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SSAISD CARE Zone adds new service hotline

As the South San Antonio Independent School District community continues to hunker down during the COVID 19 extended home break, officials have added a new CARE Zone hotline for clients who may need assistance in the wide area of services offered.

SSAISD Behavior Specialist Susan Arciniega says the needs and problems families are facing are exactly the same now that they’re staying at home.

 “It is an additional stressor for those families who are being impacted by a family member who may have been exposed to COVID 19,” Arciniega said. “We do have one family whose mother is a nurse who was exposed.”

As families face their new normal at home, challenges still pop up. They include access to food, assistance with acquiring Chromebooks and keeping students motivated to do their homework.

“Seniors are just trying to deal with the fact that they don’t know if they’ll be able to say goodbye to their friends, what will happen to graduation and how this is directly affecting them,” said Arciniega. “Seniors are hopeful that this will pass soon; they’re a little bored because they miss their friends.”

CARE Zone partners have set up a website with useful information on how to relieve stress and anxiety. The tips can be found at southsanisd.net under the department’s “Guidance and Counseling” tab.

Arciniega credits the cohesiveness of all departments who have stepped up during this COVID 19 outbreak.

“We have built stronger relationships for each child who is in need, coming together more, communicating more than I believe we have in the past,” Arciniega said. 

One of her biggest concerns is making sure every child is safe during this extended stay.

“There’s no respite for the little ones when it comes to child abuse,” Arciniega said. “They’re stuck at home.”

She says Communities in Schools checks up on about 80 children on a regular basis to make sure everyone at home is safe.

“It’s such a good feeling that everyone—truly you see the passion and the trueness of what they’re [CIS] doing for our kids,” she added.

While the workload of addressing the needs of the CARE Zone clients continues, Arciniega says she makes sure to take care of herself as well.

“If I’m not on the phone, emailing or talking to people…I do stop and I just start reading and get myself ground spiritually,” Arciniega said. “I find that my days are longer, but I still feel very blessed to be in this situation because I’m able to help.”

The new CARE Zone phone number is 210-965-2692. District families who may have other needs can also call the main administration phone number at 210-977-7000 and leave a message. Concerns will be sent to the proper departments for assistance.