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pfc newsletter O A K

P A R K

H I G H

S C H O O L

April 2013

www.oakparkusd.org/ophs

In Memoriam

Our Miss. Ellen Ellen Meloeny 1955 - 2013 Forever in our hearts.


The Principal’s Message Dear Parents, As I write this message, a team of school and district administrators are visiting Oak Park High School to validate the signature practices we featured in our California Distinguished School (CDS) Award application. This team is called the CDS Validation Visitation Team and is charged by the California Department of Education to visit our school to observe classrooms, interview staff, students, and parents to determine if we are doing what we said we are doing in our application. The California Distinguished School Award is achieved by submitting an application that features two signature practices that the school staff believes sets the school apart. Schools are invited to apply based upon excellent academic achievement and we applied in November. Our application was approved by the California Department of Education (CDE) on the first reading. We were then informed that a visiting team would come to OPHS to validate our application by spending a day here. The signature practices we selected to feature were chosen with great care and much pride to reflect our core values of addressing all learning needs, as well as the needs of the whole child. We chose our Special Education Inclusion Program because we work very hard to ensure that all of our students have access to a rigorous curriculum and that with the right support, all students can be successful. For our other signature practice we focused on student support and selected Peer Counseling, Safe School Ambassadors, and Life Skills Retreat as a cadre of student support programs that address the social and emotional well being of our students and directly contribute to their health and well-being, as well as the

overall positive school climate. If this wasn’t enough, this year the CDE added an option for schools to recognize another exemplary program and of course we applied for this distinction too in the area of health, nutrition, and fitness. That visit was conducted two weeks ago and featured our food services program, our school garden, our health curriculum, and our PE and fitness programs. The visiting team spent the day at OPHS meeting with Advanced Peer Counselors, Life Skills Retreatants, Safe School Ambassadors and parents of all of the above. They met with advisors, teachers, counselors and special education teachers. The day culminated with an all staff meeting where they shared their impression of our school with the staff, district leadership, and governing board members. Their reports were consistent and unanimous and they lauded praise on our staff and community for making OPHS a truly Distinguished School. The visiting team lead said that once in a while you get to visit a school that transcends the term distinguished and that Oak Park High School is that school. Our students and parents echoed the same refrain that our teachers care about each student and that the school culture is one of love and support that enables high achievement. They were happy to report that they are able to validate our application to County Superintendent Stan Mantooth who will recommend to State Superintendent Tom Torlikson that Oak Park High School receive the California Distinguished School Award for 2013. — Sincerely, Kevin Buchanan, Principal

See information for the OPHS Spotlight Production on the last page of this newsletter! 2


Campus Calendar, News & Notes Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr.

1-5 9 9 11-13 16 16 17-19 17 17 19 19 20 20 22-26 26 26 29 29

Spring Break Site Council Meeting, 3:30 pm, Lib. CR OPPAA Meeting, 7:00 pm, B-2 Les Miserables Production, times vary Board of Ed Meeting, 6:00 pm, Lib. CR Boys Basketball Awards Banquet, 6:30 pm, Pav. AP Pre-Admin Session, 2:25 pm, G-9 Naviance Training, 6:30 pm, C&CC Hypno-Gig, 7 pm, Pav. Spring Sports Rally Barbershop Mania, 7 pm, Pav. AP Pre-Admin Session, 10 am, Lang. Lab Spring Vice Dance, 7:00 pm, Pav. ASB Election Week Cheer Tryouts, 3:15 pm, Pav. Comedy Sports, 7 pm, Pav. Dance Showcase, 7 pm, Pav. No School

APPLY NOW FOR AN OPHS PFC SCHOLARSHIP! The OPHS PFC awards annual scholarships to graduating seniors from the following GPA ranges: 2.5-2.99, 3.0-3.49, 3.5-4.0. Scholarship winners will be recognized at Senior Awards Night and awarded a letter of recognition and a $500 check to be used for further education. Pick up an application now at the College & Career Center. Winners will be announced on Senior Awards Night.

Applications due April 17th by 12:30 pm SHARP!

Pav. = Pavilion C&CC = College & Career Center

in the College & Career Center

This is from Ben and the Full Circle Learning Club at OPHS ("FCL"):

Don’t Miss ComedySportz!

Thank you to the OPHS and OP

Friday, April 26th, Pavilion 7:00 p.m.

community for donating amazing art supplies for the 2013 FCL Art Drive!

Ticket Prices: $5 for adults, $3 for students Refreshments sold!

With your generous donations, we have a wonderful assortment of supplies to give to the kids in April! They will be thrilled!

Thank you again from all of us in the FCL Club. 3


PFC Update President’s Letter Dear Parents and Friends of OPHS, I wish everyone a fabulous Spring Break, and Happy Pesach and a Happy Easter. Hopefully the sun will come out and we can have some fun! This year is going by quickly and I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the chair people who have been instrumental this year! Uma Narayanan, our eNews editor – has done a fabulous job! Every Sunday evening without fail, we all receive our eNews. This has become a critical communication tool and we could not do it without UMA!! Suzie Bock has been our Newsletter editor, she has put in many hours publicizing our well designed newsletters and has done a marvelous job! Suzie will continue in this position for next year. Thank you! Stacey Lindenau and Andrea Myerson our Emergency Preparedness Chairs, replenished and refreshed the water and emergency supplies in our classroom black boxes and our Emergency Storage Container! They are working with administration to make sure our campus is ready in case of an emergency – thank you so much! Barbara Shubin-Galaif, our Directory Chairperson, is already working on ways to improve the directory for next school year! Barbara did an amazing job with the new directory software, and we are looking at ways to improve the directory even more. Kudos to Barbara!! Toni Anderson, has been working on our E-Script and has been doing a wonderful job in reminding people to renew their E-Script. Karen Sephtan, who has revitalized and brought the Barnes and Noble Book Fairs back to life. Leslie Meyer, who continues to amaze us with the food and decorations for the staff hospitality. Shirin Sexton, who has the textbook room totally under control and well organized We are making good strides towards having most of our PFC chair positions filled with many talented and dedicated parents for next school year, but we are

Please note the updated date

Please join us for a special presentation on Transitions Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 7pm-8pm Location: Oak Park High School-Room H-11 Presentation: The Special Education Department will cover the following transitions:

Preschool to kindergarten Elementary to middle school, middle to high school and a brief discussion about post-secondary Featured Speakers: Susan Roberts, Director of Pupil Services and Derek Ihori, Program Specialist

Please RSVP with your transitional area of interest to rcarmail-cpr@yahoo.com For more information contact: Connie Risley, SEAC President, rcarmail-cpr@yahoo.com or 818-585-0523 Darla Christensen, SEAC Publicity and Outreach, darlachristensen@hotmail.com or 818-597-1246 High School Map Link Click Here

Continued on page 13 4


SPRING VICE DANCE TICKET SALE INFORMATION Saturday April 20, 2013 7:00 – 11:00 pm DATE 4/15/13 to 4/19/13

WITH ASB $15.00

WITHOUT ASB $20.00

***TICKETS WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR***

Very important information regarding ticket purchase: 1) 2)

3)

You must have your ID card, NO EXCEPTIONS. If you are taking someone from another school, you must have a completed guest contract with all signatures before buying your guest ticket. Guest contracts are available at the Student Store. The Student Store Hours: Mon – Fri - Nutrition, lunch, after-school (2:25-3:00)

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Eagle Athletics Update Spring seasons are well underway and league contests have begun. All of our teams are working hard to gain TVL championships. At this point in the season, here are the following overall and league records, to date, of our teams:

League

Overall

TRACK Boys Varsity Boys Jr. Varsity Girls Varsity Girls Jr. Varsity

3-2 1-0 2-3 0-1

BASEBALL Varsity Jr. Varsity Frosh

4-4 3-3 4-3

BOYS TENNIS Varsity

3-3

GOLF Varsity

7-4 3-3

BOYS VOLLEYBALL Varsity Jr. Varsity

4-0 2-0

10-4 5-2

SOFTBALL Varsity Jr. Varsity

2-1 1-1

6-4 3-3

GIRLS LACROSSE Varsity

none

10-2-1

BOYS LACROSSE Varsity Jr. Varsity

none none

4-5 6-1

Schedules and locations of all our spring contests are located on the OPHS web site under Athletics – please come out and support out teams! SUMMER SPORTS CONDITIONING – Towards the end of April all the information regarding summer sports conditioning classes, registration, etc., will be posted on our web site. If you have any questions, please contact us at 818-735-3303 or by e-mail at apettit@oakparkusd.org. 6


A Message From OPHS Football OAK PARK HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL All 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Oak Park Students, As we approach spring, we look forward to warmer weather and also the beginning of a great adventure for high school students that participate in the sport of football. At this time we are looking for any students who would like to join our football family and reap the many benefits of playing a sport that promotes camaraderie and builds strong bodies and minds. If you think you might be interested in playing football, you are welcome to come and join us at our first introductory meeting for all new and returning players on April 10, 2013 at lunchtime at the entrance to the gym. At this meeting we will discuss the program and you can meet current players and coaches. If you would like to see more about the football program go to our Team Website at: http://oakparkeaglesfootball.shutterfly.com/ where you can see our upcoming schedule and more about our JV and Varsity Football Teams.. Sincerely, Head Coach Terry Shorten

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The show is right after Spring Break! We are forcasting this show to sell out, so buy your tickets early. Click Here for ticket information 8


Superintendent’s Message New School Funding Mechanism Proposed Serious Concerns for Oak Park I’m sure you have heard in the news that Governor Brown has proposed a new method of funding K-12 public schools in California. He calls the program LCFF, or the Local Control Funding Formula. The basic concept behind this is not really about local control but about distributing funding to school districts based on the types of students they serve. The proposal calls for providing districts that serve students who come from disadvantaged homes, defined by participation in the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program, and those learning English with substantially higher levels of funding. Districts that do not serve as many of these students would be required to get along with less – although more than we are getting now. In other words, all school districts would see an increase in funding next year but some districts would receive a very small increase and others larger and more substantial increases. Can you guess how Oak Park USD would come out with this plan? In fact, OPUSD would receive the smallest amount of total funding per student out of the 21 districts in Ventura County. When the Governor first talked about this idea, he said that it would create winners and losers, and so we would have the distinction of being the ‘biggest loser’ in the county when it comes to funding. Most people agree that schools that are serving students who are trying to learn English and who come from poor families have many obstacles and should receive more funding. The fact is that they already do. The federal government provides substantial funds to these schools through programs such as Title I. In fact, for example, the Los Angeles Unified School District already receives about 50% more in funding per student than Oak Park. The Governor’s newly proposed formula does not take those funds into consideration, so they would receive another 35% more on top of the federal dollars. In some cases, some districts would be

receiving 100% more per student than others such as Oak Park. Other concerns about the proposal that have been raised are that these funds will not be required to be spent on any particular program but will simply be added to a district’s general fund. The accountability is supposed to be addressed through the already existing Single Plans for Student Achievement that are already required for all schools. Many educators have concerns about this. I wonder why this plan was not revealed by the Governor prior to the passage of Proposition 30 last November? I wonder if it would have passed if voters would have known about this plan? There is no doubt that Prop. 30 has helped us immeasurably this year by restoring over $1.8 million in funding in the current year. It will also help us next year and into the future. I think that most people would be supportive of the concept the Governor is proposing if our level of funding was first restored to 2007-08 levels, after restoring the 25% cut that all districts have taken. It somehow doesn’t seem right that under the proposal it would take Oak Park seven years to reach that level, while other districts would reach it much sooner. School Board members and I have expressed these concerns to our legislators and to anyone else who will listen, hoping for some consideration. Remember, that California school funding is far below the national average – ranking 47th out of 50 states. After a fiveyear struggle over budget cuts and funding, I find it sad that suburban districts like Oak Park are now engaged in a new protracted fight over funding restoration, after the voters in California generously voted tax increases to help ALL schools. — Anthony W. Knight, Ed.D. Superintendent

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Advanced Peer Counseling Hey Oak Park! Punxsutawney Phil may have been wrong about spring starting on the East Coast, but it sure looks like his prediction came true in California. It has been absolutely beautiful as of late. Springtime marks the home stretch for the school year at Oak Park High School. Everyone is picking their classes for the following year, seniors are deciding where they want to go to college, and parents continue to try and wrap their heads around another school year whizzing by as their “babies” grow up too quickly. On March 23rd, Peer Counseling held its annual Beginning Peer Counseling workshop. OPHS junior, Kyra Stevens, along with the help of BPC advisor, Anna Lovejoy, organized the workshop. Local marriage, family, and child counselor, Melody Black,

led the workshop to help teach students how to effectively help their peers through everyday problems. The workshop was a huge success with nearly one hundred students in attendance. We will be holding our annual Hypnogig event on April 17th in the Pavilion! Hypnotherapist Bruce Wilkoff will be coming to OPHS to hypnotize people from the crowd. Come watch the hilarious show as hypnotized members of the community perform funny acts. Tickets can be purchased for seven dollars at the student store. You won’t want to miss out! We hope that everyone has a fabulous April! — Sincerely, Moe Scott, Vivian Rotenstein, and the Advanced Peer Counselors

OPHS THANKS

JoAnn Tattersall, Kelly McGugan & The Tattersall Team of Active Real Estate JoAnn Tattersall & Kelly McGugan sponsor Oak Park High School’s “All Call,” our computerized phone system A vital link to our OPHS families!

Kelly McGugan

JoAnn Tattersall

Tattersall Team Cell: 818.207.7408 www.tattersallteam.com

Broker/Owner, GRI, SFR Cell: 818.370.7688 www.tattersallteam.com 10


No Frills Donations Appreciated Thank you to the following families for their generous donations to our 2012-2013 No Frills Campaign. Without their contributions, the PFC could not continue to support Oak Park High School teachers and students. A big thank you also to Wayne Kubik of T.O. Printing for his generous donation of printing for our Annual No Frills Fundraiser mailing.

Aggarwal Ahdoot Alexander Anderson Annino Aoki Appelrouth Arsht Asher Ashkenazi Aviram Bagamian Balen Ballas Bear Bender Berman Berner Berweiler Bhardwaj Bhatia Bochan Boganim Bongiovi Bouimer Branigan Briton-Jones Bronstein R.Brown S.Brown Buckley Bulusu Burger Burke Byrne Camhi

Cappos Carrelli Carrillo Castillo Catone M.Chang Chasin Cheney R. Chiu S. Chow Chrisakis Clark Claxton Cleary D.Cohen J.Cohen S.Cohen Conklin Conners Cook Corbitt Croy Cruz Dave DeGrinis Delgado Detamore DiPaolo Doheney Dorian Drews Dunn Ebuen Eichstadt Eisenberg Elayne

Epstein Feemster Felder Ferber Fields Fletcher Fong Frame Freedberg Frey Friedman Futterman Gage Galaif Gebhard Gee Geldin Gerber Ghaffari Godsick Goldstein Gordon Gorelik Gorenstein Gortner Green Greenwald Greer Gunn Haines Harris Hassanieh Hasserjian Heald Hedlund Helfand

Click Here to use PayPal to make your No Frills Donation!

Herbert Hirsch Holmes Horwitz Howard Hsiong Jamison Jasso Jha Johnson Julius Kalinke Katz Kawamoto Kealer Keefer Khaw Kopecky Kristensen Kubik Laifman Lam Lamb Lawson Lee Levanon Levin Liu Maholchic Mandell Markarian Marshall Martinelli McCleery Medina Meng Mertzel Continued on next page

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No Frills Donations Appreciated (continued) The PFC would like to thank the following families for their contribution to the No Frills Campaign.

Meyer Miller Miremadi Mogavero Moghimi Mohabeer Moody-Morse Mouzaya Myers Myerson Neville Nguyen O’Connor Okimoto-Wheatley Ong Ornstein Paul Peters M.Phillips R.Phillips Pine Piurkowsky Powers Ramirez Resnick

Ridinio Rifkind Rinkov Risley Rivera Robertson Rochon Romanov P. Rosen J. Rosen M. Rosen Rosenberg Rozanski Sahley Salinger Santa Cruz Santiago Saravis Saucedo Schapiro Schlatter Schneider Schnurr Schroeder Schwartz

Scott Serafica-Stermer Shaevitz Shanahan Shao Shemtov Sholty Silver Silverstone Simons Sklar Smith Snader Snyder Stark Steinhardt Stillo Strauch Tamiyasu Tang Taylor Thedinga Thiruvamkulam Tobias Tolentino

Too Torigian Townsend Treitman Trnavsky Velasquez Verma VonSchneidau Vosguanian Wada Waldman Wall Wang Welin Whiteley Wiederspahn Wilson Wing Wu Wulf Wyner Yang Ye Zaitlen Zhang

Click Here to use PayPal to make your No Frills Donation! Oak Park High School PFC Newsletter published monthly September - June by the OPHS Parent Faculty Club (PFC) for families of Oak Park High School students. Oak Park High School • Oak Park Unified School District Principal: Kevin Buchanan 899 N. Kanan Road, Oak Park, CA 91377 OPHS Main Line: 735-3300 Attendance/Temp. Off Campus Pass Line: 735-3311 (please call before 9 a.m.) PFC President: Gillian Miller ophspfc@gmail.com Newsletter Editor: Suzie Bock bockgraphx@sbcglobal.net 818-970-5251 eNews Editor: Uma Narayanan umasaa@yahoo.com 818-707-3124 www.oakparkusd.org/ophs • www.oakparkusd.org

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News from OPUSD Board President Dear Parents and Community Members, Hello from the Oak Park School District Board of Trustees! Our March Board Meeting started out by recognizing Oak Park High School's National Merit Finalists. There are only 15,000 across the entire country, and Oak Park High School has 6 - this is really quite remarkable. Congratulations to them all! Next, we honored our wonderful Director of Technology, Jane Mintz. Over the past 5 years, Jane has worked tirelessly to build our District's technology program from the ground up to become a model to which other districts around the state and country aspire. Jane will be leaving us at the end of March and we wish her all the best as Director of Technology in the Montecito Union School District. As part of our first action item, we heard from Mrs. Vanessa Heller (Teacher at Medea Creek) and The Water Warriors. Partly because of their dedication to the goal of eliminating plastic water bottles on all OPUSD campuses, the board approved the purchase of 14 new Hydration Stations, as well as a recommendation to staff to look for ways to reduce any waste associated with cups or bottles that may be used at the stations. We approved the awarding of several bids for school improvement work to be completed at our campuses over the summer including ADA field improvements at Oak Park High, parking lot repairs at Oak Hills Elementary and repairing damaged water lines at Brookside Elementary. All of these items are include in our Facilities Master Plan, and will be paid for by Measure "R" funds. Next, as required by law, the Board approved the "Second Interim Financial Report and Budget Revisions." And, although funding is still tight, we are operating within our means, while continuing to boost our Economic Reserves fund back towards 3%. Finally, as we do at most Board Meetings, we dedicate a portion of the agenda to adopt changes to our school policies which must be regularly updated to comply with changes in state or federal law, or are changed to adapt to the changing desires of the community. This month, we revised the following policies: 13

· Board Policy 6161.1 – Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials · Board Policy 6161.11 - Supplementary Instructional Materials · Board Policy 6174 – Education for English Language Learners · Board Policy 7214 - General Obligation Bonds · Board Policy 9322 - Agenda/Meeting Materials · Board Policy 9323 - Actions by the Board All of the District’s policies can be found at http://www.oakparkusd.org/Page/12. — Allen Rosen OPUSD Board President

President’s Letter

(Continued from page 4)

still looking for a few more willing volunteers to complete our PFC team: Senior Breakfast Chair; Organize the Senior breakfast which is in May 2014. This person is usually a Senior Parent and has a committee of people to work with. April 17th, 12:30 pm is the deadline for PFC Senior Scholarship applications. Parents please encourage your student to apply. April 19th, 12:30 pm is the deadline for entries for the PFC Senior Art Award. The entries will be judged by parents on May 3rd at our PFC general meeting. — Regards, Gillian Miller, PFC President ophspfc@gmail.com

For all the latest, most up-to-date PFC News and Information CLICK HERE


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College News Important College Dates & Deadlines for Seniors: Spring Break: Spring Break is the time to make final visits to schools that have made offers of acceptance. This is also the month students will notify most schools of their decisions. • •

Information about Campus Previews and scheduling trips to UC campuses can be found at: http://www.oakparkusd.org/page/1155 Information about Campus Previews, and scheduling visits to CSU’s can be found at: http://www.oakparkusd.org/page/1149

May 1st: National Commitment Deadline! Students must formally confirm acceptance or declination of an offer of admission by this date. May & June: are still critical months for seniors because last semester grades do count! Spring semester classes (that were listed on the student’s admission application) that are dropped or not passed with at least a "C" may result in a college rescinding its offer. Most competitive universities expect seniors to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the senior year.

Wait Lists, Deferrals & Appeals What can students do? Many students frequently find themselves in the unhappy position of having been deferred or wait-listed at their first choice school. The following information should be helpful both in terms of what to do, as well as what the chances are of still being admitted in these situations.

DEFERRALS: From College Confidential.com Accept, reject, and wait list are scenarios that run through the minds of college applicants until spring, when colleges send out their decision letters. Yet, this time of year, some early admission applicants are getting familiar with another application outcome: deferral. The jury will be out for these applicants, rolled over to the general applicant pool, until the Regular Decision general admissions cycle has run its course. Deferrals are the purgatory of Early Decision and Early Action (ED/EA) college admissions. You're not in, but you're not out. You're just hanging there, waiting for the April Regular Decision-shoe to fall. It's exquisite anguish. Many applicants would much rather be rejected outright so that they can just get on with things, without the unfinished business of "admit" or "deny" hanging over them. Most likely, if you've been deferred your credentials are in the ballpark for getting accepted. If they weren't, you'd be rejected. However, your application wasn't so far above average that the college wanted to give up a spot in the entering class until they could compare you to the full applicant pool. The percentages vary from college to college, but many students do get accepted after being deferred. Continued on next page 15


Continued from previous page Deferral can signal hope, or be like a mirage in the desert, something that was never there in the first place. The circumstances surrounding the deferral are what really count here. Why do schools issue deferrals? "Sometimes, schools want to see a high school senior's first quarter or semester grades before they make a decision" on early admissions applicants, says Senior Consultant, Nadine C. Warner. Warner, a former a former assistant director of admissions at the University of Chicago, adds, "Other times they want to see if other students from the school are going to apply during the Regular Decision admissions cycle so they can compare this student with the other students." The point is that schools want to see how an early decision applicant looks in comparison to the big picture, the general applicant pool. Admissions officers are eager to fill up first-year classes with top applicants and in the process bolster their school's prestige by attracting the most accomplished students. And, to muddy the waters even more, an ever-expanding roster of colleges now offer a second round of Early Decision--usually with a January 1 deadline. So sometimes "strategizing" includes moving on to an ED II option after being denied--or even deferred--in December by the ED I choice. (Confusing, isn't it?)

What should you do if you end up deferred? You must undertake a carefully deployed program of self-marketing to further enhance your "almost good enough" application. After all, if the colleges deferring you weren't interested in you, they would have rejected you, right? Let's take a look at what you can do to improve your chances of getting in: Your job is twofold: • First, you need to establish a distinguishable presence with the admissions office without becoming a pest. • Second, you need to reveal more of yourself and your sincere passion to attend your target college.

How do you do this? First, you need to communicate your continued interest with the admission office. This should be done by letter (and e-mail is fine, too.) In most cases, the best person to contact is the regional rep for your area of the country. Your job is to find out who this person is. Call admissions and ask for that person's name and e-mail address.

The purpose of your letter will be to: Emphasize your ongoing interest in this college. (If you will definitely enroll if admitted, be sure to say so clearly.) Explain why this college is a great match for you. Your reasons should be as specific as possible ("I have done research on the role of women in Mesopotamia and am eager to work with Professor Snurdley whose writing in this area is renowned") and not generic ("It is an excellent school, and I fell in love with the beautiful campus"). Provide updates on what you have done since you sent your application. Ideally, this list would include significant achievements ("I won a national physics contest") but, more commonly, you've been too busy with academics and applications to say much more than, "I pulled up my Calculus grade from a B- to a B+"). Once you've communicated this list to your admission rep, you can follow up with additional updates when you have more news to report. Meanwhile, think about how you can generate such news. Apply for an internship, enter a contest, and get a part-time job. Continued on next page 16


Continued from previous page Finally, you can always consider going for broke with a “gimmick." For instance, if your application touts your talents as a budding poet, perhaps it's time to write your "Homily to Haverford” or your "Ode to Occidental." Granted, gimmicks don't often work, and there's usually a huge element of luck involved if you try them because an effort that might delight one admission official could potentially irk another. But, especially when it comes to candidates at the hyper-selective schools, where your chances aren't too hot to begin with, a carefully conceived outside-the-box approach might just be your very best shot.

WAIT LISTS: From Collegewise.com When you end up on a wait list, you’re in the twilight zone. Essentially you're on-call. Wait lists are a kind of hedge against the unpredictability of accepted students enrolling at a college. From many years of experience, colleges know rather precisely what percentage of the total number of students offered admission will enroll. That percentage is called yield. For example, if a college is looking to admit a freshman class of 1,000 students, they may offer 2,000 students admission. That’s because they know their yield is almost always around 50 percent. If their yield were historically 25 percent, they would offer 4,000 students admission, and so forth. Sometimes, however, the yield flies in the face of history. When more than the expected number of students enroll (exceeding historical yield), temporary housing has to be acquired and there is a strain on college resources. When fewer than expected students enroll, colleges go to their wait lists and offer admission to those who are “in waiting.” This way, the college makes certain that the incoming freshman class is the right size. The wait list can serve other purposes. At super-selective schools, where there are many more qualified applicants than can be accommodated, applicants are wait listed as a consolation. Instead of being turned down for admission, they are put on the wait list, the implication being, “We wish we could have admitted you, but there wasn’t room.” Diplomacy lives. The likelihood of being admitted from the wait list is small. Some schools wait list 500-600 applicants. Your only chance is to undertake a heavy-duty marketing effort with the admissions office. Even then, your chances are small.

UC to Wait-List Some Freshman Applicants The following is a press release that explains how the UC system plans to utilize wait-lists: "The University currently enrolls more than15,000 students for whom it receives no state funding. New enrollment must be carefully managed to enable campuses to reach their enrollment targets with greater precision while still offering a space to as many deserving students as possible." Most campuses will participate, although UCLA has determined that the use of a waiting list, as an enrollment management tool, is not necessary at this time. Berkeley is still evaluating its position on waiting lists. Merced will continue to offer admission to all of its UC-eligible applicants and therefore will not participate in the wait-list process. Each campus will manage its own waiting list, but certain principles will guide the process at all: • At the same time campuses send admission and deny letters, participating campuses will invite a subset of their denied freshman applicants — those who came closest to being admitted in the campus's comprehensive review process but didn't quite make it — to indicate their interest in being on a waiting list. Applicants may receive wait-list offers from multiple campuses and can accept as many as they wish. • After processing Statements of Intent to Register (SIR) in early May, campuses will analyze likely enrollment and accept students off their waiting lists if they anticipate not reaching Continued on next page 17


Continued from previous page their targets. Acceptance offers will be sent by June 1 so that students and families can plan appropriately. • Students who are offered admission off the waiting list will receive a preliminary financial aid award letter shortly after if they filed a FAFSA by the March 2 deadline. Additionally, they will be eligible for housing and sports at orientation, just like students admitted earlier. • "Because it is impossible to know how many applicants ultimately will be admitted off the waitlist, students should submit by the stated deadlines an SIR and the requisite deposit to an institution to which they have been admitted," Wilbur said. • Eligible applicants who don't receive an admission offer from any campus to which they applied will be offered admission at a campus that has room, even if they are on the waiting list at another campus.

CSU impacted campuses The list below is for CSU campuses that are impacted for Freshman Admission in 2012-13. They may also use Wait-lists as an enrollment management tool. Visit the individual CSU campus or campuses of your choice for more up-to-date information on campus and program impaction, including admission supplemental criteria:

CSU Campus

First-Time Freshman

Upper-Division Transfers

Bakersfield.......................Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted Channel Islands ..............Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted Chico .........................................Freshman................................................Transfer Domingues Hills.............Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted East Bay ..........................Not Campus Impacted ....................................Transfer Fresno ........................................Freshman................................................Transfer Fullerton ....................................Freshman................................................Transfer Humboldt..................................Freshman ....................................Not Campus Impacted Long Beach ...............................Freshman................................................Transfer Los Angeles...............................Freshman................................................Transfer Maritime Academy .........Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted Monterey Bay..................Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted Northridge.................................Freshman ....................................Not Campus Impacted Pomona......................................Freshman................................................Transfer Sacramento ................................Freshman................................................Transfer San Bernardino..........................Freshman................................................Transfer San Diego..................................Freshman................................................Transfer San Francisco.............................Freshman................................................Transfer San Jose .....................................Freshman................................................Transfer San Luis Obispo........................Freshman................................................Transfer San Marcos................................Freshman................................................Transfer Sonoma......................................Freshman................................................Transfer Stanislaus ........................Not Campus Impacted..........................Not Campus Impacted

Note: Non-impacted campuses may have impacted programs Continued on next page 18


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APPEALS: The information below comes from UCLA & Collegewise.com, and is fairly representative of the appeal process at most universities: UCLA does not set aside space in our class for students who appeal admission decisions. Every denied application has gone through extensive reviews. Therefore, for an appeal to have merit it must bring to light new academic and personal information as well as information pertaining to extenuating circumstances that was not present in the application—information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced. High grades received in the senior year are not a basis for the reversal of a decision.

Submitting an Appeal 1. Send us a letter requesting that we reconsider your application. The letter must come from you (the applicant), and be postmarked no later than mid-April. 2. Your letter must clearly outline your reasons for appealing the initial decision. The information you present should be new and compelling. Your letter should not simply repeat information that had already been presented in your application. 3. Submit your high school transcript from the most recent term; please note the transcript must have course information and grades from the fall semester of your senior year and any additional semesters available at the time of appeal; an official transcript in the school's sealed envelope is preferred 4. If the basis for your appeal involves specifics such as a changed grade or an incorrectly reported test score, you should provide documentation (e.g., transcript or a revised score report) in the same envelope as your letter of appeal. 5. Letters of recommendation are not required. However, if you wish to include such letters with your appeal, the limit is two (2). It is also recommended that these be submitted in the same envelope as your letter of appeal. It is UCLA's usual practice to respond to appeals within three (3) weeks of the date we receive them. However, we cannot guarantee a response by May 1, the date by which many institutions require their applicants to make a commitment. We encourage applicants to consider all of their educational options. While all appeals are reviewed on case-by-case basis, the rate of a decision being reversed based upon an appeal has historically been very low.

How to Appeal an Admissions Decision Copyright© 2009 by Collegewise™ All rights reserved. ww.collegewise.com Copyright ©2009

What is an appeal? An appeal is a student’s formal request, in writing, that a college reconsider an application for admission. The appeal letter should be about one page and should explain your position why you believe you should be reconsidered for admission. Some colleges also invite you to include extra material that wasn’t in your original application, such as another teacher recommendation or report card from the first semester of the senior year. While most appeals are not successful, students who can present compelling new information sometimes benefit from the formal request to be reconsidered. Continued on next page 19


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Who should appeal? As unfair as the admissions process may seem at times, most colleges are very thorough in their evaluation of candidates. That’s why the few appeals that are successful usually bring to light new information that was not available to the college when they were reviewing your application. For example, if your 7thsemester grades were a dramatic improvement over your previous grades, or your club that you started raised a large amount of money for a charity event you planned, or the new internship you just secured happens to be in the field you plan on majoring in, these are things that can be taken into account when reconsidering your application. Students who do not have new information to share have a very difficult time presenting a compelling case for an appeal tube accepted. Some students want to appeal a decision because they simply believe they are stronger applicants than other students from their school who were admitted. Unfortunately, while the fact that these students were admitted and you were denied may frustrate you, the colleges will not consider this a valid reason to overturn their original decision. It’s important not to criticize the decisions that were made in favor of other applications. Keep your tone positive and focus on what you have accomplished since you applied. Do not compare yourself to other applicants who were admitted.

How-to appeal 1. Carefully read the decision letter the college sent you, and research the admissions section of the college’s website to see if any information about appealing decisions is provided. Some colleges will come right out and tell you that they do not accept appeal requests. Other colleges will not only tell you that they accept appeals, but will also tell you exactly what to do in order to appeal the decision. Follow all instructions the college provides. And if any of their instructions seem to contradict what you read in this guideline, do whatever the college tells you to do. 2. Write a letter as soon as possible explaining why you want the admissions committee to reconsider your application for admission. Be polite and respectful, and make sure to present new information; don’t just rehash what was in your application. Time is of the essence when it comes to appealing, so don’t wait to do this. 3. If the college indicates that extra letters of recommendation will be accepted in appeals cases, consider asking teacher to write a letter of recommendation (a different teacher than you used before).However, you should only do this if you feel this teacher will be able to present new and compelling information. For example, if you recently rose your grade dramatically, excelled in a class project, or received an academic award for your work in a particular teacher’s class; it might be worth asking that teacher to write a letter for you. 4. If invited to do so by the college, consider submitting recent paper or project you have completed in your senior year. If you will be submitting a paper or project, make sure you reference it in your letter, and make sure to explain. 5. Send all of these materials in one envelope to the admissions office.

Some final thoughts on appeals We know it’s disappointing not to be accepted to a school you really wanted to attend, and we understand why you might decide to try an appeal. But we want you to be excited about whatever college you ultimately attend, so we feel compelled to say that the very best thing you could do while you’re waiting for your appeal decision is to start falling in love with one of your other colleges that said, “Yes.” Visit those schools again. Buy a sweatshirt. Start imagining yourself there. You’ll feel much more positive and encouraged by focusing Continued on next page 20


Continued from previous page on great school that admitted you, rather than lamenting the decision of one who said, “No.” And remember that the vast majority of college freshmen report that they are happy with their college experience, even those students who were not admitted to schools that were their first choice at the time. Whether or not your appeal is granted, you’re going to go to college with a bunch of 18-22 year-olds and all you have to do is learn and have fun for four years. It might not feel like it now, but you’re going to be OK.

Advice From Your OPHS Counselors: Letters of recommendation supporting an appeal or deferral should not be reprints or copies of previously written letters. They should be written to the admission committee at the specific school with new information included! Because of the low rate of successful appeals students should make plans to commit to their second choice school by May 1st to ensure that they have a college to attend. If a student's appeal is successful and they ultimately decide to rescind their commitment, they should be prepared to forfeit the deposit that most colleges require at commitment time.

Spotlight Production

This year’s Spotlight Production will be Rumors, by Neil Simon. This classic play will be directed by Aaron Teebor. Sign-ups: Thursday, April 11th & Friday, April 12th at lunchtime in front of the pavilion. Any student can sign-up to audition. Auditions: Monday, April 15th & Tuesday, April 16th Callbacks: Wednesday, April 17th. The performance dates are Thursday, May 23rd, Friday, May 24th, and Saturday, May 25th.

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OPHS, PFC, Newsletter, April