Counseling » Counseling Corner

Counseling Corner

January, 2016


Happy New Year!



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 January 1. Create an account and ask your parents to help you complete this application for need-based financial aid.

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.



                  It’s almost your turn – you will be applying for college before you know it!

                  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. Remember the newly revised SAT will be given for the first time in March. Also, 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 22. 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 might need it and aim for the best grades you can earn.



                  Tenth graders will meet in small groups (without parents) with their counselors in March. 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.



                  Individual 9th grade meetings (including parents) will begin on January 12 and run through February 5. Be sure to share the invitation letter you received with your parents. 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!


Important January Dates:


Parents of Sophomores & Juniors (Freshman Parents welcome also) –

Testing Info Night: Information on the PSAT, revised SAT, & ACT

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. - SMHS Webb Theater


Seniors & Parents: Financial Aid Information Session – Focus on FAFSA

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. – South Pasadena High School Auditorium


Sophomores & Juniors (Freshmen welcome also) – SAT/ACT Workshop

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – 12:20 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (Lunch) – College & Career Center


Assembly for all students (double assembly day) – Micah Jacobson, "Making Your Mark"

Friday, January 15, 2016 – SMHS Neher Auditorium


All SMUSD Parents – Micah Jacobson, “The Power of Conversation”

Friday, January 15th, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. – SMHS Webb Theater

Partnership for Awareness presentation will focus on effective strategies to increase communications with today’s teens.


All Students – “The Great Kindness Challenge” will return to SMHS during the week of January 25-29. This week promotes acts of kindness on campus and off.