DHS Counseling Department News

April/May 2020

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Welcome friends! This too shall pass...

The Counseling Department shares in the collective disappointment of school being closed the rest of the year. We miss the hustle and bustle of a busy Counseling office, seeing students come in and out, and being able to sit down and have in person conversations with you all. That being said, the safety of everyone is paramount and we know that we will weather this storm together. We are still here for you to help support you through this time and hope that you will continue to engage with us through our Google classroom pages, emails, during zoom meetings, and by reaching out to us as we will continue to reach out to you.

As everyone settles into learning from home we encourage everyone to stay focused on finishing the year strong. It is important to keep a daily routine and schedule. It is also important to give yourself breaks throughout the school day. Take breaks from your computer screen, move around, go for a walk, get some fresh air, or do something that makes you happy! We hope that everyone stays healthy and finds ways to de-stress and stay positive.

Staying motivated

We recognize during this unprecedented time that students might be feeling unmotivated, upset, and/or experiencing difficulty. Please reach out to your teachers and us if you are having trouble...we will try to support and help you through this. It is very important that you complete all of your assignments, participate in zoom meetings, and communicate with your teachers. The building may be closed but school is not and we all need to still be trying to stay motivated, learning, and engaging in classes. Please reach out to us if you are having an issue academically, socially, or emotionally.

Well Being Playbook - Taking Care of Yourself During Covid-19


MCAS Cancelled


On April 10, 2020, Commissioner Riley canceled the regular administration of grade-level MCAS tests for students. This includes the cancellation of the MCAS-Alt. More details to follow.

AP Exam Information

  • Exams will be taken online from May 11 through May 22.
  • Updated exam dates: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EiRgnbgiiyPffwrZtPgvvk8eaAK4xUs7x4BfwbZQbBU/edit
  • Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide. For most subjects, exams will be 45 mins long, consisting of 1-2 free-response questions and be open book/open note.
  • Make-up test dates will be available for each subject from June 1 through June 5.

  • When you log in to AP Classroom, you will now see free-response questions that can help you practice your knowledge and skills as you prepare for this year's AP Exams. You will see scoring criteria to help you revise your responses and you can get direct feedback from your teachers. You should also be using the YouTube AP classes and review materials that are widely popular: https://www.youtube.com/user/advancedplacement

  • Here is the parent webinar on AP changes archived from April 16. Please know that parents must register for the webinar as a first step. A follow up link will be sent to parents once the registration information is complete. Parent Webinar Archived

  • In late April, CollegeBoard will provide AP students and educators with information on how to access the testing system on test day, and video demonstrations so that students can familiarize themselves with the system.


We have been continuing to work on schedules for next year and have noticed that a number of students have not put in an adequate amount of electives given that we now have many new half-year electives and more spots to fill. Students, please go in to iPass and add more electives if you did not add in enough; otherwise, we will need to put you into whatever electives fit into your schedule. We do our best to get you into the classes you want, but please know that sometimes certain classes may not fit. We do our best! :)


During this time of remote learning, it is important to stay focused on working toward your goals and continuing to participate in your class zoom meetings, discussions, and keeping up with assignments.

Great job on your Career Projects, Sophomores! Although we are sorry that we could not see you present, we really enjoyed looking at your presentations and reading your thoughtful reflections. Many of you are really considering pursuing the career path that you researched and stated that you learned a lot about yourselves and the goals you need to set in order to get where you want to be.

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" ~Confucious

Info for Juniors

The CollegeBoard has officially cancelled the June 6th SAT. They will offer SAT exams monthly starting in August through December. They just announced today that they have added a new SAT administration for Saturday, September 26, 2020. This date will be for the SAT only with no SAT Subject Tests available. Registration for the 2020-21 SAT administrations will open the week of May 26. At that point, June registrants will be able to transfer their seat to a 2020-21 administration. All other students who don't have SAT scores will also have early access to register for the August, September, and October administrations. This includes students who had registered for March or May and had their registrations canceled and refunded. The CollegeBoard has also reported that they are working on an online version of the SAT's if it becomes necessary. Please see their webpage for more details:


Article on how the online SAT might affect college admissions:

* Speaking of colleges-The colleges we have heard from are urging us to tell you not to stress out! They are going to be very flexible with the college admissions process in the fall. Again, everyone is in the same position as you. Colleges are making decisions about admissions as time goes on and as information from their state comes in. Things are constantly changing and they said the best way to get updates is to go directly to their websites. Right now many of them are focused on the seniors but they will start looking at things such as application deadlines, merit awards, etc. for you guys soon.

So what should you do? Focus on the things you CAN control in this process:

* Start researching colleges: Most colleges have virtual tours, zoom conferences, and are using social media to connect with students. Don't be afraid to reach out directly to the admissions offices via email. They would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have!

Info on college virtual tours:


Please check out these 3 great videos:

1. The College Application Process


2. College Prep you can do during Coronavirus


3. How to make college more affordable


College Planning checklist:


* Prepare for the SAT's: Remember there is a ton of free study material right on CollegeBoard and through Khan Academy . Visit https://www.khanacademy.org/sat

* Work on your college essay: Your English teachers will be giving you information about this shortly. We have also been told that the Common Application may be adding a section for you to detail your experience during this crisis.

* Participate in virtual learning: Mrs. Carpenter and Mrs. O'Brien will be communicating with your colleges in the fall. The good news is that colleges will only see your final grades so you don't have to worry too much. Please remember that you will need 1-2 teacher recommendations next year and you want them to say positive things about how you handled this time away from school. We know online learning can be tough but do the best you can. Your teachers are here to help you! So are we of course :)

Article on thinking outside the box during COVID-19:


Info for Seniors...

We know this is tough news to take that we won't be back in school this year. We stand with you and are here for you. We will continue to update you with all important information as it becomes available.

* If you are still trying to decide what college to attend in the fall, take advantage of the virtual tours, zoom conferences, and social media being put out by the colleges. Admissions reps are all still working and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
* Many colleges have moved their deadline for you to make your decision to June 1st and some have lowered their deposit fee. Make sure to check out each individual college as some of them still have a May 1st deadline.
* Colleges are asking that you do not put down a deposit at more than one college! It may be tempting especially when they are lowering the amount for the deposit. Once you make a deposit at a college you should be contacting the other colleges you applied to to let them know you have decided not to attend their school.
* Colleges know that finances may have changed for some of you. They ask that if this is the case, to contact the financial aid offices. They will do the best they can to help make their school more affordable for your family.

Here's an article with answers to frequently asked questions about how coronavirus is affecting college admissions/aid:


Here is a helpful spreadsheet that allows you to plug in information from your financial aid award letters and compare each school. We know choosing a college can be stressful so please reach out if you need some help!

Also, if your financial situation has changed (parent has been laid off/unable to work) make sure you contact the financial aid office at each college. They may be able to adjust your financial aid.

Remember to make a copy of this spreadsheet when you use it so you can save it.


Other helpful resources...

Colleges: NACAC is providing this online tool as a central resource for information about changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak https://www.nacacnet.org/news--publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/

Virtual College Campus Tours for college/universities across the nation, including all the UCs, CSUs, private universities, and many community colleges


Parent Response Toolkit:


VHS Information

If you plan on taking a VHS class next year, Mrs. Malo needs to hear from you ASAP! Please email her at kmalo@douglasps.net with your top three choices for your fall class and/or spring class (make sure to rank them). She will also need you to send her a personal email address you want to use for VHS purposes. You are unable to use your school email.

Here is a link to the online course catalog with course descriptions: http://www.vhslearning.org/catalog

Here is a complete list of courses for your review:


Naviance Curriculum coming soon...

Beginning Monday, April 27th all students will have specific lessons assigned to them in Naviance. These lessons will focus on career planning, college planning, self-discovery, and more. All students have an account and can log in using Clever. Here is a list of lessons that are being assigned:

Grade 9:

My Foundation (15-20 minutes) Self Discovery

My High School Resume (15-20 minutes) Career Planning

Beginning My College Search (15-20 minutes) College Planning

Grade 10:

My Favorite Qualities (15-20 minutes) Self Discovery

Enhancing My Resume (15-20 minutes) Career Planning

My College Options (15-20 minutes) College Planning

Grade 11:

College SuperMatch (20 minutes) College Planning

My College Essay (15-20 minutes) College Planning

Paying for College (15-20 minutes) Financial Planning

My Senior Year (15-20 minutes) Success Skills

Grade 12:

Being Career Ready (15-20 minutes) Career Planning

Choosing the Right School (15-20 minutes) College Planning

Beyond the Acceptance Letter (15-20 minutes) College Planning

Leaving Home (20-30 minutes) Success Skills

Douglas High School Counseling Department

(from left to right...)

Kathy Brosnahan-Guidance Secretary

Jessica Hurley-School Psychologist

Jill Carpenter-Director of School Counseling

Kristen O'Brien-School Counselor

Lindsey Poulin-School Adjustment Counselor

Erica Paquette-School Counseling Intern