Bulldog Counseling Newsletter

December 2019

This newsletter's purpose is to share events and information from the Counseling Department. Please contact your counselor should you need further or specific information.

Here is a link to counselors by alphabet.

Happy Holidays from our team!

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We will soon start the course selection process for next school year, 2020-2021. Before Thanksgiving break, we began introducing important information that will help prepare students for this upcoming process.

Here are some of the topics and links to watch them:

  • What is the Difference Between Levels (Academic, Pre-AP, AP, ACC Dual-Credit, UT OnRamps)? Click here

  • How Many AP classes Should I Take & What About Summer Work? Click here

  • New Schedule & Level Change Procedures Click here

  • Who are These People and How Can They Help Me (School Counselor, College & Career Counselor, Registrar)? Click here

In January, teachers will show videos detailing courses and pathways. These videos will provide descriptions of courses, identify prerequisites, show how students will spend their time, outline homework expectations, and skills/interests/habits needed for success.

Counselors will begin visiting classrooms in January to talk about course selection and hand out choice sheets.

All videos will also be posted on our website under Guidance & Counseling → Presentations. Click here

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Students: If you are not excelling in accelerated classes, it may be necessary to examine a level change. Ask yourself: Do I have the time to complete the required workload in this course? Is the pace and content too quick and challenging? Am I putting enough into this course to succeed? Touching base with teachers is great and essential for determining if a level change is the best thing for you.

If you decide to request a level change, here is the process:

Level change request forms for the Spring semester are now available. Students may pick up a form and discuss further with their counselor.

Year long courses: Students must submit their forms by December 13th if they want their request evaluated before the start of the 2nd semester. If you miss that deadline you have until January 10th to submit your request. After January 10 there will be no further changes to year-long courses.

Semester-long courses (examples: AP US Government & AP Macroeconomics): Students may pick up level change forms starting February 10th and they must be submitted by March 6th.

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Final exams will be held at Bowie from December 16 - December 19. Final exams or projects represent 25% of the grade so they are important. The Attendance Incentive Program is highlighted and explained in detail in this Bowie Star Newsletter . From the newsletter: "Students who have maintained excellent attendance will be able to claim incentive “certificates” which allow them to replace their exam grade in one or two of their classes with their semester average, if it’s higher, when calculating the fall semester exam grade. Please note this is not an “exemption” because AISD board policy requires all students to take a semester exam in every class; even in classes for which they intend to use their attendance incentive certificate."

What's the best way to prepare for finals? We encourage starting final preparation early. Many teachers will provide study guide materials. Procrastination is not a friend when preparing for finals! Students would benefit from early studying of semester-long materials or study guides, checking in with teachers when they are unsure of curriculum (in FIT and before or after school) and finally... just doing their best. Here are some tips for studying for finals.

Do your best, Bulldogs!

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As wonderful as holidays are, they can also be stressful times. There are often many demands that approach during the holidays. While family time is awesome, it can sometimes be complicated. We hope your holidays are days of recharging and rest and time to build memories that bring you light in the cooler and darker days of winter. Here is a link that may be useful for making your holidays even better! Tips to De-Stress.
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AISD's Annual Scholarship Fair will be held on Dec. 9th at the Performing Arts Center for seniors wanting to learn more about possible scholarships, work on their FAFSA, or want more information about financial aid. Ms. Valverde will be taking a group of seniors to this event so if you are interested in attending, please sign up in Naviance. For more information, contact Ms. Valverde or view the flyer here.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened the 2020-2021 application on Oct. 1 and we are encouraging all Bowie families to complete this application by Dec. 15th. The sooner you submit the FAFSA the better chances you have of being considered for the maximum amount of financial aid you're eligible for. Please also be mindful of each university's scholarship deadlines and processes to ensure you will be considered for those awards as well. For additional information about the FAFSA and to see what questions are asked on the application, please click here.


The state of Texas requires that students graduate with endorsements, and endorsements are listed on students’ final transcripts. Students choose their endorsements in 9th grade, but they are allowed to change or add more as they progress through high school. All seniors were given an endorsement change form at their senior conference. Seniors, please turn in your endorsement change form by December 13th! If you have questions or need a new form, see your counselor. We will update your endorsements to make sure they are listed correctly on your transcript.


Did you know you can follow us on Social Media?

We are on both Twitter @ BOWIECOUNSELING and Instagram @JBHSCOLLEGEANDCAREER

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Please visit the School Counselor link on the James Bowie HS web page where you will find past newsletters, course selection info and various other items of interest!

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