Colgan Counseling Newsletter

Spring 2019

Welcome Colgan Families!

The Charles J. Colgan, Sr. High School Counseling Department is excited to meet and work with Colgan families. This newsletter contains important information about upcoming events, college planning, and other helpful info!



Congratulations! Your high school student took the PSAT/NMSQT® at school on October 10, 2018. This test gives students a chance to take the next step to college. If your student provided an e-mail address on their test answer sheet, you will be receiving an electronic score report soon. If your child did not provide an e-mail address on their answer sheet, he/she will receive a paper score report from their school counselor during the third marking period. Once the scores are received, here’s what your student can do to make the most out of the experience:

  • Log in to or create a College Board account online. PSAT/NMSQT® scores will be released online mid-December. Students should log in to their College Board account to see scores and test performance details;
  • Get free, personalized SAT practice. The PSAT/NMSQT® is great preparation for the SAT®. Your student’s score unlocks a free, personalized practice through Official SAT® Practice on Khan Academy®. Students go to, create an account, and link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts for a plan based on their test results;
  • Review AP course recommendations. Student score reports identify AP® courses that are the best match for them. AP can give your student an edge in the admissions process and earn them college credit while in high school, which saves time and money in college. Students who attend schools with IB or Cambridge courses may use the AP course recommendations as a guideline for taking challenging IB and Cambridge courses in a specific subject area;
  • Explore Careers. When students log in to see their scores, they can connect with Roadmap to Careers. They answer questions to find out which careers interest them, what degrees they’ll need, and what high school courses to take. They can watch video interviews with people in professions related to their interests;
  • Get started on BigFuture®. Students can begin their College Search using BigFuture®;
  • Register for the SAT® or the ACT. Take the next step toward college by registering for one of these tests. Both are now widely accepted by colleges and universities across the country; and
  • Questions about how to use PSAT/NMSQT® scores? Please navigate to our PSAT® web page for more information and helpful tips.

Below is a link explaining how to access score reports, how to get the most out of those score reports, and how to share those score reports with Khan Academy for personalized SAT practice!

Senior Reminders!

The Counseling Department want to remind seniors to sign into Naviance to request transcripts for the colleges they are applying to. Keep in mind that Counselors require transcript requests to be submitted through Naviance ten business days prior to the application deadline. If any student has questions or would like to request assistance requesting their transcript through Naviance, they should see their Counselor.

2019 Academic Advising

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There are scholarship opportunities currently available for Colgan Seniors. Scholarships specific to Colgan Seniors will start becoming available during the late winter/early spring months. Please check out the website below or stop in and talk to Dr. Byrd!!

Email Communication

Please make sure your email is to up to date in Parent Portal. The counseling department will be communicating information to parents and students via emails through Family Connection.
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College Admissions Testing

PSAT results will be available online starting December 10-12. Use your access code to review the test questions and get explanations about your wrong answers. For more practice, log onto for interactive practice problems, instant feedback, and full practice tests.

To register for the SAT, visit

To register for the ACT, visit

Students receiving free or reduced lunch are eligible for a test fee waiver. Stop by Dr. Byrd's office to pick up your waiver, and please contact her if you have any questions.

College Planning Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Meet your counselor.
  • Take challenging classes. As a general rule, take courses to put you on track for the advanced studies diploma.
  • Get involved, both in and out of school (athletics, clubs, community service).
  • Work hard to get good grades. GPA matters!
  • Start exploring your interests and discover possible career choices.
  • Start researching colleges.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue to work with your counselor to ensure that you are on track for an advanced studies diploma.
  • Take the PSAT.
  • Identify your criteria for college (size, cost, location, academic programs, etc.).
  • Familiarize yourself with college admission requirements.
  • Start researching careers that interest you and determine the education/training requirements.
  • Take on leadership roles in the extracurricular activities that you are involved in.
  • Work on your reading and writing skills. Focus on vocabulary development!

Junior Year


  • Take the PSAT
  • Create a list of schools that interest you and meet your criteria.
  • Examine the admissions requirements of schools on your list to determine if you qualify.


  • Attend college fairs and meet with college representatives that visit CCHS, in order to continue gathering information.
  • Take the SAT and ACT.
  • Begin comparing the schools on your list according to your criteria and the admission requirements. Rank the schools on your list.
  • Start visiting schools that are on the top of your list.

Senior Year


  • Start searching for scholarships and apply to any and all that you are eligible for.
  • Continue to visit schools on your list.
  • Finalize your list to include reach, target and safety schools. (4-8 colleges)
  • Determine application deadlines and decide if you will be applying early action/decision or regular.
  • Ask for teacher recommendations in person and formally request through Family Connection (at least 2-3 weeks PRIOR to the deadline.)
  • Take the SAT and/or ACT, and request that your scores be sent to schools on your list.
  • Complete and submit your applications prior to the deadline.
  • Fill out the FAFSA. You can do this as early as October 1, the sooner the better! Be sure to check your schools priority filing deadline.
  • Request transcripts through Family Connection for the schools that you applied to (at least 2-3 weeks PRIOR to the deadline.)


  • Continue searching and applying for scholarships that you are eligible for.
  • Watch for decision letters. Early action/decision letters should arrive early winter, regular decision letters should arrive in March/April. Financial Aid award packages should arrive by the end of April.
  • Compare schools that you have been accepted to and financial aid packages.
  • Make final decision and notify schools by May 1.
  • Ensure that all financial aid paperwork is complete for the college that you are attending.
  • Complete enrollment paperwork and submit deposit for the college that you are attending.



Meet our new counselors!

Lexi Restivo

Ms. Restivo graduated with her M.Ed in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia in May 2018! And she received her Bachelor's degree from Lynchburg College, where she majored in Psychology. This will be Ms. Restivo's first year as a school counselor and she is ecstatic to get to know the students, staff and parents. She is passionate about post high school planning and hopes to encourage and expand students' social networks. It is her hope that she speaks of the academic, social and emotional needs of our school community.

In her spare time, Ms. Restivo likes to go explore the outdoors. She has a black lab named D.o.g. She often goes hiking with him on the weekends. You'll often find her running. After finishing two half marathons, she believes she's ready for a full this upcoming year. Any tips are welcome! She also enjoys checking out the local events around town and is looking forward to cheering on the Sharks in any way she can. Looking forward to meeting you!

Alyson Richardson

Ms. Richardson is excited to join the Colgan High School family this year! She began her school counseling career three years ago with Prince William County Schools, serving as the 3rd-5th grade counselor at Fannie W. Fitzgerald Elementary School. While at Fitzgerald Ms. Richardson worked diligently to maintain their counseling department’s status as an American School Counseling Association Recognized National Model Program. Ms. Richardson is a National Certified Counselor with a passion for helping students navigate their academic and career endeavors.

Ms. Richardson attended the University of Virginia for her undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. She then went to graduate school at the College of William and Mary where she graduated with a Master of Education in School Counseling. WAHOOWA and Go Tribe!

Ms. Richardson coaches cheerleading at a high school in Fairfax and loves staying active. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, running, being outside, watching UVA basketball, and hanging out with her awesome cat T.J.! Ms. Richardson is looking forward to building relationships with and serving the students and families of Colgan High School. Let’s make it a fantastic school year and go sharks!

Additional Support Team

An Introduction from our School Social Worker, Mrs. Brown.

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Who Am I

Cynthia R. Brown,

School social Worker

I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from VCU. I have been working as a social worker since the late 70’s. I have been a school social worker with PWCS for 18 years and have been at Colgan since it opened. I am proud to be a SHARK!

I am active in the community with several service organizations and I am knowledgeable of community resources. I am an active member of four local organizations whose mission is to serve the youth and families of Prince William County. I have extensive experience working with youth and adolescents and experience in crisis intervention.

I have lived in Prince William County since 1992. I am a wife and mother of an adult daughter who graduated from Prince William County Schools.

WHere Am I Located

My office is in the Counseling Department: Room 1017.

I am available Monday through Friday.

How Can I Help

It is my responsibility as a school social worker to help insure that all students are physically and emotionally available for learning by empowering them to be active participants in their own personal growth while working collaboratively with their supportive system and school staff. It is my responsibility is to assist students who:

  • May be experiencing at-risk social/ emotional behaviors (sadness, anger, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, isolation, bullying, running away, concerns for a peer, substance use, trafficking, gang involvement, or questioning gender identity or sexuality), I am a mental health professional who is here to listen and help students work through their concerns without judgment.

  • May have a history of school behaviors (failing classes, skipping classes, discipline referrals, conflicts with peers, struggling academically, or poor study habits)

  • May be currently experiencing environmental concerns (a loss, a break-up, abuse, unhappy about a life situation(s), experiencing homelessness or something at home that is impacting the student and their education), I am here to listen and assist.

    I confer with parents and school staff as an advocate for all students. I also have information regarding agencies and services in Prince William County that can assist in the emotional and environmental stability for students and their families.

Please refer students to me who you believe might be in need of assistance or who may need family support. Please email or contact me at ext. 6337 with any questions or concerns.

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