School Counseling Newsletter
Osbourn High School, October 2020
OHS School Counseling Department
The school counselors provide academic, career and social emotional support to students. The team is comprised of eight counselors, an on-time graduation specialist, a registrar, administrative assistant, interpreter and test coordinator. The school psychologist and social worker are essential members of the student support team. If you or your child need to access a member of the team, our contact information is provided on the OHS website in the counseling tab.
Hours: M-F 8:00 4:00 pm
Meet our new team members!
Mrs. Ramos Chaves, School Counselor
I am originally from Bronx, New York and moved to Connecticut when I was 14. There I met my husband and had three children who are now all grown up. I received my Bachelors in History and Master’s Degree from Central Connecticut State University. This is my first year of counseling, however I have worked in education for 5 years as a Special Education Tutor and a Family Engagement Specialist. Outside of education, I work in the community as a Special needs Caregiver and Youth group leader at my church for 4 years. I enjoy working with the youth and I am really excited to work with the students of Osbourn High School.
Mr. Wigfall, School Counselor
I have been serving in the educational field for over 15 years, eleven years as a High School Counselor. I have had the honor of working at two prestigious universities, University of Maryland, College Park campus and University of California, Berkeley campus. I currently work part-time as an Adjunct Professor with the Vanderbilt Commodores. I attended Virginia Military Institute on a football scholarship and was fortunate to play a few years of professional football before I became a teacher. I have a three-year old daughter that is my motivational tool! Working with students and serving as a “step” for them towards their future is something I love doing!
Ms. Skinker , On-Time Graduation Coordinator
I am so honored to be joining the Osbourn family. I cannot wait to meet and work with each and every one of you. I have a passion for education and am excited to be a part of all that Osbourn has to offer. This is my 21st year in education. In that time, I have been an English teacher, a principal, and have worked for the Virginia Department of Education. My goal is to see all Osbourn students graduate. Together anything is possible.
Mrs. Violett, College and Career Counselor
I have served as a school counselor for 21 years. In that time, I have enjoyed providing support, resources, and tools to promote success after high school. Originally from Maryland, I attended UMBC where I ran cross country and played lacrosse and earned a Master’s degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
Upcoming Virtual College Visits
SAT at OHS for seniors
Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 7:30am
Osbourn High School, Manassas, VA, USA
UVA Fall Fest
Fall Fest will take place on Saturday, October 17, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT. Registration will remain open until October 10 or until we reach capacity. Students can REGISTER HERE now!
Free NASA Opportunities for High School Students
Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides FREE Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) opportunities for Virginia students in grades 10th, 11th, and 12th. The programs inspire students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers. Please share the information on the following programs with your students. The applications are OPEN UNTIL October 25, 2020.
The Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 10th grade students highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility focusing on the current missions at Wallops. Learn more about VSCS at http://vsgc.odu.edu/spacecoast/.
The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 11th and 12th-grade students, highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center focusing on human spaceflight. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Learn more about VASTS at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS/.
The Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 11th and 12th-grade students, highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center focusing on the Earth’s responses to climate changes, weather, and natural hazards. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Learn more about VESSS at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month
The Virginia Department of Education provides tips for parents to help identify the warning signs. These include:
Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
Sleeping too little or too much. Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
Displaying extreme mood swings.
Hispanic Heritage Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month
- Unity Day, on October 10, is a time when people across the country wear orange as a show of support for students who have been bullied.
- Youth can enter the Stop Bullying Video Challenge: Encourage the youth in your life to submit original PSAs, 30 to 60 seconds in length, that showcase ways they are taking action against bullying and promoting a culture of kindness and respect in their communities. The deadline for submission is October 14, and the top prize is $2,000. Full details about the contest, including submission guidelines and rules for eligibility are available at stopbullying.challenge.gov.
- StopBullying.gov, a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services, provides information and resources from government agencies on how to prevent, respond, and take action against bullying.
College Planning for Juniors
College Planning: 11th Grade
Junior year marks a turning point. This is because for most students and families, it’s when college planning activities kick into high gear. Here are some things you can do this year to stay on track for college.
¨ Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, social/cultural preferences, and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.
¨ Learn about colleges. Look at their websites and find colleges at bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search. Talk to friends, family members, teachers, and recent grads of your school now in college. List the college features that interest you.
¨ Resource check: Visit the counseling office and meet the counselors there. Is there a college night for students and families? When will college representatives visit your school? (Put the dates in your calendar.) Examine catalogs and guides.
¨ At school, speak to your counselor about taking the PSAT/NMSQT®, which is given in October. If you plan to ask for testing accommodations (because of a disability), be sure the College Board has approved your eligibility. ¨ Make a file to manage your college search, testing, and application data. If appropriate (for example, if you’re interested in drama, music, art, sports, etc.), start to gather material for a portfolio.
¨ Estimate your financial aid need. Financial aid can help you afford college. Use the College Board’s Getting Financial Aid and the financial aid calculator at bigfuture.org to estimate how much aid you might receive.
¨ Sign up to take the SAT® in the spring. You can register online or through your school. SAT fee waivers are available to eligible students. To prepare for the SAT, you can access free, personalized SAT practice tools at satpractice.org, including thousands of interactive questions, video lessons, practice tests, and more.
¨ Begin a search for financial aid sources. National sources include the College Board’s Scholarship Search and electronic sources. Don’t overlook local and state aid sources. (Ask a counselor for help or check your public library.)
¨ With your family, make an appointment with your counselor to discuss ways to improve your collegepreparation and selection processes.
¨ Ask a counselor or teacher about taking the SAT Subject Tests™ in the spring. You should take them while course material is still fresh in your mind. You can download The SAT Subject Tests Student Guide, which offers testprep advice, from SATSubjectTests.org.
¨ Explore AP®. The Advanced Placement® Program helps hundreds of thousands of high school students achieve their college dreams each year. Get the facts at apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap. If you’re in AP classes, register for the AP Exams given in May. ¨ Opt in to the College Board Opportunity Scholarships at cb.org/opportunity. You can earn scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 by completing individual college planning steps. Complete all six steps and you’ll be eligible for the $40,000 scholarship.
¨ Contact your counselor before leaving school for the summer if you are considering military academies or ROTC scholarships. If you want a four-year ROTC scholarship, you should begin the application process the summer before your senior year.
¨ Develop a list of 15 or 20 colleges that are of interest to you. You can find many colleges at which you’ll be happy and get a great education. The college search is about exploring who you are and what you want and then finding colleges that will meet your goals.
¨ Stay open to all the possibilities—don’t limit your search. To find the best college for you, you should apply to colleges of varying selectivity. Selective colleges admit a portion of students who apply. Some colleges are highly selective while others are less selective. Make sure to apply to public, private, in-state, and out-of-state schools so that you have plenty of options from which to choose.
¨ Take the SAT. The test is typically offered in March, May, and June. Make sure you start preparing for the test several months in advance using the tools available at satpractice.org. And remember, if you’re not happy with your scores when you get them, you might want to test again in the fall. Many students take the test a second time as seniors, and they usually do better.
¨ Start to gather documents for financial aid: Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns handy. You’ll use these to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens on Oct. 1.
¨ Get your FSA ID: Before you can fill out your FAFSA, you need to get a username and password (also known as an FSA ID).
¨ Find a full-time or part-time job, or participate in a summer camp or summer college program.
¨ Visit colleges. When planning your campus visits, make sure to allow time to explore each college. While you’re there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admission staff, professors, and students. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, make appointments to have interviews with admission counselors.
¨ Create a résumé—a record of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and work experiences since you started high school.
Visit bigfuture.org for more information.
¨ Download applications. Go to the website of each college’s admission office and either complete the application online or request a paper application from colleges to which you’ll apply. Check application dates—large universities may have early dates or rolling admission.
¨ Visit some local colleges—large, small, public, and private. A visit to a college campus can help you decide if that college is right for you. Make a plan ahead of time to get the most from your visit. Check out the campus checklist at bigfuture.org. Attend college fairs, too.
¨ Scan local newspapers to see which civic, cultural, and service organizations in your area award financial aid to graduating seniors. Start a file.
© 2019 The College Board. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Upcoming Senior Visits with Counselors
Counselors will be meeting with Seniors on October 5, 7 and 9th through advisory. They will be asking your senior to schedule a one on one visit through sign up genius to discuss post secondary planning.
College Application Help Sessions
Monday, Oct. 5th, 9:30am
NOVA PATHWAYS APPLICATION SESSIONS
Monday, Oct. 19th, 9pm
We are hosting 2 workshops if you need help applying. Register here:
NOVA Application workshop