School Counseling Newsletter



Warm Winter Greetings! With the start of the new year, many of us make new year resolutions. Here are some tips and ideas to help get through the second half of the school year. Plans are underway to help students prepare for the next school year and beyond. In this School Counseling Newsletter edition you will find:

Resources for Parents and Students

Important Dates to Remember

ENL Resources

Special Education Resources

Mental Health Resources

Senior Square

Junior Junction

Sophomore Square

Freshmen Corner

Final Thoughts

National School Counseling Week:

National School Counseling Week was the week of February 3rd. This week focused on the tremendous impact school counselors have on helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. On behalf of the WHUFSD counselors, THANK YOU to our school community for your support, and collaboration in working towards the success of our students!

P.S. I Love You Day- Friday February 14th:

The mission of P.S. I Love You Day is to remind all of us the importance of being kind to one another. On P.S. I Love You Day wear purple in order to foster kindness and a welcoming environment. Mental health is just as important as physical health. The amazing support staff at each of our school buildings have put together special events, and activities for the students to participate in. Please click on the links below to learn more about P.S. I Love You Day:

Kindness Week:

February 10th is the start of "Kindness Week". At our middle school, the Dignity and Tolerance Club will be hosting a variety of fun activities for students to participate in during their lunch periods. At our high school, GSA, SADD and Key Club are also hosting a variety of events during the students lunch periods. The week will concluded on February 14th, as we celebrate P.S. I Love You Day. Please click on the link below to see the wonderful video WHMS students put together to kick off "Kindness Week":

**Wear purple on February 14th to celebrate P.S. I Love You Day!


It is that time of the year at the middle school and high school, scheduling. Students will have the opportunity to choose electives, and take challenge courses for their upcoming school year. The school counselors in the middle school and the high school have begun pushing into classrooms, and meeting with students to discuss course options for next school year. It is important for students to remember to challenge themselves, and to take courses that interests them. Please contact your child's school counselor if you have any questions. The course curriculum guide for the high school is located on our high school website, under school counseling. Please click on the link below to access this guide.

Resources for Parents and Students:

5 SMART Goals Every Child Should Aim To Accomplish In The New Year:

It's time to start anew with the new year. New Year's resolutions are a great opportunity for you and your child to reflect on the past year and communicate about areas where there might room for improvement. Making New Year's goals provide the opportunity for children to understand the notion of self-discipline as well as reflect on the importance of setting goals.

When setting goals, it is important to help your child understand the notion of attainable goals. An easy way to help them understand this idea is to use the concept of SMART goals. This means goals must be:

S-specific, significant

M-measurable, meaningful

A-achievable, action-oriented

R-realistic, rewarding

T-timely, and tractable

Having SMART goals increases the likelihood that children will be able to create attainable goals, have a "game plan," and be successful. It is easy for children to lose focus, or be easily discouraged if their goals are too long-term or not age appropriate, so make sure to have a discussion regarding the goal-setting process to help your children.

Make resolutions together. This is a great way to ensure your child will stay motivated. Knowing that your child has someone on their side will provide s sense of support and positive reinforcement. When parents are able to model positive behaviors, children feel comforted and are likely to continue repeating the positive behaviors.

When parents and families are involved in their children's education:

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher. When parents and families are involved in their children's schools, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school. In fact, many studies show that what the family does is more important to a child's school success than how much money the family makes or how much education the parents have. There are many ways that parents can support their children's learning at home and throughout the school year. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Recent research tells us that children are hardwired from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills.

Middle School and High School Scheduling:

School Counselors are going to meet with students individually in the upcoming weeks regarding courses for the upcoming school year. A description of the high school level courses can be found in the West Hempstead Course Curriculum Guide-

Making Healthy Choices:

It's important for parents to address the following with their children: making healthily choices, having conversations and communicating, and keeping them safe.

E-Cigarettes:Talk to Youth About the Risks:

What’s the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

· The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.

· Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1

· E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.

· Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Keeping Kids Safe On-Line:

If your child is surfing the web, you need to be paddling right alongside of them — or at least observing carefully from the shore. While the internet offers goodies galore (educational materials, fun games, and connections with people all over the world), it can also pose risks to your child's physical safety and emotional well-being. -

How to monitor your kids on-line while preserving your privacy:

What Apps Parents Should Know About to Keep Your Kids Safe:

Kids and Coats- the battle of the coats and how to deal with it:

Pre-College Summer Programs for high school students:

Pre-college summer programs allow you to test-drive college life. These programs not only teach you new information and skills, they can also make you a more attractive candidate for admission into your top-choice schools.

Important Dates to Remember

Long Island Spring College Expo: April, 22, 2020- 5:30pm-8:30pm- At Hofstra University

High School Juniors-, remember to register for college entrance exams:

Registration for ACT exam: Register by February 28th, for the April 4th test day.

Registration for SAT Exam: Register by February 13th for the March 14th test day.

Registration for PSAT Exam:

PSAT10:- Sophomores take this test in the spring.-

PSAT/NMSQT: Juniors and Sophmores take this test in the fall-

Students Who Need Testing Accommodations for PSATs, SAT, AP, and ACT Exams:

Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for accommodations on PSAT's, SAT, AP, and ACT exams. All students, including those with IEPs and 504 plans, must submit an accommodations request to either Collegeboard or

· For the PSAT's, AP and SAT exams, a student must be approved for accommodations by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office,-

· For the ACT exam, a student must be approved by

AP Schedule for May 2020:

The 2020 AP Exams will be administered over two weeks in May- (May 4th-15th). Please contact you school counselor if you have any questions. The Collegeboard link below has the information to register for the AP exams, dates, and fees.

ENL Resources-

Helpful information for English Language Learners for students and parents:

Información útil para estudiantes del idioma inglés para

estudiantes y padres:

Parents are the first teachers and those who have the greatest influence on the lives of children. That is why it is very important that parents develop and maintain strong links with their children's schools. When parents and families get involved in schools, children tend to stand out more and their opinions about school are more positive. In order for children to succeed in school, parents and families must actively participate in children's learning. Indeed, many scientific studies show that what the family does is more important for children's school success than the level of family income or the educational level of the parents. Here are 20 ways you can help your child succeed in school.

Los padres son los primeros maestros y los que ejercen mayor influencia en las vidas de los niños. Por eso es muy importante que los padres desarrollen y mantengan enlaces fuertes con las escuelas de sus hijos. Cuando los padres y las familias se involucran en las escuelas, los niños tienden a destacarse más y sus opiniones sobre la escuela son más positivas. Para que los niños puedan tener éxito en la escuela, los padres y las familias deber participar activamente en el aprendizaje de los niños. En efecto, muchos estudios científicos demuestran que lo que la familia hace es más importante para el éxito escolar de los niños que el nivel de ingresos familiares o el nivel educativo de los padres. He aquí 20 maneras en que usted puede ayudar a su hijo a triunfar en la escuela.

Brief facts about the risks of electronic cigarettes for children, adolescents and young adults:

What is most important about the risks of electronic cigarettes for children, adolescents and young adults?

The use of electronic cigarettes is dangerous for children, teenagers and young adults.

Most electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can affect brain development in adolescents that continues until age 20 to 25.1

In addition to nicotine, electronic cigarettes may contain other harmful substances.

Young people who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke regular cigarettes in the future.

Electronic cigarettes: Talk to young people about the risks

Datos breves sobre los riesgos de los cigarrillos electrónicos para los niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes:

¿Qué es lo más importante sobre los riesgos de los cigarrillos electrónicos para los niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes?

  • El uso de cigarrillos electrónicos es peligroso para los niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes.
  • La mayoría de los cigarrillos electrónicos contiene nicotina. La nicotina es altamente adictiva y puede afectar el desarrollo del cerebro en los adolescentes que continúa hasta los 20 a 25 años.1
  • Además de la nicotina, los cigarrillos electrónicos pueden contener otras sustancias dañinas.
  • Los jóvenes que usan cigarrillos electrónicos podrían tener más probabilidades de fumar cigarrillos regulares en el futuro.

Cigarrillos electrónicos: Hable con los jóvenes sobre los riesgos

Engage NY: is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. is dedicated to providing educators across New York State with real-time, professional learning tools and resources to support educators in reaching the State’s vision for a college and career ready education for all students. es desarrollado y mantenido por el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Nueva York (NYSED) para apoyar la aplicación de los aspectos claves de la Junta de Regentes de la Agenda de Reforma del Estado de Nueva York. se dedica a proporcionar educadores de todo el estado de Nueva York con el tiempo real, herramientas de aprendizaje profesional y recursos para apoyar a los educadores en alcanzar la visión del Estado para una educación universitaria y de carrera listo para todos los estudiantes.

English as a Second Language at Molloy College:

Molloy College offers a number of levels of ESL training from beginning levels to the more advanced levels. All new students are required to take a placement test prior to registration to determine the appropriate level they should register for. There is no fee for this exam. Courses vary each semester. Sample course offerings include: Everyday English – Introduction to ESL; ESL Conversation; Intermediate Listening/Speaking; Intermediate Reading/Writing; Advanced Listening/Speaking and Advanced Reading/Writing. Call for more detailed information-


Ofrece varios niveles de entrenamiento de ESL desde los niveles iniciales hasta los niveles más avanzados. Se requiere que todos los estudiantes nuevos tomen un examen de ubicación antes de la inscripción para determinar el nivel apropiado para el que deben registrarse. No hay costo para este examen. Los cursos varían cada semestre. Los ejemplos de cursos que se ofrecen incluyen: Inglés cotidiano: Introducción a ESL; Conversación ESL; Escucha intermedia / habla; Lectura / Escritura Intermedia; Escucha / Habla avanzada y Lectura / Escritura avanzada. Llame para obtener información más detallada.-

Special Education Resources

What is the difference between an IEP and 504?

Knowing the difference between an IEP and an 504 Plan can be confusing for students and parents. These links will help have a better understanding of these documents.

Tips for a Successful IEP meeting
:- Having an IEP meeting or 504 meeting can can be overwheloming for any family member. Here are some links to help prepare for an IEP meeting and/or a 504 meeting:

Services for students with disabilities and for their families:

The Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office (LIDDSO) and the Office for People with Developmental disabilities has many resources and services available throughout Long Island to provide supports for families.

How to prepare post high school:

For students with IEP's, "transition" means planning for adulthood. Planning should begin when a student is in middle school, and continue every year.

The college search process can be an overwhelming and daunting task. With tons of information to sift through, it is important that you and your child engage in open discussions about how they learn best. For all students, the idea of engaging with new faculty and classmates while studying rigorous coursework can be overwhelming, and for students with disabilities, it may create even more anxiety. With proper supports in place however, all students can succeed.

Keep in mind that all colleges are required to have a disabilities office, which helps accommodate students with different needs. In addition to the disabilities office, there are an array of supportive programs to help your child be the best student they can be.

Some of these programs may include:

- Extra tutoring support - Weekly meetings with a counselor or support staff member

- Transitional summer programs

- On-campus learning specialists

- Study skills workshops

As you and your child embark on the college search process, do not hesitate to reach out to your school counselor with any questions or concerns.

Mental Health Resources

Mental health disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day-

Finding a mental health professional can be overwhelming. The links below will assist you to find the supports needed.

Senior Square

FAFSA INFORMATION: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications are available online. College financial aid deadlines are quickly approaching. For help visit

Financial Aid 101 Seminar:

Monday, April 8, 2019 at Molloy College, Rockville Centre 7:00 p.m. Financial Aid Workshop- open to all- you do not have to be attending Molloy to attend the seminar! - please click on the link below for more details.

Do you have symptoms of SENIORITIS?:

Don’t let this serious illness catch you off-guard! All college acceptances are contingent upon your final GPA. Colleges have the right to revoke admission if the final GPA differs from the GPA at acceptance time. Many students, who have caught senioritis, have been placed on probation prior to enrolling in courses! Start your college years with pride, which means finishing your high school courses with a vengeance!!

Scholarships For Seniors $$$- Free Money!!

The college process isn't over!!

The next step is for students to apply for scholarships. The school counselors have been working diligently with students to inform them of the multiple scholarship opportunities available to seniors. This information has been available to students in many ways: morning announcements, monthly scholarship bulletin (which is available in the school counseling office, and on our high school website), counselors work with seniors on an individual basis, and assist them with the Fastweb ( ) registration application during students' lunch periods.

Monthly scholarship bulletins on our high school website.

Fastweb. com:

Seniors who are preparing for the next phase of their education should also apply to scholarships listed on Fastweb.

Fastweb: This is an excellent scholarship resource tool for students to search scholarships for students to receive. This is a national data base with continuous up dates.

· How it Works:

Join for free, create your student profile and a list of scholarships will be generated for the student. Featured college scholarships are listed on a regular basis. Fastweb members are matched to relevant scholarship opportunity complete free of charge. With roughly 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion, there are scholarships for every student's education goals, activities and interests.

Junior Junction:

Junior Conferences:

The school counselors began Junior Meetings in the beginning of March. These meetings are designed to discuss pertinent information related to college and career planning with students and parents.

Student Athlete Information:

Want to play college sports? For students interested in playing Division I & II sports, it is important to select high school courses that will meet all of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) core requirements. Division III sports are available and require different eligibility standards. See your school counselor with any questions. To register for the NCAA Clearinghouse please use this link:

Applying to College: A Timeline for Juniors:

Winter 2020

● Begin preparing for college entrance exams (SAT and/or ACT). All West Hempstead High School students have free access to the Method Test Prep web program. Visit the registration page for information on how to access a free account to prepare for college entrance exams. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Dennis: 516-597-4997. Please visit the website listed below.

● Complete junior conference “Brag Sheet” which is in the guidance office and give it to your counselor during your Junior Conference with your Counselor in March.

● Register for SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Exam(s)

● Use Naviance Family Connection to research colleges-

Spring 2020

● Attend Junior College Conference with your counselor

● Attend the Spring College Fairs:

● Visit colleges during spring vacations and weekends – be sure to make an appointment with the admissions office for an Information Session and Campus Tour

● Take the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Exam(s)

● Plan to participate in enriching summer activities, such as volunteer work, acquiring a meaningful job or internship, enrolling in summer courses at a college, etc.

● Speak with teachers and ask them if they would be willing to write you a college letter of recommendation

● Student athletes should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at ● Finish the academic year strong! Study, Study, Study!

Summer 2020

● Re-read all literature received at the Junior Conference

● Continue to research and visit college campuses

● Register with the Common Application at (August)

● Review college essay topics and begin to brainstorm and draft

● Link Naviance Family Connection account to student’s Common Application by signing the FERPA Agreement

How to Communicate with College Representatives:

Each college has an admissions representative that is assigned to a high school. While every college has their own admissions process, the admissions representative is often the first person to read students’ applications and rate them according to the individual college’s standards. There will be a number of opportunities to meet with college representatives throughout the college journey (college fairs, college visits, interviews, etc.) and it is important to make a good impression. The representative may become an advocate for a prospective student in the admissions selection process, so use these helpful tips and put your best foot forward!

When to Communicate with an Admissions Representative:

● Meeting him or her at your school. Many college representatives will come to our high school in the fall. Meetings are held in the school counseling office. Listen to morning announces, and visit the guidance office to be informed of which college representatives are visiting our school to meet with students.

● Visiting a college to tour the campus and/or for a personal admissions interview.

● Meeting the representative at a local college fair.

● Emailing well-thought out, specific questions. Do not email college representatives with basic information that is easily accessible on the college’s website (i.e. application deadlines, majors, etc).

How to Communicate with an Admissions Representative Face-to-Face:

● Dress the part - business casual is recommended when meeting with a college admissions representative face-to-face.

● Maintain eye contact and smile - show them your enthusiasm about the possibility of being a student on their campus.

● Do some research - it is always a good idea to have some knowledge about a college before speaking with a representative. Have a few questions ready to ask.

● Use appropriate body language - be aware of appearing at ease (i.e. no foot tapping and fidgeting, etc.)

● Thank the representative for his/her time - a handshake and follow-up thank you note is a nice touch.

Sophomore Square:

PSAT? When to take it?

Some sophomores do attempt taking the PSAT in their sophomore yea, but many students wait until their Junior year. this is because they have completed the necessary Math and English to be successful. If you think you may want to try the PSAT, you need to discuss this with your counselor before signing up. It is important you have a good testing experience when taking the PSAT. Not having all the preparation in place before attempting these tests could result in a negative attitude toward this type of test. It is not necessary to take this test as a sophomore to have success in your SAT testing as a junior. Take a look at this preliminary SAT at the website.

Freshmen Corner:

When should I start planning for my child's higher education? NOW!!! It is never too early to start considering your child's plans and goals for after high school. Here are some key areas you can start considering now.

The Career & College Search: In the spring, the Freshmen class will have an opportunity learn more in depth how to utilize the career and college component of Naviance. This interactive and informative service provides our students with many opportunities for academic, college, and career exploration. This is a great starting point for students as they plan their future endeavors beyond high school.

College Fairs: Students should being to attend local college fairs to begin to revive information and such as learning about programs and admissions requirements. As well as becoming more comfortable speaking face to face with college admissions representatives.

Stay Focused and Involved in Extra- Curricular Activities: Students need to stay focused, and remember that Freshman year counts. Each year is a building block to the next. It's never to late to join a club or a sport. Being part of the school community outside of the classroom is a great way for students to enhance their social skills.

The New York State Mentoring Program:

This year some of the freshmen students are participating in The New York State Mentoring Program. This freshmen students are paired up with mentors, who are upper clansmen. The mentors were trained prior to being paired up with a mentee. Mrs. Sigmon oversees the program, and monthly meetings with the students. The mission of the New York State Mentoring Program is to create positive and supportive mentor relationships. The dedicated mentors guide the mentees in developing self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, and the importance of making positive life choices.

Middle School Maze:


The school counselors will be meeting with students after the winter to review their course selections for their up coming school year. We are happy that many of our 8th graders will begin their high school education with high school credits already completed, in Foreign Language, Living Environment, Algebra, and Studio In Art. This gives our students the opportunity to take more courses that are available in our high school. The incoming Freshman will receive their schedule in the mail in the month August.

In the 8th grade is when our students will have the opportunity to Challenge Up in Science and Math. There will be Challenge Up parent meetings for current 7th grade parents on February 11th (prior to the school board meeting), and on February, 12th prior to school beginning. If you have any questions regarding your child taking Algebra and/or Living Environment in 8th grade please speak to your child's current 7th grade Math and/or Science teacher first.

Incoming 7th Graders: It's time to pick a foreign language, either Italian or Spanish for middle school. The forms for this were already mailed home. Please return the form to the Mr. Matthew Caruthers at GW as indicated on the form.

High School 101:

Our annual High School 101 program will be on February 14th. A panel of high school students will be speaking to the 7th, and 8th graders. They will discuss a variety of topics about high school, and the importance of middle school. The middle school students will also have an opportunity to ask questions regarding high school.

Final Thoughts

With the new year of 2020 upon us, and half of a school year behind us, here are some words of encouragement. "Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction. Every moment is a fresh beginning. Life's not about expecting, hoping, and wishing, it's about doing, being and becoming. The dreams of the future are better than the history of the past".

Please contact Mrs. Sigmon- (School Counselor newsletter editor), if there are topics, or resources you would like to see in the upcoming newsletter.

Angela Sigmon-School Counselor

West Hempstead Middle School and High School

(516) 390-3173

(516) 390-3230