Hastings Advanced Academics

September 2020

This month continues virtual learning and a first for me - Virtual Open House! I hope you all were able to navigate through the presentations and learn a bit more about your teachers and courses. It is difficult for me to believe we've already made it through seven weeks of school! Hopefully you have settled in to the routine of online learning and have figured out ways that works for you to find success.

Progress report grades were published last week and can be viewed on your home access account. The end of the first nine week grading period is October 2, which marks our halfway point through the semester. I don't know about y'all but I feel time is flying by! Although Autumn in Houston certainly does not bring us cool weather and changing leaves to mark the season change, having the routine of school brings me some level of comfort. Personally I prefer heat to cold weather but I am looking forward to the cool fronts that come through this time of year!

Continue to stay safe and sane and hopefully we will meet again soon!

Student Recognition

NASA Opportunity for High School Juniors

NASA is offering an amazing opportunity for high school juniors!

NASA wants today’s students to become the engineers, scientists, researchers and innovators of tomorrow. High School Aerospace Scholars offers a one-of-a-kind experience for Texas high school students to explore the possibilities of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related major or career. The adventure starts this fall with an online course. Highest achieving students earn the opportunity to attend the onsite summer experience at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

Check out more information at their website nasa.gov/has. The deadline to apply is October 21, 2020.

Actions This Month

It's never too early to start prepping for college! To see complete checklists and other resources, head to bigfuture.collegeboard.org


Create a four-year high school plan. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next four years.

  • Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges, and that you’re taking the right classes as early as the ninth grade.
  • Get to know the levels of courses offered by your school.

Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity.

  • Remember that colleges would rather see real involvement in one activity instead of a loose connection to several
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at ncaaclearinghouse.net.


Along with your family, do some research about how to obtain financial aid. Many students use financial aid to cover college costs. Find out what financial aid is, where it comes from, and how you can apply for it. Read the U.S. Department of Education’s Funding Your Education (about federal aid programs).

Participate in school activities or volunteer efforts. Extracurricular activities can help you develop time management skills and enrich your high school experience.


Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, social/cultural preferences, and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.

Learn about colleges. Look at their websites and find colleges at bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search. Talk to friends, family members, teachers, and recent grads of your school now in college. List the college features that interest you.

Make a file to manage your college search, testing, and application data. If appropriate (for example, if you’re interested in drama, music, art, sports, etc.), start to gather material for a portfolio.


Strengthen Your College List: Meet with a counselor about your college choices and, if you’ve not yet done so, download college applications and financial aid forms. Make sure you have a balanced list of academic safety, fit, and reach schools. Plan to visit as many of these colleges as possible.

Complete the FAFSA: To apply for most financial aid, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. Oct. 1 is the first day you can file the FAFSA.

Complete the CSS Profile: CSS Profile™ is an online application used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to determine eligibility for their aid dollars.

Prepare early decision/early action or rolling admission applications as soon as possible. Nov. 1–15: Colleges may require test scores and applications between these dates

for early decision admission.

Teacher Spotlight

Ms. Redmon's Appointment Calendar

To help with availability and assistance, I have set up appointment slots through my Google calendar for booking through October 2, 2020. All appointments will be held on Zoom and the information is posted in the appointment slots.

Study Tip

Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information we're expected to learn. Here's a strategy that helps summarize and process information for studying. Try a one-pager for any subject! Take what you've learned—from a history textbook, a novel, a poem, a podcast, a Ted Talk, a guest speaker, a film—and put the highlights onto a single piece of paper. As you mix images, symbols, and written information you process the content in a meaningful way. Check out the templates and examples to get started or create your own from scratch. Let me know if you have any questions or would like help in getting started!