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Thursday, September 10, 2015

09.15.15



PSAT Registration Begins This Week

Registration for the new PSAT begins next week. The PSAT is a practice SAT that is highly recommended for juniors and for sophomores as well who have already completed Geometry. The reason for the latter is that a portion of the math on the PSAT includes Geometry.  This new PSAT will resemble the new SAT that The College Board will roll out in March (more information about the new SAT will be published here on future posts).

The test date is Wednesday, October 14th, and will be administered between 8-11:30 AM.  Students registering for the PSAT will be charged $15 and may do so with cash or a check made out to EOSHS. Registration takes place in the Guidance Office. The window for test registration will remain open until Friday, October 9th. A late fee of $10 will be assessed after that date, provided room remains available for additional test-takers.

Juniors are eligible for National Merit Scholarships. Those students who score in the top half of the 99th percentile are typically selected as candidates for these scholarships. Their value has been $2500 and likely will remain so in the next year.  Aside from eligibility for these scholarships, the PSAT provides a testing experience that resembles the SAT, and students who complete the PSAT receive in early December a detailed summary of their test performances. This summary may be very useful when preparing for the new SAT.

For more about the new PSAT, click here for information "inside the test", click here for Reading, here for Writing, here for Math, and here for key content changes.

Contact your counselor if you have questions about the PSAT.

Adding/Dropping Courses

With two weeks of school already in the books, students may still be weighing their course loads and determining what's appropriate to carry. Anyone wishing to make a schedule change will need to complete a "Schedule Change Request Form" that is available in the Guidance Office. This form will require both a teacher signature (course being dropped) and a parent/guardian signature before the change can be processed. The completed form should be brought to the student's counselor.

For the record, students should know that semester courses (designated by S1 or S2) and year-long courses (designated by YR) have different time lines for adding/dropping classes and how these changes are depicted on transcripts. For first semester courses, students have twenty (20) school days to decide before changes are reflected on transcripts. In other words, any changes made before the 20-day window will NOT be reflected on transcripts. Changes after the 20-day period but before the end of the first marking period will show a "W" (withdrawal) on the transcript. For year-long courses, the timeline is doubled.

Updating ECE Registration


The Add/Drop period for UConn ECE began on August 15th and will continue until September 30th.  If you have not yet applied, see below.

  • Go to this link and review the online tutorial.  Once ready, hit "Apply Now".
  • Create your user ID and password and save in a secure location.
  • Complete the online application.
  • Upload your signed consent form with your application.  If you are unable to upload the form (you may scan it or take a picture of it before uploading it), contact the helpline at 1.855.382.8323.
  • Monitor your email daily for a message from UConn confirming your application has been processed and you are ready to enroll.  You will be unable to enroll in your course(s) until your application is processed.  Please allow at least a few days for your application to be processed during peak periods.  
If you are already in the ECE database (having registered and received confirmation via email) and you need to add or drop courses, see below.

  • Once your enrollment notification is received, follow the link to enroll in your course(s).
  • Select your high school and the approved course(s) listed on your consent form.  Follow the directions until submission is complete.
Contact your counselor if you need more information.

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.


The College Board Provides School Profile on SAT Scores

The College Board reported the SAT Score Profile for the recently graduated Class of 2015. The scores represent the last administration in which EOS seniors took the SAT. So, in other words, if a student sat for the SAT in May of junior year and again in October of senior year, the latter score is the one used to calculate mean averages. Below you'll see much of the data reported;
  • There were 226 test-takers. The mean averages were 559 in Critical Reading (CR), 564 in Math (M), and 558 in Writing (W).
  • Eighty-seven took the SAT in their junior year only while 138 students completed the test in their senior year (some, no doubt, were repeat test-takers). One 9th grader also took it.  The average scores for those who took the SAT in junior year only were 580 in CR, 583 in M, and 575 in W while the average scores earned in senior year were 548 in CR, 555 in M, and 549 in W. 
  • These scores compare favorably to state and national averages, with those scores reported as 504 (CR), 506 (M) and 504 (W) for CT while national mean scores were 495 in CR, 511 in M and 484 in W.
  • With regard to score distributions, 169 EOS students earned scores higher than 500 in CR, 161 did the same in M, while 165 surpassed the 500 benchmark in W.
  • The ten colleges and universities that received the most SAT Score Reports from EOS students were UConn (120 students), ECSU, (57), CCSU (29), University of Rhode Island (26), Boston University (25), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (22), University of Vermont (22), SCSU (17),  Manchester Community College (16), and (tied) Quinnipiac University (15) and University of New Hampshire (15). Of the aforementioned schools listed, nine are public institutions.

State of Connecticut Scholarships Available

The Connecticut State Treasurer has announced a new scholarship opportunity available to current freshmen and seniors this year.  Called CHET Advance, this new program will award 200 scholarships worth $2500 each to students across the state.  The application period is open until October 7.  For more information, go to ChetAdvance.

Free SAT/ACT Prep Program Now Available

The Guidance Department has purchased an on-line SAT/ACT preparation program for all EOS students to use. This program, called Method Test Prep,  is available on your Family Connections link in Naviance. Simply go to your Family Connections page and click on the link to the left. You'll be asked to provide an email address that the provider will use to send updates, but it's not necessary for you to provide an email address to access the program. So, you can choose to ignore the request and proceed directly to the program.

Once there, students will find short units to complete as well as full practice test and tutorials. Test data is saved to help students analyze their strengths and weaknesses. With the program being web-based, students may access it anywhere provided they have an Internet connection.

Take note below of a message from Method Test Prep.

"Hello students, parents, and educators,
Are you getting ready to use Method Test Prep to prepare for the ACT, SAT, or PSAT?  Here are a few things to keep in mind.
What browser should you use when using Method Test Prep?  Method Test Prep is fully functional using Google ChromeMozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari
Method Test Prep will not work properly on Internet Explorer so please use one the browsers listed above.  Don’t know what web browser you are using?  Find out here.
What device should you use? Method Test Prep works on any device as long as you are using one of the supported web browsers from above.  Any device means laptops, tablets, smart phones, or even a web-enabled big screen TV.
Where can you use Method Test Prep?  You can use Method Test Prep at any time as long as you are connected to the internet."

Students should contact their counselors if they have questions about this program.



Method Test Prep Offers Video Tutorials


Method Test Prep has posted its webinars and classes offered over the past several weeks.  For more information, click here For more information about changes in the SAT, click here.

What's Naviance and Why Should You Be Interested In It?

The EOS Guidance Department has been using Naviance for several years now, adding features along the way when they become available to subscribers and when we feel they're useful to our school community.  Naviance is a web-based program that offers a full range of services. You'll find course descriptions on classes offered at EOS, four-year plans of study that match the various post secondary goals that students may have, data on student outcomes specific to colleges and universities to which EOS students have applied over the past several years, links to the vast majority of post secondary institutions throughout the country, links to financial aidweb sites, a link to The College Board, career information, Road trip Nation (career and motivational videos)Success Planner that holds electronic portfolios EOS Guidance is building with students, and an SAT prep program that is extensive - and free to students. There is even more. The link to Naviance may be found in the upper right corner of this page (Naviance Family Connection). 

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