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Sunday, January 15, 2017


EOSHS Receives Lofty Rankings in Recent ECE Report

The Office of Early College Experience Programs (OECEP) at UConn recently published data on participation rates of high schools throughout Connecticut. The numbers highlight the extensive involvement of EOSHS and the significant value derived from student participation in the OECEP.

EOSHS is ranked 4th (with 250 students enrolled) among the 188 high schools in Connecticut that participate in the OECEP, behind Norwich Free Academy (NFA) (364), Manchester High School (264), and Glastonbury High School (251).  It should be noted that the three schools ranked above EOSHS have much larger student enrollments.  When calculating the percentage of the total student enrollment that is participating in the OECEP, EOSHS rises to the top of the list.

Also of note is that EOSHS is second on the list of "Most ECE Credit Hours Taken" with 2312 credit hours tallied, behind first-place NFA (3153) and ahead of third-place Hand (Madison) High School (2067).  Of course, these numbers do not take into account the credit hours that students are earning in courses taken on the UConn Campus.

These figures represent an impressive commitment on the part of the EOSHS faculty and staff in offering OECEP courses and participating in workshops required by the OECEP.  It should also be noted that teachers at EOSHS (and all other participating high schools) must apply for certification and be approved as adjunct instructors before offering such courses.

The EOSHS community should take pride in the exceptional dual enrollment program that comprises a significant segment of its school-wide curriculum.

MCC Applications Due

Students enrolled in Manchester Community College courses offered at EOS need to COMPLETE the MCC application on line by February 5th if they wish to earn MCC credits in these courses.

Click on this link to initiate this process. This registration takes just minutes to complete. 

Mailing Senior Transcripts

 (Mid-Year School Reports) 

Seniors applying to colleges know that their first semester grades are typically required by college admissions offices.  Mid-year school reports that show first semester grades only will be mailed electronically to colleges when these grades become permanent after a final audit.  This should take place in the first week of February.

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 (see more about this below) that match up with the various post secondary goals 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 aid web sites, a link to The College Board, career information, Road Trip Nation (career and motivational videos) 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). 


What Is Course Planner?

Students (and parents) can access "Course Planner" (mentioned above) 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 challenges posed by one's course selections.

design flaw that Naviance has not yet corrected relates to the schools of interest that are listed below the "meter" that measures strength of schedule. 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.

2017-18 Course Selections

Power School Portal  Opens In Two Weeks

The initial stage of the 2017-18 course selection process has begun as subject area departments formulate plans for the next school year.  Students are encouraged to select courses through the Power School portal when it opens in two weeks.

This first step in the process allows EOSHS to "pour the foundation" for the eventual construction of the 2017-18 master schedule.  Note that students will have several opportunities to make changes on their list of selections in the months ahead.  You should also note that counselors will discuss course selections and confirm choices during their upcoming individual meetings with students and their parents/guardians.

Keep in mind, too, that four-year plans of study for various post secondary options are available in Naviance.  Click on the "Courses" tab for the plans as well as to access the full list of course descriptions in the curriculum.

The Kodak Moment You Wouldn't Want

Try picturing this...are you old enough to have had a Kodak moment?  If you are, then you remember  them as special times - countless once-in-a-lifetime (yes - an oxymoron) occasions that were freeze-framed, picture-perfect portraits captured on rolls of film.  With minds intact, you may still be able to recall these ancient instagrams.  Be careful, though, because clutching to your past could end up freeze-framing your present.  You wouldn't want your life to turn into the Kodak moment that resembles the company it eventually became. Here's why.

If you're that "old", you'll recall that Kodak was the Apple of your I back in the 20th century, with Eastman Kodak monopolizing the camera market in a similar way that the iPhone captures the smartphone (and its camera) today. Chances are you've had several Kodak moments that string your life together, moments where you can picture yourself as you once were in a time that once was. Today,  we have "selfies".  Just reach out and touch...the screen...and you get... you. Then simply store them in the cloud.  

Wait.  So what happened?

Here's what happened... with Kodak's meteoric rise and then eventual demise. Back in the late 1800s, George Eastman, an avid photographer, invented what was known as rolled film as well as the camera that could use it.  He launched the Eastman Kodak Company and promised anyone who bought it that "you press the button and we do the rest."  Much like what the smart phone has done for us today, the Kodak camera transformed lives and introduced the "Kodak moment" that allowed individuals to imprint celebrated experiences on to rolling film.  And it was this rolling film attached to inexpensive cameras that had Eastman Kodak rolling in the cash.  The years that followed saw Eastman make adjustments as new technology threatened Kodak and the company was flexible enough to stretch where the market was moving.  Kodak was the Apple of its time for several decades, "thinking different" and adapting as it saw fit.

But years after its inventive founder and imaginative leader passed on, Eastman Kodak gradually became stale and inflexible, full of itself and, as Wikipedia describes it,  mired in an "unassailable competitive position that would foster an unimaginative and complacent corporate culture."  Kodak became short-sighted by its own long-term dominance.

In 1975, with George Eastman having long ago departed this life, a Kodak engineer by the name of Steve Sasson invented the digital camera. What an imaginative idea?  At least, that's what he thought.  But he couldn't convince anyone else in the company to agree with him.  The corporate leadership was blinded by the glow of its own success and lacked the foresight to flex its position.  If only George had been around to look forward.  And think different.

So, much like what happened with the auto industry (think: Detroit) back in the seventies, Japanese companies like Sony seized the moment and created a market for the inexpensive digital cameras that eventually became commonplace.  Not until several years later did Kodak regain its footing and once again reach dominance as the leader in digital cameras.  But, by then, it was too late.  Why?

Remember that Eastman Kodak was making its money off of expensive film loaded on to inexpensive cameras.  Well, now there was no need for this film.  So the profits dried up and little cash was flowing in. Even though it was the market leader in digital cameras, the once iconic Eastman Kodak went belly-up in 2012 and filed for bankruptcy protection.  It was a Kodak moment the company never envisioned.  

Would this have happened had anyone higher up listened to Sasson?  Probably not. That's business, though.  Nothing personal.

But let's make it personal.  Could this happen to you?  Picture this.  What are your Kodak moments like?

The truth is we make our choices.  We can slide through our lives and never decide on much of anything, clinging to what are all-too-familiar patterns of behaviors and habits.  Or we can take charge - albeit with an imperfect control - and affect change that results from conscious choices.  Passively slide or actively decide - it's a choice.  Which is likely to produce the Kodak moments you'd want?

Below are suggestions you may want to consider for an authentic Kodak moment that is longer-lasting;
  • Take a "selfie".  Go ahead.  Make it a close-up of your whole being.  Then closely examine it all, including the darkest corners of your personality.  Recognize this - we don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.  What do you see?  What you will see is that often our expectations may blind us.  What's blinding you?
  • Every so often, do some pruning and weeding. Move into that area of your mind where decisions are made.  When was the last time you cleaned up your inner landscape?  Every so often, it requires weeding and pruning and fertilizing.  You need room to grow out.  So clean out and get rid of what no longer makes sense. Cut it and clear it if it's wilting and withering and just getting in the way.
  • Find your discomfort zone.  That's right.  Stretch yourself in ways that cause discomfort.  This will likely mean that you'll need to overcome your strengths.  As you do this, appreciate mistakes. Lean into these mistakes with confidence, which literally means "with trust".  And break a sweat!  If it becomes too easy for too long, you become...Eastman Kodak.
  • If it ain't broke, break it before it's too late.  What are you doing now simply because that's the way you've always done it?  If you're living by the motto - "If it ain't broke don't fix it" - then think about what happened to Eastman Kodak.  Sometimes it makes sense to "break it before it needs fixing".  
  • It's not the strongest who survive.  It's the fittest.  Get fit!  Successful people see the future before it happens.  It's true of athletes (who see plays develop before they actually occur), musicians (who hear the music before they actually play it), and anyone else who is paying attention while actively engaged in a full breadth of learning.  Whether it's connecting the x's and o's or the musical notes or the dots in a seemingly disparate situation, successful people anticipate and adjust accordingly.  It's not the strongest who survive, it's the fittest.  It's those who can adapt.

Change occurs organically, whether we choose it or not.  In other words, it's natural.  We change - consciously or not.  Technology changes, too.  And it changes us.  With all that we have available, it seems like we can now be in touch with anyone at anytime and anywhere.  Sadly, what we seem to have lost is our ability to be in touch with ourselves.

But you don't have to be out of touch - with yourself.  You just need to be mindful - conscious - of what you're doing and why.  Ask why more often. Take the time to search for the right questions you need to ask (the right answer to the wrong question is true-but-worthless stuff).  When you do, you'll likely invite confusion when you challenge your assumptions.  Any substantive change can be disruptive.  With the right answers to the right questions, though, you're more likely to cultivate genuine growth.  If you can answer "why" to what you want in life, you'll be able to figure out the "hows" that can get you there.

It's a new year.  Think about it.  Think about what you're doing. And then do something about it.  What's your choice - George Eastman or Eastman Kodak? It's your Kodak moment to make.

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