Happy May!Posted by mary Desmond on 5/1/2018 2:00:00 PM
It’s hard to believe that the school year is almost over.
The Guidance Office would like to congratulate the Class of 2018, and their parents and families, on their accomplishments! Through their diligence and effort, the graduating SENIORS have so far received 417 offers of acceptance and earned a total of almost $17,000,000 in scholarships and grants. This year so far we have students accepted to many state and local schools, as well as University of Pennsylvania, Loyola Maryland, George Washington University, The University of British Columbia University of Calgary as well as Villanova and the University of Hawaii.
We are extremely proud of our graduates!
This week I am going to all the Senior Theology classes to request the seniors fill out a form stating where they would like their final transcripts sent. These will not be mailed until after the report cards go out and the transcripts are complete – about the end of June. Do not worry if a college sends a letter prior to this asking for the final transcript as they know we have to wait until school is over. DO NOT SEND IN ANY MONEY FOR THIS! Please check with your son to make sure he did fill out this form.
All but a few students have applied to a college or trade school. If any of your sons do not know what they are doing after graduation please encourage them to stop down and speak with Mrs. Desmond. There are many options out there including community college, trade or technical schools, apprenticeships and full time employment. Please remind your son that he should be applying for scholarships. If he has already done so congratulate him as not many students go the extra mile. Seniors have received 9 Scholarship Bulletins both on paper and via email. Most scholarships are also listed on Naviance.
We would also ask that all seniors bring in all the Financial Aid Packages they receive regardless of whether or not they plan to attend that college. The deadline to submit this information is this Friday May 4th! All scholarships as well as the name of the school the student plans on attending will be listed in the Graduation Booklet. Tomorrow, May 1st is the national deadline to inform colleges where you are attending.
PARENTS – As your son goes on to the next step of his life there are several topics you may want to discuss with him – especially if he is going away to college.
*The dangers of drugs and alcohol – If you haven’t already had this talk it is important to have it now. Many students begin to go to parties and are influenced by peers. Alcohol is not a safe drug! There are college students each year who die because of alcohol poisoning, drunk driving or even falls. Also they are underage so drinking is illegal. We have heard of students being put on probation, expelled and even having to go to jail. Please educate your sons about the dangers and the law.
*Make sure your son knows his medical history. Some students
may not be aware of allergies! Also have an emergency plan and contact information in case you need to get in touch with each other.
*Money Management – Your son may have to budget money from a summer job or he work part time during the school year. Either way, managing his income will be important. Teach him the pitfalls of credit card use. Students end up getting into a lot of debt because they charge without thinking about how they will pay for the purchases and then they end up accruing a great deal of interest.
*There are other topics you may also wish to discuss like internet use and social networks such as Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter. You can find some pointers on parenting a college student here.
JUNIORS and PARENTS: In the JUNIOR interviews this past spring, the RISING SENIORS were encouraged to begin the school search process now! Take time over the summer to visit colleges or trade schools. Use the information you received in your Junior Folder. Hopefully you have taken or registered for the SAT/ACT. Students do not have to take both tests. If a student is good with classroom math and chemistry he may do better on the ACT as the math is more straight-forward and there is a chemistry section. Check out the sample questions at actstudent.org to see if that test is good for you. Prepare! If you just take the test over and over and never prepare don’t be surprised that your score remains the same. There is an ACT offered in July and an SAT in August. Only take a summer test if you are sure you will continue to practice and prepare through the summer. All juniors have a Collegeboard and Khan Academy account. To register for the SAT log onto www.collegeboard.org and for the ACT www.actstudent.org. You will notice that the essay portion of the test is optional for both the SAT and ACT. We recommend all students take the test at least once with the essay. Although many colleges do not require it, you don’t want to find yourself caught needing it late in the application season. If your son is considering applying to a very competitive university such as Penn, Notre Dame, Princeton, etc. he may need to take the SAT Subject Tests. Check the college’s website to see what they require. Students should spend some time preparing for the SAT/ACT over the summer. In the junior interview students logged into their Collegeboard account and we linked it with their Khan Academy account. Khan Academy is the official prep site for the SAT and is very effective. We also logged into Naviance and went over how to research both careers and colleges. This site offers information on majors, careers and colleges and there is also a personality profile he can take which will give him ideas on what careers fit his personality.
***IMPORTANT - PLEASE LET US KNOW IN WRITING PRIOR TO THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE ITEMS BELOW.
For next school year the Guidance staff is authorized to mail transcripts, recommendations, test scores and other information to post-secondary institutions. We are not permitted to give official transcripts to students, parents, coaches, etc. Official transcripts and recommendations must be sent from the guidance office to the institution or employer. Teacher recommendations will not be made available to student or parents unless a release is received from the teacher.
If you are considering very competitive schools consider attending one of the following:
EXPLORING COLLEGE OPTIONS
on Sunday May 13th at 7PM at the Philadelphia Marriot 1201 Market St.
The following colleges will be there:
Duke * Georgetown * Harvard * Penn * Stanford
Register on line at http://www.exploringcollegeoptions.org/
COAST TO COAST COLLEGE TOUR
Monday June 4th at the Philadelphia Marriot at 7PM
Dartmouth * Northwester * Princeton * University of California,Berkeley* Vanderbilt
Register on line at: https://www.coasttocoasttour.org/
All juniors should have their resume almost complete as all English classes worked on them on Naviance in January. ****Your son needs to ask teachers about recommendations before the end of the school year. We went over how to ask teachers in person first and then follow up with an email via Naviance. In the folder from the junior interview there is a brochure which goes through this process step by step. It is important to take care of this before the end of the school year as some teachers will not accept requests once the new school year begins.
For additional information on College Planning and a number of other topics visit our School Shelf. (if link does not work go to Roman’s Site, click Guidance and look for School Shelf)
SOPHOMORES and FRESHMEN:
This coming Friday the freshman will have an assembly during the long homeroom. A speaker, Andrew Onimus, will be presenting from Minding Your Mind. Minding Your Mind provides mental health education to adolescents as well as their teachers and families. Andrew will be speaking about the stigma and destructive behaviors associated with mental health issues. He will open up about his struggles with mental health and how he overcame his obstacles through coping strategies. This can be a sensitive topic. Ms. Francello will be speaking to the freshman theology classes prior to the assembly. Please let guidance know if you have any questions or concerns.
The sophomores will also have an assembly this coming Friday. Anthony Luker, Education and Outreach Specialist from the PA Attorney General’s Office of Public Engagement, will be presenting about cyber safety. He will be discussing the risks, legal implications, and latest dangers of the internet. For additional information on this and a number of other topics visit our School Shelf . For specific information on Social Media click the Parent Involvement link. .(if link does not work go to Roman’s Site, click Guidance and look for School Shelf)
Parents please keep reminding your sons of the importance of academics. What they are doing this year will effect what choices they will have Senior year when making decisions about colleges and careers. Encourage them to look over their notes each night and to complete all of their homework – not most of it. Encourage him to attend tutoring if he is struggling in a class and to come to the Counseling Center if he has any concerns or is not sure how to handle a situation. Attendance is critical! All absences and lates are on the permanent transcript. Encourage them to begin prepping for the PSAT. Especially sophomores as next year they will be taking the SAT in the spring. Encourage your son to use Khan Academy to practice. We met with all sophomores and worked with them to create bothe a Collegeboard and Khan Academy account. Remember the PSAT is the best practice for the SAT!
Spring is on the way!Posted by mary Desmond on 2/20/2018 7:00:00 AM
It’s hard to believe we are more than halfway through the school year!
Spring will be here before we know it.
Seniors and parents - if you have not received any financial aid packages please check your emails and be sure your FAFSA was completed properly. If you have any questions see Mrs. Desmond. Also be sure to look at the scholarship bulletins and apply,apply,apply! College is expensive and every dollar helps. There are two scholarships with quickly approaching deadlines. One is for students from South Philly and is looking for academic excellence and commitment to community service. For the other one,The Frank S. Innocent Scholarship ,a student must be a member of a high school athletic team,have a 3.2 GPA or higher and performed community service. In addition, you must be attending college in the fall and write a short essay. Both of these are on the Scholarship Bulletin but you may also stop and see Mrs. Desmond if you have questions. Bring in all of your acceptance and scholarship letters. Check the postings in the basement and cafeteria to make sure we have yours. All scholarships (regardless of the school you plan on attending) will be listed in the Graduation Booklet. More importantly you get a candy bar for every scholarship and acceptance you bring in to Guidance. Finally, don’t let your grades drop. Colleges do get your final transcript and if there is a significant dip in grades they could revoke a scholarship or even your acceptance.
Junior parents – I hope those of you who attended the Junior College Information Night found it beneficial . All but 40 juniors have had their interview. Each student is given a folder with a wide range of information about college, financial aid and trade schools. The ‘Step Up to College’ book covers everything from the search process to the transition from high school to college.
Juniors – Hopefully you registered for the March SAT. If not, there is still time if you pay the late registration fee. The next one will be May 5th and the deadline to register is April 6th. It is important that you PREPARE!!!! Khan Academy is the official prep for the SAT. All students who have had their meeting should have their Khan Academy and College Board accounts linked. Remember, although I will see everyone, those who fill out an appointment slip will be seen first.
The Free Library of Philadelphia is offering Free SAT Prep. Check out the link below for information.
If you are interested in the ACT be sure to check out their sample questions before you take the test. Only take it if you believe it will benefit you. The website is www.actstudent.org.
If you want to get additional information about the college process you may want to attend Step Into College a pre-college conference at University of the Sciences on March 10th. For additional information and to register go to:
Sophomores and Juniors - Check out these affordable summer programs - both are under $500!!!
“Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) is a one-of-a-kind summer program that offers in-coming high school juniors and seniors a unique and challenging opportunity to see what it is like to run their own business.” ( to get more information and to apply go to: www.pfew.org)
Catholic University is offering a program too! “The Busch School Summer Business Institute is an exciting week-long educational experience in business innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and ethics through the lens of Catholic Social Doctrine.”
To find out more and apply got to: https://business.catholic.edu/academics/pre-college/index.html
Sophomores and parents - Please encourage your son to keep his grades up. Last month sophomores created both a College Board and a Khan Academy account. Students can review PSATs on College Board and Khan Academy provides free, personalized test prep. For those students who had trouble with registration, Mrs. Snyder and Mrs. Desmond will be calling them down to correct the problem. We urge students to begin prepping for the PSAT now. Just 15 minutes of practice 2 - 3 times a week will improve the score of the PSAT and the SAT. Remember you’ll be juniors next year and taking the SAT!
Freshmen and parents - Ms. Francello visited English classes last week and reminded the students the importance of completing all homework assignments and preparing for tests. She also reviewed the importance of being in school on time and prepared for the day. For those of you who had a strong first semester keep up the good work. For those of you who struggled first semester make an appointment to check-in with Ms. Francello.
All Parents: CORA Services is hosting an event in a couple of weeks.
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: SOCIAL MEDIA 101 WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW
March 07, 2018
CORA Services Conference Center 6:00-8:00 p.m.
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111
THIS EVENT IS FREE BUT YOU DO NEED TO RSVP. Click here to RSVP
We think that this is a great opportunity for parents to learn more about what their children are exposed to online. Also we will have a similar presentation for Sophomores in May.
Please remind your sons that if they are ever concerned about something they see on- line, or are worried about a friend or classmate due to any reason at all that we are here to help.
Is it really 2018?Posted by mary Desmond on 1/4/2018 8:30:00 AM
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very peaceful and happy New Year. Things are busy here in the Guidance Office. Junior Interviews are well under way and Mrs. Franello and Mrs. Snyder are busy meeting with freshmen and sophomores. The end of the first semester is only weeks away. If you son has been struggling please encourage him to get all of his assignments in and to study in advance for tests.
Reminder - PSAT Information Night is January 18th. We will hand out paper copies of the PSAT results that evening. If you can't make it your son's scores will be sent home with the report card. All scores are accessible through Collegeboard.
**IMPORTANT** Please do not create a second account. If a student forgets his user name and password please click the 'forgot user name' and follow the prompts. If a student is still having difficulty, have them set up an appointment with their counselor. Creating a second account creates a problem and you would need to contact CollegeBoard directly in order to merge the accounts, which can be a tedious process.***
For those of you who may not have received our December email here are some highlights:
The ‘official’ prep site for the SAT is Khan Academy. Khan Academy is an incredible free resource which offers practice tests, a personalized practice plan based on the results of your PSAT and thousands of videos, practice questions and more! If you already have a Khan Academy Account you can link it to CollegeBoard. If you don’t have an account, create one. We recommend that Juniors practice for 15 – 20 minutes 4 times each week.
CollegeBoard offers videos on understanding the scores and how best to prepare for the SAT using Khan Academy. Click here for the information.
SENIORS - Please remember to bring in your acceptance and scholarship letters! Not sure if you submitted it? Be sure to check the postings which can be found by the basement staircase, the Academic Affairs Office or the cafeteria. Check with Sister Jane if you think your name is missing.
Most Important …..You get a candy bar for each acceptance and scholarship!
Speaking of scholarships, be sure to check out the Scholarship Bulletins you received and apply to scholarships for which you qualify. Check out colleges’ websites to see if they offer special scholarships and look at websites like fastweb.com for additional opportunities.
We will be taking juniors into the computer lab in January to go over basic college information and to create their resume using Naviance. Junior Interviews have begun! If you would like your meeting sooner rather than later come into the Guidance Office and fill out an appointment slip. During the interview students receive a copy of the Interview sheet, a folder of information regarding post-secondary options, a booklet entitled “Step Up to College” and info on Financial Aid and Scholarships. We encourage students to take the test twice junior year. To register and get all the dates and deadlines go to http://www.CollegeBoard.org
There are SAT and ACT fee waivers available for low income families. Click here to see a brochure that gives you the eligibility guidelines. If you qualify your son would also receive 4 fee waivers for college applications. If you believe you are eligible email me or have your son stop in for additional information.
FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES:
Mrs. Francello and Mrs. Desmond recently met with freshmen in large groups to review Naviance and to show students what a transcript looks like. Many students were surprised to see that Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior year grades were what colleges see when they apply. Some also did not realize that any grade below a 70 was failing and a 70 – 72 is a ‘D’. We are emphasizing the importance of every year and encouraging students to ask for assistance if needed. Mrs. Snyder will be visiting with sophomores in large groups after the holidays. Both freshmen and sophomore interviews have been ongoing since the start of the school year.
Athletes who want to play in Division I or II sports will need to register with the NCAA – www.eligibilitycenter.org The NCAA only counts core academic courses and students need to reach a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score to clear. Remember 2.3 or take a knee! http://www.ncaa.org/static/2po
How can parents help their teens? Below are a few pointers on staying connected with your teen:
- Start Conversations: Don’t wait for your teen to come to you. Ask him questions about the school work and social pressures. And don’t avoid difficult subjects such as alcohol or other drug use.
- Set Clear Limits – Work with your teen to set firm but fair rules for studying, spending time with friends, etc. Recognize your teens need for more independence, but be clear about his responsibilities and the consequences for not meeting them.
- Listen to Your Teen – Give your full attention. Don’t rush your teen or interrupt – Even if you disagree. Listen closely and show respect for his point of view
Welcome Back!Posted by mary Desmond on 9/22/2017
Now that we have all settled into the school year I wanted to let you know some tidbits about the Guidance Department – some things you may already know and others may be new to you.
Our Freshman Counselor Ms. Ashley Francello has been hard at work teaching the freshmen the importance of using a planner and how to use it effectively. Please ask your son to see if he is using his planner to keep track of homework and tests. Even though most assignments are on Grade Connect or Schoology using a planner is an important skill and we are hopeful that by junior year all students will be using an electronic planner. Mrs. Carol Snyder, our Sophomore Counselor, has also been encouraging the sophomores to use the new planners they received and both she and Ms. Francello are beginning to meet with the students. Mrs. Janelle Hoole, our Social Worker is getting everything ready to help those students who are struggling with personal and/or family issues. Mr. Tarducci and I are seeing seniors to make sure they are getting application done and getting prepared to ‘leave the Roman nest’ Please Ask your sons to bring in any and all acceptance and scholarship letters. We need to keep track and they get a candy bar as our congratulatory gift!
We will also be working on the website and updating some of the information. Naviance is the program we use most often with our students and we encourage you to ask your son for his user name and password so you can check out all the resources available through this site. Oh and by the way , we did not forget about juniors. A junior year timeline was sent out earlier this week and we encourage the students to get onto Naviance and take some of the surveys to find what careers they might like. There are videos available also in which people in different fields speak about their experiences.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Remember, we can’t help if we don’t know there is a problem.