NEW GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT STARTING JANUARY 6, 2014
Our current administrative assistant, Mrs. Lynn Ellis, will retiring from her position on December 20, 2013. We sincerely thank Mrs. Ellis for her wonderful work on behalf of the St. Francis students and the Guidance Department and we wish her a very happy and rewarding retirement.
Our new administrative assistant, Ms. Michele LeBeau, will begin her position at St. Francis on Monday, January 6. Ms. LeBeau can be reached at ext. 1142 or at email@example.com.
PSAT TEST RESULTS: PARENT INFORMATION PROGRAM SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 10th
Parents of sophomore and junior students who recently took the PSAT practice college entrance exams may receive test results for this program at an upcoming information program.
PSAT tests results will be available for parents at the December 10, 2013, program at 6:30 PM in the Kuhn Center. At that time Mrs. Rigney will interpret PSAT test results. She will also explain what parents need to know about planning for and registering for the ACT and SAT tests which their children will be taking in the winter and spring of this year. In addition, she will discuss the benefits of test prep courses and introduce parents to the Naviance College Planning Program. Parents of sophomore students who took the PSAT test should attend the PSAT program with parents of juniors.
Parents attending the program should enter the building through door # 12 or #19. If parents are unable to attend this program, their students will receive test results on Thursday, December 12, during homeroom. The PSAT and ACT/SAT power point presentations are posted on the Student Services webpage.
PLAN scores for sophomores were mailed to parents before Thanksgiving.
SENIOR STUDENTS SHOULD COMPLETE THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK
Due to the high volume of applications that colleges will be receiving this year, senior students should attempt to process all of their college applications by mid-December. This will ensure that students meet most scholarship deadlines and avoid being wait-listed by those colleges that close the application process early.
If a student needs a counselor letter of recommendation sent with the school documents the request must be submitted to Mrs. Rigney or Mr. Lindley by December 6 to guarantee submission before the holidays. All other school documents that must be submitted before Christmas break must be requested through the Guidance Office by December 12, 2013.
Prior to or during the Christmas holidays, students should take the time to write a short thank you note to the classroom teachers who wrote formal letters of recommendation for their college applications. Writing college letters of recommendation for students is a task that goes beyond the teacher’s normal duties of lesson planning and grading. It is a nice courtesy for students to take the time to thank the teachers for writing the letters on their behalf.
JUNIOR STUDENTS SHOULD BEGIN THE REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR ACT/SAT TESTING
Junior students usually begin testing with the January or February test dates. Some juniors test as early as the December ACT date.All juniors should plan on taking the ACT or SAT at least two times before the end of junior year. It also is important that juniors plan ahead to avoid conflicts with spring sports and activities. Juniors should also always take the ACT with Writing since many schools require the writing portion of ACT for admission.
The final deadline to register for the February 8 ACT is January 24. The final deadline to register for the January 25 SAT is January 10.For details on ACT test content and requirements, students should pick up the booklet, Preparing for the ACT, which is available in the Student Services area. Students may also visit the testing company websites for more information.
The St. Francis High School Code is 144-383. Students must use this code when registering for their ACT and SAT tests.
Please note that students must upload and head and shoulders photo at the time of registration.
NAVIANCE FAMILY CONNECTION PROGRAM PROVIDES A GREAT COLLEGE PLANNING TOOL AT
Students and parents are strongly encouraged to use the Naviance Family Connection college planning tool. St. Francis has a licensing agreement to use this web based program which provides assistance in all areas of the college search and application process. Current seniors were all shown how to use the program last October and again this September. Seniors should use the user names and passwords they created last fall to log on. Current juniors were shown how to use the program last April and again in November. Parents of current juniors and seniors were e-mailed access codes last year and this summer, but if they have not yet created a user name and password and have lost the access code, they may contact the Guidance Office at ext. 1142 to obtain the access code again. If underclassmen or their parents wish to use the program, they may obtain the access code by contacting our Guidance Administrative Assistant.
The Naviance program already has password protected student information loaded into the system. When a student or parent logs onto the student account, he or she can complete a college search, create a resume, formulate a list of potential colleges, and check the college visit calendar. By clicking on acceptance history, scatter grams, college match, and college compare, the student can compare his or her academic credentials to the college’s acceptance history for St. Francis students from the class of 2008--2013. Once the student has applied to a college, the student can use Family Connection to track if his or her transcript and recommendations were sent by St. Francis.
The Naviance program has many other great features and is an indispensable tool in the college search and application process. If students or parents have questions or problems in using the program, contact Mrs. Rigney at ext. 1105 or Mr. Lindley at ext. 1114.
USE THE SFHS WEBSITE FOR COLLEGE PLANNINGStudents and parents who are seeking information for college planning should go to the St. Francis High School website and click on the Guidance tab. From this site, you can access information that is helpful in the college planning and financial aid process. By clicking on ACT/ SAT dates, ACT/ SAT comparison chart, or ACT/ SAT Accommodations you can find a great deal of useful information on these
college testing programs. By clicking on websites for college information you can access a list which includes sites for completing a college search, registering for the ACT and SAT, investigating careers, and obtaining financial aid and scholarships. By clicking on dates and deadlines, you can check upcoming dates for ACT and SAT testing, college fairs, AP tests, and other important events. Check out the college planning guide for a step by step process to researching and applying to colleges. Click on the weekly guidance bulletin to find out about upcoming college information programs and recent scholarship offerings. Make http://www.sfhsnet.org/top/studentsvcs/guid-home.htmyour first stop for college planning, testing, and scholarship information.
REVOLUTION PREP OFFERS ON SITE ACT PREPARATION COURSE DURING THE WINTER
If junior students have not already taken steps to prepare for upcoming ACT and SAT tests, now is a good time to do so. If parents are looking for resources for test prep, please review the list of test prep programs on the Guidance page of the St. Francis website. We have listed the names, phone numbers and websites of many of the leading test prep programs in the area. Most of these resources also offer individualized programs if that is what the student’s busy schedule requires.
St. Francis has teamed up with Revolution Prep, the nation's largest provider of on campus test prep programs, to offer a course on our campus at St. Francis this winter and spring. The winter course starts on Tuesday, December 10, and ends on Thursday, February 6 shortly before the February 8 exam. There will be no course sessions during final exam week or Christmas vacation. After the two meetings December 10 and 12, the course will resume on Tuesday, January 6. It meets on Tuesdays from 3 PM to 7 PM and on Thursdays from 3 PM until 6 PM. The cost of the course is $599. This is an excellent opportunity for students in their junior year to prepare for the ACT before the busy spring sports season.
Revolution Prep offers course scholarships for families in need. Just call 877-REV-PREP for details before you register. If you wish to register for a course, call Revolution Prep at 1-877-738-7737 or go to www.revolutionprep.com.
FAFSA FORMS WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE
In order to receive need based financial aid families must complete the FAFSA form. You may not submit the FAFSA form until January 1, 2014, but you are strongly advised to send it in during the month of January in order to maximize your eligibility for financial aid. You can use estimated income and assets for 2013 to complete the form in January and begin the evaluation process. You will be given the opportunity later on to update the information you originally submitted. Keep in mind that even if you do not demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA, simply completing and submitting the form will qualify you for the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
SENIORS: BEGIN THE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS
Now is the time of year when both parents and students begin to wonder, “Now that we have applied to these colleges, how are we going to pay for this?” Such thoughts naturally lead to the pursuit of scholarships.
Obtaining college scholarships is not as easy as some would have us think. The best source of money for college is the college itself. Students should ask every college what merit scholarships are available. These scholarships can be highly competitive at some schools and not as hard to obtain at others. Many schools are now offering “leadership scholarships” for students who have shown a strong commitment to extra-curricular activities.
Students who are looking for corporate or community scholarships can access information on those awards through programs such as:
http://www.collegezone.com (for general financial aid information)
http://www.finaid.org (for general financial aid information)
The Guidance Department publishes a weekly college information and scholarship bulletin that is posted on our website. This bulletin lists scholarships for which the Guidance Department has current applications. Students and parents can find it on the St. Francis Guidance website under the link for Scholarship Bulletin. Students who are interested in obtaining a scholarship application for any offerings in the bulletin should contact Lynn Ellis, Guidance Administrative Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 1142 or see her in person during the school day.
PREPARING FOR SEMESTER EXAMS - HELPING KIDS WITH TEST ANXIETY
Feeling jitters is normal and even helps us focus our attention on the task at hand. However, many students feel such extreme anxiety that they have physical symptoms such as weakness in the knees, inability to sleep before the test and loss of the ability to concentrate. One reference to check is a book by Joseph Casbarro, PhD who wrote about anxiety’s impact on student performance in Test Anxiety and What You Can Do About It (National Professional Resources, 1-800-453-7461, www.nprinc.com).