Spring Semester Growth

Lisa Larsen, LPC
Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

I hope that each of you took the time to rest, connect with family, and be reminded of how blessed you are during our Christmas Holiday break. 

We are all excited to begin this new semester with your children as we move into the Spring semester of growth, challenges, and successes together. This time of year is when we pause to revisit and review our common goals and behavior expectations and prepare for what we see each year as literal leaps and bounds in students' development. Classroom teachers are taking time this week to review our SEL goals and reminding students about being kind to one another, using our manners with adults and friends, taking care of our school spaces with pride, and staying connected to all their caring support staff and teachers. We are reviewing procedures, routines, and safety and health protocols (we are blessed to have such remarkable nurses - be sure to share your appreciation when you see them!).

As parents, I encourage you to review these expectations with your children and remind them how important their job is to be successful, caring students. Stay connected and in communication with your child’s teachers throughout this semester. They are exceptional experts at what they do and both challenge and nurture your child’s independence and educational experience. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact them. Our partnership is key in your child’s growth and success. As a school community we are exceptionally grateful for our amazing families and the trust we have built together.  

Also be prepared for both ups and downs in the spring semester. The period between January and March can be particularly challenging as we see growth occur exponentially with two steps forward and one step back. You may experience push back from your child as they continue to navigate their independence both in little ones and adolescents. It is their job to question, push, test boundaries, and try out new behaviors and ideas. Your job is to be that consistent calming presence as emotions run big and to continue to set limits and boundaries with love and firmness. Children feel safest when they know the clear expectations and consequences for their choices. Creating those behavior contracts with them ahead of time will ensure participation and ownership of their own behavior. I encourage each of you to review our SEL approach to learning.

As this spring semester unfolds and everyone is working hard, stay your course! Be strong and keep in mind just how incredibly blessed we all are to work together in such a loving and exceptional environment doing the most important job on the planet. We are all a part of something amazing! 

Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.