Bulldog Counseling Newsletter

November 2019

This newsletter's purpose is to share events and information from the Counseling Department. Please contact your counselor should you need further or specific information. Here is a link to counselors by alphabet.


Happy Thanksgiving from our team!

We hope you and your family have a restful, happy holiday.

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Speak Up Training Comes to JBHS

During the month of October students got a couple of days off, allowing the JBHS faculty to come together and continue to work towards creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students. All faculty and staff participated in Speak Up training, which consisted of an intensive workshop where we discussed and practiced strategies for interrupting biased or discriminatory speech. As counselors, we are acutely aware of the emotional and psychological toll words can take on a person, specifically those who identify as a person of a marginalized people group.


Speak Up provides tangible options for responding to hurtful comments – interrupt, question, educate, or echo. You can read more about the strategies here. The training also includes a presentation of the Pyramid of Hate, which outlines varying and increasingly complex biased behaviors. All students at Bowie will also participate in this training over the course of the school year. Seniors have already undergone the training and all others will participate in training through their English classes.

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SAT AND ACT INFO: Which should I take?

The SAT and ACT are tests that help prepare students for the college application process. Both tests essentially cover the same topics and are used for college admissions decisions and merit-based scholarships. It's important to note, most colleges do not prefer one test over the other. It may be a good idea to try out both and see which one works best for you. Here is a link to explore that further: How to Decide


It's newsworthy to point out the ACT is making enhancements to its test and now has a method to re-take sections rather than the entire test. You can learn about these enhancements here: ACT Enhancements

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THE NECESSITY OF SELF-CARE

The counselors want to remind students (and the adults who love them!) to make the most of their upcoming Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving break is a great time to re-center and explore different areas of self-care. As the first semester comes to a close, many students are worrying about grades, extracurricular activities, and social situations. Without proper self-care, students can become burnt-out or emotionally drained. Counselors are challenging students to try a new self-care strategy each day of Thanksgiving break, such as going for a walk, spending time outside, experimenting with creativity, or meditating. We give our students this 99 Coping Skills handout. Print it out and ask your child to circle nine things they want to try over break - one for each day!
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GEAR UP FOR FINAL 6 WEEKS OF THE SEMESTER!

The end of the semester is slowly creeping up on us! We wanted to send a quick reminder about how credits are awarded to make sure your student meets graduation requirements. Credit is awarded on a semester basis, and it is an average of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd six-weeks grades as well as the final grade. Each category is weighted equally at 25%. We like to remind students that even if they have a bad six-weeks, they can still earn credit by boosting their other six-weeks grades and doing well on the final. For example, a 55, 75, 75, and 75 on the final will average out to 70% for the semester! Please keep this in mind during the 3rd six-weeks and in preparation for finals.
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COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER

We are now in the heart of the College Application process. If you need help and are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your counselor or Ms. Valverde at the College and Career Center. Now is the time! There is a plethora of College and Career information in the link below. Even if you are not a senior, this is good information for you to put on your radar. Please have a look: Link to College and Career Newsletter


HELPFUL COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS CHECKLISTS FOR EACH GRADE LEVEL:

12th grade

11th grade

10th grade

9th grade

THINKING ABOUT CAREER OPTIONS?

We know many students are unsure about what they want to do after they graduate from Bowie and also how frustrating, yet normal, that can be. For those students, we will be offering the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) on Nov. 12 and March 12 from 9am - 12pm. While this assessment is typically used for military job purposes, students can use the information to explore their strengths and possible careers. Once students receive their scores, they will also be given an access code for a career exploration page. This site will help students explore careers based on their strengths. Scores will only be given to students and not military recruiters. This opportunity is only available for students in 10 - 12th grade and sign up is required. We currently have between 40-50 spots available but priority will be given to seniors for this first assessment. (We encourage all interested students sign up regardless as not all seniors are planning to take this assessment.) Please sign up for the Nov. 12 test no later than Nov. 8 below. Students will be excused from class for this assessment.

COMFORT DAWGS

One of our favorite counselor activities is bringing Abner and Martha to campus! These beautiful golden retrievers make monthly visits to campus to offer some dawg love to students. Abner and Martha have had extensive training and have participated in offering comfort in post-crisis situations, nationwide. On their Bowie visit days, Abner and Martha generally sit in the courtyard with their trainers and wait for students to come by and pet them. Our students, and all the rest of the campus, actually, are fortunate to get to see these sweet faces once a month!
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