Comet Connection

CHS School Counseling

Dear Comets,


While the past seven weeks have brought about new and unprecedented challenges for students, families, and faculty alike, there are no doubts that it has also highlighted the best qualities of our entire Catonsville High School community. We continue to be amazed by the tenacity and grit of each and every one of our students, who have refused to allow the circumstances to impede their path to success. While we may not see each other again this year, remember that you are not alone, and that we will all get through this together.


In hopes of better assisting our students and families, the CHS School Counseling Office will continue to share our newsletter on a bi-weekly basis. This version of Comet Connection has important updates and resources to help all students advance their academic, personal, and college & career readiness goals. Check out the info below, and don’t forget about the resources in our Schoology group, or all of the helpful planning tools accessible through your Naviance accounts. As always, please reach out to your counselor if there’s anything your need.


Sincerely,

The CHS School Counseling Team

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Be Kind to Your Mind: Tips to cope with stress during COVID-19


1.PAUSE. Breathe. Notice how you feel.


2.TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 content.


3. MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise.


4. REACH OUT and stay connected.


5. SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe.

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Important Updates on BCPS Grading Policy

The BCPS website now includes information about end-of-year report cards and progress reports for all students, in alignment with the Continuity of Learning Plan for remote learning.



  • High school students will receive a grade of “Pass” or “Fail” for marking periods 3 and 4.
  • For the final grade, high school students can choose whether they would like a letter grade (A, B, C, D, E) or a “Pass/Fail” for each course.
  • A letter grade will impact students’ overall GPA or QPA, but a “Pass/Fail” will not.




Students should discuss with their parents prior to making this decision, and consult with teachers to determine the best option for their individual situation. Further details will be provided by CHS administration and teachers early next week, which includes directions for how students will indicate their choice of grade reporting, and the importance of carefully weighing your options. In light of that, we would like to share a few points to address some frequently asked questions:



  • This is a complex and evolving issue that impacts every student across the country. Due to the rate that school systems, organizations, and universities are having to make large-scale changes, we have not yet received word about how these options will affect college admissions.
  • Students should review their long-term post-secondary goals, and consider if either option may present challenges down the road.
  • As colleges continue to shift towards “holistic” admissions practices, it is important to provide them with a complete and accurate representation of the work you’ve done throughout high school.
  • While a “P” does not affect your GPA, it also provides no indication of your performance or achievement in a particular class. When looking at a “P”, an admissions counselor has no real way of knowing if it represents an “A”, “B”, “C”, or “D”.
  • It’s ok to ask!! Reach out to your teachers, counselor, or administrator if you have any questions before making your decision.

Celebrating Our Seniors

We know that this class is doing incredible things and we want to celebrate ALL of you! Did you know the Class of 2020 has been accepted to over 130 different colleges and been award over 5 million dollars in scholarships? Pretty awesome, right?? Considering that we have only received college acceptance and scholarship award letters from about 30% of our seniors, we know that the numbers are actually A LOT higher.


While we are not physically in school, we still want to share your achievements with the Catonsville community! The School Counseling has worked with your teachers and administrators to plan celebrations for you! Check out the Fabulous Fridays Schedule below!


Please also be sure to fill out the Senior Spotlight Survey and send your decision letters to Ms. Weston at lweston@bcps.org to be featured!


Senior Spotlight Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDJOuspV9mEHBtAFt89OIr3qE5hXkygF-xOZ1hMKB22XjMCg/viewform?usp=sf_link

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Virtual Senior Celebrations

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Seniors Planning on Attending CCBC in the Fall

We will be hosting a virtual admissions information session on Friday, May 15th at 2pm for seniors who still need to apply to CCBC! This session will be conducted by CCBC Admissions Counselor, Gustavo Minaya.


Interested students should use the following link to join the Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/rry-rukk-acw


Directions for SENIORS applying to CCBC can be found below.

CCBC Dual Enrollment Updates


  • Students can continue to apply to CCBC online (https://www.ccbcmd.edu/apply).
  • Students can submit the Early College Consent Form to Donesha Grant-Muhammad-Nazeer (dgrant@ccbcmd.edu).
  • If students have SAT/ACT scores, they can meet with an advisor to use the scores in lieu of placement scores. Not all scores will exempt placement testing, so, best to ask a CCBC advisor.
  • Transcripts can be used for placement. GPA for students that have completed junior year, however, certain courses can also be used in lieu of placement testing. Best to ask as a CCBC advisor.
  • If placement testing is needed. CCBC advisors are keeping lists of students needing testing. At this time, CCBC is not offering remote placement testing, however, it is being discussed.
  • CCBC Advisors are working remotely. Students can request via the online advising link on the CCBC website.

IMPORTANT: College Updates for Juniors and Seniors

Due to COVID-19, many changes have been made to testing and colleges' admission admissions policies, deadlines and visits. Juniors should be using this time to explore careers, colleges, and majors. Check out the links below for important updates from NACAC and CollegeBoard and resources for exploring colleges and careers.

Monthly Spotlight

In every newsletter, this section will feature a spotlight College Major, Trade, and Military Branch followed by links with more information for each. This section is intended for all students to encourage exploration of different postsecondary options, and is embedded with links to external sites and resources.

School Counselor Contact Information

Last Names A-C: Mr. Pinson (tpinson@bps.org)

Last Names D-I: Mr. Kowalczyk (gkowalczyk@bcps.org)

Last Names J-Mb: Mr. Stewart (bstewart3@bcps.org)

Last Names Mc-R: Mrs. Carrell (kcarrell@bcps.org)

Last Names S-Z: Mrs. Watkins (bwatkins4@bcps.org)

College and Career Readiness: Ms. Weston (lweston@bcps.org)