PNHS Guidance Newsletter

brought to you by the PNHS Guidance Department

Volume 2, Spring 2016

As we are winding down the academic year and looking forward to a bright and restful summer, we wanted to share information regarding all the things we've been up to. But most importantly, dates, opportunities, and suggestions for each grade level to consider pursuing over the break. As always, please reach out with any questions. We hope you find the information helpful and wishing you a relaxed and beautiful spring and summer!

A Brief Overview of what the PNHS Guidance Department has been up to...

  • Over 3700 individual student meetings
  • Individualized course planning with each student
  • Junior post-secondary planning meetings
  • Freshmen academic planning
  • Classroom career and post-secondary guidance and planning with all students
  • Healthy Plymouth Job & Volunteer Opportunities Fair
  • FAFSA Parent Workshop
  • "Financing Your Student's College Education" presentation for 9th & 10th grade parents
  • "Paying the College Bill" Seminar for 12th grade parents
  • AP exams
  • Cape Cod Community College On-Site Admissions

Counselor Caseloads

Just as a reminder....

Alida Nickerson:
All Freshmen

Mark Furman: Sophomores & Juniors: A-C, Seniors: A-Do

Jennifer Forand: Sophomores: D-J, Juniors: D-Ke, Seniors: Dr-K

Tamara Nixon: Sophomores: K-Mc, Juniors: Ki-Me, Seniors: L-Mc

Shari Kahle: Sophomores: Me-P, Juniors: Mi-P, Seniors: Me-Q

Andrea Norton: Sophomores: R-Z, Juniors: Q-Z, Seniors: R-Z

PNHS Guidance Department Late Days

The PNHS Guidance Department is committed to serving students and parents as best we can. For that reason, PNHS Guidance Department is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays until four o'clock, as we know school hours are difficult for some families to accommodate.

If you would like to meet with a counselor but need to wait until a bit later in the day... feel free to contact your student's counselor to set up this appointment!

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Congratulations, Seniors (and Senior Parents)!!! You are almost there! Please remember to to complete your Graduation Survey on Naviance by May 17th. You can find the logon here: This must be completed prior to graduation and will be how your counselor knows where to send your final transcripts.

Graduation & Senior Events!

Athletic Awards Night

Sunday May 22


May 25 at 7:00

Dinner in Cafe at 6:30

Seniors Last Day

May 26

Class Day

May 27 at 9:00 am in the gym

Senior Dinner Dance

May 31st on the Spirit of Boston


June 2nd at 6:30 in the PAC

Award recipients will receive an invitation

Graduation Rehearsals

May 31st and June 2nd

8:00 - 12:00 pm



June 4 at 1:00 pm at PNHS

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Junior College Planning

  • Determine your priorities and reflect on who you are and who you want to become: Why do you want to go to college? How do you learn best (discussion vs. lecture)? Do you want a large school vs. small school? How far do you want to go from home (also city vs. small town)? What do you want to major in (okay to be undecided)? What kind of people do you like to be around? What activities will you do?
  • Start doing college searches: Find some colleges that may be a good fit
  1. Use Naviance: go to your account, go under colleges, use either Supermatch or college search feature (you can save your searches, see how you stack up against former PNHS students who have applied to each school, and also add colleges to your favorites)
  2. Use College Board: – look under college search, this has a nice feature called 'How Do I Stack Up' where you can put in your SAT (or PSAT Scores) and GPA and see how you compare to the average student
  3. All of these searches will allow you to enter characteristics of colleges (size, location, major, difficulty to get in) and will give you a customized list of colleges. Be more specific with criteria to narrow down your list of colleges. Searches will give you links to each college’s website. Don’t let cost limit your search! Use the Netprice Calculator (available on each college’s website) to determine how much financial aid you could receive and what you can expect to pay for each college.
  • Attend a College Fair - You must do some college searches (see above first) so you won’t wander around these aimlessly. Meet the admissions reps from any schools you are interested.
  1. Boston National College Fair: May 22 & 23. Here is a link for more information:
  • Set up Visits to College Campuses - set up visits to any colleges that interest you. Do everything you can-eat the food, sit in on classes, see dorm rooms, talk to students (especially in your major) and ask lots of questions (check this site:!! Part of your visit will be a campus tour; the other will be an information session or an interview. If you are going to interview, you may want to bring a copy of your resume and transcript. Be prepared to talk about yourself and your interest in the college. Also, be prepared to ask questions. See me for a list of sample interview questions. Campus tours can be scheduled by contacting the college admission office or visiting the college website.

  1. You should take the June 4th (register by May 11th) test - register early. Test with essay is $54.50
  2. You may need to take SAT Subject tests as well (very selective colleges).

  3. If you are interested in taking the ACT exam, there is a test June 11th (register by May 6th). Go to to register.

  • Other Considerations:
  1. Keep your grades up!! Your transcript is the biggest factor why you will be accepted to college.
  2. Think about recommendations. Typically two teacher recommendations are required.

  3. Look at common app ( for essay questions and start brainstorming.

  4. Discussion with parents about realistic expectations for paying for college.

  5. Continue to update resume on Naviance.

  6. Look for scholarships over summer.

  7. Try to enjoy all the opportunities and possibilities out there for you!

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Free Personalized SAT Study Plans through Khan Academy!

Khan Academy ( is providing a new online tutor that can take a student’s score on a practice college admissions test and then produce a fluid customized study guide to help the student succeed on the “real” test. Students who took the PSAT, a practice version of the SAT, can log in online and link their PSAT score reports to the tool, which will then produce a study guide specifically tailored to help them improve in areas in which they are weak. Students must sign up for this feature, although there is no cost; a YouTube video describes the process as three simple steps:

MCAS Testing

Sophomores will be taking the Math MCAS test on May 17th & 18th

Freshmen will be taking the Biology MCAS test on June 1st & 2nd

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Upcoming College Fairs

Boston National College Fair

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Sunday, May 22: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Monday, May 23: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Plymouth College Fair

Plymouth North High School

Tuesday, October 18: 6:00 to 8:00 pm

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Suggestions for Parents Whose Students Are Struggling in School

  1. Access the Aspen Parent Portal to view students attendance and progress in classes here: If you need to create an account, need information or helpful tutorials, you will also find it at this site. If you need help with your parent account after it is created, please email Aspen Help at
  2. Keep in touch with your student's teachers via e-mail. Teachers e-mail addresses can be easily accessed through our website at
  3. Attend Back to School Night/Open House next fall. You will be able to meet with teachers and receive important information on homework, assignments, tests and classroom policies.
  4. Acquaint yourself with the school calendar so you know when to expect progress reports and quarter/semester grades.
  5. Insist that your student keep a school planner with assignments and due dates recorded. Check it often to know when important assignments (essays, tests, projects) are due.
  6. Have your student seek out opportunities for tutoring. Talk to your student's math teacher to discuss the option of attending Math Lab that is held every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday during K block. Contact your student's counselor for more overall resources.
  7. Have your student stay after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays for extra help with their teachers. Late busses are available both days Teachers each have a day (or more) they stay late. Have your student set up a time individually with them.
  8. Encourage your student to get involved in our many clubs, activities and athletic opportunities. Research shows that involved students have a greater likelihood of succeeding academically as they feel more connected to school.
  9. On the flip side, determine if your student’s extra-curricular/outside-of-school involvements are too time consuming. Too much of even a good activity/job can be detrimental to good grades.
  10. Connect good grades with privileges! Results can be amazing when students realize their social lives, driving privileges and/or technological gadgets (cell phones, iPods, video games, computer) are at stake.

Summer School

Plymouth Summer School

Virtual High School Program

July 6th through August 2, 2016 @ PNHS


  • June 28, 2016 @ PNHS Room 133 (3-6 p.m.)
  • June 29, 2016 @ PNHS Room 133 (9-12 p.m.)

Summer school information will be sent home with all students who are eligible, with the final report card after the end of the school year. If students know that they have to go, they are encouraged to see their guidance counselor for the information now. Students have to qualify with a 50% or higher in the subject that they failed, and can only take a maximum of two classes per year. Students can only take four total summer school courses throughout their high school career. Students can also attend if they are denied credit due to excessive absences in a class that they passed. Please visit for the complete packet of information.

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Finally, PNHS Guidance Department wishes everyone an accomplished spring and restful and rejuvenating summer!