Counseling Department Fall Newsletter

Dear Students and Parents.

Welcome (Back) to another school year at Capital High School. As we get rolling this fall, the counseling department wanted to get some important information out to all parents and students to better assist you as you go through the Fall semester.

Schedule Changes for Semester 1

8/29/19 The 1st day of the new semester- Students wanting to make schedule changes for the new semester have until 9/12/19 to get them signed off and finalized. All changes require teacher and parent signatures. Changing of instructors only is not permitted by the counseling department. In addition, going less than 6 credit bearing classes must be approved by Mrs. Kidder.

Changes in Our Department

We are welcoming 1 new addition to our counseling department this year. Mrs. Sara Berg is our new counselor for students with last names Ro-Z. She is replacing the retired Mr. Ferlicka and has big shoes to fill, but she is fantastic and will be a great resource for our department. Her contact is sberg@helenaschools.org or 324-2490.

Scheduling Appointments

We have decided to make some changes for appointments in hopes to have students miss less class time and spend less time waiting to see their counselor. After the 12th (last day for schedule changes) students or parents that want to see their counselor, we ask that you make an appointment with Ms. Aspen. She will then write the student a pass to get out of class at an appropriate time. Of course, if there is a student in crisis we will adjust to help them, but for everything else we are going to try and have it be scheduled appointments.

If you want to schedule an appointment, you can call your students counselor or Ms. Aspen  @324-2604 or email aherndon@helenaschools.org .

This will be a big change and will take a little getting used to, but we hope it will allow us to not rush through our time with you and be able to provide a better service to you.

Helena College Dual Credit Time Line

Students in Dual Credit Courses (College Writing, Technical Writing, Speech, Technical Math, College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Accounting, MS Word, MS Excel, Welding 3, Calc-Linear Algebra, Computer Science) will be getting their registration forms on Tuesday. (9/3/19)

They are due to the counseling department on Monday (9/9) or Tuesday (9/10).  The reps from Helena College will be in the counseling department from 7:45-2:30 to collect the registration papers. Each class has a scheduled time to come down, but they are welcome to come any time during this window if necessary.  If they are not turned in during this window, students will have to deliver them to Helena College themselves by 9/16. Bills will be sent out 9/18 and will be due to Helena College 10/8. Items that miss the deadlines will not be accepted.

Also, there was a big announcement by Gov. Bullock that a new partnership with the Montana University system, students will now get their 1st 2 dual credit courses (up to 6 credits) for FREE!! Any additional credits will still be at the reduced dual credit rate. Also, there will be some assistance for students on Free and Reduced Lunch to get all their credits paid for. See Mr. Robinson for more information.  For more info on this new program https://mus.edu/one-two-free/ .

If your student does not have the appropriate ACT scores for the college credit portion of the dual credit course, they will need to call 447-6939 to schedule an appointment or follow this link to sign up for an appointment http://helenacollege.edu/student_support_center/advising/testingcenter.aspx to take the Accuplacer test at Helena College. Students who need the Accuplacer for Dual Credit placement have until 9/23/19 to pass the test.

Senior College Fair

On September 23rd , the MPSEOC will be hosting a college fair at Carroll College from 1:30-3:30. Seniors will not be excused early to attend, with it being a PLC Monday, all students are out of school by 2:30. If you want your child to attend earlier, please call the attendance office to excuse them.

We will be registering students for the college fair on September 18th-19h. For more information regarding the college fair and which schools will be there, please go to http://www.montanacolleges.com/college-fairs.html .

Senior Credit Checks/Senior Career Cruising

The counseling department will be meeting with all seniors 2 times at the beginning of the school year to make sure they have everything they need for graduation and to start the post-secondary planning process.

September 18th-19th in their American Government classes. We will be doing credit checks, giving them their transcript ordering information, as well as signing them up for the college fair.

September 24th and 26th in their English 4 classes, we will be doing a career cruising lesson, where we will focus on narrowing down the college search as well as scholarship searches, and post-secondary planning for all paths.

Senior Parent Night

We will be hosting a Senior Parent night in the Auditorium on Wednesday, September 25th from 6-7 PM. We will be presenting a lot of information about scholarships, college admissions, FAFSA.

If you are unable to attend the parent night, we will be posting the presentations after the fact on our website in the counseling department’s page.  http://chs.helenaschools.org/about/counseling-career-center

B.E.A.R. Award

Starting with the class of 2020 the Full Boar award has been changed to the Bruin Educational Achievement Award. This is a great honor for graduates who have challenged themselves with an advanced course load of 10 or more Honors/AP/Accelerated credits. Seniors are also now require to apply for the award. Students will be given a copy of the application during senior credit checks and they will be available in the counseling department year round as well. Applications will be due March 1st of a students senior year.

Suicide Prevention at CHS

September 8th through the 14th is National Suicide Prevention Week and we will be having special announcements, this will all build up to the NAMI walk, Sunday September 22nd  at Memorial Park. We hope to see you there.

The counseling departments at both high schools have worked hard to help develop a comprehensive suicide prevention and mental health awareness program.

YAM (Youth Aware of Mental health)– Freshman year program run through the Frosh PE courses presented by outside mental health professionals. Some completed in the fall, the rest are finishing this month. For more info on YAM, please contact Josyln Davidson at jdavidson@helenaschools.org

QPR (Question, Persuade, Respond)- Sophomore program run through the Health classes by health teachers. The focus of this program is for students to reach out for help if they feel their friend is at risk.

SOS (Signs of Suicide)- Junior year program, presented in US History classes by counselors, SOS will be presented in December, and the focus was to try to learn how to recognize the signs of mental health struggles in themselves or peers and to reach out for help. Students learned ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell)

Career Cruising for other grades

The counseling department will complete career cruising lessons with the Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior classes.

The focuses at each level are

Freshman Year– Learning Styles Inventory, Career Matchmaker (looking at interests and careers that match them (Tentatively scheduled for November 25/26)

Sophomore year– Reality Check- Looking at the lifestyle students want, and the salaries needed to provide that lifestyle. We then research careers and the salaries and check to see if they would match up with the lifestyle plan.  (Tentatively scheduled for December 16/17)

Junior Year– Post Secondary High School planning. We will spend the period working with them on their post high school plans.  (Tentatively scheduled for March 23/24)

College Application Week/FAFSA Help

We will once again be hosting College Application Week at CHS. We will have dedicated application support as well as other fun activities. This year it is September 30th– October 4th and during this time all Montana schools have either deferred or waived their application fees.

Also, during this week will be offering a FAFSA workshop (10/2) at Helena High from 5 to 7pm, where you can come in and get help filling out the FAFSA with experts from Helena College, Carroll College, and Reach Higher Montana. This is extremely important due to changes that went into effect that moves the timeline up to the fall. The FAFSA window now opens October 1st and most colleges have their priority deadlines for things like grants set at December 1st.

College Reps and College Visits

As you are starting to narrow down your college choices, we have some opportunities for you to meet with reps from various colleges around the region. Keep up with our Facebook page and webpage as well as daily announcements to see when they are coming in.

Also, you can have 2 absences marked as school related if you are using those days to tour colleges. See your counselor for more information.

Changes to AP

Over the summer College Board has implemented a major change in the way’s students sign up for the AP exams. In the past students would take the courses then in March would decide if they wanted to take the exam of not in May and pay then.

Now students are required to make that determination and pay significantly sooner. The new deadline to sign up for the test is in November. Students enrolled in AP courses, interested in taking the AP test for potential college credit will be given information about how to enroll by their perspective teachers soon. We will hope to do a big push to sign up and pay for AP courses in October. We have determined as a school that we will have a deadline for sign up of November 1st which will allow us to confirm things with AP teachers before finalizing on the 15th. Please mark 11/1/19 in your calendars as the deadline to sign up for this springs AP exams. If you have more questions about this please contact Mrs. Berg at sberg@helenaschools.org or your students AP teacher.

PSAT for Juniors

Capital High will be hosting the PSAT Test October 16th at the Civic Center and students will sign up through the bookkeeper between September 16th to October 9th.  The cost should be $16. The PSAT is a practice SAT exam that also is a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For more info on the PSAT please go to: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10

ACT for Juniors

Once again, CHS will be facilitating the ACT test for all juniors on Tuesday, April 7th. You will receive several communications from CHS regarding this, but we wanted to make sure it is on your calendar.

We have several ACT Prep opportunities upcoming; you should receive an orange flier about this as well this spring.

Scholarship Information

Remember to keep checking our scholarship page; it is updated at least weekly.

https://chs.helenaschools.org/about/counseling-career-center/scholarship-opportunities/

As always, you can also follow our social media accounts for up to date information.

https://twitter.com/BruinCounseling

https://www.facebook.com/BruinCounseling/

https://www.instagram.com/bruincouseling/

 

 

Contact Info

If you need to contact your counselor, you can at

A-D students- Mr. Robinson jrobinson@helenaschools.org

E-K Students- Mrs. Meldrum dmeldrum@helenaschools.org

L-Ri Students- Ms. Bawden jbawden@helenaschools.org

Ro-Z Students-Mrs. Berg sberg@helenaschools.org

We hope this helps you navigate this fall and all the big things happening.

All the best, CHS Counseling Department