Thursday, October 31, 2013

November update

Now that the first quarter has ended, let's check in on a few fronts.

Report cards will be distributed November 14. Please follow-up with questions about progress directly with teachers, as they are best suited to answer questions about academic progress.

November 16 will be this month's College Shirt Day, so mark your calendars!

November 18 through 22 is American Education Week. More information will be available on edline and

School counselors will meet with American Government classes from November 4 through 6 in the computer labs to complete a Career Cluster Assessment in Naviance and begin to evaluate the merits of careers in a cluster that they find appealing.
On November 26, school counselors will conduct an academic lesson in all of the Biology classes to help the freshmen understand how their quarter grades add up to final grades and how to calculate grade point averages. This is important for students to take ownership of their grades, since grades in high school are much more transparent, predictable, and permanent than in middle school.

Between November 5 and 14, school counselors will meet World History classes first in the computer lab, and then in their classrooms, to take a personality assessment in Naviance and discuss how our personality types help us make sense of the world and find careers that suit our preferences.

Between November 4 and 15, school counselors will meet with US History classes first in the computer lab, and then in their classrooms, to take a career interest assessment in Naviance and evaluate the many ways different individuals can find satisfaction in similar career types.
Starting November and ending around the second week in January, each junior will have a 30-minute appointment (either 1:30-2:00 or 2:00-2:30) with their school counselor. Students and families were informed of their appointments when schedules were mailed in July, and students will receive a reminder in advisory closer to their appointed time. Parents are invited, though not required, to attend. Juniors will get an unofficial copy of their transcript, discuss their college priorities and preferences, and school counselors will help the students start their prospective college lists in Naviance.

Thirty percent of our seniors have applied to college so far! We've even started hearing about college acceptances. The school counselors have been working very hard to honor our commitment to send out completed transcript requests within ten school days. Seniors should never hesitate to schedule appointments with their school counselors during the complicated and arduous process of college admissions. We are here to help, and happy to do so, but solutions are most readily available when concerns are raised earlier rather than later.
Once the applications are in and confirmed with the colleges, seniors are urged to turn their attention to finding and applying for scholarships. Tips are available from the "Paying for College" page on the blog, and we maintain the list of scholarships at the PHSCollegeCash document. Also, participate in the weekly #CollegeCash twitter chat for more suggestions.
Mark your calendar for December 12 at 7pm. We are hosting a MHEC Money for College event (their website inexplicably says 9; rest assured we're starting at 7, if not slightly earlier). Delegate Dana Stein will be on-hand to hear parents' perspectives on the financial aid process, MHEC's Benee Edwards will discuss the FAFSA and both federal and state financial aid programs, and Central Scholarship Bureau's Jennifer Bauer will prepare families for the scholarship application process.

About 10% of students have been asked to have their parent sign a permission slip for a video during one of the career lessons. Mr. Goldman is applying this year for certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and one component of the portfolio is a 15-minute video from a lesson that he will need to critique and send in. Questions should be directed to him about the use and privacy of the videos.

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