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Sophomore Scene (a sophomore parent newsletter)

March/April/May 2011 Sophomore Parents: In less than three months, your child will be a junior in high school and twothirds of their GPA for college entrance will be a fact. You can help boost this by making sure your child has all assignments in, is studying on a regular basis, and when it comes time for exams, these are taken seriously. Seniors apply to colleges the fall of the senior year so the cumulative GPA is that of 9th, 10th and 11th grades. We have been reminding them of this since the beginning of their freshman year. Thanks for all you do to make your child a successful student!

F.Y.I. Home and School Representatives for our class are Cindy Keith, Michelle Dennis, Kerry Snyder, Kathy Merrick, and Mary Margaret Morning. If you need information or want to volunteer, please call one of them.

If you are wondering who your child’s school counselor is, the following information will help you: 9TH Grade Counselor: 10th Grade Counselor: 11th Grade Counselor: 12th Grade Counselor:

Mrs. Marjorie Vincent Mrs. Neel Scruggs Mrs. Jennifer Brannon Mrs. Mary Cox


If you need help with your sophomore student, please e-mail Mrs. Scruggs scruggsn@sbaeagles.org . Of course, the other three counselors are available to assist you also. Remember to go to Edline weekly and check your child’s progress and grades. If you are having trouble viewing your Edline, please email our Director of Information Technology, Cain Carson carsonc@sbaeagles.org. Final grades for the school year are obtained by averaging the 1st and 2nd semester grades together. If you need to schedule a conference with one or more teachers, call or e-mail your child’s school counselor to arrange the meeting. Please continue to encourage your student to take advantage of the new online PSAT/SAT/ACT test prep program, ePrep. You should have received an email about it in January. 10th graders should feel free to drop by the guidance office to look at college catalogs and information. It’s not too early to begin thinking about choosing a college. Remind your child that at the end of the sophomore year, 2/3 of what college admissions will be looking at will be on their transcript because seniors apply in the fall before they have any senior grades. Encourage your child to do some community service during the summer break. 10th graders need to continue their efforts to be involved in extra-curricular activities. Colleges are not impressed by students who have activities only during their senior year! Here is the breakdown of grades… =

1st Qtr Avg 2nd Qtr Avg Final Exam

40% 40% 20%

2nd Sem Average

=

3rd Qtr Avg 4th Qtr Avg Final Exam

40% 40% 20%

Final Year Average

=

st

1 Sem Average

1st Sem Avg + 2nd Sem Avg 2


TUTORING Professional/private tutors should only be hired when all other avenues for improving grades have been explored. If your child is experiencing difficulties, make sure he/she is doing the following before pursuing a professional/private tutor: 1. Paying attention in class and asking questions. 2. Completing all homework and assignments. 3. Studying required amounts of information. 4. Attending the teacher’s help sessions. 5. Asking fellow students for help outside of class. Peer tutoring is available through the National Honor Society in Room B218 every Tuesday (2:20-3:00pm) and every Thursday (3:053:45pm). Ms. Shiue is the National Honor Society sponsor. Please contact her with any questions you may have – shiuem@sbaeagles.org . If a student is struggling despite doing all the things listed above, ask your child’s school counselor for a list of professional/private tutors.

TIPS ON FINDING A SUMMER JOB Getting started: Summer is a great time to pursue interests and gain experience through paid or volunteer jobs, internships, and other activities. Remember that college admissions personnel see meaningful summer activities as a demonstration of commitment and responsibility. Think big: The world is a huge place. See if your child can come up with an idea to match. Start thinking about what they would really enjoy doing. For example, does he/she enjoy the outdoors and hiking? Have them look into becoming a counselor in training at a summer camp or getting a job at a national park—almost all of them hire summer help. Needless to say, they will have to have permission to range too far away from home, but do not


let them limit themselves. See how crazy an idea they can come up with and then let someone else say no! Think about volunteer work: Spending the summer helping out at a local charity is a great way to learn about life and themselves. It can help develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Think about Careers: If your child already has an idea about a career he/she would like to pursue, summertime is their chance to get some firsthand experience. They can be anything from an aspiring attorney to a would-be bookstore owner. Either way, they can spend their summer getting a valuable inside look at what it’s like to really work in one of these professions and find out if the job matches their expectations. Let Them Think about Creating Their Own Jobs: During their job searches, they are likely to come across a potential employer that just cannot afford to hire them. Don’t let that become an obstacle. If they are really interested in working there, offer their services for free. It’s hard to turn down such an offer, especially when it comes from an earnest young person. Let Them Think about Creating Their Own Business: Being your own boss definitely has its rewards. Be warned though, it can be hard work, too! But do not let that scare your child off if he/she really wants to try doing it on their own. There are a lot of potential small businesses they could try to create. For example, if your child knows a foreign language, people will likely pay them to teach them how to speak it. Or, if your child is good with plants, he/she could spend the summer as a landscaper. Have them start by calling a few people they know and see if they can line up a few clients. Think about Not Getting a Job: Colleges, of course, like to see that students have kept busy doing something constructive with their summer vacation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a traditional job. Maybe your child is into acting or dance or sports and they want to devote their full-time energy to formally developing those skills. Summer is an opportune time to do just that.


Remember there are a lot of opportunities open. Talk to other parents, friends, and relatives. They’re likely to have suggestions you have not thought of yet. Almost anyone is a potential resource for ideas.

COLLEGE INFO FOR SOPHOMORES I have been encouraging 10th graders to start thinking about college. To maximize their college options as a graduating senior, they will need a strong four-year academic record. Grades, course selections, test scores, and extra-curricular activities are the primary criteria used by colleges in admission selection. They need to take the most challenging courses available and work hard on their academics. If a selective college or university is a possibility or a goal, your student needs to look into what the requirements are for that particular school. We have all kinds of information available in the guidance office. Encourage them to come by! It’s never too early to begin to look at your options! Continue to get involved to build your portfolio of activities, awards and accomplishments. Look at your PLAN or PSAT scores to see what your weaknesses are and work on them this summer Remember that you take the PSAT again in October as a Junior and that is the National Merit Qualifying Test for Juniors. That test determines National Merit semifinalists and finalists. Begin to research colleges Keep studying! There are 5 P’s for getting into college: 1. Program-course difficulty and selection 2. Performance-grade trends, course difficulty, challenges. Colleges look at the difficulty of courses and that students challenge themselves. They also look at test scores. 3. Participation-extra-curricular activities, leadership roles and volunteer opportunities are vital. Colleges look at consistency rather than quantity.


4. Personality-sometimes students must write essays for admission and need letters of recommendation. 5. Potential- although the SAT and ACT are required, colleges realize some students do not test well so the GPA and standardized test scores are considered. Price-not technically a part of the 5 P’s but certainly a consideration to most families.

Helpful College Articles and Websites: "Navigating College Websites" "Pros Reveal Six Favorite College Search Websites" "Road Trip: How to Make the Most of Campus Visits" What Will They Learn

CALENDAR FOR MARCH-APRIL-MAY March 21 April 21 April 22 April 24 May 17 May 24-27

4th Quarter Begins Holy Thursday – HALF DAY Good Friday – NO CLASSES Easter Sunday  Underclass Awards Ceremony Final Exams – half days

Final Exam Schedule: Tuesday, May 24 Wednesday, May 25 Thursday, May 26 Friday, May 27

8th/7th period exams 6th/3rd period exams 5th/2nd period exams 4th/1st period exams

Remember the 10th grade counselor is Mrs. Neel Scruggs.

The Sophomore Scene  

A newsletter designed specifically for SBA Sophomore Parents

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