Courtland Counseling Newsletter

In this issue...

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Upcoming Events

Grades 10, 11: Personal Finance and Economics: WISE Testing

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: May/June Testing Dates

Grades 9, 10, 11: Course Requests for 2016 – 2017

Grade 11: Placement Testing for Dual Enrollment Courses

Grade 11: Getting Your Junior Ready To Apply To College

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Alumni Spotlight

Upcoming Events

April 14: End of 3rd quarter grading period

April 15: Teacher Workday

April 14- April 20: Placement testing for Dual Enrollment courses

April 21: Report Cards given to students

April 27: Parent Conference Night

Economics and Personal Finance: W!SE Financial Literacy Certification

By now, you know that every student must take a Personal Finance and Economics class sometime before they graduate. Students can take this course during their sophomore, junior, or senior year. There are also options available during the summer.

In addition, any student graduating in 2017 and after, who is working towards the Standard Diploma must also pass a certification test in a Career Technical Education (CTE) course to graduate. This credential can be earned through a number of CTE courses. In an effort to make sure every Standard Diploma student has the opportunity to take a CTE certification, Spotsylvania County has decided to test any student working towards the Standard Diploma during the Personal Finance/Economics Course with the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification. Advanced Studies Diploma students will have an option to take the test, but passing is NOT required for graduation.

Current juniors and sophomores who are working towards the Standard Diploma and taking Personal Finance and Economics will be taking this test on May 18 and 19 (during their class). We want to make sure that everyone understands that passing this test (or another CTE certification) will be a requirement for the Standard Diploma for any student graduating in 2017 or after.

If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact your student's counselor.

May/June Testing Dates

  • May/June SOL Dates:

    • Senior SOLs = May 11 & 12

    • Math SOLs

      • Algebra Double-Block SOL = May 17

      • Algebra 1 = May 23

      • Geometry = May 24

      • Algebra 2 = May 25

    • Senior Exams & English, Science and Social Studies SOLs begin

      • June 2 = A1/A3

      • June 3 = B5/B7

      • June 6 = A2/A4

      • June 7 = B6/B8

    • Final Exams & SOL Expedited Retakes begin June 14 - 17
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Course Selection for 2016-17

The Counselors have seen almost every student to discuss their course requests for next year. We ask that parents review their student’s course requests in ParentVue. If you need a ParentVue account, please contact the Counseling Office. The deadline to change a course is July 15.


Applying to college can be time consuming and involved. Being prepared, organized, and proactive helps the process go more smoothly and assures that all aspects of the application process are completed in plenty of time to meet the college deadlines.

There are several things Juniors can do now and this summer to get ready:

  1. Register to take the SAT or ACT.

  2. Create a professional email address and make sure that this email is in Naviance.

  3. Develop a list of colleges that the student is interested in applying to and visit those colleges.

  4. Update the student’s resume. (Naviance has a great resume builder!)

  5. Add colleges to Naviance’s “colleges I’m applying to” list.

  6. Identify colleges that use the Common Application (Naviance does this for you) and create a Common App account. The Common App is now LIVE for juniors to begin creating their account so they will be ready to apply for colleges in the fall of 2016.

  7. Consider which adults the student will ask to write letters of recommendation.

  8. Investigate early application options (Early Decision, Early Application).

When seniors return to school in September they should:

  1. Be prepared to use Naviance to add colleges to their “colleges I’m applying to” list, request transcripts, request letters of recommendation, review scholarships, and sign-up for college representative visits. The counseling staff will host a Senior Boot Camp for parents and students in August that will address all of these topics.

  2. Know what the college deadlines are, which colleges are common app colleges, how many letters of recommendation a college will accept and if colleges have requirements regarding who should write the letters of recommendation.

  3. Know the college deadlines for special situations like applying to honors or scholarship programs.

  4. Have a resume prepared.

  5. Request letters of recommendation in person, as well as through Naviance, and provide a resume as soon as possible, but at least two weeks in advance of the college deadline.

  6. Be familiar with admissions options for each college to which they will apply (Regular Decision, Rolling Admission, Early Action, Early Decision).

  7. Begin working on their college applications as well as application essays or personal statements.

  8. Be able to navigate the Common Application (if applicable).
  9. Be ready to apply for Financial Aid starting October 1. (This is a much EARLIER start date than previous years.)


Students who take a Dual Enrollment course at Courtland are, at the same time, Germanna Community College students. Thus, the student must meet Germanna CC enrollment requirements, i.e apply to Germanna CC and pass the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) or submit qualifying scores.

The Virginia Placement Test is a computer-based assessment designed to measure readiness for college coursework. It is given in two parts: English and math. If students have already taken the SAT or ACT, they may be able to use those scores in lieu of taking the test.

Qualifying scores for the VPT English are SAT scores of 500 and above or ACT scores of 18 and above on the Reading and Writing tests.

Qualifying scores for the VPT Math are SAT scores of 520 and above or ACT scores of 22 and above on the Math tests, or a passing score on the Algebra I SOL test.

Students who are taking Dual Enrollment Pre-Calculus and students in the Nursing program may not place out of the VPT Math test with an Algebra I SOL score.

Students who do not have qualifying SAT or ACT scores will take the English and/or math VPT between April 14 and April 20. The VPT will be given in the computer labs and will start at 7:35 a.m. The test is not timed and results are immediate. Students will be notified next week of their exact test date.

The VPT in English is a two-part assessment of writing ability and reading comprehension. The writing portion is more heavily weighted and is scored on five writing competencies: organization; focus, development, and support; vocabulary; sentence structure; and mechanics.

The first part of the VPT in Math is computer adaptive – the questions progress in level of difficulty as the student answers questions correctly. Once the student reaches his/her optimal math ability, the test will terminate, and the appropriate college level will be determined. The VPT Math assesses understanding of the following math concepts: operations with positive fractions; operations with positive decimals and percents; Algebra basics; first degree equations and inequalities in one variable; linear equations, inequalities, and systems of equations in two variables; exponents, factoring, and polynomial equations; rational expressions and equations; rational exponents and radicals; functions, quadratic equations, and parabolas.

Retest Policy: A student may retest once and then must wait 365 days for subsequent retests.

Alumni Spotlight

Each month, we would like to highlight some really cool things our alumni are is the first one!

Julianna Procaccini - Class of 2012

During the Super Bowl, Julianna won $50,000 for tweeting a photo about Doritos! She will be using the money for medical school which she will be attending in the fall.

If you would like to read the article in Money magazine, you can find it here.

Congrats, Julianna!!

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