TOPS HS Super Scholar
Today we LEARN. Tomorrow we LEAD!
K12 Parent/Learning Coach Information
Do you need a place to go for tips, reviews on navigating the OLS, and perhaps to even find out outings, events, and make parent connections? Please visit our K12 TOPS Start Page. Bookmark the website and visit it often throughout the year!
During HAT, homeroom students come together to set the tone for the week with their homeroom advisor. There is important information shared, reminders, and even some time to celebrate student achievement. Some advisors even allow some fun chat time for students.
If you have not been attending, be sure and look for the link in your CC schedule! We'd love to see you there!
Your TOPS Faculty and Staff
Teacher Paws for Praise!
K12 National Clubs
Are you interested in building social relationships with other students across our K12 schools who may have a shared interest with you? Click on the link below to learn more about the clubs and sign-up!
Monthly Parent Chats
Each month our HS Advisors and Counselors hold informative sessions for Learning Coaches. These sessions occur on Thursday evenings, lasting about an hour. During these sessions, the academic advising and counseling staff will bring the latest updates on all things TOPS, as well as relevant information on high school graduation, scholarships, college applications, and more.
October 13th, 6-7 pm
November 17th, 6-7 pm
December 15th, 6-7 pm
Check your student's CC schedule for location/link.
School Outings and Events Calendar
Would you like to connect with other K12 Texas students and parents? Would you like to meet some of our teachers and staff? Please be sure and visit our calendar of events. We look forward to getting the chance to meet you in person!
Click here for our calendar: http://tops.k12start.com/calendar/
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th
Math and Science Outing
ALL EVENTS RUN: 10:00am-2:00pm
All outings go from 10am-2pm with a lunch time built in. Please bring your own lunches or bring cash to go eat lunch with our staff. We will take a lunch break from 12-2 in shifts at the larger locations. Bring EXACT CASH for admission costs so we can collect one group payment. Many places will not take individual payments by families. The first teacher that is listed below is in charge of the outing, so if you have questions please send that teacher an email.
Austin Mueller Park (Browning Hangar/Thinkery optional) across the street from the Mueller Information Center. 4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723 Teachers attending: Kimberly Berba, Seana Baughman, Mariana Ward, & Robin Moore; Browning Hangar is free; Thinkery is $10; We will be hosting a day of science demostrations and contests for kids to build and take part in. Across the street, families are invited to go to the Thinkery if they choose, cost $10, and play with the awesome hands-on STEM installations, made for kids of all ages.
Killeen Heritage Park HEB Pavilion 100 Park Ave Belton, TX 76513 Teacher attending: Lani Steinhaus; Free - Bring your lunch for a late morning of lunch and fun in the park! We will have science stations set up for activities Please bring 2 - 1L plastic bottles, a Gallon Size Ziploc and Cotton Gloves per participant. (it's a covered pavilion, so we will be there RAIN or SHINE)
Dallas Zoo 650 S R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75203 Teachers attending: Heather Horn, Bryan Lankford, Michelle Boman, & Dennis Quinton $6/ticket and $8/parking
El Paso Zoo 4001 E Paisano Dr., El Paso TX 79905 Teachers attending: Debbie Padilla, Mayra Aldrete, & Kelli Cager $8 students. $7.50 adults; Bring a sack lunch
Fort Worth Museum of Science 1600 Gendy St. Fort Worth, TX 76107 Tom Troxell, Cheryl Stanton, Kim Vandever & Michelle Crane $14 for adults (Cash only) $7.50 for children (Cash only) Parking-Museum Lot is $7.00 per vehicle and isavailable on a first come first served basis.
• Parking -Will Rogers Coliseum or the Heritage Parking Garage is on a timed rate and can vary from $3 - $10 within 4 hours. Fort Worth (TOPS): Fort Worth Museum of Science)
Galveston Moody Gardens 1 Hope Blvd Galveston, Tx. 77554 $9.95 per person. Includes two attractions. Rain Forest Pyramid and one other (chosen at arrival time) We will meet at 10:00 inside of the main pyramid at the food court. Teachers attending: Jamie Buchanan, Heather Lipscomb, Asmaa Syed, Kimberley Weathers, Stephanie Blondeau, & Michelle Hoo-Sheffer
The Health Museum 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004 Teacher attending: RaShida Roberts; $9.00 (over 12), $7.00 (3-12), free (under 3) - There may be a cost for parking, as it is in the museum district.
Heard Museum 1 Nature Pl, McKinney, TX 75069 Teachers attending:Jaime Compton, Maren Garza, Ashley Spencer, & Allyson Arnwine Adults: $9, Seniors 60+ & Children 3-12: $6, Heard Museum Members & Children 2 and Under: FREE
San Antonio Witte Museum 3801 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209 $2 per person Teachers attending: Charles Greene, Christiana Robinson, & Rebecca Sweer
Tyler TJC Center for Earth & Space Science Education/Tyler Museum Art CESSE - 1411 E. Lake Street, Tyler 75701; Museum of Art - 1300 S Mahon Ave, Tyler 75701 Teacher attending: Candace Leatherbury; Center Earth Space Science Education - $3 for students; $7 for adults. Tyler Museum of Art is free, but donations are welcome. There are gift shops at both locations, if desired. Lunch will be at Posado's on 5th street. The schedule for the day will be 10am check-in and exhibits at TJC Center , 11am Hidden Universe show, 12pm Lunch at Posado's, and 1pm Museum of Art tour and activity. **Parking can be difficult to find, so please leave early. Follow the signs on the TJC Campus to the TJC CESSE or Planetarium.
Click here to let us know which outing you are attending http://tinyurl.com/K12TX-OctoberFieldTrip
We will also have a virtual field trip in one of our blackboard rooms from 10 am-noon Oct. 7th for our families that cannot attend.
Here is new and relevant information about college preparation, financial aid and scholarships.
Continue your preparations for college:
1. Seniors: file your FAFSA forms in order to be eligible for financial aid! Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and file asap! Remember, many colleges will not award scholarships until you have applied for financial aid. Thus, even if you are positive you will not qualify for any aid, you must submit the FAFSA form your freshman year in order to be eligible for scholarships.
2. Juniors: sign up to take either the SAT, ACT or both. Sign up now at www.collegeboard.com for the SAT or www.actstudent.org for the ACT. You need to take at least one of these tests this spring or summer.
3. Juniors – make plans to attend college preview days this semester. Check out the college of your choice website for more information on Junior Preview Days this spring.
4. Continue to look for scholarship opportunities.
Need finances for your future in college?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FINANCIAL AID…
The question of how you and your parents will be able to afford college isn’t easily answered. However, by arming yourself with knowledge about the types of financial aid available you’ll easily be able to win the financial aid battle.
What types of financial aid are available?
Financial aid primarily exists in three types: Loans, scholarships, and grants.
• A loan is money that you borrow either from the government (known as federal loans) or a private lender such as a bank or educational institution at a specific interest rate, which varies from loan to loan. With most educational loans, you are not required to start paying the loan back until after you have graduated school. However, with some loans, interest will be added on to your original loan amount while you are in school.
• A scholarship is money given to you by an institution, corporation or individual that you do not have to pay back. Typically you must meet in order to be eligible to receive them. They can be merit-based, need-based, based on your gender, race, ethnicity, religion, parents’ employer, etc. or based on the field of study you are going into.
• Students must apply for grants, either in a formal application or essay competition. Grants are most often one-time awards, but once a student receives a grant it cannot be taken away. Undergraduate institutions and the federal government have grants available for students.
What are the differences between each type of loan? While scholarships and grants are typically easy to understand and apply for, loans are another story altogether. Understanding the different types of loans available is one of the most important steps you can take as you put together a payment plan for your college education. Federal loans are the loans most students rely on to finance college costs. They are financed by the U.S. Government; most are administered through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP), also known simply as “Direct Loans.” These loans are provided directly to the students and their parents, without going through a third party.
There are three types of federal student loans:
Subsidized Stafford Loans are available to students with demonstrated financial need as determined by the information you provide in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online at www.fafsa.org. One of the most important advantages is that the government pays for the interest on the loan while you are in school, and so you do not start accruing any interest until after you graduate.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to all students, regardless of financial need. However, you are responsible for all the interest on it, and must either start paying it while you are in school, or capitalize the interest (which means that the interest payments will be added to your loan balance, increasing the amount and cost of the loan).You can also receive both subsidized and unsubsidized loans at the same time, and there is a six-month “grace period” that starts immediately after you graduate, to give you time to find a job before you are required to start making payments on the loans. The amount that you can borrow through the Stafford Loan program is limited (http://studentaid.ed.gov).
Perkins Loans are awarded to students demonstrating exceptional financial need and are similar to subsidized Stafford Loans, because the government pays the interest on the loan while you are in school, and they also pay it for a nine-month “grace period” after you graduate.
• If you still need additional funds, your parents can take out a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, or PLUS Loan.
• Your parents can apply for private loans through a banking institution to cover the cost of your education. Grants and scholarships can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, and can be obtained by submitting applications, entering contests or petitioning companies.
Some of the best resources to find scholarships and grants are:
1. Federal Student Aid on the Web (http://studentaid.ed.gov).
2. Your state’s Department of Higher Education.
3. The Counseling Office. They will have the scoop on scholarships offered to graduates of your high school.
4. Your future undergraduate institution’s Financial Aid page. There you’ll find information on any institutional grants and scholarships available to incoming freshmen, as well as any requirements and forms you’ll need to complete for each.
5. Every year, scholarships are awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, Gates Millennium Scholars and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, as well as many other national programs.
6. Your parent’s employer. Ask your parents to check with their Human Resources Department to see if this is something that’s available to them. How to help your parents pay for your college?
The more you help your parents out, the better your chances will be of finding more sources of funding for your education. Consider the following:
• Open a Upromise account. Upromise is a company that helps you earn money as you spend money on everyday items. They have partnered with more than 600 online stores, more than 8,000 restaurants and thousands of grocery and drugstore item providers. Every time you make an eligible purchase, the partners return a portion of that money back to you. Those earnings accumulate in your Upromise account until you decide to use it to invest in a College 529 plan. To learn more, go to www.upromise.com .
• Invest in a 529 Plan (the sooner, the better!). A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution, which is designed to help your parents set aside money for college. Almost every state and many financial and educational institutions have 529 Plans. Contact your state’s Department of Higher Education to learn more.
• Be proactive in your scholarship search. Use all the tools at your disposal to search for as many scholarship and grant opportunities as possible.
• Boost your standardized test scores. Many universities base scholarships based on your SAT or ACT scores. Check with the schools you’re interested in and ask if they provide these kinds of merit based scholarships.
• Have your parents talk to schools directly. If you have multiple financial aid offers, you can ask schools to match another offer. Contact the Financial Aid Office of the schools you are interested in to see if they can match other offers.
• Keep looking for money, even the summer before you go off to school. Just because you’ve gotten the acceptance letter in the mail doesn’t mean there aren’t other scholarships and grants out there still available.
Remember to check the Scholarship Sections of your selected college/university web site for their specific scholarships! And remember, this is just a SMALL sampling of the many scholarships available. Sign up today for a search engine like www.fastweb.com; www.schoolsoup.com; www.studentscholarships.org; www.cappex.com; www.ecampustours.com; www.collegefortexans.com; or www.wiredscholar.com so they will EMAIL you all scholarships that match your profile.
You may reach us at following numbers and emails:
Katie Skillrud, Operations Manager: 972-420-1404, Ext. 1001 email@example.com
Nolan Martin, Registrar: 972-420-1404, Ext. 1005 firstname.lastname@example.org
Main TOPS Office: 972-420-1404