Counselor Corner 2017-2018

May/June 2018 (v.6)

This is the final Counseling Corner for 2017-18

Have a great rest of the school year!

Paul Surdenik, Jennifer Vick, Carrie Laurence & Jim Bowker

Mark your Calendars:

Financial Aid Info Night: May 7, 6:30pm in Learning Commons. Click here for the power point

AP Exams: May 7-18 at Churchill High School in Royal Oak

Senior Final Exams: May 21st and May 22nd

Senior Honors Convocation: May 22nd @ ROMS, 7pm

Senior Prom: May 24th, Shenandoah Country Club

Graduation: June 1st @ Freedom Hill- 7:00

Final Exams (grades 9-11): June 12, 13, 14

May Late Start Days: May 2, May 9, May 16, May 23 (NO late start May 30)

NO June Late Start Days

Summer School Options:

ROHS Summer School: June 25-July 13 (long weekend for July 4th)

  • Classes will meet at ROHS (Health and PE will be held at ROMS)
  • Courses are $200 each ($100 if your student qualifies for free/reduced lunch).
  • Sign up begins May 7 on PAYSCHOOLS (link)
Although the student's course work is presented in a computerized format (E 20/20) students that register for this 3 week program are required to attend class to be eligible to receive credit.

Online Summer Classes:

  • Create your own online account at Michigan Virtual High School (link)
  • Registration at MiVHS is now through June 28th
  • Courses run from June 4 to August 10

Students choosing this online format for their summer course will work with their online instructor from home. Completing the course by the end date is required for course completion; students will work at their own pace and remotely.

Keeping kids productive during summer:

While most parents and students appreciate the slower pace and lighter schedules during summer months, it is also a good idea to help teenagers find ways to stay engaged and productive. While finding balance in your family's schedule is important year-round, many studies report that students who remain engaged in some meaningful activities over the summer months report increases in self-confidence, personal worth, and independence. Additionally, engaging in meaningful activities over the summer allow students the opportunity to avoid excessive screen time and build their professional "soft skills" such as time management, customer interaction, and money management. Not to mention, these experiences can be great resume builders for students with an eye on the future. Some possible activities:

  • A summer job: A student need not work 40 hours a week to have a valuable experience, nor does the job need to be in an area of future professional interest. Being a camp counselor, scooping ice cream or working fast food can all offer the opportunity to learn some very meaningful life skills (see above)--and put a few bucks in their pocket as well. Colleges like to see a work experience as well, as it demonstrates student initiative and responsibility.
  • Volunteering: Find an organization that could use some extra hands in the summer. Many churches and community organizations have opportunities over the summer for teens to roll up their sleeves and help. An organization like Summer in the City or this link from Metro Parent offer some great opportunities geared toward teenaged volunteers.
  • Job Shadowing: "I don't know what I want to do..." is a lament we often hear in the counseling office. And while we let students know routinely they do not need to have that figured out just yet, the question persists. Consider trying to help your teen arrange an informal job shadowing experience over the summer. Have a friend, neighbor, friend of a friend who is an engineer? a salon owner? an accountant? or does HVAC work? If there are career fields or general areas of interest that appeal to your student--help them reach out to people in these fields and try to arrange an informal shadowing experience. This can be a great way of allow your teen a glimpse into the world of work in areas that may appeal to them (or not--there is much to be learned from what we don't like as well).

Your student's Career Cruising account also has a link to help coordinate connections with professionals and opportunities in fields of interest. And the MI Bright Future website also provides a opportunities like job shadows, apprenticeships, mentorships, and part-time jobs with companies that have been vetted/security checked and are looking to work with students. Make this summer count!

FRESHMEN in particular...

With MYP/IB Personal Project just around the corner, your student may want to explore opportunities over the summer to get him/her thinking about the project and doing some preliminary work. Perhaps volunteering or interviewing people for the project over the summer (when not focused on school work and extracurricular activities such as during the school year) will yield helpful results for next fall.

SOPHOMORES in particular...

It's not too early to start "browsing" over college and post-secondary options. Summer can be a great time to capitalize on free time or travel time to take a closer look at schools and programs that may interest your student. Going on a family road trip? Perhaps take detour on the way and visit a college. Visiting family in a different state? Take a college tour of a nearby school while you visit. Visiting prospective schools is crucial in the selection process. We counsel students that it is a good idea to visits different schools: large, medium, small, public, private, etc. Having a basis for comparison helps students (who generally have little experience with college campuses) zero in on what they like and what they may not. A couple things to keep in mind prior to visiting:

  • Plan ahead--most colleges ask for at least 2 weeks prior notice for visits (U o fM and MSU require even more lead time)
  • Go on to a schools website and sign up for tours prior to your visit. Click the "visit" tab
  • Most importantly--have fun with it. College selection can be a stressful undertaking for students. Keep the visits "light" and remember the visits are just information gathering, not making a decision.

JUNIORS in particular...

April SAT scores should be available May 3rd: Your student can access his/her scores on their account,

Should I re-take the SAT? Should I take the ACT?

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.

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

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.

SENIORS in particular...

All colleges/universities will need to verify your final grades. You will need to go to and request your transcript to be sent after June 1st.


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


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.)

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If you see or hear something that doesn't seem right, you can submit a confidential tip to OK2SAY. OK2SAY allows anyone to confidentially report tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at Michigan students, school employees, or schools.
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Junior Leadership Oakland

This is a 3 day workshop for high school Juniors offered at Oakland Schools this summer.

Click HERE for the application and more information.


Is Social Media linked to Childhood Depression?

Here is a LINK to a thought provoking article from the Child Mind Institute on possible links between depression and social media use in children/teens. Worth a read.

Grief Counseling

SandCastles Grief Support Program is hosting a writing workshop for teens in grades 6 through 11 on May 5, 2018, at the Royal Oak Public Library. The workshop is open to teens who are coping with grief & loss of any kind, not specific to loss due to death. There is no charge for this workshop, and lunch and supplies will be provided.

Please see the attached flyer for more information! If you know of a teen who would surely benefit from sharing their story and coping with grief and loss, please encourage them to attend. Our staff will happily answer any questions you may have. Parents/guardians can register their student using our Facebook event or at this link.

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"
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

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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,