Bulldog Bulletin

Smyrna High School's Counseling Newsletter

1st Quarter, August 2016

SHS Counseling Staff

Mrs. Walker: students A-D, walkerle@rcschools.net

Mrs. McKinley: students E-K, mckinleya@rcschools.net

Mrs. Dickerson: students L-Ri, dickersonk@rcschools.net

Mr. Lay: students Ro-Z, lays@rcschools.net

Mrs. Hockenberry: counseling secretary, hockenberryk@rcschools.net

Mrs. Benton: counseling secretary, bentont@rcschools.net

Follow us on Instagram @SHS_Counselors

A Note from Principal Powell

Welcome parents and students!

We are off to a great start to the school year. We have added some additional classes this year and also expanded our dual enrollment program. The state has also added some additional state dual credit classes that allow these classes to count toward college credit. Be sure to monitor your child's progress on INow parent portal and email your child's teachers with questions or concerns. Our fall sports and activities are in progress. Please come out and support these programs and encourage your child to get involved. Thank you for your support of Smyrna High. GO BULLDOGS!!!

Upcoming Events

Financial Aid Night: Thursday September 1, 2016

Where: 6:00 pm SHS Cafeteria

Who: Senior students and Parents of Seniors

$$$ Come to learn about: $$$

● Resources available to help you pay for college

●Tennessee grants and scholarships

● FAFSA completion information

Special guest speaker: Eric Farmer from TSAC

(Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation)

Class Visits

Counselors will begin class visits with seniors the last week of August. We will continue these meetings with juniors, sophomores and freshmen throughout the month of September and through the start of October. We will meet with students in their English classes and discuss important information for each grade level. Topics covered include graduation requirements, credits, importance of working hard, GPA and many other specific grade level items of importance. Please take the opportunity to talk with your student about these visits.

PSAT: Registration September 12-September 21st.

The PSAT/NMSQT (or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a preliminary version of the SAT. Not only does the PSAT help prepare students to take the SAT or ACT, a great score on the PSAT can also open the door to National Merit Scholarships and other awards. The test is available to 10th and 11th grade students, but only current 11th graders can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition.

To register for the test, students will need to take the registration fee of $15.00 to the Bulldog Bank during 4th or 5th period from September 12-21st. Upon registering, students will receive the PSAT student guide. There will be no late registration available as September 21st is a hard deadline.

The actual test will be given during the school day on October 19th.

More information will be given to students as time draws near.

Free ACT retake: Deadline to register September 16th.

Registration Deadline: September 16

Test Date: October 22nd

Students should report to the school counseling office to receive their free re-take voucher.

Click here for more information: http://media.wix.com/ugd/4ba853_02aa7cf9bcdf4518b8df9b8d7e92724c.pdf

Tennessee Promise: Deadline to apply November 1st

Tennessee Promise offers up to five semesters of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates. The program provides eligible students a last –dollar scholarship which covers full tuition and mandatory fees not covered by Pell grant, TELS, and TSAA. Students will also be assigned a partnering organization and mentor who will provide guidance and assistance as the students enter higher education. Student must participate with their partnering organization to access TN Promise Dollars.

Deadline to apply: November 1st, 2016

Website with more information: http://tnpromise.gov

Tennessee Governor's School

Tennessee provides 12 summer programs for gifted and talented high school students. Students currently in the 10th and 11th grades who would like to participate in a challenging and high-intensity program in one of the twelve areas will be able to apply. Once available, applications will be posted on the opportunities tab of the counseling website. Applications are usually available in late September. Completed applications are typically due to the counseling office starting in mid-October. Please see: https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/tdoe-governors-schools for more information regarding Governor's school. (Last summer's information is still listed on the state website; please re-visit the site in late September for updated information).

Stay Informed

Parents of SENIORS: Important Changes to FAFSA Filing

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required to be completed in order for your student to be eligible for Federal Aid for college, including the TN HOPE and TN Promise scholarships.

You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA earlier than in previous years. You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.

For more information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/2017-18-fafsa-updates-students-parents.pdf

School Counseling Appointments

When students would like to visit with their school counselor, we ask that they use the "appointment request" link on our counseling website. This allows us to review the student's request and meet with them at a time that is not disruptive to their academics. Students in crisis are sent to us when needed without an appointment required.

We have also created an appointment request link for parents. We have an open door policy when it comes to meeting with parents; however, having a scheduled appointment allows us to be fully prepared for the meeting and also allows us to make sure we are not involved in other meetings or counseling groups when the parent arrives. Please review the appointment links: http://smyrnahscounseling.wixsite.com/shs2015/make-an-appointment


Make sure that you are checking INOW Home Portal and keeping up with your student’s grades. If you have any questions about the grades, you can email your student’s teachers. If you have not received your login information, please visit the counseling webpage and click the 'INow" tab located on the far right of the heading bar. There, you will see a button to request log-on information.


Want to know about scholarships? Follow these easy steps below:

1. Visit http://www.shs.rcs.k12.tn.us/

2. Click on “counseling” at the top of the page

3. Click on grey tab in middle of page labeled “College Corner”

4. Scroll under the first picture to the grey button labeled “ scholarships”.

You will be able to travel to the website for that particular scholarship just by clicking on the link OR the application will be uploaded for you to print.


The Opportunities button on the college corner of the SHS counseling webpage is the one-stop for all things non-scholarship related. We divide page between college visits/fairs, community service opportunities, career/work opportunities, and "other". Other may include things like Governor's school, learning conferences, and general opportunities that our students can participate in. These opportunities are updated weekly.

Weekly Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences are offered every Wednesday at 3:45. Parents can request to meet your child's teachers. Conferences must be scheduled by the Tuesday morning prior to your planned Wednesday meeting.

Conferences are scheduled through Ms. Benton.

bentont@rcschools.net or

615-904-3865 ext. 23705

College Readiness Testing

Registering for the test:

If you are planning to take either the ACT or the SAT you must register online at www.actstudent.org (ACT) and www.collegeboard.com (SAT). You will need the following SHS High School Code to register: 432130

ACT test Dates

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