Knights School Counseling News

Vol 9

Individual Visits and Scheduling

There are a few meetings left for the sophomore and freshman students but those should be done by the end of next week. I will be doing brief meetings for 7th and 8th graders right through to the last day of classes. 98% of course requests are complete and we will move on to the next step of checking availability of teachers and periods. I describe this process to students as a complicated math equation. The first step is to determine classes that are a necessity for New York State graduation requirements, then to determine the interest in electives. Our next step is to see about faculty availability as well as making sure we account for how many periods in the day. Then we put it together through seniority. Making sure the current juniors needs are met first for graduation, then the sophomores and so on. Students selecting their own electives are the current juniors and sophomores. The current freshmen and 8th graders do not have a lot of options as they have New York State graduation requirements they have to get out of the way early on in their high school career. The current 7th and 6th grade students have their schedules ultimately decided for them except for their language choice. I will be sending home with our current juniors and sophomores their course request choices before the end of May for you to approve and sign off on. They will then need to bring these forms back to me. This is a good way for you to know what they are hoping to take and have a chance to ask questions before September!

SUNY North Country Day

Many of the juniors went on their first college tour in our own back yard! The entire junior class spent a day at SUNY Plattsburgh learning about campus life, both academically and socially, and toured the campus. They were able to see classrooms, the new science building, the fitness facility, library, a dorm room and most importantly they were able to experience all you can eat dining hall food. College food might have been their favorite part! It was very successful trip and now gives them an idea of what they should be looking for and asking about when they visit other campuses. I

Other College Tours During the Summer?

I would like to see if there is any interest from the students and parents in taking tours of other college campuses this summer. Schools that are an option include St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Albany, Siena, The College of St. Rose, St. Michael's College and University of Vermont. Basically schools within a 2 hour radius of Plattsburgh. There may be some cost involved but if there is enough interest and it is possible I would be more than happy to take students over the summer. Please let me know as soon as possible.

The 'In-Between' Workshop

We held a very informative and well attended workshop for sophomore parents in April. We went over what New York State graduation requirements are, the difference between CAP and AP classes, what a transcript looks like, how to determine overall GPA, and what can sophomores be doing now to prepare for life after high school. For those that could not make it I have set up individual meetings if people have asked. If you could not attend the workshop and would like more information please do not hesitate to set up a meeting with me!

The Importance of High School

The 8th graders received a presentation on the "Importance of High School." During this presentation they learned about New York State graduation requirements, what a transcript is, what grades and classes it includes, how to calculate their GPA and how it is different from their report card average. They learned about what happens when they fail a class and what they should be doing to be successful in high school. They were very attentive and asked thoughtful questions! It was a great meeting for them!

Upcoming Workshops

A 3-part College Workshop Series will be given in May.

"The Competitive College Workshop" was given to juniors and their parents on May 3rd. The workshop was extremely informative for all that attended.

"The College Application Process" will be an in-school workshop given to all juniors on May 17th during class. During this time I will provide students with some guidance on beginning of the school search process and/or narrowing down their choices so that they are able to decide on what schools they would like to visit this summer and apply to in the fall. We will also go over the Common Application because believe it or not they can start this process now even if they have not decided what schools they want to apply to. The Common Application is a LONG and tedious application but includes over 600 schools. We will also go over the importance of the college essay and tips to writing it. Ms. Donnelly will also help with this portion. Students are encouraged to write their college essay over summer break so it is something they don't have to stress about when they come back to school. During the summer I will also hold a "Common Application Day" where students can come in and work on their application and get help from me as they go through it. That date will be emailed home. I encourage the students to come if they can because this will be less of a headache for them, they can get any questions asked, and I can provide them with all of the materials they need.

Our final workshop, "The Financial Aid Workshop", May 31st at 5:30pm, will be given to students and parents of the junior class. Kerry Lubold, a financial aid advisor at SUNY Plattsburgh, will go over the MAJOR changes to the FAFSA, scholarships, and answer any questions you may have. We will hold a financial aid evening in October for parents to come in and complete the FAFSA with her help. The earlier you complete the FAFSA the better because it means colleges can put financial aid packages together faster (this includes scholarships they provide), you will know what government aid qualify for (if any), and you can compare the cost of colleges your student is accepted to. EVERYONE should fill out the FAFSA whether you believe you will qualify for aid or not because schools use this information to award their schools scholarships and it is free to apply.

Books for the College Search Process and for Graduates

I have included two links below that are great book purchases for high school students thinking about college and for high school graduates!
Frank Bruni - Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

Upcoming Dates

May 3rd "Competitive College Workshop

May 4th AP English Exam

May 5th Last day to register for the June SAT

May 5th AP Calculus Exam

May 6th Last day to register for the June ACT

May 6th AP U.S. History Exam

May 9th AP Biology Exam

May 13th-May 15th International Students Trip

May 17th Junior College Application Workshop (in-school)