Guidance Counselors

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					December 2008/January 2009 Newsletter

SCHOOL COUNSELING STAFF
Ms. Young                A-Dei
Ms. Richburg             Dej-Hi
Mrs. Portnoy             Hj-Mer
Ms. Arnold               Mes-Sau
Ms. Wilmes               Sav-Z
Ms. Schulenburg          Programs
Ms. Kuhns                Registrar
Ms. Sears                Guidance Secretary

As we say “farewell” to 2008 and “hello” to 2009, please be aware of the following:

         Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms can be submitted beginning 1/1/09
               Note: The deadline is 3/1/09, but also check with the individual colleges and universities
               as they may have other deadlines. FAFSA applications can be accessed at:
               www.fafsa.ed.gov
         All students should be utilizing the Family Connections web program from Naviance by the
          end of December 2009
         2nd quarter interims will be sent home with your child on 12/12
         1st semester exams will be on 1/21, 1/22, 1/23 and 1/26
         January HSA exams will be held on 1/12, 1/13, 1/14 and 1/15
         1st semester ends 1/26 and 2nd semester starts 1/29
         Scheduling for the 2009-2010 school year will begin in February 2009
         Fees for AP tests need to be submitted by 3/15

APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR COUNSELOR
Our office encourages parents to contact your child’s counselor directly for an appointment to ensure that
the counselor will be available for your visit. Parents who choose to walk-in to our office without an
appointment take the risk of finding that their child’s counselor is unavailable or will not have sufficient
time to address their concerns. Counselors do realize there are times when there will be emergencies that
occur and are unexpected; however, if your concern is not urgent, we would appreciate your courtesy of
creating an appointment. THANK YOU!

Students can easily stop by to see their counselors before, after school, or they can sign-up for an
appointment with their counselor. Also, please be aware that all parent-teacher conferences are held after
school when teachers are available from 2:15pm to 3pm.

EVENING WITH THE COUNSELOR
To accommodate the busy lives of our students and parents, our office has designated one evening each
month to have two counselors available to answer questions about graduation requirements, college,
scholarships or etc. Mark your calendar for the following dates:

Tuesday, January 13*             3pm to 6:30pm



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* Our January parent night was changed from 1/8, as previously reported in past newsletters, to 1/13 as
noted in this newsletter. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please note that staffing for the evening hours is done on a rotating basis. If you would like to meet with
your child’s assigned school counselor, please confirm which evening they will be available or contact
them directly to make an appointment.

INCOMING 9th GRADE INFORMATION NIGHT
Students in the class of 2013 and their parents are invited to learn about the transition from middle school
to high school, graduation requirements and scheduling procedures on Tuesday, January 13th at 6:30pm
in the auditorium. Counselors will be there to answer any questions that parents or students may have
about entering Arundel High School.

NOTE TO 9th GRADE PARENTS RE: 2008 MSA scores
Our office just received a copy of 9th grade students’ MSA scores from the spring of 2008. If you would
like a copy of these scores for your records, you may come to the School Counseling Office and pick
them up during normal business hours: Monday – Friday from 7am to 3pm.

1st SEMESTER FINAL EXAMS
Final exams for the 1st semester will be given in January 2009 on 1/21, 1/22, 1/23 and 1/26. Please
remember that each of these four days will be an early dismissal. Here are some tips to help your child
prepare and succeed:

        What your child can do before the exam:
           Get a good night’s rest
           Eat a nutritious breakfast
           Review your notes several days in advance
           Use study techniques that work for your individual learning style

        What your child can do during the exam:
           Arrive early and on time
           Read and listen to directions carefully
           RELAX! Take a few deep breaths if you feel stressed
           Keep a positive attitude
           Go back and check your work before turning the test in

HIGH SCHOOL ASSESSMENTS (HSAs)
The 2008-09 school year is the first year that students are required to TAKE and PASS the HSA’s in all
four content areas (Biology, Algebra, US Government and English 10) in order to receive a diploma. If
students do not pass the HSA’s examinations, they may have the opportunity to complete the Bridge Plan
option in order to meet graduation requirements.

Please note that January 2009 HSA testing administration will take place on 1/12, 1/13, 1/14 and
1/15. If your child will be taking one of the examinations during January 2009, please encourage them to
prepare ahead of time, get a good night’s rest the night before, have a nutritious breakfast and arrive on
time for the test. For the latest information and resources related to the HSAs, please visit:
www.HSAexam.org




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NAVIANCE WEBSITE
Our department has started using the Family Connections web program from Naviance to help our
students better prepare for their future plans after graduation. Family Connections offers a variety of
tools designed to support the college and career planning and advising process. Access codes for the
program were given to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 so that they begin setting up their account. By the
end of December, all 9th graders will also be provided with their access codes so that they too can begin
using and benefiting from the Family Connections program. Once your child is given their personal
access code, please have them log online to begin using the program at:
http://connection.naviance.com/arundelhs. Thank you for your participation!

INTERIMS AND REPORT CARDS
Please be aware of the upcoming dates for your child’s interims or report cards. EVERY student receives
an interim at the midpoint of each quarter which will indicate the student’s progress in all classes.

Interims                Report Cards
December 12, 2008       February 13, 2009
March 6, 2009           April 24, 2009
May 8, 2009             TBD

STEPS FOR COMPLETING THE WORK PERMIT APPLICATION:
    1. Print a hard copy Work Permit Application (Word document, 33KB, download Word viewer for
       free) or Adobe Acrobat format (PDF document, 87KB, download Adobe Acrobat for free).
    2. Complete the "To the Minor" section.
    3. Have your employer complete and sign the "To the Employer" section.
    4. Have your parent or guardian sign and date your application after they review it.
    5. Fill out the Online Application completely using the data collected on the hard copy application.
    6. Follow Directions on the Application Receipt. You must print out the receipt with the control
       number on it.
    7. Bring the completed application and receipt to the Counseling Office. (The Counseling Office
       can not validate your permit without the receipt containing the control number assigned by the
       Department of Labor)

Please be aware that there is a 24-hour turn around time for the Counseling Office to validate your permit.
Answers to your questions can be found on the online instructions at:

        http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/empm.shtml

MVA LEARNER’S PERMIT FORMS
Maryland State law requires that all applicants for a Maryland Learner’s Permit, under the age of 16, to
demonstrate acceptable school attendance (10 or less unexcused absences) in the prior school semester.
A form must be completed by an official school designee and returned to the MVA as part of the
application. This DL-300 form can be downloaded from the MVA website at www.marylandmva.com.
Please be aware that there is a 24-hour turn around time for the Counseling Office to complete the permit
forms.

NEW STUDENT ENROLLMENT
Counselors will be available to enroll students for classes during the 2008-09 school year by
appointment only. Please call us at 410-674-6500 to set up an appointment in advance of your visit.
Please remember to bring the necessary paperwork with you to complete the registration process. For



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more information on Enrollment Requirements, please contact the School Counseling Office or visit our
website at http://www.arundelhigh.org/Enrollment-Withdrawal_Procedures.html.

AP TEST PAYMENT
All students taking AP classes this year are encouraged to take the AP exams given in May 2009 in order
for them to earn credit toward their college education. The fees to take the AP exams are due to our office
by March 15, 2009. This year our office will the offer the option of a payment plan to parents and
students to cover the cost of the AP tests. A letter explaining the payment options was sent home to all
students taking AP exams. All students that are planning to take an AP exam must first provide us with a
commitment fee of $13 by December 15, 2008. Payment for the commitment fee can be made by check
or cash and should be given to Mrs. Richburg.

Note about cancellations: If a student registers for an exam and cancels before March 29, 2009, Arundel
will issue a full refund.

SCHOOL COUNSELING OFFICE FEES
Requests to the School Counseling Office to fax information for parents and for students have been
increasing at a steady amount. Should you or your child make a request to our office to fax documents,
there will be a charge of $.50 per page.

There are times when school counselors have asked for parental consent or authorization on school
documents such as senior graduation notification forms. Too often, school counselors have either not
received the documents back or received them without the required parental signature. When these
documents are not returned to our office by the required date, our school counselors must send the
documents home to parents by certified mail. Should our office be required to send you a letter by
certified mail, a fee of $5.25 will be charged to your child’s student account and will be reported to our
school’s Finance Office. Please remember that all student accounts must be paid in full in order for your
child to receive their diploma at graduation and also before you can transfer your child to another school.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION & DATES FOR SENIORS
SAT REGISTRATION                         To register: Go to www.collegeboard.com
Test Date               Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
December 6, 2008        November 5, 2008             November 18, 2008
January 24, 2009        December 26, 2008            January 6, 2009
March 14, 2009          February 10, 2009            February 24, 2009
May 2, 2009             March 31, 2009               April 9, 2009
June 6, 2009            May 5, 2009                  May 15, 2009

ACT REGISTRATION                         To register: Go to www.act.org
Test Date               Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
December 13, 2008       November 7, 2008             November 20, 2008
February 7, 2009        January 6, 2009              January 16, 2009
April 4, 2009           February 27, 2009            March 13, 2009
June 13, 2009           May 8, 2009                  May 22, 2009

COLLEGE APPLICATIONS
TOP suggestions for successfully navigating the college application process:
   1.) Be aware of deadlines and all the items and information required for your applications.



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    2.) Make requests for transcripts and letters of recommendation in a timely manner. Keep in mind
        that teachers require a month’s advance notice and counselors need two weeks.
    3.) Read the instructions for completing your college applications carefully and thoroughly because
        application procedures vary from college to college.
    4.) Proof-read your applications and make an extra copy of your records before sending.
    5.) Make sure your standardized test scores are being directly sent by CollegeBoard or ACT. Our
        office is not allowed to send standardized test scores to colleges or universities per our School
        Board’s policy.
    6.) Follow-up with your colleges or universities’ admissions office to make sure your application
        was received.
    7.) Remember to request that a 2nd transcript be sent at mid-year to provide an update to your
        applications on your academic progress during 12th grade.
    8.) Submit additional information required to be included for scholarships and financial aid at your
        college or university. Complete the FAFSA by March 1, 2009.

COLLEGE VISITS/INTERVIEWS
Students who are planning to attend college after they graduate should make efforts to visit each of the
colleges before they submit their applications. By visiting each school, students will be able to make
better and informed decisions about where they want to attend college. These visits should be done
around the school calendar so that students do not miss class time. We recommend phoning each
College’s Admissions Office in advance of your visit to set up an interview, information session and tour
reservation.

Representatives of colleges and universities will also visit Arundel High this fall. Students as well as
parents are welcome to sign up in advance for these scheduled visits. The calendar of college visits is
available online at our website at www.arundelhigh.org/guidance, online in the Family Connection
website in Naviance at http://connection.naviance.com/arundelhs and sign-up sheets are available in the
counseling office. Although we encourage students to attend these visits, balancing academic priorities
with these visits requires advanced planning. Students are responsible for making up all missed work.
Students have been asked to limit the number of visits they sign-up for to three.

FINANCIAL AID
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for federal student aid such as
grants, work-study and loans. You may also use the FAFSA to apply for most state and some private aid.
While hard-copy FAFSA applications are still available to mail in, 90 percent of FAFSA applications are
being submitted online. We have a limited number of hard-copy applications in our office if you need
one. FAFSA on the web is the quickest and easiest method of applying for student aid. The deadline to
apply for student aid in the state of Maryland is 3/1/09. For more information and to access the online
FAFSA application, please visit: www.fafsa.ed.gov

SCHOLARSHIPS
It is never too early to start looking for scholarship opportunities – Start Now! The counseling office
prepares a Scholarship Bulletin each month during the school year. This Bulletin is available in our office
and online at www.arundelhigh.org/guidance. We also have scholarships listed on the Family Connection
website in Naviance - http://connection.naviance.com/arundelhs. Please also see your counselor for copies
of applications and more information.

NCAA Clearinghouse
Seniors expecting to play NCAA Division I or II college athletics must be certified by the NCAA
Clearinghouse. Please visit www.ncaa.org for more details on how to begin the certification process.


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Students, please be sure to print out both release forms from the Clearinghouse allowing us to send the
preliminary and final transcripts and bring it to the guidance office for processing.




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