Maria Sison-Abinsay, M.A.
Guidance Counselor
210-349-1169, ext. 8327

Leann Darnell, M. Ed.
Academic Counselor
210-349-1169, ext. 8383

Holy Spirit Catholic School has two counselors on staff. Our school counselors implement a comprehensive school program that promotes and enhances student achievement. Counselors are available to help students, parents, teachers and administration develop positive learning experiences in personal, emotional, social, spiritual, academic/educational and career/occupational development.  Holy Spirit counseling program provide all students with education, prevention, intervention, and remediation services throughout the school year giving students a strong foundation for future success. Counselors work as a team in striving to meet the demands and challenges facing today’s students.

Counseling & Guidance Program Overview

The Guidance and Counseling programs at Holy Spirit Catholic School are designed to be proactive and preventative as well as developmental.  The counselors work with students in four different settings:

Classroom and School-wide Guidance Lessons: All students in grades PK-8th receive at least one monthly guidance lesson in which the counselor in collaboration with the classroom teachers teaches students skills to enrich their spiritual, educational/academic, personal & emotional, physical and social lives.  The guidance curriculum is intended to support the objectives of academic instruction and to help students develop their full personal and educational potential.  We use the Growing in Love, Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling

Curriculum for Catholic Elementary & Middle Schools approved by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

  • Small Group Sessions: Some students may be referred by a teacher, parent, counselor, and administrator and/or through self-referral to participate in a small group setting (2-6).  Parent permission need to be completed to participate.  In small group the counselor meet with students for 30 minutes, once a week for 4-6 weeks to teach specific skills.
  • Individual Sessions: Students may also be seen individually by the counselor when they have a concern which may interfere with their ability to learn or concentrate on school work.  The same process in small group session applies.

Responsive: Crisis intervention services are provided to all students daily.

Individual & Small Group Referral Process

A teacher, parent, counselor, administrator or student completes a referral form and turns it into the counselor.

  • A parent permission form will be sent after receipt of referral form.  Parent must complete and return form to the counselor.
  • Schedule of sessions will be coordinated with homeroom teacher to ensure student does not miss out on instructional times.  A letter to parent will be sent with the schedule of sessions and topic agenda.
  • Sessions will begin thereafter.

All sessions are confidential.

Individual & Small Group Topics

  • New Kids on the Block–New students to Holy Spirit are matched with a buddy in their class to assist them in their smooth transition.
  • Sunshine Club–is for students who are experiencing difficulty with self-confidence, making friends, communicating, problem-solving and decision-making.
  • The TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More)–is for students who have a need to work on getting along better with others or making new friends.  Emphasis will be on the student developing good social skills.
  • The COOL Group–is for students who have not learned to control their own anger. Emphasis will be on students learning the steps to identify and display their anger in a healthy/appropriate manner.
  • Banana Splits–for students who are experiencing, or who have experienced, a divorce/separation in their family.  Students are encouraged to ask questions, clarify conflicts, and share feelings regarding divorce/separation.
  • Movin’ On–is for students who have suffered the loss of a loved one or pet. Emphasis is on understanding the stages of grief and sharing the hurt with others who understand.
  • Successful Student–is for students who are not doing well academically due to some organization and or time management issues.  Emphasis is on goal-setting, time management, organization and other academic survival skills.
  • SAM (Stress and Anxiety Management)–is for students who exhibit tremendous amount of worries, fears, anxiety and stress.  Emphasis is on creating a safe environment in order to identify triggers and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Peace Place–is for students who feel bullied or picked on by other students, bystanders who had witnessed bullying take place but didn’t know how to handle the situation as well as for bullies. We will discuss ways to stand up for ourselves by using appropriate words and confident body language and other healthy and acceptable thoughts and behaviors.

Character Formation & Skill Building

  • Self-Esteem Development: Students will learn to manage their feelings, have positive self-concept, and value their uniqueness.
  • Motivation to Achieve:  Students will be provided educational opportunities, develop their academic potential, take responsibility for their educational planning, and understand how career choices affect lifestyles.
  • Decision-making & Problem Solving:  Students will learn problem-solving and decision-making skills, set goals and plan for future, and accept consequences of their actions.
  • Interpersonal and Cross-Cultural Effectiveness:  Students will learn how to respect and accept self and others,  make and keep friends, and participate effectively in group interactions.
  • Communication:  Students will learn to effectively convey their message to others, listen respectfully, and accept other people’s point of view.
  • Responsible Behavior:  Students will learn to accept and respect rules, individual and group responsibilities, and manage their time efficiently.

Helpful Resources