Dear Students (& Parents): 

    I will meet with students in January for our Sophomore Planning Presentation (ROCK: Jan 23/24 and TLC: Jan 27 & Feb 3).  I want to share with you the information we will discuss in the sophomore planning presentations so the conversations can continue at home.  Below is an overview of information pertinent to Sophomore Spring Semester. 

    Semester Overview

    January 15:      Students Preview of the Communications Academy & SEA-Disc

    January 16/17:  Course Workshops – Students got an overview of courses and expectations at these workshops directly from the teachers.

    January 23/24 & Feb 3:   Sophomore Planning Presentation with Counselor.

    Jan 23-Feb 10:  Course scheduler open for student requests.  Students meet with me in person with questions during this time - NO EMAILS PLEASE

    February 10:    Course request window closes – all schedule requests must be finalized (rest assured that you will have time to mull over your decisions and reconsider them in May.  Between February and May, all changes must be made through me, as Home Access will be turned off.)

    Sophomore Conference Goals:

    • Recognize & access resources to explore personal, academic & career goals
    • Understand how current choices impact your future
    • Understand the importance of balance
    • Know how to communicate effectively
    • Identify personal strengths, values, challenges & boundaries 

     Some Items to Consider when Planning for Junior/Senior Years:

    • Graduation v UC/CSU eligibility.  Review your transcript and the information handed out for graduation compared to UC/CSU eligibility information.  Familiarize yourself with the UC a-g list of required courses.  Remember that GRADES are very important in terms of college acceptance.
    • SAT/ACT preparation.  The best preparation is to READ widely and do your best in the academic courses you are in.  You may want to review free prep information at the College Board site.
    • Academies for Junior/Senior Years
    • Naviance:  please continue to use this site to explore college and career options.
    • Plan a College Visit for this spring or summer (remember, you get three days of warranted absences – forms in Mark Machado’s office). 

    On-line Scheduling:  You will be sent an email from administration providing directions for on-line scheduling.  Sophomore Scheduling Advice is good to review at this time.  You may also want to read Designing a Year in Your Life, which is an overview of advice from Drake Counselors.  Try to maintain effective 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!

    SOPHOMORE YEAR COMMUNICATION:  During sophomore year, parents still generate a lot of questions for you, especially as they sense that you are under increased pressure to perform in the classroom, all while taking on extracurricular pursuits.  When I met with you sophomores, I encouraged you all to step up your game and take more ownership for appropriate self-advocacy and communication with adults.  This year, you students have shared with me that you feel more powerful, wise, and experienced.  You know how school works, what teachers expect, and how to figure things out as compared to feeling lost and confused in 9th grade.  You are ready to be a bit more large and in charge!

    This is an excellent time for parents to continue turning over responsibility to you.  It’s still a little scary for parents (because they are pros at managing things for you).  However, I encourage your parents to put together their questions and concerns (except in emergency or critical situations) and let you take charge of communicating with your teachers/counselor directly.  The goal is for you to become the pro.  Information can then be reported back to parents.  When you email your counselor or teachers, cc your parents, so that they can be assured that they remain in the communication loop.  This part sometimes causes parents a bit of trepidation, as they are secure in their communication abilities.  You may not master the art of perfect communication on your first attempt (or second), but it is essential that you students learn how to take on increased responsibility and independence.  The more you practice, the better you will become.

    Please put any questions together in a list to bring to me in person.  (Please DO NOT email me with questions now). Discuss your list of questions with your parents and add their questions into the mix.

    This is a fun and exciting time filled with opportunities.  Let’s work together to make sure that you are setting challenging yet reasonable goals, exploring opportunities, and making the most of your high school experience.

    Last updated by Sheila R Souder on 01/10/2020