West Hempstead Guidance Newsletter


Happy Fall!

What a great time of the year. The beauty of the falling leaves, the crisp air, and the excitement of a new school year is underway. The West Hempstead support staff is dedicated to all students to plan and prepare them for their future goals and endeavors. Our vision is to empower our students to be interested learners, independent thinkers, and become well-rounded individuals. There are resources included in the newsletter for our West Hempstead school community. It is also exciting that this is the first edition of our Newsletter, which will be updated quarterly.

The following is a quote by Lon Watters, "School is a building that has four walls-with tomorrow inside".

Tips from the Guidance Front

College Applications:

Calling all seniors! if you have not done so already, please let your school counselor know the colleges you are applying to. The College Check list she must be completed and submitted to your counselor at least two weeks before the application deadline.


Senior students at West Hempstead High School have a wonderful opportunity to meet with local college admissions representatives and have an instant admission decision made during our on-site program. The benefits of participating are:

· No Application fee (NCC excluded)

· Immediate admissions decision

· Knowing if receiving an academic scholarship

Please come to guidance to sign up, and pick up bulletin which has all of the necessary information to complete the on-site. All documents needed must be submitted to guidance 1 week prior to the on-site date. Please see your school counselor if you have any questions.

FYI About the SAT/ACT: Now is the time to register and plan a head for the SAT and/or the SAT subject Tests and/or the ACT examinations. These college entrance exams are required for most four-year colleges and universities, and/or scholarships. For all administration dates, deadline, information, and to register, visit:

SAT/SAT Subject Tests- https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register?s_kwcid=AL!4330!10!73873563991304!73873526083134&ef_id=WFK7MwAAAEpe7B2A:20181130172147:s


First Quarter Done:

With the first quarter completed, you have time to make any changes to your study habits or homework routine, if you need. There are academic supports in place to help our students: Teachers’ extra help, peer tutoring, homework club, and Tutor.com (free through the West Hempstead public library). Extra help is a fantastic way to receive additional academic support, reinforce topics learned in class or maybe just get some homework done. Use this time wisely-if you think a tutor might help; why not consider a peer tutor from the National Honor Society. Please visit our school district’s website for details, or contact your school counselor for details of these supports. Now is the time to keep up the good work and improve upon your scholastic achievements.

National Honor Society Peer Tutoring link: https://docs.google.com/a/whufsd.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecSDBTPtz-3Q-jB8ZmpJ0PXRyQxbUoZyP8Zh7cgXM9PLSzqw/viewform?c=0&w=1

Tutor.Com through the West Hempstead Public Library- links:




Got Naviance?

Are you utilizing the wonderful resource that is Naviance? If not, you should be. This online site is a research tool for students/parents to stay on top of all things career and college. This is a great starting point for career and college readiness. If you do not have not yet done so, log onto https://student.naviance.com/westhemp and register today. If you do not have a registration code, visit your guidance counselor.

Study and Homework Tips for Parents:

As students get settled into there academic year and routines, we wanted to provide you with tips for improving and/or enhancing your child’s homework and study skills. They are:

  • Help or redefine a homework area where your child is visible and can be supervised to prevent electronic/digital distractions.
  • Use a checklist system that will reinforce organization and provide that student with a sense of accomplishments-once that task is finished!
  • Help in the creation of a homework schedule. This allows the student to budget their time while including breaks and time of leisure.
  • Check in with them. This supports communication and an understanding of where their struggles or difficulties may be occurring.

Below is a general timeline for test planning:

GRADE 9​: Students should focus on their courses, join some clubs and/or sports and do their best as they begin to build their high school record. If they are taking an Honors course such as Living Environment, they may want to consider taking an SAT Subject Test. These content-specific tests may be required by some colleges. There are 20 tests to choose from - speak with your counselor for details.

GRADE 10​:. An SAT Subject Test may be appropriate this year as well.

GRADE 11​: Students can take the SAT or ACT in the winter or spring. Taking one or both tests for a second time is advisable but it is important to plan for prep work to be scheduled in between to address targeted areas that students want to improve on.

GRADE 12​: If seniors feel they want another opportunity to improve their score, they can consider the November and/or December test administration date, depending on their college application deadlines.

Senior Center

College Admissions Reminders:

1. Student must be CLEAR with their recommending teachers about their college application deadlines. Students are to inquire with the teacher if any additional information is needed in this process.

2. It is the student’s responsibility to create accounts on each applied college. This is where students check their application status for missing documents. Wait approximately one/two weeks for documents to upload on status screen from the time of Naviance submission.

3. Students must send their ACT and/or SAT from their online accounts. PPS does not send scores.

4. Transcript Release Requests for colleges with January 2019 deadline must be submitted to the guidance office no later than December 8th.

7. Email your counselor to make a request to send 1st quarter grades.

8. Keep up your grades the entire year! Admission to every college is contingent on successful high school completion! Your final GPA must be similar to the GPA at acceptance time!

9. Communicate with your counselor and teachers if you apply to additional colleges!

10. Check websites and/or call admissions office to learn method of releasing admissions

Money, Money, Money…Money:

Life after high school can be pricey and there is money out there to help ease the financial burden. Visit the guidance office for a copy of the scholarship bulletin. Once the college applications have been submitted, students and parents should immediately turn their attention to researching scholarships. There is a great deal of scholarship money available for students, but it does require research! There are many free scholarship websites to find the money you need for college,. Some of which are:

Fastweb.com: https://www.fastweb.com/


The College Board: https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/?navId=aru-cbos

Please speak to your counselor for any additional scholarship websites.

CSS Profile is requested by many private colleges. Click on the link for the list of universities who need this completed: https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx

Pay close attention to what each school requires from you once your application is submitted! It is important to be knowledgeable of the different scholarship programs available to high school students:

  • Need Based Scholarships: Money awarded based on financial need; as demonstrated on the FAFSA. Packages are mailed home in early spring of senior year after electronic submission of FAFSA form. Please contact the financial aid office directly at the college or university for any financial aid questions you may have.
  • Merit Scholarships: Money awarded based upon academic achievement during high school and standardized test scores. Generally, no additional work is required and notification comes with (or shortly after) admissions offer.
  • College Based Scholarships: Money awarded by a specific college. Many competitive colleges award money based on additional requirements that are fulfilled on separate scholarship applications.
  • General College Scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarship money based upon a variety of factors. Each scholarship will require a separate application with varying degrees of additional work.

Junior Junction

Junior Conferences:

School counselors will be having Junior Conferences starting in January. Parents please complete your child’s brag sheet. This questionnaire is a tool to help your school counselor gain some additional insight to who your child is outside of school.

First Impression Count, Even on Facebook:

We are hearing that college admissions offices are turning to social networking sites like Facebook to learn about applicants more than ever before. What’s on your Facebook-is it appropriate? Would you be embarrassed if any of your images were seen by a college admissions officer? If the answer is yes, then you’ve got some social media cleaning up to do. Make sure Facebook information/pictures showcase you in the best positive light. This online information is a snapshot of who you are to a college admissions officer who doesn’t know you yet. Parents should be involved in what your child does online so you can be a partner in helping them create a positive “digital footprint”. Be sure to check privacy settings, be smart, appropriate, and professional online because you never know who is looking? Attached are articles regarding how social media is impacting the college admission process.



Sophomore Square

College is Around the Corner:

It’s never to early to start building your road map to get there. Using the Naviance/Family Connection program is a great tool to help explore college/ and or career planning beyond high school.

College Testing:

  • PSAT/NMSQT Information:
  • Students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in October can access their score online. These score reports are excellent resources to help students begin their preparation for the SAT exams that are typically taken in the spring of their junior year.
  • Testing Accommodations:
  • Students who require any type of testing accommodation MUST be pre-approved by the College Board for the PSAT, and SAT and for the ACT by ACT.org. This approval process can take up to eight weeks. For additional information, parents can contact Ms. Linda Ragen at Lragen@whufsd.com

BOCES- Barry Technical School:

The BOCES Barry Technical program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn hands on skills in a variety of careers. In addition to a high school diploma, these students want a head start in learning skills needed for employment and/or more direction in what they want to study at college. A successful year or two at Barry Tech can enable students to:

  • enter the world of work after graduation
  • continue advanced career studies in a technical training course
  • attend a two- or four-year college.

Barry Tech courses are taught in environments that simulate the real world. Classes may be held in an airplane hangar, horse training stable, carpentry shop or video production studio. Courses focus on doing things, rather than just reading or hearing about them.

In addition to taking academic courses leading to a diploma, every student attending a public high school in New York State is entitled to enroll in an occupational course of his or her choosing. Barry Tech offers about 40 different courses. A wide variety of students attend Barry Tech. Many are excellent students in their home schools and enjoy the professional atmosphere Barry Tech offers. Others discover that Barry Tech's learning approach works well for them and often find their grades show significant improvement.

Barry Tech School Hours:

A.M. classes - 7:50 to 10:20

P.M. classes - 11:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Learning at Barry Tech

Barry Tech courses provide students with both theory and practical application. Students explore career options, and are encouraged to learn at your own pace. Students will gain valuable experience while learning about the world of work. In this kind of atmosphere, students begin to understand and accept the uniqueness of their abilities. At the same time the classroom experience helps you develop and expand your skills. Students learn to work as part of a team dealing with a wide range of situations, building confidence as a natural outcome.

Please let your counselor know if you are interested in one of the BOCES Barry technical programs for your Junior and Senior year. An application needs to be completed for this program. Please contact your child's school counselor to received additional information regarding the BOCES programs being offered in junction with West Hempstead High School. For a description or overview of the programs please visit the BOCES Barry Tech website: https://www.nassauboces.org/barrytech

Freshman Corner

Friendly Reminders:

While the transition from middle school to high school can be challenging for both students and parents, here are some tips to help with this transition.

  • The key to freshman year is to stay organized, manage your time and remain focused on your academics.
  • Study in advance for all exams and use your time effectively to complete assignment on time.
  • Review our class notes on a daily basis to reinforce what you learned in class.
  • Go to extra help. All teachers have extra help days and times (which are posted in the guidance office). This is a wonderful opportunity to receive academic support, or even ask your teachers the questions you may not feel comfortable asking in class. Remember, you should bring written questions to discuss with your teacher.
  • Getting involved in the school and the community will help you explore your personal interests. A list of clubs is available on the high school website.


Naviance/Family Connection: The career component of this program is a great tool for students to begin to think and explore their future career options.

Career Finder in Naviance Step-By-Step Guide

1. Connection.naviance.com\whufsd

2. Register — see a counselor if code is not known or log on is already registered.

3. Click on “Careers” tab

4. Click on “Cluster Finder” under “What are my interests” section.

5. Scroll to bottom and click “Let’s begin”

6. Complete the interest assessment. Be sure to complete all four sections.

7. After the assessment is completed, explore “top clusters”.

8. After exploring, click on “t” to add cluster to your personalized list

Activity Resume': Creating a resume/activity sheet is part of the college application process. This can be challenging for some students. There is a resume component part of Naviance/Family Connection program which allows students to documentation their accolades:, academic, clubs, activities, volunteer experience, community service, and sports. Students should be documenting this information on an ongoing basis throughout high school. Don't wait until your senior year to compile this information, and create such a document while in the mists of the college application process. It's easy to forget what your achievements were in the Fall of freshman year.

** Every course matters and each grade builds on the next. "High school is the building blocks of your future"! "School is like a bank, you only get out of it what you put into it".

Middle School Maze

The middle school years can be a trick maze for students and parents. Students are changing socially, emotionally and academically all at once. For some, this can be a roller coaster of a ride at times. Communication between home and school is a vital part to help students during this time to "Rise Up" and achieve their middle school goals and prepare them for high school. Here are some helpful tips:

Helping Your Middle School Child: Tips to parents about how to help their child navigate through Middle School:

● Kids should be active for at least one hour every day. Encourage your child to participate in a sport or an active hobby. This can also apply growth to their social development.

● Kids need to have the hygiene talk. Approach this gently, but a light-hearted approach can help!

● Many middle school students experience an increase in appetite but don’t always make the best food choices. Make breakfast a normal part of the family routine. Provide healthy snacks.

● Prioritize your evening meal as a family whenever possible. This has benefits far beyond healthy eating habits. Conversation over dinner is a great way to stay connected to your children.

● Asking “How was your day”? will most likely be answered with a shrug of the shoulders or short answer. Ask specific questions such as, “What did you learn in math class today?” or “Tell me one thing that made you happy today.” Keeping the lines of communication open is critical”!

● Young adolescents need plenty of sleep! Have reasonable limits on all electronic devices.

● Arrange for a specific time and place to complete homework. Help your child develop their organizational skills.

Remember: your child is changing, and so will your relationship with them. “Every accomplishment starts with the reason to try”.

Why Middle School Matters:

The “in between” years. This is what middle school is often regarded as before students enter the more serious, college-focused portion of their academic path. However, in today’s global education landscape, this mindset needs to change. The years in middle school and the transition into high school have become increasingly important in readying students with the knowledge, confidence, and grit needed to excel in high school and beyond.

In middle school, students begin to contextualize their learning. At this phase, students not only continue to build a strong foundation of knowledge in many different disciplines, but also learn how to apply that information to fuel their critical inquiry and problem-solving skills. Knowledge becomes a tool they can use to make connections between different subjects.

Middle school aims to prepare students for high school and higher-level learning by helping them hone specific skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This means building effective study and organizational skills, learning how to plan, managing their workload and extracurricular activities, and maintaining a great work ethic.

Attached is an article regarding why middle school matters:


Career Exploration: School counselor have met with their students individually for the beginning of the year meetings. This gave students and the counselors to explore how students are doing socially, emotionally and academically. Student were also introduced to Naviance/Family Connection program. Each student was registered for this program and received a brief over view of it's variety of components. The career exploration was discussed with students and they where shown how to use Naviance in this aspect.

Groups and Push In Programs:

Based of the feedback the school counselors received from individual meetings with the 7th and 8th graders, the PPS staff and school counselors will be conducting student groups and "push in" lessons to address various topics throughout the school year.

Freshmen Speaking to Future Freshmen:

HS 101: In the upcoming weeks our high school freshmen will be addressing our 7th grade students about what to expect in high school. In addition they will discuss with the students about the "Challenge Up' courses offered to our 8th graders, and the importance to doing well academically taking high school courses as an 8th grader. In the spring, our high school students will speak to our current 8th grade student to address "what to expect in high school". The goal to this program to ease the transition from middle school to high school.

Helpful Resources for Parents and Students:

Mental Health:

With the rise of mental health awareness, attached is an article about understanding anxiety in children and teens. This 2018 Children’s Mental Health Report looks at how widespread these disorders are, how they develop, and the risks of untreated anxiety. https://childmind.org/our-impact/childrens-mental-health-report/2018report/

How to Help Your College Student Access Mental Health Care:

The attached links is a guide for your college student to a variety of mental health services.



Individuals with Special Needs Receive Job Opportunities:

Companies are opening their doors to individuals with disabilities. Attached are segments about this topic. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/companies-open-doors-to-talent-with-autism/

NYS Graduation Pathways & Requirements: The attached link is the up to date graduation requirements. Please contact your school counselor if you have any questions. http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/diplomaandcredentialsummary1.18edit6.18.3.pdf

Elementray School

It's never too early to start good school habits for students to use throughout their education. These are some study skills and tips:

* Allot several days to prepare and study for a test. Do not leave studying until the night before!

* Study in a space where you can be most focused and productive in your home or elsewhere.

o Make sure this space is organized and has basic school supplies like pens, pencils, erasers, paper, a calculator, etc.

o Make sure you have all your class notes, books, study guides, and other relevant material in the space, too

o Try to make sure the space is well-lit and free from distractions.

* Learn the general concepts first and do not worry about learning the details until you have learned the main ideas.

* Use review sheets provided by your teachers to guide your studying.

* Go to extra help sessions or seek your teacher’s assistance if you are unclear about certain concepts.

* Pay particular attention to clues in class prior to a test. For example, when a teacher does the following, you should take note:

o Says something more than once

o Writes material on the board

o Indicates that it’s “really important to know this material.”

* Make flashcards using index cards with important concepts or words on one side and a corresponding explanation or definition on the other. Make sure you shuffle the cards when studying. o An alternative is to use a flashcard website like www.quizlet.com (it has a free smartphone app too) or an app like Flashcards*.

* Create your own review sheet for subjects such as history or science in particular.

* Copy your class notes over onto a separate sheet of paper or type them up. This can help reinforce concepts and assist in remembering information.

* Reread your notes from class with a purpose. In other words, synthesize in your head or on paper how all the concepts fit together. Simply reading without purpose or meaning is not particularly helpful. You must actively piece together the parts. Try making the material relevant to you – associate it with things you already know or have learned about.

* Read your notes out loud. Some people remember things best when they hear them. Consider reading them aloud to another person who can help ask questions or clarify any misconceptions. Sometimes explaining something to someone else helps solidify it in your own mind.

* If you choose to study in a group, try to study only with others who are serious about the test.

* Take short breaks somewhat frequently. Often, your memory will retain the information that you study at the beginning and at the end better than what you study in the middle.

Fall Final Thoughts

As we approach the holiday season and the New Year. Here are some final thoughts for 2018. "Remember tomorrow is a new day, it's never to late to turn over a new leaf, rise up to new challenges, and the adventure of life is to learn". Around every corner there is someone who can provide support and guidance to our West Hempstead students and families.