January 2017 Happy New Year!
Seniors - College applications are complete – congratulations!
Be sure your Naviance college list is complete and accurate, including decisions you have received so far. Counselors will be sending updated transcripts including your first semester grades to all of the colleges to which you applied before the end of January.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opened on October 1. If applying for need-based financial aid, create an account and ask your parents to help you complete this application.
This is the time to be researching scholarships, if you are interested. Check the scholarship list on Naviance. The weekly bulletin contains links to other scholarship search engines. Second semester grades count – keep them strong.
As a New Year’s resolution, plan to try something new this semester you’ve never done – attend an event, game or concert at SMHS, audition for Dancetra, volunteer somewhere new, etc.
Juniors - It’s almost your turn – you will be applying for college before you know it!
Please plan on attending Junior-Parent Night (students and parents are encouraged to attend) on February 15 as we kick off your college application experience. Our guest speaker will be Peter Osgood, Director of Admission at Harvey Mudd College. Mr. Osgood is a wonderful speaker who will present information and advice on the entire college application process. This presentation will be held in the Neher Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
If you haven’t already, this is the time to be creating a “testing schedule” for yourself – will you be taking the SAT, the ACT, or both? Look at the testing dates for both. If you are planning on taking SAT Subject Tests this spring, be sure to register for those.
Individual junior meetings (with parents) will begin on February 15. You will receive your invitation several days before your meeting. Before then please start thinking about what type of college you are interested in, how far away from home you think you would like to go, what size school you are hoping to attend, etc.
If you don’t have other plans, spring break might be a good time to tour some colleges – you will receive a list of local schools at your junior meeting.
Your second semester junior grades are the final grades that will be on the transcript sent to colleges in the fall. Keep focused on your schoolwork, ask your teachers for assistance as you need it and aim for the best grades you can earn.
Sophomores - Tenth graders will meet in small groups (without parents) with their counselors in early April. Before then, give thought to any questions you might have regarding SAT/ACT testing, summer school, summer programs, junior year classes, etc.
If you are enrolled in AP Biology, consider taking the SAT Subject Test in May or June. Be sure to take the Biology-M test.
Sophomores who complete their 40-hour community service requirement by May 1 will receive the Community Service Award certificate. Volunteer when you have time – see the weekly bulletin for opportunities.
Freshmen - Individual 9th grade meetings (including parents) began on January 18 and run through early February. Be sure to share the invitation letter you received with your parents and let the teacher of the class you will miss know. If the date does not work for you due to a test or a lab, see your counselor to reschedule.
Now that you have completed your first semester of high school (congratulations!) please remember that all semester grades go on your high school transcript. That is the permanent record of high school, and is the document that is sent to colleges when you apply. As you reflect on your first semester grades, focus on any areas that you would like to improve.
Set some goals and put strategies to reach them in place. That might include seeing teachers for extra help, changing study habits, spending more time reviewing/studying/carefully completing homework, etc.
If you haven’t already, make some time to start some volunteer work, join a club, and get involved. Attend a game or event on campus and focus on things other than studying. With good time management skills, you can have a balanced, healthy life!