Bulldog Bulletin

Smyrna High School's Counseling Newsletter

3rd Quarter, February 2018

SHS Counseling Staff

Mr. Raffo: students A-D, raffog@rcschools.net

Mrs. Knox: students E-Lh, knoxh@rcschools.net

Mrs. Dickerson: students Li-Ri, dickersonk@rcschools.net

Mr. Lay: students Rj-Z, lays@rcschools.net

Mrs. Hockenberry: counseling secretary, hockenberryk@rcschools.net

Mrs. Benton: counseling secretary, bentont@rcschools.net

Stay Informed and follow us:

Twitter: @shscounselors88

Counseling website: shs.rcschools.net Click "Counseling" on the main menu and browse the side tabs for updated information.

A Note from Principal Powell

We are at the halfway point of the 3rd quarter with the school year’s end rapidly approaching. Our end of course assessments will be given the last few weeks of April and the 1st week of May. These assessments will count towards the final grade of these classes as well as the 2nd semester grade. Please remind your child to do their very best on these assessments. These grades are used to calculate their G.P.A.

Our schoolwide ACT test for the Juniors will be given on March 20th. We are reviewing daily during our classes and homeroom period with sample questions and test taking strategies to help all students do well on the test. We also have added incentives for the students that exceed their projected score. This test is required for college admission and the higher the score means more money for you when they attend college.

Our counselors are in the process of registering students for their classes for next year. Please keep in mind that the more difficult their classes are will help them to prepare for the ACT as well as college readiness. For most colleges, the ACT is more important than the G.P.A.

Please do not hesitate to contact your teachers or counselor if you have questions.

Upcoming Events

Class selection/Registration

Class registration and course selection for the 2018-2019 school year began in January. We will meet through students' homeroom classes.

Course selection is a multi-step process and parent input/participation is very important. Our goal is to maximize student and parent input during the selection process in order to minimize requests for changes at the start of next school year. Counselors will meet with students to discuss graduation requirements and teacher recommendations for courses. Students will enter their selections in INOW while we are in the library.

Students will bring home their course selection sheets to be reviewed by parents and guardians. Changes can be made on the course selection sheet and on the computer by the students. The course selections sheet with a parent/guardian signature will need to be returned to the student's counselor on the day their homeroom reports to the library for course selection entry.

Counselors will verify all course selections in INOW. Student/parent requested schedule changes at the start of next school year will be kept to a minimum based on this process of course selection. We build a master schedule based on the choices your student makes on the course selection sheet. We want students to put serious thought in their course selections.

Please look for your students to bring home their course selection sheets the following weeks:

Current Juniors: January 29-February 2

Current Sophomores: February 6-February 16

Current Freshmen: February 20-March 2

Schoolwide ACT for 11th grade students:

11th grade students will have the opportunity to take the ACT for free on March 20th, 2018 during the school day at Smyrna High School . Students will be registering with school staff and will not need to register on their own.

On test day, March 20th:

  • students should bring sharpened pencils and their calculator
  • no food or drink will be allowed in the rooms (water and snack will be provided during the break)
  • students should dress in layers
  • students should get a good night's sleep on March 19
  • students should be on time

Students are required to take the ACT or SAT in order to graduate; this is an important opportunity for them to test for free during the school day and meet this graduation requirement.

Tennessee Promise Mandatory Meeting March 13th, 2018 5:30pm

The first mandatory TN Promise will be held on March 13th, 2018 5:30 pm in the SHS Cafeteria

Any senior who would like to remain eligible for the TN Promise must attend this meeting. Parents are invited, but students are required to attend.

As a reminder, Tennessee Promise offers up to five semesters of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates. The program provides eligible students a last –dollar scholarship which covers full tuition and mandatory fees not covered by Pell grant, TELS, and TSAA. Students will also be assigned a partnering organization and mentor who will provide guidance and assistance as the students enter higher education. Student must participate with their partnering organization to access TN Promise Dollars.

Website with more information: http://tnpromise.gov

Tennessee Scholars Adds Value to a Diploma: Due March 15, 2018

What is Tennessee Scholars?

Tennessee Scholars is a rewards and incentives program for students who graduate high school with the required courses and additional expectations of attendance, discipline, and volunteer service.

What are the benefits for graduating as a Tennessee Scholar?

The benefits are scholarships to many universities, preferential job hiring, recognition at graduation, and obtaining the distinction of being a scholar that will be on your permanent record. For a list of participating universities, please visit: http://www.tennesseescholars.org/student-information/

How do you become a Tennessee Scholar?

  1. Apply by completing the checklist for Tennessee Scholars located on the school counseling website. Once you and your parents sign it, return your completed form with documented volunteer hours to your school counselor.
  2. Students must complete the student checklist before the deadline during your senior year(March 15, 2018 for this year's senior class). Your counselor must approve your checklist to be eligible for the honor.
  3. Seniors must complete the online survey: Counselors will set up a time for this survey once completed applications are turned in.

Please follow this link for more information: http://www.tennesseescholars.org/

Checklist and Application can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y993zdy2

Rutherford County Work Ethic Distinction - Due March 15, 2018

The purpose of the Work Ethic Distinction is to address the needs that industry has for employees who have both technical and employability/soft skills. The Work Ethic Distinction is a proactive solution to the challenge employers have in hiring individuals who are prepared for the world of work. Students who obtain this distinction are proving that they are both college and career ready. To receive the Work Ethic Distinction a student must earn a minimum of 20 points out of a possible 40 points on the industry developed employability standards and a regular high school diploma. Earning a Work Ethic Distinction and meeting job-related requirements will guarantee an interview with participating Rutherford County employers. Get the form and current list of employers below. Completed application along with supporting document due to students' counselor by the end of the school day March 15, 2018.

Application can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y993zdy2

Stay Informed

Graduation Information

Stay up to date with graduation information by visiting the following link for our website:



Make sure that you are checking INOW Home Portal and keeping up with your student’s grades. If you have any questions about the grades, you can email your student’s teachers. If you have not received your login information, please visit the counseling webpage and click the ''Appointments and Sign-ups" tab located on the right side of the page. On the Appointments and Sign-Ups page, you will see a link for Inow Access Request.

Weekly Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences are offered every Wednesday at 3:45. Parents can request to meet your child's teachers. Conferences must be scheduled by the Tuesday morning prior to your planned Wednesday meeting.

Conferences are scheduled through Ms. Benton.

bentont@rcschools.net or

615-904-3865 ext. 23705

School Counseling Appointments

When students would like to visit with their school counselor, we ask that they use the "appointment request" link on our counseling website. This allows us to review the student's request and meet with them at a time that is not disruptive to their academics. Students in crisis are sent to us when needed without an appointment required.

We also ask that parents use this same link when requesting an appointment. We have an open door policy when it comes to meeting with parents; however, having a scheduled appointment allows us to be fully prepared for the meeting and also allows us to make sure we are not involved in other meetings or counseling groups when the parent arrives. Please review the appointment links: http://shs.rcschools.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=562976&type=d&pREC_ID=1133047

Schmoop and Vocabulary.com

Schmoop and Vocabulary.com are both online resources we are utilizing this year to work towards increasing ACT scores for our students. Higher ACT scores means a higher acceptance rate to college and access to more scholarship money for our students. All students have SHS have a schmoop account and a vocabulary.com account. Students can practice from home in addition to the work we do at school.


Want to know about scholarships? Follow these easy steps below:

1. Visit http://shs.rcschools.net

2. Click Counseling on the main menu

3. On the right hand side, click the Scholarship and Financial Aid tab

We have linked our scholarship database directly to this page. Please check back often; the database is updated multiple times a week.

We have also found a scholarship database that is updated monthly. It is an outside source that we are not associated with, but we wanted to make sure we share resources with our students: https://jlvcollegecounseling.com/scholarships/monthly-scholarships/


We post enrichment opportunities for all grade levels under the Announcements and Opportunities tab of our website. This includes job opportunities, community service, college fair information and any other enrichment opportunity that we receive notification of.


College Readiness Testing

If you are planning to take either the ACT or the SAT you must register online at www.actstudent.org (ACT) and www.collegeboard.com (SAT). You will need the following SHS High School Code to register: 432130

Make sure you visit our new ACT resources page under the "Student" tab prior to the upcoming ACT test dates and re-take date.