A Reminder About Helpful Links

Be sure to check out the helpful links posted on both sides of the page!
We're now on Twitter, too. Type "@eos_guidance" in your Twitter search box. Or click on "Twitter" to the left.







Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

New Website Launched to Provide Support for Student Success

The EOS Guidance Department has launched www.setyourgps.org, a website designed to help students, educators, and parents/guardians cultivate a growth mindset on the way to developing a plan for success.  The link has been posted in the upper right corner of this page and is easily accessible with a simple click on "Set Your GPS".

You'll see that this site is really about the Student Success Plan (SSP) that was introduced by the CT State Department of Education a few years ago. You'll also discover that the SSP has been replaced by the GPS (Growth Plan for Success). It's really one and the same. It's just that the GPS acronym suggests a plan that will guide you to your destination (success).

The Guidance Department will be using this website frequently throughout the year as counselors work with students to develop their Growth Plans for Success.

Check social media buttons up top of the web page as well for even more! These will be updated regularly. If you have a Twitter account, then follow @setyourgps.  The blog to setyourGPS (Owners' Manual) will be updated frequently as well.

A Message to Seniors

Seniors should make appointments with their counselors as soon as possible to continue discussions about plans for life after graduation in June.  There are several important tasks that seniors need to complete in a time-sensitive fashion and counselors will help with this process.

A Message to Freshmen

It's a new beginning for ninth-graders and several opportunities are available for students to enrich their high school experiences by becoming involved in extra-curricular activities.  For advice on how to maximize the opportunities available, take a few moments to view the video listed under "Tutorials" to the right that's entitled "Student Voices: Seniors Speak to Freshmen."

PSAT Administered on a School Day

In an effort to increase student participation with the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT), the EOS Guidance Department has arranged with The College Board to administer the precursor to the SAT on Wednesday, October 19th.  All 11th-graders will have to opportunity to sit for the PSAT that morning and the cost will be covered by the school.  Tenth-graders wishing to take the PSAT will need to pay the test fee. 
More information about registration, cost, etc., will be posted on September 15th. 


How Much Time Should Students Spend on Homework?

As the new school year begins, this is a question often asked by parents/guardians, particularly those new to EOSHS. It's a question that's never had an easy answer - at least until now.

It's easier to answer this question for yourself now simply by logging on to Power School and clicking on Quick Look Up. When you click on a grade, the "grade book" will open and there you will see the wide assortment of assignments/tests/quizzes that contribute to the grade. Task management, and not time management, should be the priority. If the results are satisfactory, then a sufficient amount of time is being devoted to homework. If not, then both the time and task management need to be reviewed and re-evaluated.

The better way to answer this question, then, is by measuring results and not hours. The link below will bring you to an article that addresses this issue.

How to Use Power School


When student grades became accessible three years ago through Power School, it opened a whole host of issues that accompanied the opening of teacher grade books. What was surprising to many is that the data revealed students accessing grades at the rate of twice that of parents. What wasn't known, though, is to what degree students were/are accessing grades through their own portals in the presence of their parents or if parents were simply using student accounts to check  (and we still can't determine this). What we did learn in the process is that access to grades can be both a benefit and a liability, depending upon how this access is used.

Like several tools, Power School can be an effective tool if used properly - and not so if used improperly. Proper use is subject to personal interpretation, but it may be safe to say that overuse may be just as detrimental as no use at all. Checking grades frequently (every day, if not every hour) can cause frustration because the pace that teachers use to input grades differs across the faculty. Likewise, there are occasions when human error results in incorrect input (in such cases, students should simply consult the teacher). But when parents check so frequently that it robs the sense of responsibility and ownership from students for the latters' grades, then the result is distrust and dismay.

Clearly, the parent portal to grades is a potentially effective tool for communication, and it may be used for a springboard to constructive conversation about academic performance, engagement, and the like...if done so in good measure. But what can we call good measure? Here's one suggestion - set aside one time a week (make it consistent from week to week) to sit down with for a parent-child session during which the "book" is opened. Set ground rules for discussion. And set a time limit, too. If there are any issues that remain unresolved, resolve to address them during the next weekly meeting. Be sure to examine the effort behind the grades - meaning homework and project completion as well as quiz/test performance. Reinforce effort made.

Proper use of this tool can enhance conversation about the school experience. Improper use, on the other hand, can lead to distrust. It may take some time to figure out what works for parents and children. It's work well worth doing.

Power School Access

Student passwords required for access to Power School have been updated to their network logins.  Students still in need of a password should go to the LMC for more information.

Information for parents' accessibility to Power School will soon be made available.


Articles of Interest

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