Counselor's Corner

October 2020

Meet Your Counselors

Welcome Back!

We are so happy to start the new school year! Even though this beginning is different than what we are used to, we are ready to make the most of our time together. This is the first of your counseling newsletters for the 2020-2021 school year which will contain pertinent guidance related information. The newsletters can also be found on the school website. Please pay attention to both the calendar and newsletters to keep current on important events, deadlines and processes. Best wishes for a successful school year!


Powerschool is a powerful tool for students and parents to access grades, class assignments, and attendance. It is the responsibility of each student to keep up with their grades and school work.

Here's how to access your account.

Log into

If you do not know or remember your username or password please contact your counselor.

Your up-to-date grades will be visible on your home page. You can click on the individual grade and see the list of all assignments for that grading period. If you have a 0, you need to contact your teacher to see if you can make up that missing assignment. Remember, the best way to make great grades is by attending class every day and completing all assignments!

Tips for a Successful School Year!

One of the most important keys to academic success is attending class daily and completing all assignments! Here are some important things to consider:

  1. Check Powerschool daily- If you need your log in information, please contact your counselor
  2. Good Study Habits-­ Pick a quiet place to study and study at the same time every day, set goals for your studying/what you want to accomplish, re­read notes taken in class and summarize them, study a few days before a test­ not the night before
  3. Ask Teachers For Help-­ Teachers should be the first to know if students have questions or need help; talk to teachers about what you do not understand and see if they offer tutoring

Grade Classification and Credits

Students in Shelby County High Schools are classified as follows:

  • 9th grade- less than 5 credits
  • 10th grade- 5 credits including English I
  • 11th grade- 11 credits including English II
  • 12th grade- 16 credits including English III

22 credits are required for graduation.

Credits will be awarded in .5 increments upon successful completion of a semester. Additionally, a student will receive one full credit in the course if he/ she receives a passing yearly grade in the course.

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Microsoft TEAMS Exhaustion

Why do I feel so tired and what I can do about it

It’s quite apparent that the school year looks vastly different than the start of any other school years in the past. With social distancing and other guidelines in place to keep us safe and healthy, we are faced with adapting to many changes. One of them being the use of technology in new ways to stay connected, and that includes the classroom. If you have asked yourself why you feel so tired at the end of your school day, here are some reasons why and what you can do to prevent it in the weeks to come.


  • Virtual learning requires a different kind of attention than in person interactions
  • Because of the barrier of the screen, you have to work extra hard to convey that you’re paying attention
  • The screen forces you to use direct visual contact rather than supplement with your peripheral vision
  • Your brain is taking in the spaces of each person’s background
  • Your brain is trying to filter out your own background distractions


  • Take a few moments before clicking ‘Join’ to settle and focus your attention on learning.
  • Take the time to truly greet whoever is in the room with your full attention
  • Choose ‘speaker’ view
  • Hide your screen in your own view (people tend to look at themselves more than others)
  • Make sure you have a plain background to help your fellow classmates focus
  • Resist the urge to multi-task(doing to many things at once)
  • Try to take short breaks between classes: get some fresh air, a glass of water, do some jumping jacks, march in place or take a brisk 10min walk at lunch
  • Take paper and pen notes instead of double screen duty (this will also help you stay focused and retain the information better)
  • Schedule screen-free time from electronic devices and games
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Now that we are back in school and you will be staring at a computer screen for an extended period of time, here are some pointers to protect your eyes and minimize fatigue:

Apply the 20-20-20 ruleevery 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will give your eye muscles a rest.

  • Try to blink regularly. Focusing on a screen may make you blink less, which may make your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
  • Position your computer screen so that it is between 16 to 30 inches from your eyes
  • Once you have adjusted your screen, adjust the font size so it’s easy to read.
  • Use document holders for reading or reference materials. Place them close to the screen at the same distance from your eyes. This will enable your eyes to remain focused as they move between the screen and the documents.
  • Use a character size that is easy to see. The character size is an important factor since it determines the distance at which you prefer to view the monitor.

Overton’s Virtual RTI2-B

Be Respectful Be Responsible Be Ready

1. Value the ideas & opinions of others

2. Keep cell phones away and on silent

3. Use appropriate language

4. Clothing must be school appropriate

5. Be on time, stay on task, and be an active listener (RESPOND when you are called upon)

6. All images in your camera space must be appropriate for school

7. Distracting, Disruptive, Disrespectful Behaviors ARE NOT ALLOWED!!

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College Planning

Start getting ready for the ACT.

Ask your school counselor about programs offered by American College Testing (ACT). They offer programs that help determine your study habits and academic progress and interests; it will also prepare you for the ACT.

Stay on track with your courses.

Work with your grade level school counselor to make sure you’re enrolled in the courses you need to prepare you for college or a career. Move on to the next level of classes in the core subjects (English, math, science, history, and a foreign language).

Begin learning about the college admissions process.

Get familiar with general college entrance requirements. Your grade level counselor, the library, college Web sites, and advice articles are all good sources of information.

Continue exploring potential careers.

Explore your career options in more detail—research possible careers to learn about the tasks, education, and training necessary for each occupation.

College Highlights

The University of Memphis

Average In-State Tuition: $10,500/year

No ACT score guarantees admission

Most popular majors: Health & PE, Nursing, Psychology, Business

Over 40 nationally ranked programs

Notable Alumni: Penny Hardaway

Tennessee State University


Located in Nashville, TN

Average In-State Tuition: $8, 844

Average ACT Score accepted: 21

More than 40 majors to choose from

Most popular majors: Health professions, Business, Criminal Justice, Education

Notable Alumni: Oprah Winfrey

Arkansas State University

Located in Jonesboro, AR

Average In-State Tuition: $9,000

Average Out of State Tuition: $15, 860 (These fees are waived for TN students-GREAT!)

Need a minimum ACT score of 21

Must have a High School GPA of at least 2.75

Most popular majors: Nursing, Business Administration/Management, Education, Biology

Paying for College or Technical School

If you're concerned about how you're going to pay for your college or university experience, consider this:

  • In Tennessee, every resident has the opportunity to attend a public community college or technical college tuition-free
  • College might not cost as much as you think. In fact most families overestimate the price tag
  • There is help available, financial aid can make paying for school realistic.
  • Your education is a long-term investment. On average, college graduate earn twice as much as those with high school diplomas.

The Tennessee Promise is a scholarship and mentoring program that allows student in Tennessee to attend a community or technical college tuition-free. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by the Pell Grant, the Hope Scholarship, or the Tennessee Award. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state's 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institutions offering an associate degree program.


Student must be a U.S. citizen, or an eligible non-citizen (with some exceptions) and be a Tennessee resident one year prior to the application deadline

  • Apply for the scholarship by completing the TN Promise application
  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Attend a mandatory mentor meeting
  • Apply to a community or technical college
  • Complete and report eight hours of community service

Questions: Contact Patricia Henderson, College and Career Counselor or LuDell Rivers, 12th Grade Counselor

CollegeBoard:Real Talk: HBCU Edition

College Board is still committed to supporting students on their college planning journey in these virtual times. That's why we're launching a new initiative called Real Talk this fall!

Our inaugural event, "Real Talk: HBCU Edition," will take place on Thursday, October 8, at 7 p.m. ET. This will be the first event in a three-part series featuring HBCUs, Ivy League schools, and Maryland-area institutions. All grades and academic achievement levels are welcome. Although this event will cater to students, we also encourage parents, educators, and community members to participate.

Admissions representatives from eight HBCUs across the country will share pertinent information about the admissions process and campus life. They'll answer questions in real time during the Q&A portion of the event. This will be a great way for you and your students to engage with university representatives directly!

We look forward to connecting with you soon for real talk. RSVP today and spread the word!

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The following HBCUs will be represented:

  1. Hampton University
  2. Howard University.
  3. Morehouse College
  4. North Carolina A&T State University
  5. Spelman College
  6. Tennessee State University
  7. Tuskegee University
  8. Xavier University of Louisiana
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A few excellent Websites for Students


One stop login for SCS students! CLEVER includes several instructional resources for students in ONE place such as- TEAMS, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Edgenuity, ACT practice, Online textbooks, and much more!!

Khan Academy

Helps students learn through video tutorials, interactive exercises, in-depth articles covering topics such math, science, economics, history, and more.

Smithsonian Education

The student section in Smithsonian education features a number of useful resources covering topics such as art, science, history, culture, nature, people and places.

Library of Congress

Provides access to tons of educational materials including primary source docs, books, maps. manuscripts, sound recordings, motion pictures and many more.