Riverside HS School Counseling

June 2020

About Our Department...

The Riverside School Counseling department is a team of 16 dedicated individuals working collaboratively to meet the needs of 1,880 students, including teachers and parents. We have an open-door policy, but at times we are needed at meetings or have scheduled appointments with other students and parents. To serve you more efficiently, we ask that you please email us to schedule an appointment.

We support Riverside High School by:

  • working with staff to address obstacles that interfere with students’ learning and success.

  • focusing on skill development through a variety of ways, such as small group or individual counseling sessions, classroom guidance, and consultation and coordination with parents, administrators, and teachers.

  • helping when students experience challenges. We focus on conflict resolution, transitions, study skills, test-taking skills, crisis intervention, bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and special needs of students.

  • preparing students with post-grad planning. College visits, career days, internships, scholarships, and job matching are just a few resources available to help our students succeed in life after high school.

RVHS School Counseling Office Hours

Hours: 8:00 am to 4:15 pm

Website: http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/domain/17735

Follow us on twitter & instagram @RVHCounseling

Luke Mason, Director of School Counseling

Susan Westgate, Registrar

Kathleen Jackson, School Counseling Assistant

Donna Smith, School Counseling Assistant

Robin Robinson, Career Center Assistant

Evan Rodgers, School Counselor (A-Burc)

Kevin Burke, School Counselor (Burd - E)

Cassandra Asekhauno, School Counselor (F-Jer)

Kimberley Harris, School Counselor (Jes-Marn)

Susan Pangman, School Counselor (Maro-Pf)

Anna Rizzo, School Counselor (Pg-Sm)

Tracy Wood, School Counselor (Sn-Z)

Noelia Garcia-Gettmann, School Psychologist

Frances Jester, Social Worker

Kim Hager, Student Assistance Specialist

Susan Sabloff, Parent Liaison

Support During COVID-19 School Closure

Although school is currently closed, staff is working remotely and we are available each weekday to answer your questions and concerns. Please note our new Unified Mental Health Team brochure below if you have specific needs during this stressful time, and don't hesitate to reach out so that we can support you! Wishing all of our Riverside families good health and daily happiness.

For emergency mental health resources for your child(ren) or yourself, please go to the following link https://www.lcps.org/Page/220727

For Mental Health and Wellness Resources for LCPS Students and Families, please see the following page.

Two Step Registration --Dual Enrollment Classes for Fall 2020

Students planning to take Dual Enrollment AP Biology, English 12, US History, US Government, Teacher Cadet and/or German V must apply online to Northern Virginia Community College as soon as possible. They should also complete the Dual Enrollment Student login. Both must be completed as soon as possible, or no later than June 15. Due to testing locations currently being closed, NOVA has instituted new placement standards for dual enrollment If you have questions, please email your counselor. Students who do not complete these registration steps will be moved to an academic level course for Fall 2020.

Congratulations to our National Merit Scholarship Winner

Riverside's own Matthew Wilson has been awarded the National Merit General Dynamics Corporation Scholarship. Matthew will attend Princeton University and plans to pursue a career in investment banking.

Matthew was one of five students from Loudoun County who won a corporate sponsored award in the National Merit Scholarships. Scholarship winners were the finalists determined to "have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies." College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced on June 3 and July 13. The corporation expects 7,600 winners will receive scholarships totaling over $30 million in 2020.

Riverside Community Scholarship Awards 2020

Stay tuned for our virtual presentation/slide show of our 2020 honorees, both underclassmen and Seniors will be recognized for their achievements. This should be available and posted on our website by June 8. We regret not being able to host our traditional awards night, but hope you will join us in celebrating these students for their efforts. Be advised that some scholarships will be awarded as late as July 2020, so the presentation will continue to be updated as awards are announced.

Scholarships Still Open/Available for Fall 2020

Did you know that you can still apply for scholarships now?

Did you earn a 95% or better on your WISE Financial Literacy Test this year? The Financial Literacy Ambassadors Award is a $4,000 monetary award that will be distributed to four students ($1,000 each). Apply by June 30, 2020!

The Falcon's Landing Retired Air Force Officer's Scholarship deadline has been extended until July 15, 2020. Students must have demonstrated financial need. One $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a student from each high school in Loudoun County. More details here.

SENIORS --Class of 2020

Plans are ongoing for Riverside's Virtual Celebration & we are looking forward to seeing you June 8-12th for our onsite individual graduation events. Here are a few items that we are asking our Seniors to do...

  1. Log in to your Naviance account under My Stuff, My Surveys, Surveys not Completed and fill out your Senior Graduation Survey (FINAL TRANSCRIPT) Please include your future plans/college you will be attending, all of your admissions decisions you received, and any scholarships w/amounts that you accepted or declined. Please complete this no later than Friday, June 5th. We plan to send out Final Transcripts the week of June 22nd.
  2. Join the RAM Alumni Database here so that we can keep in touch with you!
  3. Check out our fun Decision Day video (linked below) made up of all our Instagram collage pictures we received!

AP Testing Information

Despite the unusual situation this year, RIverside had a very high number of students complete their AP exams. Collectively, students took 1,541 AP exams! Congratulations to our students and their parents and our staff for this wonderful outcome.

Makeup exam dates will be Monday, June 1 through Friday, June 5. Click here for the makeup schedule.The College Board developed secure, online free-response exams for each course. The exams will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. This year’s AP Exams will be open book/open note.

Students will be able to take exams on any device (e.g., computer, tablet, or smartphone). They will be able to either type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phone. If students need mobile tools or connectivity, parents can contact the College Board directly. Parents and students can access the latest updates to AP Testing using the link on the LCPS AP Testing webpage.

Forms for 2020-2021 School Year

Looking for the forms you might need for Fall 2020? We have fillable pdf versions on our website under Course Registration, for student helper, early release and transcript releases here.

Class of 2021 College Planning Resources

Juniors, your counselors have sent you an invite to join the google classroom for the Class of 2021 and will post useful information and lessons there for you. Please join!

A great resource for planning is ECMC's Opportunities booklet for Virginia. Click here to access this document in english and here in spanish. Helpful profiles for the Virginia Colleges start on page 29.

Two helpful site to utilize include the college essay guy and collegexpress.com. Additionally, some enterprising students at Rock Ridge HS prepared this wonderful website for college search information in pandemic times.

Shout out to Mary Barnes at Rock Ridge HS! She met with Christopher Newport's Kelly Scallion to talk about tips for writing those application essays. You can view her discussion/guidance here. She also meet with Laika Tamny of JMU and you can view that discussion here.

College Visits in a Virtual World

Many colleges and universities recognize that students and families had planned to visit campus in person and now must use online tools instead. We recommend that Juniors take full advantage of these tools to begin/refine their college search. Visit college websites and view their offerings. Check out campusreel.org for a great collection of virtual resources. Make note of questions that you have so that when you do visit campus you'll be more well informed. Here are a few links to get you started.



Virginia Tech




Student Panel Sign Up:


Information Session Sign-Up:


Virtual Campus Tour:


Penn State





What is the Academic Common Market?

Basically, the ACM allows a student to major in a specialized field of study at an out-of-state college, while paying in-state tuition. This is only applicable if you are interested in a degree program that is not offered in Virginia. There are a lot of rumors surrounding this program, get the facts at this website that explain exactly what the Academic Common Market really is: https://www.sreb.org/academic-common-market

Juniors ! Interested in Applying to the U.S. Naval Academy?

As much as possible, you should begin your USNA application now and complete it as early as possible. The USNA Admissions Board normally begins reviewing completed applications in August. Will it start in August this year? Will the Board meet on line? We do not know, but we do know you need to be ready when they are.

I encourage you to review the online catalogue, especially the Class Profile. This will give you an idea of what is required to get an appointment. You can find it at www.usna.edu/Admissions . I also suggest you to look at two other commissioning sources for the Navy: NROTC ( www.nrotc.navy.mil/apply.html ) and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ( www.usmma.edu )

You should review the nomination application requirements for your congressional Representative (www.house.gov ), and two Senators (www.senate.gov ). Your Representative’s deadline is likely sometime in October, but the deadline for Senators Kaine and Warner is late September. You should also apply for the Vice Presidential nomination (www.usna.edu/Admissions/Apply/Vice-President-of-the-US.php ). You should get all of this completed over the summer.

If your parent(s) are Active, Retired or Reserve military you may also apply for a Presidential Nomination. Please see www.usna.edu/Admissions/Apply/Presidential-Nomination.php. I still encourage you to apply for congressional nominations since they have priority in selecting candidates for appointment from the alternate pool.

Expediting your application to USNA is important during normal occasions. In the current COVID-19 environment, Initiative and being proactive are even more important. Here are a few quick reminders:

- Applications must be completed by 31 Jan. We prefer you finish ASAP and preferably by 1 Dec.

- You should contact your School Counselor ASAP, concerning their ability to forward your transcript and other required forms. If possible, this summer.

- You should contact your 11th grade math and English teachers immediately, on email, and send their email addresses to Admissions on the Candidate Information System (CIS). The teachers will be contacted and asked to complete the online teacher reference questionnaire. Since this is all electronic it should be completed this summer.

- SAT/ACT tests appear to be canceled for the immediate future. We don’t know what SAT/ACT plans for the fall but suggest you sign up for multiple SAT and ACT tests. Your admissions package will contain a composite of the best Math and Verbal scores. We do not use the SAT Essay. We will even mix and match ACT and SAT.

Sallie Mae Financial Aid Webinars

Sallie Mae is excited to offer their live Paying for College webinar series.

How to Pay the Remaining Balance: Many students and families will consider financing a portion of their college education. The focus of this session will be on encouraging responsible borrowing and what students and families can do to find the right solution for their borrowing needs.

Wednesday, June 10: 1pm-2pm EST Register here

Thursday, June 11: 7pm-8pm EST Register here

Understanding the cost of student loan borrowing: This presentation covers financial literacy topics such as the relative cost of a student loan, loan repayment tools, and tips on managing student loans. It identifies important things students should know about their loan portfolio, identifying their servicers and understanding the cost of their student loan.

Wednesday, June 17: 2pm-3pm EST Register here

Thursday, June 18: 8pm-9pm EST Register here

Sallie Mae’s free Paying for College Resource another great tool.

Naviance Resources for Students and Parents

The “Introduction to Naviance Student – How Parents Can Assist Their Students with College and Career Readiness” presentation took place on October 21st. The session was recorded and will be posted at www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices. Once you are on the webpage, click on workshops and events, and then archived videos.

Additionally, we have a central Naviance classroom page with activities for grades 6-12 that parents and students can utilize.

Helpful Links

National College Attainment (formerly Access) Network: Roundup of COVID-19 Resources: https://www.ncan.org/news/news.asp?id=493855 Includes: Links to SAT and ACT testing updates, resources for virtual advising, and more.

National Association for College Admission Counseling: College Admission Status Update: https://www.nacacnet.org/college-admission-status-coronavirus Includes: Up-to-date enrollment and deposit changes for IHE’s across the country.

Federal Student Aid: Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus Includes: FAQ’s on the impact of the coronavirus on financial aid for current students and federal student loans for borrowers in repayment.

Student Aid Pandemic: https://www.studentaidpandemic.org/ Includes: Up-to-the-minute student guidance on student loans and financial aid during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hope Center: COVID-19 Response Resources: https://hope4college.com/ Includes: A Guide for Students: https://hope4college.com/surviving-covid-19-a-realcollege-guide-for-students/

Standardized Testing Update

SAT: The College Board has cancelled the June 6, 2020 SAT date. If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, they’ll provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5. Students can register for these administrations starting in May. The College Board will contact students directly when they have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.

Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:

  • Already registered for June
  • In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores

ACT: ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. All students registered for the April 4 test date should have received an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. There are many free test prep resources that can be found on their website as well as further information on future testing dates.

Wondering which colleges are "test optional?" Check out fairtest.org


Nancy Evanko from the Loudoun Economic Development Council sent us the following resource for job seekers. It has some helpful information on employment and searching for jobs for both parents and students.

Town of Leesburg Employment Opportunities

Please visit www.leesburgva.gov/jobs for more information and to apply online.

Resumes may be submitted as supplemental only. EOE/ADA.


Congratulations to your Class of 2020 graduating seniors! For those that are looking for help navigating employment opportunities, Manpower can help. Contact Jan Ray, Recruiter at the following location.

624 Monroe Street

Herndon, VA 20170

Phone: 703-437-1289, extension 70326

For additional information about anything listed in our newsletter, please visit our website or contact our office at (703) 554 -8907.