Monday, March 27, 2017

National College Fair

The National College Fair is coming to Columbus next Sunday, April 2, 2017.  This will provide students and parents with a wonderful opportunity to meet with admissions representatives from hundreds of colleges to learn about the opportunities available on their campus.  This college fair will take place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from 1 - 4pm and is free.

The National College Fair is organized by the National Association for College Admissions Counselors.  One major difference from the Columbus Suburban College Fair is that they do ask all students to register for the fair in advance.  Registering will allow you to provide your information one time so that you save time from having to fill out information cards as you walk through the college fair.  You will print and bring the pass with an indicated barcode so that as you walk around and talk to college admissions representatives they can scan the barcode to receive your information.  This allows you to spend your time talking about academics and other opportunities on campus instead of filling out the same information multiple times.  You can register at www.nacacfairs.org/ncfstudentregistration to receive fair details, avoid lines onsite and share your contact information with your choice schools. Students who register using their smart phone can also save the image of the barcode for later use.  Be sure to bring your barcode print out with you to the college fair!

When you are at the fair you will be able to pick up the on-site locator for the latest school list and a booth location map.  In addition to talking individually with college admissions representatives, you can also attend a workshop on topics such as writing a great essay, financial aid, and getting the most out of the college search process.

I hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to further your college search.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

College Admissions Decisions

This is going to be a big week for students and college admissions decisions. Most of the schools that have yet to announce their decisions will be releasing them over the next several days. This can be a very stressful time for students. Try to take a deep breath and relax – you have done the best job to put yourself in the best situation possible with your applications. 

The other reminder that I would like to make is intended for all students (in all grades) who are not currently waiting to hear if you have been accepted into a particular school – getting the decision can be hard enough, but often the more difficult aspect is being asked, “Did you get accepted?” by well-meaning friends. Trust me on this one, if they were accepted, the students will be telling everyone – you won’t need to ask. If they don’t offer up the news about if they were accepted or not, then be sensitive to the fact that more than likely they did not get accepted and don’t ask about it as it puts them on the spot to share disappointing news.


If you are stressing out awaiting the news or struggling with the response you received from the colleges, feel free to stop in and see me so we can talk about it.

Also, on a separate note - don't forget - this week is the final week to submit your College Credit Plus Intent to Participate forms for next year!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Diploma Presenter

It is always a clear sign that the year is coming to a close when seniors are given the forms to select who they want to present them with their diploma at graduation.  This is one of my favorite traditions at Kilbourne!  In case you aren't familiar with it, each high school senior has the option of picking a teacher, coach, administrator, counselor, secretary, or other Worthington staff member who has played a significant part of your life to give them their diploma.  It is a way to make the graduation ceremony much more personal and memorable.  Seniors received their diploma presenter request forms and have until April 5th to submit their requests.  Please be sure to submit your form to the co-curricular office so that your preferred presenter can be invited to participate at graduation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sleep

"I'm soooo tired!"  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I hear that phrase repeated over and over again - especially over the past week and a half.  It seems that the time change and losing an hour of sleep was throwing everyone for a loop and then the wacky bell schedules to accommodate for the testing this week has many students feeling a little off.   I know that it can be challenging to juggle your time, but you have control over your sleep choices.

The biggest suggestion I have for you is to go to sleep earlier!

I realize this isn't always easy with the time commitments you have with other activities, but ultimately it comes down to making choices that prioritize taking care of YOU.  Make the most of down time that you have during the day - 30 minutes after you finish eating your lunch, 10 minutes at the end of a class, 30 minutes when you're checking twitter, instagram and snapchat  - it all adds up and you can use that time to get more of your school work completed so that you don't have as much left waiting for you to complete at night.


If your sleep pattern has flipped (meaning that you struggle to stay awake during the school day and then are up all night long) then it is important to try to flip it back.  You can do this by working to try to stay awake during the day.  If you tend to fall asleep in your classes, talk to your teacher to find out if he/ she would allow you to stand up in the back of the room during class, try to focus on details related to your classroom notes so that you are focused and engaged on the material being covered, and consider chewing gum or drinking water.  None of these are huge ideas, but often times the little adjustments can help make a big difference.

Here are a few articles related to the importance of sleep:







Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thank you notes

thank you note is a simple enough idea - let someone else know that you appreciate them or that you are grateful for something they did for you. I don't know about you, but a lot of times I am terrible at writing thank you notes.  (In fact, right now I have a list of thank you notes I need to write to people for their kindness after my grandma died.) It doesn't mean that my gratitude is any less, but... and that is where everything falls apart. If I don't express my gratitude to the person who has been a positive influence in my life or who has done something nice for me or gone out of their way to help me, then how do they know how much I appreciate it? See the problem?

And I am pretty confident that many of you face the same problem. So I want to remind you of the importance of thank you notes. They do not have to be long or flowery - simply thank the person who has helped you. This is especially important for teachers who have written recommendation letters for you. Many people do not realize the time and effort it takes to write a good recommendation letter. If you didn't thank your teachers at the time they wrote your recommendation letters, perhaps now - as you wrap up your college application process - is the perfect time! Thank them for their help and support in your college applications. It is important to make sure that they know how much you appreciate their help along the way. It won't take you a long time, but it will certainly mean a lot to them. 

Before I close this post, I want to be very clear - I am NOT talking about writing to me! I do NOT need nor am I in any way hinting, asking for, or needing you to write a thank you note to me! I just figured we could all use a reminder in the importance of writing thank you notes and expressing our gratitude for those around us... now if only I could remember where I left my blank thank you notes.  :-)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Stressed?!?

How are your stress levels?  Hopefully the tests from today and tomorrow are not creating too much stress for you.

Stress comes from a range of events and life experiences. When positive things happen such as getting a new job, dating someone new, or graduating from high school, stress levels increase. And, obviously, stress levels are higher when negative things take place like failing a test, fighting with family or friends, or having a lot to do in a limited amount of time. Quite simply, the reality is that stress is a part of life and it cannot be escaped, but it is important to learn healthy strategies for dealing with stress.

What is a stress reliever for one person may not work for someone else so you will need to think about strategies that tend to work best for you.  One suggestion is to think back to other stressful times in your life and consider what you did in those situations that helped you to deal with the stress.  Below are just a few examples of some strategies that people have found effective.

Deep breathing is frequently overlooked as a strategy, but it is one of the most powerful and can be done in every setting.  Slowing down your body and decreasing your heart rate by focusing on your breathing can help shift the chemicals in your brain because when you are feeling stressed the chemicals that cause a "fight or flight" reaction are geared up putting your body on edge.  By breathing, you are showing yourself that you don't need to be prepared to have a "fight or flight" reaction and it can shift the chemicals in your brain so that you can relax.  
If you don't know how to take deep breaths (yes, I really mean that - because there are effective ways and ineffective ways), please check out this website to learn more: http://www.lifehack.org/324889/heres-how-breathe-youre-stressed-out

Talk it out!  Talking to trustworthy people around you is an effective stress management strategy.  You can talk to family members, friends, teachers, religious leaders, siblings, and obviously you  can come see me to talk.

Distract yourself with something enjoyable.  When used within reason positive distractions can help give you a break from the stress you are currently feeling.

Get the thoughts and feelings out of your head.  Journal, write, draw, or color.  Any safe source of personal expression can be helpful.

Physical activity is another beneficial strategy for managing stress.  Take a walk, work out, dance, run, lift weights, or play a sport you enjoy.

Embrace the power of music.  Performing music or listening to music can have a powerful impact on your mood and overall stress levels.  


If you are an animal person, spend some time cuddling your pet or Lexi hopes you will come visit her and pet her for a while - yet another easy, positive stress reliever.

If you are struggling with feelings of stress, brief or long-lasting, then one other suggestion I have for you is to download the free app called the Virtual Hope Box.  It has the option for you to include pictures or videos of people important to you, there is a great deep breathing visual that you get to set for yourself, and lots of other strategies for coping.

Believe me, I know that it isn't easy to deal with the stress of high school so please, remember that I am always here to listen and help in any way possible.  Also, know that you have been through bad days before and your success rate for making it through them is 100% so you will be able to make it through this too.


On a slightly different note, if you are currently enrolled in an AP course, the deadline to sign up to take the end of course AP exam is Wednesday!  Taking the AP exam (and doing well) is how students have the opportunity to earn college credit for the classes you completed in high school.  Please remember that the colleges are responsible for establishing their own policies about what scores are required to be able to earn credits at their school.  The fee for each AP exam is $100 (unless you're on free/ reduced lunch) and must be submitted online by March 22nd.  Additional information about the AP tests and the online registration link is available on the Worthington website at www.worthington.k12.oh.us and then you will find it in the Gifted Services area (which is located in the Academics tab).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Reminders

I have several important reminders for you today...

As you know, this past week started the 4th quarter.  All of your teachers have now updated and posted your 3rd quarter grades on Infinite Campus.  Students and parents both should log into Infinite Campus and look at your 3rd quarter grades and print a copy of your report card if you want to have one.

-  Freshmen and Sophomores - don't forget beginning at 7:45am on Monday and Tuesday you will be taking your English End of Course Assessments.  It is essential that you arrive at school on time and ready to focus on your tests.  As you already know, the scores you earn on these tests will determine the number of points you will earn toward graduation.  (You must earn at least 4 total points from the English tests so these are important tests to show up for and put forth your best effort.)

-  Juniors - tomorrow and Tuesday morning will be your chance to take the ACT free of charge.  Yes, you must be there on time (no late arrivals these next 2 days!) and yes, you do need to take it again even if you have already taken the ACT and done well on it.  

A few things I need to be absolutely sure you are aware of before testing... This is a formal, official administration of the ACT.  Even though WKHS teachers are administering the test, you are held to the very strict standards that ACT sets forth.  If you do anything that goes against ACT protocols you will be dismissed from the test.  This includes having a cell phone on, going back and filling in the bubbles of previous sections, or working ahead.  Please, be focused and give this test your best effort.  Don't forget, these scores can count for your college applications.  This means that tomorrow when you are filling out your information, one of the questions you will be asked is which 4 colleges you want to have your scores sent to automatically.  Please be thinking about this ahead of time so that you can select 4 colleges.  You definitely want to take advantage of this option as this is the only way to send your scores for free.  Also, for those of you who plan on taking CC+ classes through CSCC next year, please consider using one of your 4 free score reports to send your results to CSCC so that they will know you have met the benchmarks to take their class and you won't have to go to their campus and take their placement tests.  (For any juniors who have already taken CSCC CC+ classes, you will not need to use one of your free results on sending scores to CSCC.)

-  For Seniors ONLY the next 2 days are late starts.  Your start times each day are different for Monday and Tuesday because of the difference in the times required for testing of the 9-11th graders. Aren't you relieved that all of your tests are completed already?!?

-  The bell schedule that you will be on once the actual school day begins (following the testing time) will be VERY different than normal.  I blogged about the actual bell schedules a little over a week ago, but as a reminder you will begin with 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th periods so that everyone gets their lunch periods as close to normal times as possible and then you will proceed to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th periods.