Senior Newsletter

August 2020

Experience JOY!

Hello Seniors and Families,


In all of this uncertainty, I have found that I am not happy at times, as some of you may have felt or are still feeling. What makes me get up every day is the desire to experience JOY within and among all the uncertainty. It is definitely not easy, and some days it takes more effort to find that joy, but doing so has made me appreciate the little things more and more.


For example, I could be upset that I was not able to go on my morning walk due to the thunderstorm that is currently happening. What I decided to tell myself is that with the rain comes an opportunity to write this newsletter for you - to form a connection and continue building a working relationship with you as your School Counselor. Worth it!


I encourage you to seek joy in every day life. Woke up without bed-head? Joy! Made lunch for your sibling? Joy! It seems silly, until you step back and realize that this mindset could replace many of the feelings that are associated with uncertainty (stress, anxiety, fear).


Your senior year is HERE! And uncertainty is a big part of it. Remember to talk with the people in your circle about your true feelings. Check-in with those who you know may need someone - don't forget about self-care! And appreciate the time you have left in high school. It may not look what like you anticipated, but joy can still be found for those who seek it.


As always, do not hesitate to send me an email, call, or set up an appointment if you have any questions, concerns, comments, or just looking for information about anything related to academics, social/emotional well-being, post-secondary planning, crisis intervention, community supports, etc.


I’ve found that with our busy schedules, these electronic newsletters are a great way to communicate information home about anything and everything! They will go out every month via email, text, Twitter (@swasdcounselor), and the district Facebook page. Students will also have access to much more frequent communication through their "Class of 2021" Microsoft Teams page (details below).


Looking forward to the start of school,


Mrs. Wagner

SAVE THE DATE: CommonApp Completion Day

Tuesday, Aug. 18th, 11am

This is an online event.

The Common Application, more well known as the CommonApp, is a universal admissions application used by over 800 colleges and universities (67 in Pennsylvania!). The application for Fall 2021 admittance is now available and we want to help! It can be a bit overwhelming, but by attending this virtual event, your child will be among peers who are also looking to apply to college and most likely have the same questions about the process!


If you (the student) are interested in attending, please complete the RSVP form below no later than August 14, 2020. An email with the details will be sent after the 14th.


NOTE: Students are NOT submitting final applications to any college at this event. They are creating an account and filling out their demographics. We will also preview how to add colleges and other requirements needed to complete their application (i.e. essay, resume, recommendations, etc.).

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

To Do List - August

Senior year tends to fly by, so these newsletters will include a monthly checklist to prepare for life after high school.


Military (for students looking to enlist)


  • You will need to retake the ASVAB if you took it in 10th grade or want to improve your score. Please let Mrs. Wagner know so she can get you registered. The test is tentatively scheduled for December.


  • Talk to Mrs. Wagner about speaking with local recruiters to learn about the benefits of joining the military, enlistment process, basic training, etc. For the time being, we will not have the military visit during lunches.


  • Check-out the ROTC , NROTC, and other programs colleges all over the US have to offer. Most will pay for your education and you will graduate college as an officer in the affiliated branch.



Employment (for students looking to enter the workforce/full-time employment)


  • Talk with Mrs. Wagner about your career goals and the industry you see yourself working in. She gets a lot of calls from local businesses looking for employees.


  • Check the "Class of 2021" Microsoft Teams page for potential job openings/hiring fairs in the area


  • Set up a job shadow! Find a business on your own or ask for suggestions from Mrs. Wagner. "Essential" businesses are operating.


  • Make sure you have an appropriate, non-school email address.


  • Update the resume you made in Mr. Eck's last year. Seek assistance if needed.


  • Register with PA CareerLink to get notifications about jobs in our area.




College (for students looking to continue their education)


  • Attend our CommonApp Completion Day on Tuesday, August 18th (see event details and RSVP above)


  • If you are still developing the list of colleges you want to apply to, but don’t have time to visit (yes, colleges are doing in-person visits), try a virtual tour from CampusTours or YouVisit.



  • Sign-up for the Keystone Virtual Exploration Program beginning September 17th. See more details below!


  • Many of you had your SAT/ACT canceled this spring. Try to register for one of the upcoming exam sessions - the late deadline for the August exam is the 11th. You will first need to create a CollegeBoard account, if you do not have one already. If you receive free/reduced lunch, you are eligible for a fee waiver for these exams - Mrs. Wagner has them in her office.


  • After speaking with many college representatives, most are going test-optional, which means you do not need to take the SAT/ACT in order to apply to the school. Check individual university websites for specific details about their process.


  • Ask for recommendation letters! This should have been done already, but no worries if you have not! Teachers, counselors, coaches, advisors, or anyone who can speak to your character, strengths, or abilities would be a great fit. These will come in handy when it comes time to apply to schools as well as scholarships!


  • Think private school is too expensive?? You might be paying more than you think out of pocket for public colleges. READ HERE!


  • Remember your Raise.Me account? When students were in 9th grade they created an online account for a program that gives scholarship money for entering your grades, awards, and activities. Make sure to confirm the information by the colleges specified deadline.


  • Write that ESSAY! Over 800 colleges use the CommonApp as their college admissions application, so chances are the essay you write can be used for many of your applications. Have a favorite English teacher look over it before final submission.


  • Pay attention to DEADLINES. For example, if you want to apply to Bloomsburg University as a nursing major, their application is due November 15th. DO NOT GIVE ME PAPERWORK TO COMPLETE THE DAY BEFORE IT IS DUE!


  • Thinking of playing a sport in college? Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. You need to make sure the courses you take in high school are NCAA eligible. Any SAT or ACT scores must also be sent to the NCAA. DO NOT PAY if you receive free/reduced lunch as there are fee waivers, but they cannot be undone once submitted.

A Note about Transcripts

Once a student submits their application to a college, the next step is an official transcript sent by their high school counselor. Legally, this cannot be done without a TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FORM, which must be signed by a parent/guardian. We are in the process of creating an electronic form - in the meantime please have a parent/guardian email me with their approval to release your transcript.


Note: Students can get copies of their transcript from me at anytime, without a request form, but they are considered unofficial.

Mrs. Wagner needs 1 WEEK to process paperwork! DO NOT WAIT!

Keystone Virtual College Exploration Program - FREE to students

  • Registration for students/counselors opens on Thursday, September 17 at 12:00PM
  • Five week program beginning Thursday, October 1 - Friday, November 6
  • 45-minutes sessions from Sunday - Friday each week
  • Sunday sessions will be individual college information sessions each hour from 3-7PM
  • Monday - Thursday sessions will offer college knowledge panel sessions at 2PM and 3PM, with individual college information sessions from 4-7 PM
  • Friday sessions will offer college knowledge panel sessions at 2PM and 3PM, with individual college information sessions at 4PM and 5PM
  • All sessions will be recorded and available on the PACAC website for student viewing throughout the Fall

Seniors: JOIN MICROSOFT TEAMS

With the opportunity to communicate virtually, I created a page for the Class of 2021, using Microsoft Teams. This is a newer platform for most students so here is a quick tutorial about how to join. You will most likely be using Teams for many classes this school year, so it is definitely something to get used to now!


1. Login to your Office 365 account (found under "Student" tab on district website) using your school username (ex: 21ewagner) and password. Make sure your username has the @mounties.k12.pa.us added to the end of it.


2. Find the Teams icon (purple with a "T" and 2 bodies) and click on it.


3. Get the Web App or Windows App, if not already installed.


4. Click "Join or Create a Team" and enter the Code: lit92ul


5. Start exploring the features such as the Posts, Files, Chat, and Class Notebook. Here is a brief overview video!

Scholarships! What you NEED TO KNOW!

Over the years, I've realized very few students apply for scholarships. And while I don't have an answer to "why", I do want to put it out there as a concern.


Post-secondary costs are on the rise, and no matter if you are seeking a certificate, apprenticeship, associate, bachelor, or doctoral degree, the financing of those programs add up! Unlike loans, and some grants, scholarships are money that you do not need to pay back! These all fall under the umbrella term "financial aid", but truly scholarships tend to be the most forgotten because there is work that goes into them and they really aren't understood until the first tuition bill comes - by then it is too late for most.


Students have to apply to qualify for a scholarship. Whether it is an online, paper, or in-person application, it requires some effort. As a parent/guardian reading this, PLEASE encourage (or force) your child to do the heavy lifting now. College applications are usually completed before the New Year, and from January to May, that is the prime time for scholarships deadlines.


Here are a few websites to get started:


1. CollegeBoard Opportunity Scholarships

2. FastWeb.com

3. EducationPlanner.org

4. FinAid.org

5. Unigo.com

6. Scholarships.com

7. Scholarship-page.com

8. DoSomething.org/Scholarships

9. Colleges.Niche.com

10. StudentScholarships.org

11. BigFuture.Collegeboard.org

12. SallieMae.com

13. Cappex.com

Student Assistance Program (SAP)

The Student Assistance Program is a team of teachers, counselors, nurses, administrators, and community support professionals that meet once a week to help identify and remove barriers that are preventing students from succeeding in school. Whether those barriers are attendance, academic, personal, social, emotional, drug, alcohol, or familial related, we hope to provide a way to navigate students into success.


If you know someone who could benefit from these supports, please make a referral to any school district employee or anonymously through the Safe2Say application. Your information will be kept confidential.

Contact Information

Summer office hours (7AM-2PM) will begin August 17th. If you would like to get in touch with me, please use one of the means below. Note that I respond to emails much quicker than phone calls, especially during the summer.