High School Counseling Connections

November/December 2018

Anxiety Disorders in Teens

As parents, you know that your children have many concerns and causes for distress. Adolescence is a very difficult time -- friends, hormones, school, significant others -- all contribute to the stress they feel. They are also stressed about finding the perfect college and the funds to pay for them. Some teens may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety that lead to difficulties in their social and academic lives and want you to help them relieve this discomfort.

If teens are experiencing anxiety, they may not want to participate in their usual activities. This may involve avoidance of interacting with peers or withdrawing from social and academic activities. Some of this avoidance comes from perfectionism, social pressures and underdeveloped self-esteem. You may notice that your child is more worried about performing well in classes and getting the grades s/he needs to get into their ideal college. Teens may also be excessively concerned with the peer pressures that are common for may high school students.

If you notice your child is becoming overly stressed or anxious about school, talk to them to see what's on their mind and ask how you can help them. Also, please get in touch with your child's school counselor who can meet with your child or refer you to outside resources for support. Sometimes it's just a matter of putting your child's concerns into perspective, not judging them and reinforcing that you are always there for them.

For suggestions about how to help your child, check out this article.

Some Mostly Unknown Facts About College Financial Aid

1. There are strategies for completing the FAFSA and maximizing aid: It's not enough to complete a FAFSA correctly and submit on time. There are concrete strategies students' families can use to reduce their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which will increase their eligibility for aid. It's well worth every family's time to learn what these are. You may want to check with your tax accountant.

2. EFC Formulas Aren't All the Same: EFC formulas vary by college an university. For example, some colleges factor in home equity; others don't. Knowing the difference before applying for aid can make a big difference in the financial award. Check with the colleges to find out what they look at.

3. With Test Scores, a Two-Point Difference Matters: A modest two-point increase in standardized test scores can generate $10,000 more in scholarships. If a student is dithering about retaking the ACT or SAT, this fact could be very motivating.

4. When Applying for Scholarships, It Pays to Focus: Although it's great to apply for private scholarships, the real bank for the buck comes from colleges and universities themselves -- this is where students should focus the bulk of their time and effort. Scour the college websites for scholarship opportunities.

5. Academic Awards Aren't Always Final: It is possible to appeal or even negotiate an academic award after final letters are received. For example, families can appeal when there's been a change in income, if they've incurred unexpected medical expenses, or even if a similarly-ranked college made a better offer.

6. The Rules Are Different For Small Business Owners: Parents who are small business owners have additional college funding strategies available -- such as holding their assets in business accounts to minimize their EFCs. For students whose families own businesses, exploring these ins and outs with an expert can be a game-changer.

7. Save Yourself the Hassle and Utilize the IRS Data Retrieval System: Using the IRS data retrieval when completing the FAFSA can save you a headache later. Exact spelling and wording are crucial for the system to work correctly. If used correctly, student may receive their award letters sooner and are less likely to require verification by schools.

8. CSS Profile, Verification & Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC): Being aware of how to complete these documents is crucial for students receiving timely award letters and being able to make a sound financial decision for college. All necessary documents must be submitted through the required means of each institution to understand their award eligibility for each individual school. Students could be msissing out on thousands of dollars if these requirements are ignored.

Nurtured Heart Approach Training for Parents

What is the Nurtured Heart Approach®?

The Nurtured Heart Approach® is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in The 3 Stands™ for helping children (and adults) build their Inner Wealth® and use their intensity in successful ways. It has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success. The essence of the Nurtured Heart Approach® is a set of core methodologies originally developed for working with the most difficult children. It has a proven impact on every child, including those who are challenged behaviorally, socially and academically.

The objectives of the training are to:

• Explain why conventional methods of parenting, therapy and teaching often fail with intense children, despite the best of intentions.

• Shift a challenging child to using his or her intensity in successful ways, even if the child is diagnosed with ADHD, ODD or exhibits other difficult behavior.

• Apply the core methodologies of the Nurtured Heart Approach to build Inner Wealth in all children and create a richer social-emotional environment.

There are two six-week trainings open to parents of secondary age children. The first training is December 12 - January 30 from 9am to 11am. The second training is February 20 - March 27 from 6pm - 8pm. The training is six weeks in length and will meet once a week. Both trainings will be held on Wednesdays. The training will take place at the Board of Education Administration building in the large conference room. More details will be forthcoming.

If you are interested, please RSVP here.

Counseling Calendar

Nov. -- December

Seniors pursuing post-secondary education

· Continue to apply to colleges -- regular admission

November 1-15

Early Action/Early Decision application deadlines due

November 2

Registration deadline for the December 8th ACT and the December 1st SAT & SAT Subject Tests

November 3

SAT & SAT Subject Tests Administration

November 26

Seniors pursuing post-secondary education: Pink cards are due to Counseling Services for

November 30

Option II application deadline for spring semester (see Program of Studies for details)


Seniors pursuing post-secondary education: Send SAT scores to colleges to which you have applied.

December 1

SAT and SAT Subject Tests Administration

December 8