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Guidance Timeline 9-12

GUIDANCE TIMELINE GRADES 9-12

FRESHMEN YEAR TIMELINE

FALL OF FRESHMEN YEAR

  • Students will attend freshman orientation before the first day of school and will receive their freshman year schedule and meet the administrators and guidance counselors as well as tour the building.

  • Freshmen should start the year off strong and make a plan to stay after school for extra help and take advantage of Titan Time as they transition to high school.

  • Students will attend the Freshmen Seminar facilitated by the guidance counselors in the fall.  Freshman seminar focuses on:

    • Learn who is who in high school.

    • Learn about grade point average and the importance of challenging yourself as well as getting involved with activities outside of school.

    •  Learn about graduation requirements.

    •  Learn about college admissions requirements.

  • Freshmen should plan to get involved in extracurricular activities and begin required community service hours. Community Service Log Sheets are available in the guidance office, also under the forms section of the PHS website & on their Guidance Google Classroom. 

  • Students should utilize Scoir to begin researching careers, potential colleges and they should also work with their teachers to develop strong study skills. 

  • Students should invite parents to create a Scoir account

SPRING OF FRESHMAN YEAR

  • Students will begin to prepare for the course selection process,- and should review the Program of Studies and thoughtfully choose classes that are challenging and will prepare them for the career path they may be interested in. 

  • Freshman will attend guidance seminars during Titan Time to select their courses for the next school year. Parents are encouraged to review the courses that were selected and read the course descriptions and contact their child’s guidance counselor with any questions. 

  • Students should continue to stay after school and sign up for Titan Time with teachers to finish their freshman year strong.

SOPHOMORE YEAR TIMELINE

FALL OF SOPHOMORE YEAR
  • Sophomores will take the PSAT for practice/exposure purposes only. This will allow students to prepare to take the PSAT again during their junior year, which is when they can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship

SPRING OF SOPHOMORE YEAR

  • Sophomore Seminars will take place in the spring. Sophomores will review their PSAT scores, learn how to interpret them and how to practice to improve their scores. This includes linking their College Board account to Kahn Academy. Students will also learn how to navigate Scoir to conduct career and college searches and begin to develop a resume utilizing Scoir. 

  • Explore Potential Careers – Sophomores will research careers in more depth and learn about the tasks, education, and training needed for potential careers.

  • Sophomores should work on expanding their resume of activities; get involved with extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions in the activities that interest them the most. Students are encouraged to become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.

  • Course Selection - Sophomores will meet with their teachers to select course levels for the next school year and attend a Guidance Seminar to select their courses in PowerSchool.  Parents are encouraged to to review both the courses selected and the course descriptions that are available in the Program of Studies.  

  • Sophomores should work diligently to keep grades up and work hard to obtain the highest possible grade point average.

JUNIOR YEAR TIMELINE

FALL OF JUNIOR YEAR

  • Prepare for the PSAT – Junior year is when students can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. 

  • Visit collegeboard.com for practice tips and tests & link their College Board Account to Khan Academy. (The PSAT will be given to all sophomores and juniors in October.)

  • Students interested in the military should plan to take the ASVAB. You can see Mr. Shannon in guidance for more information or visit:  ASVAB Information. 

  • Junior parents and students should consider attending the Senior Financial Aid Webinars  & College Planning Night. 

SPRING OF JUNIOR YEAR

  • Juniors will attend the Guidance Junior Seminars - Postsecondary planning will be discussed in detail. 

  •  Research colleges in Scoir

  • “Follow” colleges of interest in Scoir & invite parents to Scoir if not already completed. 

  • Register for the Standardized tests for the March, May or June test date. Register SAT at www.collegeboard.com *Please note the June SAT tests is on the same day as PHS Graduation.

  •  Register for the ACT at www.actstudent.org.

  •  Visit the College Board and ACT websites for advice and tips on SAT’s and college information.

  • Schedule college visits for the colleges being “followed” in Scoir – take a campus tour; meet with an admissions representative; talk to current students…etc.

  • All student-athletes interested in playing Division I or II programs: Complete NCAA Eligibility Center online registration. (Please note there is a registration fee.)

  •  Plan to register for a challenging and rigorous senior year schedule.

SUMMER OF JUNIOR YEAR

  • Students should narrow down the list of colleges that they plan to apply to, the average number of applications is 6-8. 

  • Create a Common Application Account by visiting www.commonapp.org if applicable.

  • Review the Common Application and be prepared to start working on it. (Make sure the application is dated with the following year before you start working on it, it usually changes in mid-August.)

  • Review the Common Application Essay Prompts and any school-specific applications on your list to see if they require supplemental essays. 

  • Compose a rough draft of a college admissions essay.

  • Visit FastWeb to research free scholarship opportunities (Some require essays or projects).

  • Create a resume in Scoir. List extracurricular activities, honors and volunteer and service completed throughout high school. This information can be included with college applications. 

  • Complete the “Brag Sheet”in Scoir. Consider which teachers to ask to write letters of recommendation. Students should make this request in person during the spring of your junior year and will formally request it in Scoir during the fall of their senior year. 

  • Make a plan and register for Standardized Tests. It is recommended that students that plan to apply early-action test as early in the summer/fall as possible to help determine whether or not they plan to submit scores. 

SENIOR YEAR TIMELINE

SEPTEMBER

  • Seniors will meet with their guidance counselors to review the college admissions process & to receive an overview of how to use Scoir for the application process.

  • Visit colleges at every opportunity! The experience of walking on to a college campus will help students as they plan for their future and figure out what type of college they are best suited for.

  • Students should submit proof of visit to the attendance monitor.

  • Students should register for the August, October and/or November SAT by visiting: collegeboard.com. For those colleges that require SAT scores, be sure to take advantage of your three free score reports when registering! If this is not done and the college requires SAT scores, students will have to make sure official scores are sent by the College Board for an additional fee. Students are responsible for sending SAT scores. 

  • Students should register for the ACT at www.actstudent.org; tests are administered in September and October. Be sure to register for ACT plus Writing. *Please note: all colleges accept either SAT or ACT scores. Students may choose to take both standardized tests and send the highest scores to their colleges.

  • Review the list of colleges and universities that are SAT Optional and students should determine whether or not to submit scores. They can consult with their guidance counselor for assistance with this decision. 

  •  Students should attend college fairs (PHS College Fair in September), Whitman Hanson Fair and Boston NEACAC College Fair and be prepared to ask questions and collect information from the representatives.  

  • Students should ask 2 teachers for a letter of recommendation. Their guidance counselor will also write a letter of recommendation. Students will input their teacher requests in Scoir and should follow up with the teachers in person.

  • Complete the Brag Sheet in Scoir & provide ample time for the letters to be composed (at least 2 weeks). Thank you notes should be written to those who wrote the letters of recommendation!

  • Students should request their transcripts in Scoir at least two weeks prior to their deadline. 

  • Students that are using the  Common Application should create an account at www.commonapp.org.

  •  Seniors should schedule meetings with their Guidance Counselors as needed to touch base on post graduation planning.

  •  Students are encouraged to work hard all year! Colleges see 1st & 2nd term grades. Final transcripts are sent after graduation. Fight senioritis…colleges can rescind their acceptance if final grades drop drastically!

  • Student-Athletes interested in Division 1 or 2 athletic programs should register with NCAA Clearinghouse Forms and request to send transcripts.  Visit: www.ncaaclearinghouse.com for more information. 


OCTOBER

  • Parents should register to attend a Financial Aid Webinar and be aware of financial aid deadlines.  THE FASFA can be filed after October 1st.

  • Read directions carefully! College applications can have different essay questions and testing & program requirements. Mistakes can reflect very poorly on candidacy for admission.

  • Complete Early Decision/Early Action applications according to specific college deadlines.

  • Complete the CSS Profile if seeking financial aid from one of the participating private colleges or universities.

  • Students should complete application essays & have them proofread by a reliable source. All seniors are invited to attend the PHS College Essay Workshop that will take place after school.

  • Students should check the PHS website for local/national scholarship information.

NOVEMBER-JANUARY

  • Continue to attend College Open Houses.

  • College applications should be completed and submitted online. 

  • Read directions carefully & keep track of college application deadlines. Early action/decision deadlines can start as early as the end of October!

  • Attend College Goal Sunday if assistance completing financial aid forms (FAFSA) is needed. For time/location visit: www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.

  • Wait patiently for admissions letters & think about potential college choices. Students should check email used in applications frequently and login to college portals to ensure everything has been received. Students should update college admissions results in Scoir.

  • Visit colleges to help make final commitment decisions. Review college acceptances and submit deposits by May 1st.

  • Check the PHS Guidance Webpage frequently for important financial aid websites and local scholarships. Contact college financial aid offices or www.mefa.org if you have questions or concerns about your financial aid package.

  • Students will attend a final Senior Seminar and will complete the Senior Exit Survey in order to inform their guidance counselor of postsecondary plans. (Students will need to indicate if they are going to college, military, work, gap year, etc…)

FEBRUARY-MAY

  • Wait patiently for admissions letters & think about potential college choices. Students should check email used in applications frequently and login to college portals to ensure everything has been received. Students should update college admissions results in Scoir.

  • Visit colleges to help make final commitment decisions. Review college acceptances and submit deposits by May 1st.

  • Check the PHS webpage for important financial aid websites and local scholarships. Contact college financial aid offices or www.mefa.org if you have questions or concerns about your financial aid package.

  • Students will attend a final Senior Seminar and will complete the Senior Exit Survey in order to inform their guidance counselor of postsecondary plans. (Students will need to indicate if they are going to college, military, work, gap year, etc…)


Helpful Guidelines for Parents:

  • Openly discuss future plans, including financial concerns and any restrictions with your child. This should be done early in the school selection process so that everyone is on the same page.

  • Encourage your child to develop independence! They are responsible for balancing homework, sports, work, and other activities now and when they arrive at college. Students should be seeking out help if they are having trouble in school. Self-advocacy is key! It is strongly recommended that parents allow students to complete their own college applications, SAT registrations and scholarship applications.

  • Contact your child’s Guidance Counselor with any questions regarding graduation requirements or post-graduation planning.

  • Read the monthly Guidance Newsletter! Check your email, phone messages, website & Scoir for important information regarding college visits, scholarships, financial aid opportunities, standardized tests, and career exploration. Sign up for guidance counselor remind.com. 

  • Be aware of deadlines & keep records of contacts with schools – phone calls, names or representatives, meetings, etc.

  • Parents and students should be aware that there are fees associated with the college application process such as college applications, standardized tests, sending standardized test scores to colleges, and transcript requests.

  • Remain positive and encourage your child to work hard in achieving success.

  • Stay in contact with teachers to ensure that grades do not dip once your child receives college acceptance letters. Colleges can rescind acceptances!