Friday, August 3, 2018

College Essay Brainstorming Workshop

For many students, writing your college essay is one of the most stressful aspects of the college application process.  In order to try to help better prepare students the counselors will be hosting a brief workshop about writing your college essay.

The Essay Information and Brainstorming Workshop Session will take place on Thursday, August 9th from 1:00 - 2:30pm.

We tried to schedule the workshop around as many of the fall sports schedules as possible.  This workshop is just for senior students (and not parents) as it is the student's essay and your voice is what admissions officers want to hear!  This session is optional and is ideal for those students who will be applying to a 4-year college.  (Those who will be starting at a 2 year program like Columbus State will not have to write an essay so you will not need the information covered in this session.) 

If you are one of my students and are interested in participating, please RSVP using this link: 

https://goo.gl/forms/5I0mjM0bL9hDDUb43

Believe me, the essays are such a critical part of the application process that this won't be the only time I talk about it on my blog, but it is also a fun and creative opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions officers and so it is worth the time you will put into making it a great essay.  I hope you will take time out of your schedule next week and join me for the workshop!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

2 weeks left

2 Weeks!  Can you believe it?!  In just two short weeks we will be back at school for the first day of the 2018-19 school year.  With so many sports already back in session perhaps it already feels like we are back at school, but I hope you are also looking forward to adding in the academic aspect of school too.

While many of you... and possibly me too :-) ...are wishing that these final days of summer would drag out and move slow, there is good news for how the first day of school will run.  The first day of school 
(August 15th) will be just for the freshmen students.  We are dedicated to making sure that the freshmen have a great opportunity to transition into the building and feel as if Kilbourne is their home.  It won't just be normal classes - there will be great opportunities for the freshmen to meet with their Link Leaders, to bond together as a class, to meet their teachers, and to enjoy the fact that they are now officially high school students.  For the rest of you, this means you get one extra day and you will not start school until the 16th.


Also, a few last minute summer academic reminders for you...

-         --  Summer work!  Many of you have signed up for classes that require summer assignments to be completed.  I know that procrastination is king in many of your lives, but please let me remind you that if you don't get moving RIGHT AWAY on your summer assignments then you are going to start the year in a mad scramble and you will already be sick of doing school work before the year has even started.  Believe me, I understand that it is hard to work on something that doesn’t *have* to be done yet, but in the long run, using your time now will be worth it. 

-        --   Summer School!  Quite a few students are taking summer school classes through an online program.  I always worry about the online classes since they require more self-discipline and like summer work are easy to procrastinate on until it is too late.  I have received transcripts already for a few students who have already finished their online summer school classes so I know that some of you are working on the courses, but if you have been putting this off, please get moving on your summer school assignments.

And even though I am reminding you all the stuff I want you to do to be productive in these final two weeks, I do still want for you to find moments to enjoy the relaxation of summer - you do deserve it!  I will see you soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Common App

The Common Application is a centralized application that students can complete for over 800 different colleges and as of today it is now updated and released for the Class of 2019 to begin working on their applications. The colleges that participate in this application commit to treating applications received through the Common App with the same consideration as if students had applied through the institutions individual application or through the Coalition Application. This will generally mean that you have to spend less time filling out all of the basic information about yourself and can mean that you have fewer essays to write (but maybe not).

On the Common App there is 1 essay that typically must be completed for all colleges, but you do have a choice about what essay to pick from a list of 7 prompts.  There are some colleges which will identify the essay as being optional.  We probably need to talk about how "optional" the optional essay really is so before you decide to skip it completely please come see me to discuss it. 


One of the more confusing parts of the Common App for many students is that in addition to the main essay, many of the colleges will also have supplements required which are other questions of their own that they want students to complete. Sometimes it is just simple questions that weren't covered on the Common App, but would have been if you had applied through their individual application, but often times it includes short or long answer essays. Be aware and be prepared for that when completing your application and read those questions in advance so you know what to expect.  You will find this information under the "My Colleges" tab and then select each college down the left side of the page and click on "Questions" under both Application and Writing Supplement for each of the colleges where you will be applying.

Not all schools use the common app, but a lot of them do.  There are 43 Ohio schools which will utilize the common application this year, so as you are getting ready to start applications for the schools you are considering it is worth looking to see if more than one school from your list utilizes the common app.

I have spent the last few hours playing around on the Common App website and the new format will be pretty straight forward for you to use.  A few things I want to make sure you are aware of to help as you are completing your application...


- After you have selected your colleges and added them to your list you will see specific questions (the supplements specific to that school) and some of them are updated now, but others haven't been posted yet so you may have to check back.  You will find the specific questions and additional application pages for individual colleges under the "My Colleges" tab.  The general information that you will complete for all of the colleges is under the "Common App" tab.


-  If you have attended WKHS for all 4 years of high school, then you entered Kilbourne in August 2015.

-  Your graduation date is May 19, 2019.  (Crazy, isn't it!?!)

- It will ask you questions about me and so you will want to be sure that you spell my name and e-mail address right or else I won't receive the e-mail to complete your school forms.  (Ms. Brianna Abbott, Title: School Counselor, E-mail: babbott@wscloud.org, Phone: 614-450-6490)

-  It will ask you about other schools you have attended.  Obviously, if you moved into Worthington you have other schools to list, but I also want to remind you that if you took summer classes through a different school district (such as TRECA or K-12) then you need to include that school on your common app form too.


-  If you are a student who will be taking classes through College Credit Plus, you will NOT need to include that information in the Academic Section under Colleges/ Universities IF you are getting high school credit for the course too.  You will list these classes along with your HS classes instead.  The only way this wouldn't be the case would be if you had taken or are planning to take college courses that are not paid for by the district and you will not be getting both HS and college credit for the classes.


-  I strongly encourage you to make a complete list of your activities and honors BEFORE attempting to fill out the Common App.  For example, you will need to give a total number of your honors before you start naming them.  If you haven't developed that resume list then you'll have a tough time filling it out.


-  In the activities section, you can write about your top 10 activities.  Be sure to put them in the order of importance to you.

-  I realize you have never filled out the Common App before so this is not new to you, but Common App is working with a handful of colleges on a student self-reporting transcript section called "Classes and Grades."  OSU is one of the colleges that will be using this system.  Your transcripts WILL STILL BE SENT to the colleges so you absolutely MUST be sure that you enter the information in the system exactly like it appears on your transcript.  The good news is that you can download and print your transcript off of Infinite Campus to use when completing this section.  It is very straight forward to use, but I have to admit that you will likely find it a bit tedious.  For the record (although I suspect you know this), our grading scale is A-F and we are on semesters.

-  As you are working on each area there is a panel on the right side of the page titled "Help Center" and I found it VERY helpful as I was going through the different areas.  Some of the typical questions kids have asked me in the past as they are completing the Common App are now answered in the help center.

-  You will have to indicate your class size - for the Class of 2019, it is 323.


Let the fun begin!  Good luck as you start working on your applications and don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Schedule Pick Up Days

It's hard to believe that in just 2 weeks you will be picking up next year's schedules, but I wanted to make sure all of you are aware of the designated days for you to pick up your schedules.

Tuesday, August 7th: 
9th graders - 8:30 - 11:00am
All students new to the district (regardless of grade) - 8:30 - 11:00am
12th graders - 12:30 - 3:00pm

Wednesday, August 8th:
11th graders - 8:30 - 11:00am
10th graders - 12:30 - 3:00pm

Don't forget, schedule pick up day is packed with lots of activities - finding your locker, getting your school picture taken, picking up your books, etc.

The process is 
paperless again this year which means that your emergency medical information, health forms, athletic forms and fees needs to be updated and paid online prior to coming through the schedule pick up lines.  Those forms will all be on the Worthington Schools website (not counselor website).

I know that every year there are questions about what you should do if you are not available to attend on your designated schedule pick up day.  If you cannot pick up your schedule and books on your designated day, then you can come to school on the other schedule pick-up day.  If you will not be able to attend either day, then you will not be able to pick up your your books or get your student ID made until the 1st day of school, but if you want, you can pick up your schedule and turn in any forms on Monday, August 13th or Tuesday, August 14th from 1:00 - 3:00pm.  (No morning pick up's on those dates though because we are all in mandatory meetings both mornings.)


Each year schedule pick up days are two of the craziest days in my office, but I am looking forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Volunteering

Have you been productive this summer? Have you accomplished any of the goals that you had hoped to achieve? I had pretty lofty expectations for some of the things that I had hoped to accomplish this summer and I certainly haven't made it through all of the items on my "to do list," but I continue trying to check items off the list each day. One of the great goals I know that many of you had this summer was to make a difference in the community by volunteering your time, talents, and skills. Have you enjoyed your volunteer experiences so far? If you haven't thought much about volunteering, there is still time to get involved!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Summer Assignment Schedule

I wanted to remind you about summer assignments for those students taking advanced classes next year.  Hopefully you have started making progress on the work that is expected of you.  It is important to remember that you are responsible for completing all summer work and that it will impact your grade in your class.  Sometimes, in the past, students would procrastinate on completing their summer assignments and then decide at the last minute that they would drop out of the advanced course in favor of the non-advanced version (so, for example, dropping AP US History in favor of regular US History).  If you are planning on switching levels, it is really important that you make that change prior to Sunday, July 15th.  If you wait until after July 15th to decide that you want to change levels, you will still be responsible for completing the summer work because even if you change levels your summer assignment is a part of your academic record and so your grades on the summer assignments will go with you to the new class.

Hopefully you are feeling good about your summer assignments and how you are progressing on your summer work.  If you haven't started, please get moving on it!  If you have lost your summer assignments, please feel free to check out the WKHS Counselor website - www.wkhscouselors.com - as the teachers have submitted your assignments on there as well.


And, for the record, if you do want to drop from an advanced course to a regular class, please just email me at babbott@wscloud.org before the end of the day on Sunday the 15th and I will make the change for you the next time I am able to drop by school.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

AP and IB Exam Scores

Scores for those students who took one (or more) of the Advanced Placement Tests in May should be available online tomorrow morning as of 8:00am. Many students assume that we know your scores in the counseling office, but we do not know how you did on the test unless you share that information with us. 


To access your scores log in using your college board account information.  (If you don’t have a college board account, you will need to create one.)

A lot of times students are curious about the policy various colleges have on how they grant credit based upon the AP scores. CollegeBoard maintains a searchable list for the college's policies.

Many WKHS students who took AP Lang were hoping to be able to use their scores to move directly to English 2367 (Composition 2) with CSCC next school year.  Please make sure you have scored a 3 or higher on the AP Lang test in order for this to be an option.  If I need to adjust your schedule to add you into Composition 1 because you didn't get the 3 as you had anticipated, or if you put Comp 1 into your schedule "just in case" and earned the 3 please let me know so that I can adjust your schedule and remove the class that you no longer need.  (Also, don't forget that you will need to send your test results to the CSCC CC+ office so that they know you have met the prerequisites to jump directly to Composition 2.)

And, as if AP scores being available wasn't enough, the scores from the spring IB tests were also released today.

No matter which tests you took, I hope you are happy with your scores!