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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weeks Eighteen and Nineteen

Important Dates

Registration forms for UConn courses on campus are due in the Guidance Office on Friday, January 13th.  Classes there begin on Tuesday, January 17th.

Cocoa and Cram for Ninth Graders
Wednesday, January 18
6-8 pm

Exams
January 24-27

Possible Events/Activities of Interest

Lentz & Lentz, an SAT prep outfit, is conducting a free practice SAT for all EOS 10th and 11th graders on Wednesday, January 18th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.  Students who wish to participate must submit a registration form and email to them.  For more information, call 1.800.866.7287 or email info@lentzsatpprep.com.

Princeton Review is once again offering an SAT prep course at EOSHS.  Cards were mailed home promoting this to all 10th and 11th grade students.  This course is being offered independent of EOSHS. 

 

Course Selection Process for 2012-13

The course selection process for 2012-13 is set to launch on Tuesday, January 31st.   Students will be escorted to the Library Media Center by teachers in designated classes and the former will select courses in Power School.  Selections are tentative and subject to approval in cases where prerequisites are established.  Counselors will review course selections with each student, and students will have the opportunity to make changes through the close of this school year in June.

Students should give considerable thought to their selections, not only as they pertain to next year but in subsequent years as well.  They should also consider the time commitments required to be successful in their chosen courses and weigh these against extra-curricular commitments made.  Saying "yes" to some choices implicitly means saying "no" to others.  New to the process this year is the direct involvement of specific subject area teachers.  Students' current teachers in English and Math will make recommended level placements for next year.  The same will be done by current Social Studies teachers for 9th and 10th graders.

Keep these thoughts in mind when choosing;
  • Think about the kinds of options you'd like to have once you graduate from EOSHS.  For example, what kinds of post secondary schools might you like to attend?  What might you like to choose for a major?  Note - if you really don't know, then you should keep open your options by choosing a challenging course of studies.  Too often, students eventually discover what they'd like to do only to discover that they don't have the necessary coursework to pursue the major.
  •  Think about the options available at EOSHS.  Then think about how much time remains to your high school experience.  What makes sense to take in 2012-13?  In 2013-14?  What courses are available to take for college credits?  How many would you realistically want to take?  How much money could youI save in higher education costs if you take these courses?  What will you have to give up in terms of time and commitments elsewhere if you choose these courses?
  • Think about work commitments.  Are you planning on working at a part-time job?  How many hours do you intend to work each week?
  •  Think about when your extra-curricular involvement is most time intensive.  Is one semester busier than the other with respect to the involvement?
In the end, students are making lifestyle choices when they make course selections.  Some courses require more effort than others.  The reward for this effort may come in more heavily weighted grades or it may come in the form of college credits or it may come in the form of better options beyond high school.  But it also may come at the expense of time spent with friends and family or at the expense of a part-time job or even at the expense of sleep.  Risks and rewards are often related.  They have to be evaluated as well.

Course descriptions are available on Naviance.  Click on the "Courses" tab for this information.  Four-year plans of study are also available in this tab.  These plans are categorized by the competitive category of schools.  Take sufficient time to review this information.  Wise choices require this time.

Course Planner

As you know, Naviance is a relatively comprehensive web-based program that the Guidance Department uses in addressing issues related to the three components of a developmental guidance program - social/emotional, academic, and post secondary issues.  Students complete surveys on-line, conduct research on career and college options, prepare for the SAT, and plan for their futures in a variety of ways.  One such way is through a component of Naviance called "Course Planner".  Here's how it works.

Students (and parents) can access "Course Planner" by logging in to their accounts and clicking on the "Courses" tab in the menu bar.  From there, four-year plans of study may be reviewed simply by clicking on course plans.  Several plans are available and each is based upon the kind of schools - defined by competitiveness (how difficult it is to be accepted - the lower the percentage of students accepted, the more competitive it is) - that a student may wish to pursue.  By clicking on any one of the plans, you will see the types of courses available to choose from that will comprise a four-year plan of study compatible with the kinds of competitive schools for that particular category.  For example, a student interested in attending a highly competitive school would click on that plan and see that the vast majority of courses from which to choose would be at the "A" level.  What is not taken into consideration are the grades that a student earns in these courses.  Rather, the strength of the four-year plan is based upon the rigor of one's course selections.

A design flaw that Naviance has not yet corrected relates to the schools of interest that are listed below the "meter" that measures rigor.  A plan that may be appropriate for admission to ECSU may not be sufficient for acceptance to UConn, even though Naviance is indicating otherwise.  For more accurate feedback, students should speak with their counselors.  Still, Course Planner may be very useful in the course selection process when taking into consideration post secondary aspirations.

Articles of Interest

Several new articles have been posted under "Articles of Interest" that relate to the course selection process over the long-term.  You're encouraged to click on each and take a few minutes to read them.

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