Connections Weekly Newsletter

August 2022

Welcome to the New School Year!

PWR or career and college (Post-secondary Workforce) Readiness is a phrase that you will hear often at TCA. The team in Connections recognizes that readiness happens on many different fronts, it means; learning, working, studying, participating, communicating, investigating, and much more to build skills and succeed in classes.

We firmly believe that continued education and/or training provides more opportunities in life. Don’t misunderstand, this belief does not mean every student must attend a 4-year college. What we know is that employers, the military, colleges and universities, and technical schools want workers and students that are well prepared. They want workers and students that are ready! Ready means something more during and AFTER high school.

We are ready to start this journey with the freshmen, together, to discover their talents and see where they lead. Sophomores and juniors will continue their exploration and inquiry, starting to shape their future and seniors will plan their postsecondary choices.

The goal for all students is to progress beyond a high school diploma to plan for life after graduation. We call it TCA2Life!

Upcoming Events

August 24 - Back-to-School Night, ALL grade levels 5:30-8:00

  • 5:30-6:00 Freshman Family Back-to-School Event
  • 5:30-5:45 Welcome, Introductions, and FAQ
  • 5:45-6:00 Connections team overview and invite to Family Nights on Sept. 7 & 8
  • 6:00-8:00 Meet the Teachers - Grades 9-12

Sept. 7 - Freshmen and Sophomore Connections Family Night 5:30-6:30

Join our Connections team as we introduce (and continue) a PWR Path for every student. We meet with freshmen and sophomores throughout the year and explore and discuss opportunities for career exploration. Our focus is not on choosing a career by sophomore year, but instead on exploring possibilities and working through setting goals based upon natural aptitudes, interests, values, and personality. We will walk you through our resources and lessons.

Sept. 8 - Junior, Financial Aid, and Senior Connections Family Night 5:30-7:30

  • 5:30-6:10 Juniors
  • 6:15-6:40 Financial Aid (open to ALL grade levels)
  • 6:45-7:30 Seniors

This evening's program will be an overview of what is to be expected for post-secondary planning. Juniors and seniors will build upon the work done in previous years regarding career interests and now focus on how to work toward those goals. We will see the year's "activities" to help plan the year.

We will also host a guest speaker to cover financial aid for college. This presentation would be appropriate for junior families to help understand and prepare for the future and for senior families to make sure you understand the process and timeline for application. If you like to plan ahead, Freshmen and Sophomore families are also welcome.

AP & PSAT/NMSQT Payment Deadline is September 9, 2022

AP & PSAT/NMSQT payments must be completed in Infinite Campus by Sept. 9, 2022. Any payment questions are to be directed to the Finance office. Fee waivers for testing are available (see below); the deadline to return the waiver is also Sept. 9, 2022.


  • AP exam: $97 per AP course - AP exam is required for ALL AP courses
  • Optional PSAT/NMSQT exam: $18 per exam

What is the PSAT/NMSQT?

An optional (fee required) PSAT/NMSQT exam that will be given at TCA on October 12 (during fall break).

This exam has several benefits:

  1. Practice for the SAT exam (sophomore or junior)
  2. Practice for the PSAT/NMSQT exam (for sophomores)
  3. Qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program (juniors only)*

*Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. In September (of the senior year), these high scorers are notified that they have qualified as either Commended Students or Semifinalists.

Fee Waivers

If you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch, you qualify for testing fee waivers and college application fee waivers, even if you have not filed at the district for free/reduced lunch. If you are unsure, please look at the guidelines and let us know if you qualify. We would love to walk you through the ways (in Connections) that we can help. The deadline to register for the October-only PSAT/NMSQT exam is September 9, 2022. If you qualify, please submit this form to Connections or by Sept. 9.

Help Us Help You

Our team supports every family. We strive to always be aware of opportunities as we advise our families. We want to partner with you and your teen. We have created a form to complete that WILL STAY CONFIDENTIAL in Connections. We have also included some checklists for you below and will be intentional about sharing other resources as we discover them. We will send messages through email, Infinite Campus, Naviance, or connect in person in family meetings. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with your advisor ANYTIME.

Back to School and Grade Level Checklists

These checklists have been created for your convenience. Due to a website update over the summer, some links may have changed, but the information remains the same. These checklists are also on our Connections Webpage.

Back to School Checklist ALL Grade Levels

Freshman Checklist 2022-23

Sophomore Checklist 2022-23

Junior Checklist 2022-23

Senior Checklist 2022-23

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director - 9th & 10th Grades, PSAT/NMSQT, Scholarships

Skip Zickmund, Assistant Director - 11th & 12th Grades, AP

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service