Paly Guidance Update

Friday November 6, 2020

Viking Families!

It's November! Next week we hope you enjoy a mid-week break as we observe Veteran's Day. Please note that Monday and Tuesday schedules have adjusted due to the mid-week break - please reference Brent's SMORE from yesterday (Thursday 11/5/20).

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Paly Guidance


TAs have been very busy touching base with all their students in Advisory these last couple of weeks. In fact, they’ve met with the 9th, 10th and 11th grades.

  • 11th Grade: Last week the Juniors participated in a survey to give our Wellness Team feedback about how they are feeling at this point in the school year. Surveys are a great opportunity for staff to hear student’s thoughts and also helps us identify those needing extra support. The survey was a good segue into a discussion about their current concerns and needs. Discussions like these offer the perfect opportunity to voice fears and have them addressed by their TA. When students hear many of their concerns are common among their peers, and that we have a plan for supporting them throughout their time in high school, it helps them to relax and stay focused on what they need to be doing at the moment. If you’d like to see what questions are used to lead these talks, take a look at the slide deck here.

  • 10th Grade: Sophomores experienced the same lesson the Juniors did a few weeks back, they learned how to order a copy of their transcript from Parchment on The following Advisory, they used their transcript as reference to understand graduation requirements vs. CSU/UC eligibility requirements. To learn more, check out this lesson.

  • 9th Grade: The Freshman had their introductory lesson to Naviance. Naviance is a web-based service designed for students and parents. You can use it to help inform you about courses, colleges, and careers. It provides up-to-date information that’s specific to Paly. It also lets us share information with you about up-coming meetings, news, and events, as well as other Web resources for college and career information. Students will use it multiple times in Advisory and can access it at any time for their own purposes or to explore further. All freshman parents were sent an email with Naviance information about how to log in and link your family members together. For those parents with older students, you might remember logging in to Naviance often throughout your student’s high school career. Well now it’s a part of our single sign in process making it much easier and quicker to access via your ID portal. Students logged in and did some research on careers of interest. Here’s the lesson if you are interested in learning more.

College and Career Center

Upcoming College Application Virtual Events for Seniors

  • Inviting College Recommenders workshop - Tues., Nov. 10 at 3:10 pm

  • College Application workshop - Tues., Nov. 17 at 3:10 pm

Please find the Zoom meeting ID in the event on the C&CC Class of 2021 Schoology course calendar. These events are for students, only.

Seniors: Did you drop a class or change your course schedule after you submitted college applications?

If so, you'll need to contact each campus (email or U.S. Mail recommended) to notify them that your current and/or planned course schedule has changed. If relevant, be sure to reference your application ID # (or the campus ID received after submitting your college app) in your message. For a template, click here.

Please also notify your Teacher Advisor as there is a question about changed coursework they must answer in the mid-year report when completing it in January, after first semester grades are posted to transcripts.

A reminder to consult the resources in the Paly C&CC Class of 2021 Schoology course for tips and tools to complete your college applications.

School Psych Corner

Power of Possibility

We all want our kids and students to reach their potential and develop skills to thrive in school and in life. This year, National School Psychology Week, November 9-13, 2020, is focused on the “Power of Possibility.” The word “possibility” implies hope, growth, resilience and renewal. Possibility suggests that even something as small as a seed can grow into something magnificent. The word “power” implies that things can and will happen. When we focus on what is possible, we have hope that students will grow, thrive and bloom and will be empowered to take the action steps necessary to do so.

As the school psychologists at Paly, we look forward to working with our students, teachers, and families, to encourage all children, whether at home or at school, to explore the power of possibility in their lives. The concept that we have potential to grow and develop is central to our theme, as is the idea that with help, we can develop confidence to rise to new heights and resilience to make it through stressful circumstances. School psychologists are particularly skilled at assisting students and staff in seeing possibilities and adopting positive change to thrive in school and life. Focusing on these possibilities can help us set goals, identify action steps, communicate needs, and engage in discussions to create the connections necessary for students to harness their critical academic and social-emotional skills.

The Power of Possibility at School

At school, we nurture the strengths and differences of all our students and promote self compassion, care, and positivity. During times of great challenge, especially in this day and age, we may feel vulnerable, uneasy, and uncertain. We will continue to listen to each other, learn from each other, and encourage each other. We recognize that students can feel overwhelmed by grief, discomfort, anxiety, and loss of connection. We strive to support students in being able to move through those feelings with healthy coping strategies, finding balance, prioritizing health and basic needs, rest, and recreation.

The Power of Possibility at Home

There are many ways families can celebrate the power of possibility. As parents and caregivers, you can:

  • Talk about strengths and interests. What does your child think they are good at or interested? Emphasize that learning and growing require trying new things and that success comes from small steps to a long-term goal.

  • Celebrate each other’s strengths. No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Everyone’s strengths may be different, and they are all valued and important to share.

  • Allow your children to explore personal goals. Encourage goal setting and mapping out a plan for achieving their goals. Talk with your children about steps they have taken, what worked and what did not, what they might do next, and where to get help.

  • Praise attempt and effort as well as success and risk-taking. Focus on and applaud the growth mindset that they apply to their endeavors. Emphasize the importance of deliberate practice, that talent is developed over time through careful practice. Fast and easy is not everything.

  • Help your child work through setbacks, or lack of self-confidence, by identifying negative thoughts that may suggest concerns or fears about his/her ability to be successful. As a parent, you can help children see the small steps and how persisting and overcoming obstacles one-by-one is a part of growth. Help your child realize that setbacks are normal, experienced by everyone, and are not permanent or all-encompassing.

Wellness Team

The Paly Wellness Center, in partnership with our District Wellness and Student Support Services Department, have created a parent's guide to risk and safety. This document is meant to serve as reference guide if you or your student find themselves in a potential mental health emergency.

It will outline warning signs, steps you can take to get access to a professional risk assessment, as well as information about what it will look like when you go to an emergency room for mental health support specifically. We hope that this will give you all the information you need to access support in the community, especially as we are approaching the holidays (and the wellness center and its staff will not be accessible over the thanksgiving and winter break).

The link to the document is here, and you can find it on the Paly Wellness Center webpage.

We hope that you all are staying well and safe in these unprecedented times and please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly, if you or your student are in need of support!

Last Day to Drop a Class

Friday, November 6th is the last day to drop a course without it showing up on the transcript. Please have students reach out to their TA to discuss any drops they are considering.
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