School Services » Counseling and Support Services

Counseling and Support Services


ESC Region 16's  Counseling, Career & Technical Education, & School Safety Services offer expert assistance, information updates, and high-quality training to support counselors, teachers, administration, and other school staff members designated to ensure the mental health, college and career readiness, and safety of the children in Region 16.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Abuse prevention and response
  • Bully, harassment, and dating violence prevention and response
  • Career and Technical Education
  • College, Career, and Military Readiness
  • Grief counseling and crisis team support
  • Substance abuse prevention and response
  • Mental health support and Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
  • School safety, audits, and Emergency Operation Plans
  • Suicide and self-harm prevention and response

Contact Us

Robin Terry, M.Ed.
Counselor Mental Health Specialist
office: 806-677-5157  cell: 806-433-7005
[email protected]

Mandy Abernethy, M.Ed.
Counselor Mental Health Specialist
office: 806-677-5144  cell: 806-681-1241
[email protected]


Mental Health/Counseling Resources

School Counselor Recognition

From the day to day tasks of school counseling, student schedules, crisis intervention, guidance lessons, academic advising, providing help with homelessness & necessities, and an overwhelming amount of other responsibilities; a School Counselor is typically behind the scenes making it all run smoothly.  This section is dedicated to recognizing across Region 16 and the state; the amazing School Counselors and the positive impact that you make on a child's life.  Encouraging and inspirational links will also be provided to appreciate and motivate School Counselors to keep doing your best work.

TEA Mental and Behavioral Health Contact Information:

Office of Special Populations and Monitoring
Mental and Behavioral Health Team

Julie Wayman, Mental/Behavioral Health Coordinator
[email protected]

Natalie Fikac, Ed. D., AWARE Texas State Coordinator
[email protected]

Counseling Advising and Student Supports Team
(CASS) Contact Information:
Stephanie Lerner

[email protected]
(512) 434-0775


Academic Counseling


This section contains links to information related to academic factors while a student is enrolled in school. These include things like records retention, at risk indicators, credits, diploma plans and PGPs.

Each school district must report the academic achievement record (AAR) of students who have completed a minimum, recommended, advanced (distinguished), or foundation high school program. The transcript forms must include the required standard content for the AAR. The words “academic achievement record” and “transcript” are interchangeable. The form must serve as the academic record for each student and must be maintained permanently by the district.  

Note: The AAR standards have not been updated by TEA since 2012

TEA Academic Achievement Record

Texas Education Data Standards (TSDS)

TSDS Web-Enabled Data Standards

State law requires every Texas school district to adopt an attendance accounting system that includes procedures to ensure the accurate recording and reporting of student attendance data. The Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) contains the official attendance accounting requirements that all public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools in Texas must meet. The agency collects student attendance data primarily to ensure that Foundation School Program (FSP) funds can be correctly allocated to Texas’s public schools.

TEA Attendance Accounting Handbook

Credit may only be awarded to a student who completed coursework that met all of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a state-approved course. Texas Administrative Code §74.26(a)(2) requires that all records or transcripts of an out-of-state or out-of-country transfer student must be evaluated. As stated, to award credit for a course a district must determine that the course met all of the TEKS. A district could refuse to award credit if they determined that the student was not proficient in the TEKS for the course. The district could also request that the student take a credit by exam in order to determine proficiency in the subject matter. 

Texas Administrative Code 74.26(a)(2)

This document contains course translations for 10th, 11th and 12th grades

Mexican Course Translations

Texas OnCourse provided Financial Aid Toolkits for:

TSDS Web-Enabled Data Standards

Graduation Type Code

Make sure you're coding your Special Education graduates correctly with the flow chart.

New Grad Flow Chart.pdf

Personal Graduation Plans

This document provides information about Personal Graduation Plans from TEA.

Official State Board of Education Administrative Rules Regarding Graduation Requirements

The State Board of Education (SBOE) has authority over graduation requirements for Texas public school students. Access SBOE rules on graduation:

The Texas Records Exchange (TREx) system is a web-based software application designed for the exchange of electronic student records as mandated by the 79th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 2006 (House Bill 1). Using the TREx application, school registrars can electronically request and receive student records for students who have attended or will be attending Texas public schools.  High school registrars and counselors can electronically create and send official student transcripts to Texas public colleges and universities using TREx to access the SPEEDE server.

To contact TREx Customer Support call (512) 463-7246 or email [email protected]


Texas Records Exchange - TEA

What is the AAR?
The Academic Achievement Record (AAR) is the record of a student's  academic achievement for their diploma program. This is also known as a transcript. There are specific guidelines for the minimum which needs to be recorded on the AAR.  Transcripts may be issued as official or unofficial depending upon the request circumstances. 

How does AAR Relate to colleges?
The AAR is a record to colleges of what a student has taken in high school as well as their GPA and testing history. Colleges request official copies directly from a school district and are responsible for obtaining authority to do so. 

How long is my district required to keep student records on file?
Academic records for students in grades PreK – 8 (a.k.a. cumulative records) are to be kept for 5 years from the date of withdrawal. Academic records for students in 9-12 are to be kept permanently. There are various rules on specific records.

Key Questions for a Counselor?
1. What is the record keeping system for my district? When will I receive training? 
2. What method is used for electronic record keeping and paper based record keeping? 
3. What format does my district use for the AAR? 
4. Who handles the procedure for transcripts? What is my role? 


This section contains links to information related to program based tasks that a counselor may be involved in or need a working knowledge. These include coding, testing, accountability and programs students may be enrolled in.

The Student Assessment Division manages and oversees the development, administration, scoring, and analysis of the Texas assessment program, which includes the following assessments:

TEA Student Assessment Division

TEA Testing

The CO22 table is a set of service IDs in the PEIMS system for specific types of records. Each area has a set of codes designed to help schools with assigning personnel, courses and completion by students.



Special education means specially-designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of the child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.

Region 16 Special Education Services

The University Interscholastic League exists to provide educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests. The UIL was created by The University of Texas at Austin in 1910 and has grown into the largest inter-school organization of its kind in the world.

University Interscholastic League

NCAA Eligibility Center


This section contains links to information valuable resources and sites that have been built for students and counselors by TEA, THECB and others as they plan for their postsecondary career.

Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning and potential for success in schools and workplaces around the world. We're passionate about making a difference in all we do. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues.


ApplyTexas was created through a collaborative effort between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the colleges and universities represented on the site. The goal of the project is to offer a centralized means for both Texas and non-Texas students to apply to the many outstanding postsecondary institutions available in Texas.


ApplyTexas Counselor Suite Instructions

Students who graduate with a grade point average in the top of their high school graduating class may be eligible for certain privileges when applying to college.

TEA Graduation Information

College for All Texans

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

College Board

New! College Board Counselor Resources

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.023, allows students in primary grades to accelerate a grade level and students in secondary academic courses to earn credit for a course on the basis credit by examination. Credit-by-examination assessments (CBEs) must be approved by each local board of trustees.

Credit by Examination from TEA

College Board CLEP

Dual credit allows high school students to enroll in college classes and receive credit for both high school and college requirements.

Texas Common Course Numbering System

Texas Administrative Code on Dual Credit
At the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid, our job is to fund students as they pursue a college or career school education. You'll see that the Financial Aid Toolkit focuses very much on that topic. However, we did want to share some information on college preparation to provide a fuller picture. Your students can find information at

The CTE resource center is a one-stop shop for CTE professional development, instructional materials, and program information. Many new CTE teachers come from business and industry, and need additional support and resources to be successful in the classroom.

Visit the Texas CTE Resource Center from TEA

Texas has now launched 60x30TX, the new higher education strategic plan which aims to position Texas among the highest achieving states in the country and maintain its global competitiveness. 60x30TX is entirely student-centered: its overarching goal is that 60 percent of young adults (25-34) in Texas will hold some type of postsecondary credential by 2030. It also proposes that these graduates will have marketable skills regardless of major and that, statewide, students will not graduate with debt exceeding 60 percent of their first-year wages.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Texas OnCourse empowers you—pre-K through grade 12 students, parents, teachers, and counselors—to make decisions that will help you, your child or your students succeed after high school.  It is the result of three Texas government agencies pooling our resources, with the help of UT Austin, in one easy-to-navigate site.

Texas OnCourse

The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.
Helpful Links

The new higher education plan, 60x30TX, focuses on this common goal by striving for 60 percent of the 25- to 34-year-old Texas population to hold a certificate or degree by 2030. The plan seeks to increase student success through the combined expertise and resources of many stakeholders. Because of these collaborative efforts, Texas institutions of higher education will have more opportunities to grow, which will enrich students and the state.

About 60x30TX

Texas College Access Network (TxCAN)


School Safety


This section contains links to information valuable resources and sites to help counselors in areas where students may need more intensive support.


Law & Policy





A SHAC is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning. SHACs provide an efficient, effective structure for creating and implementing age-appropriate, sequential health education programs, and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community stakeholders.

What is a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)?
Coordinated School Health (CSH) is a systemic approach of advancing student academic performance by promoting, practicing and coordinating school health education and services for the benefit and well-being of students in establishing healthy behaviors designed to last their lifetime.
Benefits of Having a SHAC

  1. Addressing the health needs of students through the work of the SHAC, helps meet district performance goals and alleviates financial constraints.
  2. SHACs play an important role in communicating the connection between health and learning to school administrators, parents and community stakeholders.
  3. SHACs can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the health knowledge and skills children need to be healthy for a lifetime.

SHAC Laws in Texas
Every independent school system is required by law to have a School District Health Advisory Council; of which the majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the school district. Title 2, Chapter 28, Section 28.004 of the Texas Education Code details the specifics of this mandate.

School Health Advisory Councils (SHAC) & Wellness Policy FAQ

The Texas Education Code §28.004 specifies that the board of trustees of each school district is required to establish a local School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction. In addition, a school district must consider the recommendations of the local school health advisory council before changing the district's health education curriculum or instruction.


The duties of the SHAC specified in the Texas Education Code §28.004 include recommending:
  • the number of hours of instruction to be provided in: health education in kindergarten through 8th grade; and if the school district requires health education for high school graduation, health education, including physical health education and mental health education, in grades 9 - 12;
  • policies, procedures, strategies, and curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent physical health concerns, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and mental health concerns, including suicide, through coordination of:
    • health education, which must address physical health concerns and mental health concerns;
    • physical education and physical activity;
    • nutrition services;
    • parental involvement;
    • instruction on substance abuse prevention;
    • school health services, including mental health services;
    • a comprehensive school counseling program;
    • a safe and healthy school environment; and
    • school employee wellness;
  • appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction;
  • strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by above in a coordinated school health program for the district:
    • school health services, including physical health services and mental health services;
    • a comprehensive school counseling program;
    • a safe and healthy school environment; and
    • school employee wellness;
  • joint use agreements or strategies for collaboration between the school district and community organizations or agencies; and
  • strategies to increase parental awareness regarding:
    • risky behaviors and early warning signs of suicide risks and behavioral health concerns, including mental health disorders and substance use disorders; and
    • available community programs and services that address risky behaviors, suicide risks, and behavioral health concerns
  • appropriate grade levels and curriculum for instruction regarding opioid addiction and abuse and methods of administering an opioid antagonist.
  • The Texas Education Code §28.004(c)(3) specifies that the local school health advisory council's duties include recommending appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction.
    The Texas Education Code §28.004(e) requires that any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome be selected by the board of trustees with the advice of the local school health advisory council.


The Texas Education Code §28.004 specifies that the majority of members of the SHAC must be parents of students enrolled in the district who are not employed by the district. A parent is required to serve as chair or co-chair of the local SHAC.
In addition, the board of trustees shall appoint at least five members to the local SHAC. The board may appoint individuals from the following groups or representatives from other groups:
  • classroom teachers employed by the district;
  • school counselors employed by the district;
  • school administrators employed by the district;
  • district students;
  • health care professionals licensed or certified to practice in this state, including medical or mental health professionals;
  • the business community;
  • law enforcement;
  • senior citizens;
  • the clergy;
  • nonprofit health organizations; and
  • local domestic violence programs.
Yes, The Texas Education Code §28.004 (l-1) requires the SHAC to establish a physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee. The purpose of the subcommittee is to consider issues related to student physical activity and fitness and make policy recommendations to increase physical activity and improve fitness among students.
Recommendations made by the physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee should be included in the SHAC’s annual report to the board.
The Texas Education Code §28.004(d-1) specifies that local SHACs must meet at least four times during the school year.
Yes, HB 1525 passed during the 87th legislative session amended the Texas Education Code §28.004(d-1 and d-2) to include the following additional requirements for SHAC meetings:
  • At least 72 hours prior to the meeting, notice of the meeting (date, hour, location, meeting topics) must be posted on a bulleting board in the central administrative office of each campus in the district and be posted on the district’s] website.
  • Prepare and maintain minutes of the meeting, including the subject and deliberation of each vote, decision, or action taken by the SHAC.
  • Make an audio or video recording of the meeting and submit the recording to the district within 10 days of the meeting.
  • The district must post the minutes and recording of the meeting as soon as practicable on the district’s website.
A copy of HB 1525 can be found at the following web address: 87(R) HB 1525 - Enrolled version - Bill Text (
Aside from the specified duties in the Texas Education Code, local SHACs can provide valuable feedback to the school district on topics related to school health. The Texas School Health Advisory Committee (TSHAC) has compiled numerous resources to support local SHACs.  One document the TSHAC developed is titled “Topics for Local SHAC Meetings” – this resource includes a list of potential topics SHACs may want to consider addressing.  The resource can be found at the following web address: School Health Advisory Committee: Resources (
The Texas Education Code §28.004 specifies that the local SHAC must submit an annual written report to the board that includes:
  • any SHAC recommendation concerning the school district's health education curriculum and instruction;
  • any suggested modification to a SHAC recommendation previously submitted to the board;
  • a detailed explanation of the SHAC's activities during the period between the date of the current report and the date of the last prior written report; and
  • any recommendations made by the physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee of the SHAC.
The TSHAC has developed a PowerPoint presentation template to assist local SHACs with their annual report to the board. This template may be downloaded from the TSHAC website at the following web address: School Health Advisory Committee: Resources (
No, the Texas Education Code 28.004which discusses local SHACs does not pertain to public charter schools. It would be considered a best practice for a public charter school to have a SHAC, but it is not a requirement.
No, a district of innovation is required to comply with the state and federal provisions that are applicable to an open-enrollment charter school operating under the Texas Education Code, Subchapter D, Chapter 12. The Texas Education Code 28.004 which discusses local SHACs does not pertain to public charter schools, thus it would not be required of a district of innovation unless the district has identified having a SHAC in their plan.  It would be considered best practice for the district of innovation to have a SHAC.
HB 1525 did not change the applicability of TEC §28.004 in reference to charter schools or Districts of Innovation (DOI) that have opted out of this section and have not listed having a SHAC in their DOI plan. Therefore, the changes made by HB 1525 to TEC §28.004, do not apply to such school systems.
For more information on SHACs and a downloadable guidebook, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services, School Health Advisory Council Website: School Health Advisory Councils (
We are providing a few One Page fliers to use with staff and parents as we begin a different school year: