West Hempstead Guidance Newsletter


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Warm Greetings

Greetings! As we try to stay warm through this winter, plans are well underway to help students prepare for next year and beyond. Please enjoy this edition of our newsletter as we feature information about course scheduling, college and career resources, and resources for our students and parents district wide. Stay warm, Spring is just around the corner!

National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week was celebrated during the week of February 4th. Each February school counselors celebrate National School Counseling Week. This week focuses public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors and is used to highlight the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. On behalf of the WHUFSD counselors, THANK YOU to our school community for your support and collaboration in working toward the success of all of our students!

Why Reading is Important in Pre-k through third grade

Early literacy has been connected to the impact of high school graduation rates. Research has shown that third graders who are not reading at grade level have a higher rate of not completing high school. It's important for students to start at an early age to get into the habit of reading every day . This will teach children valuable tools they need in everyday life.


9 ways parents can help bullied kids learn resilience

Bullying strips kids of their dignity and leaves scars. Some children bounce back, while others struggle to rebound. There is no one-size-fits-all intervention, but here are nine ways parents can build a child’s resilience. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/9-ways-parents-can-help-bullied-kids-learn-resilience/2017/06/19/a76e2cca-2e9f-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html?utm_term=.4a01cefbee40

S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Elementary Students

Just a few weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, didn't see his shadow and predicted spring will come early this year. For many of us, including elementary students, the thought of an early spring comes as good news. With spring comes longer days, more sunlight, and often less motivation to focus on school work. the second half of the school year is a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on what you want to achieve and set a goal for success. Setting a goal can help keep students stay motivated and focused. Not just any goal, but a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Take some time with your child over winter break to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Use the information below to guide you through.

What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal? A S.M.A.R.T. goal is a technique used to create and design a strong goal that leads to success. The technique will guide the goal setter by providing a structure to identify what one wants to accomplish and how they are going to accomplish the goal.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for: S - Specific, M – Measurable, A – Achievable, R – Relevant, T – Timely

S – Specific: Be specific about what you want to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it.

Good Example: I will memorize my 1-10 multiplication tables by using flash cards. I will practice them for 10 minutes every night after dinner with my dad.

Bad Example: I will do better at math.

M – Measurable: Decide on a metric to determine if you have met the goal. This is important because it provides a tangible way to measure progress. If a goal is going to take some time to achieve, checking in on this metric is important to show growth and keep motivation.

Good Example: I will be able to recite multiplication tables without making a mistake.

Bad Example:I will remember my multiplication

A – Achievable: Be sure that the goal you choose is something you are able to achieve. It shouldn’t be too easy and it shouldn’t be too hard. The goal is meant to inspire and motivate. If it’s too easy, there will not be a challenge. If it’s too difficult, it will be discouraging. You may need to guide your child through this. Considering the multiplication example, the goal would be considered easy if the child already memorized 1-7 in the table. It would be too difficult if the child has yet to master addition.

R - Relevant: Choose something that is relevant to the child and their schooling. For example, if the class has not been working on multiplication or math work where multiplication is an essential skill, a child may find it irrelevant and not be motivated to work towards the goal.

T - Timely: The goal should be time-specific. A timeline should be created or a date for completion should be set. This will help measure success on the way to reaching the goal.

Good Example: I will memorize one multiplication set each week and have all 10 memorized in 10 weeks.

Bad Example: I will do this by the spring

Final S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I will memorize my 1-10 multiplication tables by using flash cards. I will practice them for 10 minutes every night after dinner with my dad. I will be able to recite multiplication tables without making a mistake. I will memorize one multiplication set each week and have all 10 memorized in 10 weeks.

This may seem like a lot for an elementary student, but if you work with your child and go step by step, they will be able to create a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Once it is created, get excited about it. Have your child turn the goal into a piece of art and hang it on a prominent place in the house. Refer to it and stick to the plan. You can reward your child when you are able to measure progress and celebrate once the goal is achieved. You can also use S.M.A.R.T. goals for behavior, social, and personal goals.

Senior Square

FAFSA INFORMATION: The Free Application ion for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications are available online. College financial aid deadlines are quickly approaching. For help visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

Financial Aid 101 Seminar:

Monday, April 8, 2019 at Molloy College, Rockville Centre 7:00 p.m. Financial Aid Workshop- open to all- you do not have to be attending Molloy to attend the seminar! - please click on the link below for more details.


Do you have symptoms of SENIORITIS?:

Don’t let this serious illness catch you off-guard! All college acceptances are contingent upon your final GPA. Colleges have the right to revoke admission if the final GPA differs from the GPA at acceptance time. Many students, who have caught senioritis, have been placed on probation prior to enrolling in courses! Start your college years with pride, which means finishing your high school courses with a vengeance!!

Scholarships For Seniors $$$

The college process isn't over!!

The next step is for students to apply for scholarships. The school counselors have been working diligently with students to inform them of the multiple scholarship opportunities available to seniors. This information has been available to students in many ways: morning announcements, monthly scholarship bulletin (which is available in the guidance office, and on our high school website), counselors working with seniors on an individual basis, and assisting seniors with the Fastweb registration application during students' lunch periods.

Monthly scholarship bulletins on our high school website. http://www.whufsd.com/schools/hs_guidance_scholarships.

Fastweb. com:

Seniors who are preparing for the next phase of their education should also apply to scholarships listed on Fastweb. https://www.fastweb.com

Fastweb: This is an excellent scholarship resource tool for students to search scholarships for students to receive. This is a national data base with continuous up dates.

  • How it Works:

Join for free, create your student profile and a list of scholarships will be generated for the student. Featured college scholarships are listed on a regular basis. Fastweb members are matched to relevant scholarship opportunity complete free of charge. With roughly 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion, there are scholarships for every student's education goals, activities and interests.

Junior Junction

Junior Conferences:

The school counselors began Junior Meetings in the beginning of March. These meetings are designed to discuss pertinent information related to college and career planning with students and parents.

Student Athlete Information:

Want to play college sports? For students interested in playing Division I & II sports, it is important to select high school courses that will meet all of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) core requirements. Division III sports are available and require different eligibility standards. See your school counselor with any questions. To register for the NCAA Clearinghouse please use this link: https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/

Applying to College: A Timeline For Juniors

Winter 2019

● Begin preparing for college entrance exams (SAT and/or ACT). All West Hempstead High School students have free access to the Method Test Prep web program. Visit the registration page for information on how to access a free account to prepare for college entrance exams. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Dennis: kdennis@methodtestprep.com- 516-597-4997. Please visit the website listed below.


● Complete junior conference “Brag Sheet” which is in the guidance office and give it to your counselor during your Junior Conference with your Counselor in March.

● Register for SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Exam(s)



● Use Naviance Family Connection to research colleges

Spring 2019

● Attend Junior College Conference with your counselor

● Attend the Spring College Fairs:



● Visit colleges during spring vacations and weekends – be sure to make an appointment with the admissions office for an Information Session and Campus Tour

● Take the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Exam(s)

● Plan to participate in enriching summer activities, such as volunteer work, acquiring a meaningful job or internship, enrolling in summer courses at a college, etc.

● Speak with teachers and ask them if they would be willing to write you a college letter of recommendation

● Student athletes should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at www.eligibilitycenter.org ● Finish the academic year strong! Study, Study, Study!

Summer 2019

● Re-read all literature received at the Junior Conference

● Continue to research and visit college campuses

● Register with the Common Application at commonapp.org (August)

● Review college essay topics and begin to brainstorm and draft

● Link Naviance Family Connection account to student’s Common Application by signing the FERPA Agreement

How To Communicate With College Representatives

Each college has an admissions representative that is assigned to a high school. While every college has their own admissions process, the admissions representative is often the first person to read students’ applications and rate them according to the individual college’s standards. There will be a number of opportunities to meet with college representatives throughout the college journey (college fairs, college visits, interviews, etc.) and it is important to make a good impression. The representative may become an advocate for a prospective student in the admissions selection process, so use these helpful tips and put your best foot forward!

When to Communicate with an Admissions Representative:

● Meeting him or her at your school. Many college representatives will come to our high school in the fall. Meetings are held in the guidance office. Listen to morning announces, and visit the guidance office to be informed of which college representatives are visiting our school to meet with students.

● Visiting a college to tour the campus and/or for a personal admissions interview.

● Meeting the representative at a local college fair.

● Emailing well-thought out, specific questions. Do not email college representatives with basic information that is easily accessible on the college’s website (i.e. application deadlines, majors, etc).

How to Communicate with an Admissions Representative Face-to-Face:

● Dress the part - business casual is recommended when meeting with a college admissions representative face-to-face.

● Maintain eye contact and smile - show them your enthusiasm about the possibility of being a student on their campus.

● Do some research - it is always a good idea to have some knowledge about a college before speaking with a representative. Have a few questions ready to ask.

● Use appropriate body language - be aware of appearing at ease (i.e. no foot tapping and fidgeting, etc.)

● Thank the representative for his/her time - a handshake and follow-up thank you note is a nice touch.

10 Questions To Ask College Admissions Representatives

1. What do your students love most about your college? What do you believe is the most unique or noteworthy aspect of your institution?

2. Do students apply to the university, a particular college or to a major? Are some majors more competitive for admission than others?

3. Can supporting documents be sent to the admissions office if an applicant wishes to highlight a particular artistic talent such as theater, music, dance or another art form? Are these documents used in the application review?

4. What types of innovative technology will I have access to? What will I be expected to learn? How is technology used in the classroom? Do you offer courses that blend online and in-class instruction?

5. Can I have more than one major? How easy is it to double major? Will I have the opportunity to integrate majors?

6. Can you tell me about the services the Career Center offers? How does your university help students find jobs after college? Do all majors have the chance to have internships? What role does the college play in helping to secure internships?

7. Do students study abroad? How easy is it to fit a study abroad program in and still graduate in four years?

8. What do students do for fun? Do students and faculty attend school sponsored events, sporting events, theater events, and social events on campus? What are some examples of professor/student interactions outside of the classroom?

9. What is the learning environment like on campus? What are some popular student groups on campus? How do students participate in leadership experiences both on and off of campus?

10. What percentage of students graduate in four years? How does your college help students find academic success in college? Are there academic support services on campus such as tutoring and writing centers?

Save The Date

Most colleges and universities have a Long Island admissions representative who is responsible for reading your child’s college application. The college representative's information can be found in the admissions section of a college/university website.

When planning a college visit, encourage your child to communicate with the Long Island admissions representative and see if they are available to meet with you during your visit. Many of these representatives will be present local upcoming College Fairs.

Upcoming College Fairs

Sunday, April 7, 2019 from 12-4pm

NACAC National College Fair

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

New York, New York

Monday, April 8, 2019 from 5:30-8:30pm

Western Suffolk Counselors' Association

Radisson Hotel Hauppauge

Hauppauge, New York

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 5:30-7:30pm

East End Counselors' Association

Westhampton Beach High School

Westhampton Beach, New York

Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30-8:30pm

Nassau Counselors' Association Spring Expo

Hofstra University-Mack Sports Complex

Hempstead, New York




The College Search For Students With Disabilities

The college search process can be an overwhelming and daunting task. With tons of information to sift through, it is important that you and your child engage in open discussions about how they learn best. For all students, the idea of engaging with new faculty and classmates while studying rigorous coursework can be overwhelming, and for students with disabilities, it may create even more anxiety. With proper supports in place however, all students can succeed.

Keep in mind that all colleges are required to have a disabilities office, which helps accommodate students with different needs. In addition to the disabilities office, there are an array of supportive programs to help your child be the best student they can be.

Some of these programs may include:

- Extra tutoring support - Weekly meetings with a counselor or support staff member

- Transitional summer programs

- On-campus learning specialists

- Study skills workshops

As you and your child embark on the college search process, do not hesitate to reach out to your school counselor with any questions or concerns.

Pathways Symposium for College Bound Teens with Learning Differences:

Be your child's advocate in the next phase of their educational journey. Baruch College is hosting a symposium on Friday April, 12, 2019, from 9am-12:30pm.

  • Panel presentation with multiple perspectives will discuss transitioning students with disabilities from high school to college.
  • Meet with over 20 colleges in a fair-like setting to discuss your individual needs.

The link below you will bring directly to Baruch's site with detailed information about the event and how to register.


Summer Programs and Camps

Before we know it the school year will be over, and the summer months will be here. Many summer programs and/ or camps are beginning their registration. Below are a list of some summer programs and camps for students:

Kids Summer programs and day camps in West Hempstead:


Nassau County Summer Recreation Programs:


Future Stars Summer Camps:


2019 Summer Guide for Kids:


REACH Program- For students with disabilities:


Camps on Long Island that offer special needs programs:


Summer programs for Long Island Kids with Special Needs:


Sophomore Square

PSAT? When to take it?

Some sophomores do attempt taking the PSAT in their sophomore yea, but many students wait until their Junior year. this is because they have completed the necessary Math and English to be successful. If you think you may want to try the PSAT, you need to discuss this with your counselor before signing up. It is important you have a good testing experience when taking the PSAT. Not having all the preparation in place before attempting these tests could result in a negative attitude toward this type of test. It is not necessary to take this test as a sophomore to have success in your SAT testing as a junior. Take a look at this preliminary SAT at the www.collegeboard.com website.


Freshman Corner

When should I start planning for my child's higher education? NOW!!! It is never too early to start considering your child's plans and goals for after high school. Here are some key areas you can start considering now.

The Career & College Search: In the spring, the Freshmen class will have an opportunity learn more in depth how to utilize the career and college component of Naviance. This interactive and informative service provides our students with many opportunities for academic, college, and career exploration. This is a great starting point for students as they plan their future endeavors beyond high school.

College Fairs: Students should being to attend local college fairs to begin to revive information and such as learning about programs and admissions requirements. As well as becoming more comfortable speaking face to face with college admissions representatives.

Stay Focused and Involved in Extra- Curricular Activities: Students need to stay focused, and remember that Freshman year counts. Each year is a building block to the next. It's never to late to join a club or a sport. Being part of the school community outside of the classroom is a great way for students to enhance their social skills.

Middle School Maze


8th grade students have already had their individual meeting Mrs. Sigmon to review their course selections for their freshman year. We are happy that many of our 8th graders will begin their high school education with high school credits already completed, in Foreign Language, Living Environment, Algebra, and new to this year- Studio In Art (which satisfies the Art/Music requirement for high school). This gives our students opportunity to take more courses that are available in our high school. The incoming Freshman will receive their official copy of their schedule in the mail in August. Their school counselor's name and locker information will also be indicted on their schedule.

7th grade students will have their individual meeting, with Ms. Rivera to review their course selections for 8th grade in the upcoming weeks. 8th grade is when our students have the opportunity to Challenge Up in Science and Math. The Challenge Up letters were already mailed home to parents. If you have any questions regarding your child to take Algebra and/or Living Environment in 8th grade please speak to your child's current Math and/or Science teacher first.

Incoming 7th Graders: It's time to pick a foreign language, either Italian or Spanish for middle school. The forms for this were already mailed home. Please return them to the Mr. Matthew Caruthers at GW as indicated on the form.

Naviance Day: April 15th: The 7th and 8th graders will have the opportunity to learn about their Learning Style (for the 7th graders) and Career Interests (for the 8th graders).

Career and College Fair: In May, West Hempstead Middle school is going to host it's first Career and College Fair. This will give our students the opportunity to learn about different careers and colleges. If you would like to participate to speak to our students about a specific career please contact our guidance staff in the middle school- Mrs. Angela Sigmon and/or Ms. Stacey Rivera.

Why Kindness Matters

Teaching and modeling respect, empathy, compassion and kindness creates a school environment where students feel connected, safe and happy. A positive school environment makes an impact on all aspects of a student’s education such as attendance, stress, concentration, academic success, and social interactions.

Here are some suggestions on how to continue to foster a culture of kindness:

1. Be a Role Model. Role model acts of kindness and share with your child why your actions are kind.

2. Community Service. Participate in spreading kindness in the community. Some ideas are volunteering at a shelter, collecting food for a food pantry, making cookies for your local fire/police department, reading to elderly in a nursing home or helping someone going through a struggle.

3. One Person Can Make a Difference. Teach your child that even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference.

4. Words Matter. Avoid "bad" labels. For example, he's a bad person for what he did. Instead, use language that highlights behaviors and choices. Label the behavior, not the person.

5. Talk About Kindness. Discuss how it feels when someone is kind to them, or about a time when someone was unkind.

6. Consequences. Make sure your child understands the consequences (socially, punitive, etc) when they are not kind to someone.

7. Teachable Moments. You can find acts of kindness all around. Acknowledge when you notice a kind act and the impact it has made.

Internet Safety 101

Currently, the problem of online safety for kids is a red-hot issue. Everything has changed since the time we were children. It seems that not only adults but their children as well can’t imagine how they could live without the benefits which IT-specialists have created for us.

Children have incredible opportunities for entertainment and self-education on the web using modern digital gadgets. With this ultra-fast development of information technologies, you might be wondering: ‘’Is it safe enough for children to be online?’’, ‘’How to provide internet safety for kids?’’, ‘’How can we, parents, keep our kids safe online?’’ The links below are articles that can provide some resources for parents to answer these tough questions.

Smartphone app safety:


Internet safety 101:


Apps to watch out for -For 2019:


How parents can monitor kids online without spying on them:


Connect Safely:


Helpful Links for English Language Learner/Multilingual Learner Parents, Guardians, and Families- Enlaces útiles para estudiante del idioma inglés / multilingüe aprendices de los padres, tutores y familias

Engage NY:

EngageNY.org is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. EngageNY.org is dedicated to providing educators across New York State with real-time, professional learning tools and resources to support educators in reaching the State’s vision for a college and career ready education for all students.


EngageNY.org es desarrollado y mantenido por el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Nueva York (NYSED) para apoyar la aplicación de los aspectos claves de la Junta de Regentes de la Agenda de Reforma del Estado de Nueva York. EngageNY.org se dedica a proporcionar educadores de todo el estado de Nueva York con el tiempo real, herramientas de aprendizaje profesional y recursos para apoyar a los educadores en alcanzar la visión del Estado para una educación universitaria y de carrera listo para todos los estudiantes. http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/helpful-links-english-language-learnermultilingual-learner-parents-guardians-and

English as a Second Language at Molloy College:

Molloy College offers a number of levels of ESL training from beginning levels to the more advanced levels. All new students are required to take a placement test prior to registration to determine the appropriate level they should register for. There is no fee for this exam. Courses vary each semester. Sample course offerings include: Everyday English – Introduction to ESL; ESL Conversation; Intermediate Listening/Speaking; Intermediate Reading/Writing; Advanced Listening/Speaking and Advanced Reading/Writing. Call for more detailed information- https://211longisland.communityos.org/zf/profile/service/id/592031


Ofrece varios niveles de entrenamiento de ESL desde los niveles iniciales hasta los niveles más avanzados. Se requiere que todos los estudiantes nuevos tomen un examen de ubicación antes de la inscripción para determinar el nivel apropiado para el que deben registrarse. No hay costo para este examen. Los cursos varían cada semestre. Los ejemplos de cursos que se ofrecen incluyen: Inglés cotidiano: Introducción a ESL; Conversación ESL; Escucha intermedia / habla; Lectura / Escritura Intermedia; Escucha / Habla avanzada y Lectura / Escritura avanzada. Llame para obtener información más detallada.- http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2F211longisland.communityos.org%2Fzf%2Fprofile%2Fservice%2Fid%2F592031


New York State Testing Schedules

Helpful Resources for Parents

Getting teenagers to open up can be challenging for parents. The attached article give tips and advice for parents to help open the door of communication between them and their teenager.


AP Schedule for May 2019:

The 2019 AP Exams will be administered over two weeks in May: May 6 through 10 and May 13 through 17. Please contact your school counselor if you have any questions regarding AP exams. The Collegeboard link below has the information to registrar for the AP exams, dates, and fees.


Students Who Need Testing Accommodations for PSATs, SAT, AP, and ACT Exams:

Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for accommodations on PSAT's, SAT, AP, and ACT exams. All students, including those with IEPs and 504 plans, must submit an accommodations request to either Collegeboard or ACT.org.

Special Needs- Soccer Program- West Hempstead Chiefs Soccer Club:

FREE- TOP Soccer Program- Ages 4 to 25- April 6th- June 8th. Participants and volunteers are welcome. Register on-line through the West Hempstead Chiefs Web Site or call/text Lauren Lee at (516) 581-0636. http://www.whchiefs.com/site/

Final Thoughts:

"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think" - Albert Einstien

Remember, Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in positive success!!

Please contact Mrs. Angela Sigmon- (guidance newsletter editor), if there are topics or resources you would like to see in our upcoming guidance newsletter prior to this school year ending.

Angela Sigmon- School Counselor

West Hempstead Middle School and High School

(516) 390-3173- Middle School

(516) 390-3230- High School