Counselors' Corner 12/12/2014
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Counselors' Corner

The Counselors' Corner is a series of
articles that are written by the guidance department to keep our families informed about a variety of things that are important to your daughters. Since we work with all of our students, the entire department is responsible for contributing articles from time to time. We try to keep our articles brief and timely. These articles also appear in the weekly Tiger Tracks sent to parents each Friday.

Counselors' Corner 12/12/2014

A Look Ahead in the Guidance Department

The guidance department will be busy when we return for the start of the 2015 spring semester. Here is a look at what is coming up!

• College Panel: When we return to school on January 6th, we will be hosting two events, Seniors Speaking to Juniors and the College Panel.  These two events allow us to converse with the juniors and seniors about the college process and college life.  During 4th period, a panel of seniors will talk with our junior students about their experiences through the college application process.  At 5th and 6th period that day, 24 members of the Class of 2014 will return to campus to discuss their first semester of college in a panel format.  Juniors and seniors will attend two of the four panels and have had the opportunity to register for their choices.

• Course Planning: Course planning with our 9th, 10th and 11th graders will also take place in the month of January.  Counselors will be meeting with the juniors in Theology classes on January 15th, sophomore students in World History classes on January 20th, and 9th grade students in health classes on January 29th.  Actual registration for classes for the 2015 – 2016 school year will take place the week of February 16th through the Theology classes.

• College Information Night: Thursday, February 5th is the annual College Information Night hosted by the counseling departments of St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit.  More information about this evening will come out in early January.  The night is designed for our sophomore and junior students and their families and will include several 30 minute sessions that pertain to the college process.

• Financial Aid Seminar: Strake Jesuit will host a Financial Aid seminar for families from both schools on January 13, 2015 at 6:30pm in the Parsley Center located on the Strake Jesuit campus.  This is a chance to have your questions answered about financing your daughter’s education. It will be led by Valerie Jenson, St. Louis University’s Financial Aid Liaison.

• Sophomore Webcast: The sophomore webcast will go live on January 26th.  This is your opportunity as sophomore families to learn more about the PSAT results, course planning, dinner time conversations, Naviance and the impact of all of those on the college process.  The College Counselors will also host a parent night on February 25th to answer all of your questions regarding the webcast.
Please look for additional information on many of these events in upcoming Counselors’ Corner articles in January.

Scholarships and Invitation Scams

Every year we have students come to us regarding letters that they have received in the mail regarding scholarships and invitations to join miscellaneous honor societies.  These letters are usually invitations to attend a seminar to learn more about how they can help you find money for college or an invitation to send a certain amount of money to be listed as a scholar.  Under no circumstances should you ever pay anyone to help you find scholarships for college or to be recognized as a scholar.  St. Agnes Academy maintains scholarship information for our students in Naviance.  This site is maintained continually to inform our students of a variety of opportunities to compete for scholarship dollars.

In addition, we recommend using the following websites:

Finally, most scholarships received by our students are institutionally based.  When students apply to specific schools those schools can and will make offers of scholarship money based on merit or talent.

We also invite our families to contact us whenever they have questions about scholarships, honor societies not affiliated with St. Agnes or anything else.  It has been our experience that many people want to weigh in on what is happening as far as college admission trends are concerned.  We have found that our students and their families have received misinformation from family friends, test prep companies and the media. Please allow us to help you navigate through this process.  It is not only our job but it is our field of expertise.  Please contact us when you have ANY questions.

Attention Parents of Sophomores and Juniors

Your daughter’s PSAT scores will arrive to St. Agnes Academy sometime in the coming weeks.  As soon we get them, we will send the score report and test booklet to you via US Mail.

For sophomores, the PSAT that was administered this year is different from what they will see on their junior year PSAT.  The Class of 2017 will be the first class to experience the redesigned PSAT. Any time a student sits for a standardized test, even if it isn’t exactly what they will counter in the future, is a chance to practice the art of test taking.  Likewise, the score reports they receive for this PSAT are still a great indicator of content areas that may need attention.  As we receive more information on the redesign, we will pass it along.

For juniors, the PSAT administered this year is a very insightful tool as we prepare for the college admission process.  First, the selection index (the combined math, reading and writing score) will help us determine if your daughter is a contender in the National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic competition. Second, the results provide us invaluable insight into a student’s potential on the SAT.  With the PSAT score, we are better equipped to recommend both an appropriate SAT test prep regimen and specifics on which test dates to choose for SAT testing .

If you have questions about how to understand the scores, please contact your daughter’s counselor.

The Holidays, a Time for Joy and Sometimes Sadness

As we move through the holiday season, it is natural to experience both times of joy and times of discomfort.  If we have experienced a loss, the holidays can amplify our sadness if we are still working through the grieving process.  In light of this, The Center for Wellness and Student Support would like to offer a link to information about “Helping Grieving Families through the Holidays” provided by Bo’s Place.

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