish it, but in the end they will be worth it.

I hope these tips help with getting the school year started on the right foot!

Amanda Doss, M.Ed., NBCC
Your School Counselor