Counselor Corner 2017-2018

February/March 2018 (v.4)

Many activities are underway at ROHS...

Paul Surdenik, Jennifer Vick, Carrie Laurence & Jim Bowker

Mark your Calendars:

Counselor Chat:

Please click here for a copy of the agenda from the January 9th meeting and Parent Input form, if you are interested. (If you did not attend the meeting but would like to share your input, please download the form and email it back to your student's counselor.) Thank you for those who were able to attend--it was a great first meeting! Next meeting is scheduled for April 24th @ 8:30am.

Some of the discussion points from that meeting that we have implemented already:

  • Setting up a Remind 101 for each graduating class that parents are invited to join (see below)
  • More joint informational programming with ROMS for parents to attend
  • Looking into strategies and training for ROHS staff on the implementation of movement, breaks, and calming techniques available to students
  • Continued dialog and information sharing in future meetings
  • A later start time for Counselor Chat meetings to accommodate student drop of schedules.

We are still disseminating the information as we meet as a team. Much more to come--this was a great beginning and thank you for those who were able to make it. Please mark your calendars for our next meeting in April.

February: Credit Recovery registration is now open (see below)

February 6th : Oakland Technical Campus field trip (10th graders only). Pick up a permission slip in the counseling office.

February Recess: Feb. 19 & 20 (classes resume Wednesday, Feb 21)

NEW Junior Parent Meeting: Feb. 27th, 6pm, ROHS Auditorium (more information below)

Parent/Teacher Conferences: March 7th 4:00-7:00 in the gym

AP Exam Registration/Payment Deadline: March 23

Current student's enrolled in AP course (s) and plan on taking a 2018 AP Exam.

Spring Break: March 30- April 6 (classes resume Monday, April 9)

SAT (Juniors)/PSAT (9th & 10th): April 10-11

AP Exams: May 7-18

Counseling Chat: April 24th at 8:30

Can I request a specific teacher for my student?

We often receive requests from students and parents to place students with a particular teacher. At Royal Oak High School we strive to be transparent in our thinking and feel it is important to convey to students and parents that not accommodating such requests is not intended to be punitive or inflexible.

  1. Logistically this is not possible. To accommodate such requests when we are scheduling almost 1300 students, in six classes, for two semesters, in a tight scheduling matrix is simply untenable.
  2. Philosophically, it is important that students learn that they can be successful in myriad learning environments, with various teachers, and experiences. Yes, your student may have to shift his/her thinking, maybe even the way he/she approaches a class with a different teacher--but there is merit learning this skill and practicing this cognitive flexibility.

We want all students to be successful at ROHS and our confident in our teaching staff. We strongly believe students canexcel and be successful in various classroom settings.

Credit Recovery:

If your student needs to make up a credit, our after school E 20/20 credit recovery program is now open. Click on this link to register: After school credit recovery registration

The program runs Tuesday-Thursday, from 3:15-5:15. Courses are $200 each ($100 if your student qualifies for free/reduced lunch). Making up valuable lost credits now can help a student down the line and keep them on track for graduation.

New: Stay in touch with class specific announcements with Remind 101

Class of 2018: text code @e74gbc to #81010

Class of 2019: text code @27fgch to # 81010

Class of 2020: text code @kak74f2 to # 81010

Class of 2021: text code @h8g98h to # 81010

If you choose to enroll you'll receive the same announcements from the Counseling Office that your student is receiving (events, deadlines, announcements, etc.)

Advanced Placement Registration

Advance Placement Online Registration

Online registration is currently open. You will be able to register for AP exams until March 23, 2018. Once registration is closed, you will not be able to order exams.

Registration packet

Thinking CAREFULLY about technology...

Technology is a such a blessing... until it becomes a curse. Or a crutch. How to help your child manage technology in a useful and productive way.

Also, please take a moment and read this EXCELLENT article, "Have Smart Phones Destroyed a Generation? published in The Atlantic. A little lengthy, but a very worthwhile read for all parents.

FRESHMEN in particular...

Freshman it is not to late to get involved. Click here for the full list of ROHS clubs/activities.

Find time to meet with your counselor and develop your four year plan. Sign up in the student service center.

SOPHOMORES in particular...

Have you thought about your future? Are you interested in receiving a high school diploma as well as your associates degree in the next few years? The ACES program may be the right fit.

The Oakland ACE (Accelerated College Experience) program serves motivated high school students enrolled in participating Oakland County school districts. Students apply for admission into Oakland ACE in the 10th grade and, if selected, begin the three-year program in grade 11. Oakland ACE is designed to serve students who are at risk of not enrolling in post-secondary education. This includes students from families with little or no history of post-secondary education (First Generation) and students whose household income qualifies for Free/Reduced Lunch. For more information

JUNIORS in particular...

Junior Parent Night: Feb 27th, 6 pm. This meeting is for parents of current Junior students. This meeting will talk about college and post-secondary planning that can start now. Meeting will cover such topics as: college planning, college applications, SAT/ACT, senior year scheduling.

Summer Program: Parents of Junior girls interested in the Engineering field--check out this summer opportunity at Kettering University here as part of their LITE program July 15-27

SAT preparation.

SAT practice test

SAT answer explanation

SAT practice essay

ACT vs SAT. Check out the link for preparation tips/tools

Upcoming 2018 Testing Dates:


Feb 10, April 14th, June 9th, July 14th


April 10: All Junior's will participate during the school day.

Additional dates: May 5 and June 2nd

*To register your student for testing, please do so directly on the respective websites below

SENIORS in particular...

If any of the colleges/universities in which you applied to requested your 7th semester grades. You will need to go to and request your current transcript to be sent.


APPLY...APPLY...APPLY...what more can we say

There are many avenues to pursue with scholarships for college. One of the easiest, is to read the Senior Bulletin distributed by the Student Service Center each month. Click for the latest February 2018 edition. Give it a read and keep checking for updates each month (back issues are also located under the Counseling and Career Center link on the ROHS website)

Additional scholarships:

Community Resources and Upcoming Events

Child Mind Institute website: This is a great online resource for parents and professionals alike, click here. Current article a good one on "Supporting vs. Enabling"
Big picture
The “Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do” series is in its nineteenth year of providing helpful, hopeful, practical, applicable information about identifying and helping young people who may be experiencing or at risk for problems related to alcohol/other drug use. This free, ongoing, two-part series provides critical information and a starting point for further intervention when needed, for families and for professionals who want to help.

For additional information

Big picture

Should I retake the ACT or SAT?

This is a good question, and one only you and your student can answer. The advantage of a strong ACT or SAT is primarily two-fold. One, a strong test score strengthens your application for colleges. Two, a strong score may enhance your scholarship options (merit based and private scholarships).

However, it is good to know WHY you are electing to retake the test. Would scoring 1 or 2 (ACT) or 100 (SAT) points higher help you qualify for $1000 more in Merit Scholarships from your college? Are you close to getting into your "reach" school? If so, then maybe. HOWEVER...these instruments are generally very "reliable" metrics, meaning student scores don't tend to vary much from one test to the next.

Tips if you DO want to retake:

  1. Focus on ONE test (ACT or SAT) whichever one you felt more confident and comfortable with. All colleges take either test.
  2. If you want a different score, take a different approach. If you didn't do any prep work the first time, do some actual prep the second time. Online tutorials, test prep books or tutors/prep classes are all options.
  3. The ROHS Career Counseling Center website has a lot of information that might also prove helpful. Do a little research.

Homework Help:

Learning Commons: Monday-Thursday from 3:00-4:00 in the Learning Commons. Free, on the spot tutoring by NHS students in a variety of subjects. Stop in and check it out.

Math Help--free, no appointment needed:

  • Tuesday afternoon @ 3pm in Room 215 (Mrs. Hart)
  • Thursday morning @ 7am in Room 215 (Mrs. Hart)
  • Friday morning @ 7am in Room 211 (Mr. Morgan)

Your Counseling Staff:

Paul Surdenik, alpha A-B and OSTC students,

Jennifer Vick, alpha C-J,

Carrie Laurence, alpha K- Re,

Jim Bowker, alpha Ri-Z,

Karen Murphy, secretary,