January Student Services Newsletter

Happy 2016 from the Counseling/ Student Services Department!

Exams: How to help your student deal with the stress.

Next week our students will begin exams. This can be a really stressful time for some students- test anxiety is a very common issue that we see in high school, In case you are looking for some tools for your student, I have posted some of my favorite techniques to help reduce anxiety below.

  • Slow your breathing: Take long slow breaths that completely fill the lungs and abdomen. Count slowly as you inhale and exhale, trying to increase the number with each breath. *This is a great technique to use during the exam as well!
  • Tense and relax different muscle groups. For example, if your shoulders are tense pull them back and hold them for a few seconds, then relax. This will help you to know how relaxed muscles feel and help you sense when you are tensing.
  • Engage in positive self-talk. This involves: (a) thinking about rational responses to counter negative thoughts (e.g., instead of saying “I’m going to fail this test” say “I have the ability to do this” or instead of "I won't get into college if I do poorly on this exam" say "this might hurt my GPA, but I can bring it back up" ); (b) thoughts that help you to cope with stress (e.g., “a little, anxiety is helpful will just try my best:”); and (c) thoughts that keep you on task (e.g., “I can finish, I just need to take it one problem at a time.”)
  • Get plenty of (extra) sleep, wake up early, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive at school on time to reduce any unnecessary stress on test day.

January Coffee with the Counselors: Tuesday Jan. 26, 7:15 am

Our monthly Coffee with the Counselors is being held a little later in the month than usual due to exams and the start of a new semester. We sincerely hope parents will join us this month as we discuss NCAA eligibility as well as other extracurricular activities at NCHS. We know many of you want to know what colleges are looking for in terms of extracurriculars, or you may just want to know how to get your child more involved with school (after all, studies show that students who feel connected with their school are much less likely to drop out and are more likely to perform better!). Please feel free to come, ask questions, or just sit back and enjoy a free cup of coffee!

*We will also spend some time talking about the FASFA and telling you about a wonderful opportunity in February to get extra support completing the forms.

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What else is going on this month?

With the end of the Fall semester quickly approaching, it is important that students have plenty of instructional time this month to prepare for upcoming exams. We will continue to meet with students on an as-needed basis, but will keep their time out of class to a minimum.

At the start of next semester the counseling team will finish "Junior Jumpstart" classroom visits in the English 3 classes, Our goal is to make sure that all juniors are informed and prepared to begin planning for life after high school. We will also finish our "Freshman Keys to Success" class visits.

Next month: During the first week of February, 9th and 10th grade students will receive their registration packet. Please review this packet with your child and discuss course selections. We will be meeting with students (by appointment) throughout February and will make sure that they are registering for the correct classes, but your input on elective choices and class rigor can be very helpful! Form are due back to student services (with a parent signature!) by Friday, Feb. 5th.

PSAT scores

If your child took the PSAT in October of 2015, they received an email on January 7th indicating their scores were available on-line. There was a second email sent with the access code. If you would like help interpreting these scores, Student Services is holding an information session on Thursday January 21 at 2:30 pm in the Media Center. Students and parents are welcome to attend. There is also information on understanding scores online at: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/scores/understanding-scores

***UPDATE: Due to a delay in the paper score reports being sent to schools, we will be postponing our information session. We will reschedule as soon as score reports are received.***