Hastings Advanced Academics

November 2020

This month we observed Veteran's Day. For families who have served, thank you for your sacrifices and commitment. You help make us all better.

November is also Thanksgiving and a much needed break for students! I hope you all have the time to use the holiday week to decompress, destress, and spend quality time with one another. Although this year the holiday will look different for many of us, I am thankful to have a few days at home to rest and refocus. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this fall semester and I hope that you are feeling at least a smidge more comfortable and confident in your routines.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break!

Student Recognition

Final Exam Announcement

For the fall semester 2020, there will be no final exams. This means that semester grades will be calculated using the first and second nine week averages only. If you are concerned about your grades, reach out to your teacher immediately! There will be one final progress report published the first week of December so you can see where you stand for the second marking period.

Last Month's Parent Information Meeting

Thank you to all who were able to make it to the parent meeting last month! I hope that you have more confidence moving forward in what Advanced Academics is and how you can support your student. If you were unable to attend , the session has been recorded and placed on line. You can access it from the Advanced Academics page of the Hastings High School website or by directly clicking the link below. Our next meeting will be in the spring semester, but I am available to answer any questions or address concerns at any time. I look forward to our continued partnership!
October Parent Information Meeting

Click here to access a recorded session of the meeting.

College Planning - Actions this month

It's never too early to start prepping for college! To see complete checklists and other resources, head to bigfuture.collegeboard.org


Save for college.

It’s not too late to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps! Learning about financial aid early on can also help you down the road.


Tour college campuses.

If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel time to visit colleges and see what they’re like. Even if you have no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college.


Sign up to take the SAT® in the spring.

You can register online or through your school. SAT fee waivers are available to eligible students. To prepare for the SAT, you can access free, personalized SAT practice tools at satpractice.org, including thousands of interactive questions, video lessons, practice tests, and more.

School day SAT® for juniors is scheduled for the week of March 8. Start preparing now!


Ask a counselor or teacher for recommendations if you need them.

Give each teacher or counselor an outline of your academic record and your extracurricular activities.

For each recommendation, provide a stamped, addressed envelope and any college forms required.

Write first drafts and ask teachers and others to read them if you’re submitting essays. If you’re applying for early decision, finish the essays for that application now.

Complete at least one college application by Thanksgiving.

Ask counselors to send your transcripts to colleges. Give counselors the proper forms at least two weeks before the colleges require them.

Teacher Spotlight

Study Tip

This month's study tip focuses on the environment in which you study, because that is just as important as the specific strategies!

Give yourself enough time - don't leave it to the last minute. Despite what you may feel, studies show 'last-minute cramming' is the least effective way to study

Organize your space - minimize distractions, get comfy, make sure sure you have the space to stay tidy and organized in order to stay focused.

Take regular breaks - for long term retention of knowledge (so you don't have to cram for exams!), figure out how long you can stay focused at one time and build in brain breaks for a refresh and renewed productivity.

Snack on brain foods - stay away from junk food. Try instead nuts, yogurt, or fresh fruit as these have proven to aid concentration and memory. The day before a big exam, eat a good meal and get plenty of rest. Stay hydrated!