OPHS School Counseling Newsletter

Underclassmen Edition

Welcome Back!

Yellow Jackets, welcome to the 22-23 school year! We are off to a wonderful start and hope you've felt the warm welcome back from faculty and staff. We hope you are using this time to get to know your teachers and settle in to your classes, schedule, and academic routine! #OPWEGOTTHIS

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is the nation's largest and longest running drug-use prevention campaign. This year it will be celebrated October 23-28, 2022. The 2022 theme is: Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free. The Osbourn Park Counseling Team will have a week filled with events and activities to bring awareness to such an important cause, including a spirit week for students to get involved in. We hope you join us in wearing spirit wear!

Monday - NO SCHOOL

Tuesday - Team up Against Drugs! Wear your favorite jersey!

Wednesday- From Head to Toe, I am Drug Free! Wear Red Day

Thursday -Friends Don’t Let Friends do Drugs! Twin Day

Friday -OPHS chooses to live a healthy lifestyle! Wear OPHS gear

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Study Tips

Do you ever feel like your study habits simply aren’t cutting it? Do you wonder what you could be doing to perform better in class and on exams? Preparing for a test or exam can feel like an overwhelming task. Many students realize that they do not have effective study practices. These eight study tips may help you in learning some effective studying habits.

1. Give yourself enough time to study

2. Organize your study space

3. Use flow charts or diagrams

4. Practice on old exams

5. Explain your answers to others

6.Organize study groups with friends

7. Take regular breaks

8. Snack on brain food


What is mindfulness?

Well, have you ever wondered why high pressure situations make us “lose our cool?”

Of course, you have!

We can actually train our brains to deal with many stressors by being fully present in the moment, being aware of where you are, what you are doing and NOT to be overwhelmed with what is going on around us.

This month, try noticing the sounds, smells and sights around you to practice being fully aware.

Work Permits

Thinking about getting a job? Seeing lots of "Help Wanted" signs at your local establishments? Want to earn some extra income? You may be in need of a work permit if you are under the age of 16. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry had made it pretty easy to apply for your work permit. Click here https://vaeecs.doli.virginia.gov/vaeecs/ to access the Employment Certificate Application System. If you need additional assistance, our College and Career Counselor, Mrs. Jaeger can help!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Contest

Are you passionate about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's spirit of optimism, public service, racial harmony, and human rights?

Do you enjoy writing and public speaking? Want to learn to hone your skills?

All are invited to participate! No experience necessary.

Bully Prevention

According to the National Bullied Prevention Center, one out of five students are bullied, and five out of five students can stop the bullying.

BULLYING DEFINED Although definitions vary, most include that bullying is when:

• There are aggressive, unwanted words or actions that hurt or harm another person physically or emotionally

• Those targeted by the behavior have difficulty stopping the action directed at them and struggle to defend themselves

• There is also a real or perceived “imbalance of power,” which is described as when the student with the bullying behavior has more “power,” either physically, socially, or emotionally

• There is a pattern of bullying behavior, although bullying can occur in a single incident depending on its severity or the history of those involved

Note: For a legal definition, consult your state’s law on bullying.


...bullying is not the same as conflict

A conflict can be a disagreement or dispute that arises when parties of equal power express their opinions. People may disagree, but if both parties can respectfully share their opinions without demeaning or intentionally offending the other, it is not bullying.

...harassment is different from bullying

Bullying and harassment are often used interchangeably when talking about hurtful or harmful behavior. Although they are very similar, bullying behavior directed at protected classes, such as groups identified by race, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin, is considered harassment.

...the Internet is changing how youth experience bullying

Cyberbullying is often defined as aggressive, intentional, and repeated behavior against someone using technology such as email, text messaging, social media, and instant messaging. ... adults do not see most bullying. Bullying often occurs outside the sight of adults, in classrooms, playgrounds, buses, or online where teachers leave the room. Empowering young people as advocates for themselves and others is important for them to feel ready to take action

Here are three simple steps youth can take to promote advocacy and self-advocacy

• STEP 1: Please describe your experience. Youth should think about the bullying they have experienced, seen, or done. Describe the situation, including where, who was involved, what happened, and how they felt.

• STEP 2: Reflect your ideas. Ask the youth to think about how the situation might change. Include what they want, what could change, and what would help them feel more in control of the situation.

• STEP 3: Think about the steps necessary to develop potential solutions and make those changes. Consider what roles should be played, who should be involved, and what stakeholders should do. It should be noted that while it is not the child's responsibility to handle the situation on their own, it is important for the child to feel empowered to share their point of view.

If you are confused about what to do, you can always reach out to your school counselor or security team.

For more information about what “Teens Against Bullying” can do check out this website: https://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/

Check out the bulletin boards around the school for more information regarding activities surrounding Bullying Prevention Month.

No Place for Hate School

Osbourn Park High School has the distinct honor of earning the designation from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), as a No Place for Hate School. To earn this designation, a student lead committee, which includes faculty and parents, created and pushed out a climate survey to determine what aspects of bias and/or bullying needed to be addressed at Osbourn Park. Through various activities, all OPHS students participated in specialized lessons targeting cyberbullying and bias.

This year, we continue to look forward to supporting an anti-bullying and anti-bias community. If you are interested in joining No Place For Hate this year, please reach out to club sponsors, Mr. Simmons or Pashiardis.

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College & Career Hive

PWCS College & Career Planning

Bookmark this website!

Dates to Remember

College Fair Dates (In Person) Registration is not required.

  • Tuesday, October 18th - Gar-Field High School @ 6:00-8:00pm

ASVAB Testing

  • Wednesday, October 26th

VTech 2-Year Program Open House

Virtual Events

  • Opportunities and Outcomes at Liberal Arts Colleges Tuesday, October 11 at 7 pm EDT More information and to REGISTER HERE
  • Universal Technical Institute Virtual Open House Wednesday, October 12 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT More information and to REGISTER HERE
  • Campus Life and Building a Community Wednesday, October 19 at 7 pm EDT More information and to REGISTER HERE
  • HBCU Virtual College Fair Saturday November 5 More information and to REGISTER HERE

New App to Download

Encourage App

The Encourage app is available for students (13 years and older), is free, and is available right now in the App Store and Google Play. Students can access College Match and Scholarship Reports tailored to their individual needs today--with more to come down the road including career exploration tools and a web app.

Check it out! It is one of the best resources to help you on your post-secondary path!

Post-Secondary Testing


SAT Registration can be done through College Board. The link can be found HERE. The following dates are testing dates for this school year. The BOLD dates are the dates OPHS will be hosting. You can register for any school site to test.

November 6th, December 4th, March 12th, May 7th, June 4th

ACT Registration can be done through College Board. The link can be found HERE. The following dates are testing dates for this school year. The BOLD dates are the dates OPHS will be hosting. You can register for any school site to test.

October 23rd, December 11th, February 12th, April 2nd, June 11th, July 16th

ASVAB Testing

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a heavily researched and well-respected aptitude test developed by the Department of Defense. It measures a young adult’s strengths and potential for success in military training. If you plan to join the military, you MUST take this exam for entrance. If you do not know what career path you plan to take in the future, it is a great test to explore your strengths. For more information click HERE.

OP will host the ASVAB on October 26th during school. This is open for students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.

You may sign up in Naviance ->Click the "Colleges" tab up top -> Click "College Visits" or contact Mrs. Jaeger in the Career Center or at JaegerCA@pwcs.edu


It is never too early to start applying for scholarships! See the links below for underclassmen scholarship opportunities. And always feel free to reach out to Mrs. Jaeger with any questions.


Scholarships 360 - Freshmen

Scholarships.com - Freshmen


Scholarships 360 - Sophomores

Scholarships.com - Sophomores


Scholarships 360 - Juniors

Scholarships.com - Juniors

Going Merry

Scholarships and grants are helpful ways to fund your college education. They provide you with free money that can go towards tuition or other educational expenses. To find and apply for scholarships, sign up for Going Merry (https://www.goingmerry.com) -- it’s free! Going Merry has thousands of national, regional, and local scholarships. There are also opportunities for every grade level, from freshmen to seniors. To sign up, go to: https://app.goingmerry.com/sign-up#students You can also download the Going Merry mobile app (and sign up that way) on iOS or Android.

For Sophomores and Juniors!

Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides FREE Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) opportunities for Virginia students in grades 10th, 11th, and 12th. The programs have an interactive online STEM learning experience and are highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA.

  • The Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) focuses on the current missions at Wallops. Learn more about VSCS at https://vsgc.odu.edu/spacecoast/ Course application OPEN UNTIL October 16, 2022.
  • The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) focuses on human spaceflight. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Learn more about VASTS at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS/. The application OPEN UNTIL October 24, 2022.
  • The Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) focuses on the Earth's responses to climate changes, weather, and natural hazards. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Learn more about VESSS at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS (Links to an external site.). The application OPEN UNTIL October 24, 2022.

Early Financial Aid Help

The PWCS Parent Learning Series is a great way to get a head start on post-secondary planning. Check out the link below for recorded webinars that will aid in starting the conversation.


Life after high school may seem far away, however, it is never too early to start exploring your interests, opportunities, and options. Check out the checklists below for suggestions on what you should be focusing on each year. The more you plan ahead, the less you have to cram during senior year.

OPHS School Counseling and Student Services Department

Emergency Resources

ACTS Helpline 703.368.4141

1.800.SUICIDE (24-hour hotline) 1.800.784.2433

Crisis Text Hotline (24-hour hotline) 741741

PWC Child Protective Services Hotline 703.792.4200

PWC Community Services Board 703.792.7800

Don't Forget To Follow Us On Social Media!

Student Leadership Council

Attention Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors! This is for YOU!

In 2016, The Prince William Human Rights Commission and its partners launched the Human Rights Student Leadership Council (HRSLC) to enrich high school students with knowledge about their human rights, civil rights, and anti-discrimination laws. The program is designed to prepare high school students for leadership roles, while broadening their impact as prospective employees, tenants, and consumers in the community. The Student Leadership Council provides students with an opportunity to work with local government to increase community awareness and ensure the voices of our future leaders are heard.

If you would like to learn more about the Student Leadership Council, click HERE and see the attached flyer.

If you would like to apply, please click HERE.

School Counseling Bookings are now live!

The School Counseling Bookings are now live. You can now book an appointment with your counselor through Canvas, the OPHS School Counseling website, or through your Counselors email signature. Please note, appointments can only be booked through these 3 portals.

For Canvas: Click on the "Appointment Requests" circle on the main OPHS Counseling Canvas page. Click your Alpha Counselor. Click the Appointment type and choose a date and time you would like to meet with your counselor.

For the OPHS website: Click this direct link OPHS Counselor Requests. Click your Alpha Counselor. Click the Appointment type and choose a date and time you would like to meet with your counselor.

For your Counselors email signature: Click "Book an Appointment" under their name. Click the Appointment type and choose a date and time you would like to meet with your counselor.

If you have any problems, please reach out to your counselor through their email.