Friday, May 18th, 2012
Counseling Department News
As we complete a very successful second semester of the 2011-2012 school year and head into summer, this fourth and final issue of the Counseling Connection will provide readers with an update since our March edition. The Counseling Department has been busy connecting with students as they complete the final processes of scheduling, exploring college choices and summer planning. We are proud of our seniors and are excited for them as they begin their college careers next fall on 119 different campuses across the nation and abroad. We will be thrilled to welcome back to campus in August our returning seniors, juniors, sophomores and incoming freshmen from a new location—our beautiful new Counseling Center in the Sobrato Learning Commons! In the meantime, we wish all of our students and their families a very relaxing, rejuvenating and rewarding summer. Summer is the perfect time for students to unwind, enjoy activities and explore new opportunities. Summer can also be a good time for students to get a head start on their service hours to help lighten their load for the upcoming school year.
April and May featured visits to both Junior and Senior classrooms. Back on April 18 and 19, Counselors delivered the third and final Junior group presentation on preparing for the college application process. This presentation covered the role of counselor and teacher recommendations, the college résumé, the college essay, making the most of college fairs and college representative visits, using Family Connection to obtain valuable college and career information, and introduced students to the “Junior To Do List,” which is available on the Guidance and Counseling website under News. You can also access the entire PowerPoint presentation on our website under College Guidance. On May 8 and 9, Counselors met with groups of Seniors to administer the Senior Survey, in which we collected information about student impressions of the college application process, individual college application results, and each student’s post-high school plans. As long as your student indicated the college he/she will be attending in the fall, Saint Francis will automatically send a final transcript to that institution once it is available.
We want to make all parents aware of our Counseling Department sponsored, Daybreak Group. This support group meets monthly during collaboration to support any student who is experiencing challenges related to death, dying or any type of loss. This group is facilitated by two St. Francis counselors and the format is based on the KARA Grief Support Group model. KARA is a well-respected organization in Palo Alto that specializes in helping teens deal with issues of grief. Any Saint Francis student is welcome to attend. Students who participate in Daybreak receive club credit. Email notification of our monthly meetings will be sent to all students prior to each meeting.
College Case Studies
On April 26, the Saint Francis Guidance and Counseling department hosted the College Case Studies program for the second consecutive year. We invited Junior students and families from Saint Francis and fellow Catholic high schools Bellarmine College Preparatory, Archbishop Mitty, Presentation, and Notre Dame San José to gain additional insight into the college admission process. The event featured representatives from 100 colleges/universities who used their collective experience to guide students and parents through four sample applications. Following the exercise, each classroom of students or parents “voted” on who they would admit, waitlist, or deny based on information obtained from the applications and the group discussion that ensued. Afterward, most of the 963 students and parents made their way to the college fair, which took place in both gymnasiums and the Graham Theater foyer. There, they were able to meet with college representatives, ask questions, and collect information on various programs. Next year, Bellarmine College Preparatory will host College Case Studies.
Conferences and Events
Counselors continued to stay active in the Counseling community outside of Saint Francis High School. On May 1st – May 4th, two counselors attended the Super ACAC Conference (Association of College Admissions Counselors) in Reno, Nevada. Counselors attended 13 workshops on a variety of relevant counseling topics including, “Assisting Disorganized Teenage Boys, The Differences Between SAT and ACT testing and College Admissions Trends.”
Grade Level News
Freshmen and Sophomores
Counselors encouraged freshman and sophomore students to connect with them during collaboration, lunch or after school. Additionally, counselors routinely responded to student emails on a daily basis and encouraged students to email us with any questions they may have over the summer. Because many of us will be traveling over the summer vacation, we will not always have access to our emails. Please be patient and we will respond to your email when we are able. All Freshman and Sophomore students received a Course Request Verification Form via e-mail in late March. Students were asked to check the form for accuracy and return a copy signed by his/her parents, along with any AP/Honors contracts (if applicable) to the Counseling Office by March 30.
All Junior students received a Course Request Verification Form via e-mail in late March. Students were asked to check the form for accuracy and return a copy signed by his/her parents, along with any AP/Honors contracts (if applicable) to the Counseling Office by March 30.
On April 18 and 19, Counselors delivered the third and final Junior class presentation on preparing for the college application process. This PowerPoint presentation covered the role of counselor and teacher recommendations, the college résumé, the college essay, making the most of college fairs and college representative visits, using Family Connection to obtain valuable college and career information, and introduced students to the “Junior To Do List,” which is available on the Guidance and Counseling website under News. Since then, students have turned in preliminary versions of their college résumés and college essays through their English classes. Students will continue developing their college essays this fall in their Senior English classes.
Counselors also met one-on-one with Juniors during the months of April and May to finalize standardized testing and summer plans, remind students to ask for teacher recommendations, complete the related teacher/counselor questionnaires, revisit college priorities, and assess the likelihood of admission to prospective colleges/universities using Family Connection Scattergrams. You will receive a copy of the “Junior Checklist” that came from this second in-depth meeting with your student, along with a preliminary list of prospective colleges, very shortly. Please refer to these materials for tips on what your student can be doing this summer to stay ahead of the college application process.
April, in particular, was a hectic month for many Seniors. Once students received their last few college admission decisions, many of them took to the road and/or to the air to visit some or all of these schools before making their final decisions by May 1. We’re now proud to report that the members of the Class of 2012 will attend 119 different colleges/universities this fall! Not only will our latest graduates be attending a wide variety of distinguished academic institutions, but many students have been awarded institutional and/or private scholarships for their impressive accomplishments thus far. Congratulations!
**Note: If your student has decided to attend a different institution than the one he/she indicated on the Senior Survey which was administered May 8 and 9, please email our Registrar, Ms. Emily Stapleton, and Maureen Chenette in the Academic Office ASAP so your student’s final transcript can be sent to the proper college/university on time (usually by mid-July).