From the Junior Counselor 10/2/20

Hi Juniors and Parents,
We have made it this far. Enjoy your 3 day weekend. Give yourselves a break from staring at your screens. 
Here's what I have to say:
Help is on the way: If you are concerned about your grades on Schoology or struggling with getting a handle on one of your online classes, high school staff will be meeting next week to finalize the plans for afternoon tutorials. Starting the week of October 12th teachers will let students know when they are available for small group help. AP teachers will have extra support, math will have tutorials, opportunities will be available for you to get caught up and work closely with your teachers. Teachers may assign you to their afternoon meetings or you may reach out  to them if you need help. 
Updates on testing (SAT, ACT, California state testing): I have been attending UC and CSU conferences as well as other national conferences for counselors. Our state schools, out of state public schools and private schools are almost universally either not considering SAT/ACT scores this year or not requiring it and making it optional. 
What does that mean for Juniors? Junior year is usually when these previously high stakes tests are taken. For those of you interested in going directly to 4 year colleges, the answer is tied to what's happening in our world, Covid 19 vaccines and the fight for racial justice and equity directly tie into the decisions being made by the colleges and universities. Many schools, the UCs included, are considering no longer requiring SAT/ACT scores in the future but continuing to rely on multiple criteria for freshmen admissions such as college prep GPA, number of college prep courses taken, community service, personal statements....
CSUs are still reporting that they will most likely return to requiring SAT/ACT scores for the class of 2022. 
What should you do? Right now it is almost impossible to take an SAT/ACT test even if you wanted to. Test sites for October, November and December are full and priority is given to seniors. We will know more in January and my job is to keep you posted. I will post test dates for the spring soon. I will also be reaching out to students who may need accommodations and make sure we have those accommodations approved so we are ready to go if you do decide to take the SATs or ACTs. 
Virtual College Visits: Charlotte has been setting up meetings and getting information out about online zoom visits with admission counselors. You have an incredible opportunity to get first hand info from the people who will be reading your college applications. Here's the link: 
For the full list of Fall Virtual Rep visits, Click Here.

Honors Clubs: Information went out earlier this week to all students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above. You may be qualified for CSF based on your spring grades or you may want to apply for NHS. For more information watch the attached informational video. Also CSF/NHS application information is attached to this email.
Ready to be in politics?: There are currently openings for high school juniors who are interested to serve on the State Board of Education. See the attached informational sheet below to find out more about this exciting opportunity. 
Next week's Monday Specials are all about the upcoming election. I am excited that you all have this opportunity to explore the issues and make your own decisions. Soon your votes will count. 
In a few weeks we will start talking about your post-secondary options. I will be doing a Junior presentation during the Monday Specials and then we will schedule individual zoom meetings. We will talk about your survey results and Naviance. I am looking forward to just getting to connect with you.
Leslie Burns
College, Career and Academic Counselor