El Modena Counseling Newsletter

9.1.20 Follow us on Twitter @ElMo_counseling & Instagram!

Flo Rida - Good Feeling (Audio)

I Gotta Good Feeling

Welcome back! Here we are coming back from the longest spring break of our lives and jumping into a new school year! It wasn't all bad, right? Working from home in our pj's was pretty cozy on those rainy days. But then the sun came out, we missed our friends, we missed school, we missed LIFE! So, I'm here to bring you some good news!!! Hit play on my welcome back song above and settle in to read all the latest updates from your El Modena Counseling Team.

I GOTTA GOOD FEELING we are going to be back together on campus again, FINALLY, very soon! Are you stoked? Are you anxious? Some may have mixed feelings about that - me too! Learning from home has it perks and challenges. Some of us don't feel so sure about going back. So here we go again, ready to pivot like Ross and his couch in that crowded stairwell. It will be great to be together, but it will be different. Let's choose to make the most of it! Let's choose to take a deep breath and continue to take it all one day at a time. When we feel overwhelmed, we will stay focused on today. WE CAN DO THIS! Your El Modena Counseling Team loves you and misses you dearly. We are here to support you in any way that you need. Never hesitate to reach out to us.

We look forward to seeing you very soon!

Love & hugs to you all,

Mrs. E


Senior Spotlight

Seniors, what is your post-high school plan? What are the steps you need to take to get there? The time is now to start the planning process. Here are some helpful links for the purpose of your planning. In addition, counselors are available to meet with you and help you individually by way of e-mail, phone or a virtual meeting. Fill out a Google form for your counselor if you would like to request a meeting: https://www.elmodenahs.org/counseling

Class of 2021 Remind Opt-In

Get timely senior updates, messages, college info and more!

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#WhyApply Day - Sept. 18

The college application process can be daunting for students - especially those who are the first in their families to go to college. This year especially, students need to know that college is still the most important investment they can make in their future.

Common App will team up with the American College Application Campaign, NACAC, and myOptions to host the #WhyApply Twitter chat on Sept. 10 at 11am.

Common Application Info

Are you planning to apply to any private colleges? Many use the Common Application, which requires teacher and counselor recommendations. Start the application process now so that you can request your teacher and counselor recommendations early! We require 2 weeks' advance notice to complete your college recommendation. Some of your applications will be due during the holidays, so be sure to check those deadlines, apply early and make sure you have requested your teacher and counselor recommendations with holidays in mind.

In addition, you need to personally speak to your counselor and teachers about your Common Application plans and deadlines. Do not assume they received your request as strange things do happen in the virtual world of e-mail and internet!

Link to Common Application: https://www.commonapp.org/

Tips on Applying: https://www.commonapp.org/apply/first-time-students

University of California Updates & Application Link

  • October 1: Financial aid: FAFSA and Cal Grant Verification Form opens for applicants

  • November 1-30 : Submission period for the fall 2021 application

  • Application Fee: $70 per UC Campus (fee waiver info is within the application)

California State University Updates & Application Link

  • October 1 - Fall 2021 application opens
  • October 1: Financial aid: FAFSA and Cal Grant Verification Form opens for applicants
  • October 1 - December 4-: Submission period for the fall 2021 application
  • Application Fee: $70 per CSU campus (fee waiver info is within the application)
  • Application Link: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/freshman
  • Need extra help? Check out CSUF's outreach events for additional application, FAFSA and family workshops: http://www.fullerton.edu/or/webinar_series/index.php

SCC & Community College Info

Are you planning to attend community college after high school? Did you know that the first two years of tuition can be waived through the California College Promise Grant?

Here is some additional important information on the community colleges:

  • Most have an early welcome application program. Don't miss this! Here is the link to explore CA community colleges and apply: https://home.cccapply.org/en/
  • Are you planning to attend SCC? Info will be coming out soon regarding a series of virtual application and financial aid workshops. Stay tuned!

Virtual College Fairs & College Visits

Do your college research from home! Here is a link to some upcoming virtual college fairs:


Thinking of applying to colleges outside of CA? Here are some fall webinars for you:


In addition, it's important to visit colleges when you have the chance. Although most colleges are not currently doing campus tours, you can still take a drive to a campus, check out the local area and visit the college online as well to decide if a college is a good fit for you. How do you know if a college is a good fit? Here are some tips to decide:


Financial Aid Information

College can be expensive these days! If you are smart about your approach, it can also be highly affordable. It takes creativity and a plan to graduate debt free or as close as possible! Here are some helpful links to get the planning started.


Check our El Modena website frequently for scholarships being offered in our local area. These are the ones you don't want to miss as the pool of applicants is much smaller than scholarships you find online. https://www.elmodenahs.org/counseling/scholarship-information

More helpful tips on obtaining scholarships: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-and-scholarships/scholarships-start-here

Scholarships open now:

Class of 2021 Cap, Gown & Grad Announcements Info

Here is our El Modena specific link to all Jostens info: https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1005875/El-Modena-High-School/

Graduation packets will also be mailed out at the beginning of October. Here are some easy tips on how to order:

  • Order Online 24/7 @ www.jostens.com
  • Order by Phone: 1-800-JOSTENS (800-567-8367)
  • Order by Mail – PO Box 512 – Owatonna, MN 55060
  • Order in Person – Jostens Local Office – 711 W. 17th Street, suite E-7 – Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Requesting Transcripts

Transcripts are requested online through Parchment:


If you need assistance with ordering your transcript, please contact our registrar, Mrs. Gresham, mgresham@orangeusd.org

In addition, if you qualify for free and reduced lunch, you also qualify for a Parchment fee waiver. Please contact Mrs. Gresham to utilize your fee waiver BEFORE you order a transcript.

Just for Juniors - PSAT Test Date: Saturday, October 17 - Deadline to Sign Up is Friday, 9/11

This year, Orange Unified School District will be offering the College Board’s PSAT/NMSQT to all interested 11th graders on Saturday, October 17, 2020. These scores are used by the high schools to support Advanced Placement course enrollment and by the National Merit Scholarship Program for national recognition and college scholarships for students who meet the requirements. Also, students can participate in the Student Search Service through their College Board account to gain access to additional scholarship opportunities and information about colleges.

Link to sign up (students must be logged into their OUSD Google account to sign up):


College Planning for 11th Graders

This is a big year! You want to stay competitive in your course selection while maintaining the highest GPA possible. Although it's tough to find ways to stay involved under our current circumstances, keep seeking opportunities, even if it's creating a virtual club! Here is a great planning link for your junior year:


College Planning for 9th & 10th Graders

9th and 10th grade is all about getting acclimated to high school, learning time management, self-advocacy and getting involved in campus life. We have seen many challenges in the past 5 months, but I believe it will only make us stronger as we look towards the future. For all of our 9th and 10th graders out there, it's never too early to start thinking about college. Here is a helpful link to start the planning process: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/CollegePlanning/media/pdf/BigFuture-College-Planning-9th-10th-Graders.pdf

Although Orange Unified is not offering the PSAT this year due to our current circumstances, College Board offers numerous FREE PSAT/SAT prep resources including 6 full-length practice exams. https://www.collegeboard.org/

Distance Learning Tips & Resources

This website offers a wide range of support for parents/caregivers and teachers:

Resources for Students:

Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning:

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) Dual Enrollment

Did you know you can take college classes for FREE while you are a high school student and begin earning your college credits now? Check out the following info if you are interested in taking a college class at SCC and talk with your El Modena counselor about what class may be right for you:


Need a Device and/or Hot Spot

Laptops and internet hotspots are available for distribution at the District Office Monday - Friday, 12:30 - 3:30, Building J. No appointment is needed.

Resources for Free/Reduced Internet:


Need Tech Help?

Are you experiencing some technical difficulties with distance learning? Get help here:

Community Tech Support can be reached at 714-628-5372 or Email: techsupport@orangeusd.org

Please note that the community tech support line remains open for all OUSD students and parents from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mental Health Resources

Relief for Those Impacted by COVID-19