• Junior Conference Follow Up #1  (JAN 2020)

    Dear Students (and Families):

    Thank you for your focus in our meeting last week.  You now have a good overview of the next steps in the process of planning for life after high school and a wealth of resources to review.

    I have plenty of time from March onward to meet with you to review personal questions, so please take a few hours during the next month to explore some options, perhaps visit some colleges, and generate a list of questions to bring me.

    STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN INDEPENDENT RESEARCH AND SELF-ADVOCATE.  Hence, all communication about college and/or career information should be communicated by YOU, while keeping your parents in the loop and asking them for any support you need, as well as keeping them apprised of your goals and progress.  I prefer to see you in person, so please LIMIT ALL EMAILS.  Real students in person are my priority.

    Here are the Junior Tutorial Workshops being offered (you MUST sign up in advance on Naviance. Click on: Colleges, College Research, College Visits for dates/days/times):

    • Looking Ahead: My College Criteria 
    • College Search Assistance 
    • How to Start Your College Application Process
    • Financing Your Future: Financial Aid/Scholarship Preview (affered four times, attend only one)
    • Common Application Essay Workshop (attend only one date, but this workshop takes up both Tutorials or the entire 7th period)
    • UC Personal Insight Question Workshop (attend only one date, but this workshop takes up both Tutorials or the entire 7th period)
    • Community College Transfer Workshop - How to Guarantee a spot in the UC system, save $ and get a solid foundation for transfer (this workshop takes both tutorials & PARENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND)
    • International College Options
    • College Q&A: Every Question Answered - the Spring Wrap Up 
    • In addition to the above, we will be meeting with all Juniors in their spring English courses to assist them with opening their individual Common App account and understanding how to start the application process.

    Items to follow up on Now:

    • SAT and/or ACT Registration:  information, advice and registration links. I highly recommend that students take the exams early in spring with any retakes in late spring.  Completing all college testing by June takes a huge weight off of your shoulders in fall of senior year.  The UC system will only accept the SAT with Writing for eligibility.
    • The College Board offers a full set of services to students for whom payment of SAT fees may be a barrier to testing and applying for college.  If you think you may qualify for SAT fee waivers, please work with Lisa Neumaier in the College & Career Center.  Same applies for the ACT. 
    • Review our Junior Conference Meeting Notes and begin your independent research of post secondary options. 
    • Set up your WEEKLY PARENT CONFERENCE so that you can keep your parents apprised of your plans and progress.  It is also a time to request any parental support you need.   That may look like asking them for their Visa to register for the ACT/SAT or asking them to make you a cup of tea so that you can focus on your college search.  Encourage them to attend the Parent Workshops in Feb/April with me (they will receive a separate email about these dates).
    • Plan your Senior Year now and complete your schedule requests for senior year on Home Access.  For academic advice on courses required and advised:

    Please see Souder’s Junior Schedule Advice for Senior Year Courses. The deadline for requests is February 10. If you need additional 1:1 assistance, I will be available the next three weeks  - leave me a green pass. Please be patient, as the whole school is scheduling in this short window.

    • If you are considering AP/Honors classes, be sure to complete the Time Management Worksheet, so that you can maintain balance during the busy fall college application process.  Also review the AP/Honors Matrix for entrance criteria.
    • Read Designing a Year in Your Life and discuss it with your parents before you sign up for courses.
    • Talk with your FAMILIES about your personal goals in terms of next steps (i.e., college, gap year, internships, etc.). These goals were emailed home to your parents the day of your conference, so a quick review will ensure that we are all working toward supporting the same goals.
    • No idea what you want to do next?  Go to Naviance and take a career interest inventory to help generate ideas.  Meet with Mr Davison for ideas about internships or job shadows.  
    • Talk to a few senior students who are pursuing similar interests and ask for their college lists as a starting point for yours.
    • Talk with your FAMILIES about the financial support they are planning to provide you, so that your search is realistic based on their input.  Start considering Scholarships now – list in Naviance (under colleges tab at the bottom). To review student loan information, use the student loan calculators provided by colleges and review price, debt and graduation statistics. 
    • Interview one or two adults whom you admire or respect. Find out about their careers, their education and/or training, their joys and challenges.  Adults love telling others about themselves and their experiences so take advantage of this opportunity.
    • Plan a College Visit for this spring (use the breaks or take your three days of warranted absences – forms in attendance office). 
    • Review Senior Advice to Juniors.  I’ve compiled all of the notes for you!  Also, review the Alumni Advice.  Keep up your grades, maintain your study habits, sleep eight hours per night, spend time with your family, exercise regularly, and continue to increase your sense of wonderment about the world!
    • The more questions you ask, the more I can help you figure out options for YOUR future!

    I hope that each of you feels a sense of calm and assurance as you venture into the next few months of post-secondary planning. You know where to find me if you need assistance, advice, or a listening ear.  I look forward to working with you as you explore your specific goals and how you can work to meet them! 

    Sheila R Souder, Counselor


    Last Updated by Sheila R Souder on 2/23/2020.