Junior Newsletter

April 2019

A big thank you to the juniors for participating in the Life After High School Workshops. From the feedback, it seems that you felt that the experience was worthwhile. Hopefully you are beginning to work on the long and short-term goals that you set during the final workshop.

Field Trip to STCC

Are you interested in a career in engineering, technology, computers or a medical field? If so, you are invited to attend a field trip to STCC on Monday, April 29th. During the field trip students can choose to tour the School of Engineering Technologies or the School of Health. Below is a list of the programs within each of these departments as well as a link to the departments' websites.

This field trip is open to students interested in 2 or 4-year colleges who want to learn more about these career fields.

Click here for the permission slip. Bring signed permission slips to the Guidance Office by Wednesday, April 10th. Space is limited on this trip.

School of Health

Dental Assistant

Dental Hygiene

Diagnostic Medical Imaging

Medical Coding and Billing Specialist

Medical Assistant

Medical Laboratory Technician


Rehabilitation Therapies

Respiratory Care

Surgical Technology

School of Engineering Technologies and Mathematics

Computer and IT Security

Architecture and Building Technology

Automotive Technology

Biomedical Engineering Technology

Civil Engineering Technology

Computer Systems Engineering Technology

Digital Media Technology

Electrical Engineering Technology

Electronic Systems Engineering Technology

Energy Systems Technology

Landscape Design & Management

Optics and Photonics

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Telecommunications Technology

NACAC College Failr - April 8th

The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) will be holding a college fair at the Big E. Attendance is free of charge. Click here to register for the event.

After registering, students can print out a barcode that college representatives can scan in order to obtain students’ contact information. This will allow students to spend their time talking with representatives instead of filling out their name and address multiple times.

Monday, April 8 - Springfield (Big E)

Young Building

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Junior College Night - April 25th, 6:30pm

Please join Springfield College, UMASS Amherst, Western New England University and Westfield State University for Junior College Night. The four colleges will help families to understand the college search and admissions process and they will conduct a mock transcript review so that you can see how each college makes their admissions decisions. This evening is geared for students and parents.

Thursday, April 25th 6:30

Media Center

Timeline for College Bound Students

To Do List for April/May:

  • Sign up for SAT
  • Ask a teacher to write a letter of recommendation
  • Hand your "Brag Sheet' into the guidance office
  • Continue to research colleges and narrow down your list
  • Visit at least one college
  • Investigate summer job opportunities (jobs, internships, job shadows)

Summer To Do List

  • Continue to visit colleges
  • Write your college admissions essay
  • Begin to fill out the Common Application (after August 1st)

What Happens in the Fall

  • Finalize your college list
  • Fill out applications (in November for Early Action/Decision, Jan/Feb for regular decision)
  • Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid , complete after 10/1)
  • Decision Days for students going to community college

SAT & ACT Test Dates


Test Date: May 4 (day after Prom)

Register By: April 5

You can pay a fee to register late until April 24

Test date: June 1

Register By: May 3

You can pay a fee to register late until May 22

*Subject tests are available during both of these testing dates*

Click here to register for the SAT


Test Date: June 8

Register By: May 3

You can pay a fee to register late until May 20

Click here to register for the ACT

SAT & ACT Prep

Free Online Test Prep Options

SAT Online Prep - Khan Academy

Students can link their CollegeBoard account to Khan Academy to personalize test prep: https://www.khanacademy.org/sat

ACT Online Prep


ACT Academy


Local SAT Prep Courses

Westfield State

Westfield State offers interactive on-line prep courses for both the SAT and ACT. There is also a week long SAT summer course that offers in-person instruction. Click here for more information about both of these options.

Preparing for College Applications

Visit Colleges During April Vacation

Use April vacation to visit campuses while students are still in class and the campus is still “alive.”

Some tips for a successful college visit:

  • Contact the college’s Admissions Office (or visit their website) well in advance to register for a tour, open house, information session, or interview.
  • Be attentive to the condition of campus buildings, the upkeep of campus grounds, and academic buildings.
  • Pay close attention to what students talk about, get a sense of their priorities, which classes they are excited about, or professors they really like. Are they smiling walking around campus?
  • Always ask to see typical first year student housing.
  • Make some brief notes about each visit, including things you liked and things you didn’t like. These notes will be helpful when it’s time to start applying – or make a final decision – next year.

Letters of Recommendation

Teacher Recommendations

Students applying to four-year colleges should ask one or two teachers for letters of recommendation. Before you ask your teacher for a letter of recommendation, you must:

  • Create a resume in Naviance
  • Fill out a Recommendation Form - Hard copies are available in the Guidance Office. Click here for an electronic copy of the form.

Counselor Recommendations

Most four-year colleges expect to see a letter of recommendation from your School Counselor. You must submit a Brag Sheet in order for your counselor to write a letter of recommendation.

Hard copies are available in the Guidance Office, or you can click here for an electronic copy.

Junior Grades

Your final grades from junior year will be the most important grades that colleges review. There is still time to improve your GPA before applying to college. Don’t forget that all of the State Colleges and Universities require a 3.0. If you do not have a 3.0, but have at least a 2.0, there is a sliding scale for SAT/ACTs that will also qualify you for admission. See pages 4 and 5 of the State Colleges/University Standards in order to learn more.

Summer Opportunities

Free STEM Starter Academy at GCC

GCC’s STEM Starter Academy is part of a statewide initiative to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The program is for students new to STEM (including high school students) who are interested in attending GCC—for free! Participants take a summer science, technology, engineering or math class, receive intensive advising, tutoring and career support, and participate in special STEM-focused activities. For more information see Ms. Scully.

Job Shadow

Job Shadow

The best way to learn about a career is to experience it firsthand. Ask family members or family friends if you can go to work with them for a day over April vacation or for a few hours this summer. If you don’t know anyone who works in the career in which you are interested, call around to local businesses, offices, medical facilities and ask if they would be willing to have a high school student visit for the day. Stop by guidance if you need help finding a site to complete a job shadow.

Internships and Volunteer Work

Internships and volunteer work are great ways to improve your resume and to acquire work related skills. There are many local organizations that take volunteers and interns over the school year and the summer. Some examples are Cooley Dickinson Hospital, the Survival Center in Northampton and Elite Home Health Agency in West Hatfield. Local churches, non-profits, and libraries are also great places to volunteer. If you would like more information about how you can earn credit for an internship next school year, see Ms. Scully.

Reminder: You need 30 hours of community service before graduation.

College Summer Enrichment Programs

Many colleges offer programs to high school students in the summer. Programs usually have a theme related to a course of study or career. Keep an eye on the announcements for information about local programs. Naviance also has a list of enrichment programs, which can be found under the “Colleges” tab. Or check out the Teen Life website to search for programs.

Career Spotlight

Trends in the labor market

Interested in learning what occupations are growing the fastest and pay the most? Check out these articles about the 20 fastest growing careers and the highest paying jobs.

Green Careers

Want to pursue a career to help the environment? Check out this link to 200 "Green" careers.