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Counseling Newsletter

For detailed information on services, updates, and important student and parent resources,
visit the Lakeland District Guidance Department


We are so happy to start the new school year!  Even though this beginning is different than what we are used to, we are ready to make the most of our time together.  This is the first of your counseling newsletters for the 2020-2021 school year which will contain pertinent guidance related information.  The newsletters can also be found on the district website.  Please pay attention to both the calendar and newsletters to keep current on important events, deadlines and processes.  Best wishes for a successful school year!

Counselors will be presenting information to students in the 11th and 10th grade classes to provide them with registration and testing information regarding the PSAT, as well as an overview of this year’s testing changes.

Please be aware the PSAT will be administered at Lakeland and Walter Panas High Schools on Saturday, October 17, 2020. Students wishing to take the test can register by submitting a check for $37, payable to the Lakeland Central School District by Friday, October 2nd along with the registration form. Payment may be made by drop off or mail to each high school.  Eleventh and tenth grade students who register for the test should arrive for the test at 7:45 a.m. and remember to bring No. 2 pencils, a calculator, extra batteries and a school ID.  The test lasts approximately 3.5 hours.

Why should students take the PSAT?
The PSAT/NMSQT is a practice test for the SAT, and juniors who take the test may qualify to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation programs.  The PSAT will reflect topics that students will see on both the SAT and the ACT.  Students will receive their score results by mid-December.

Who should take the PSAT?
Typically students take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year of high school, in preparation for spring SAT and/or ACT testing.  Sophomores who wish to gain experience with college admissions testing are also encouraged to register.  Any sophomore who chooses to sit for the exam should be sure to keep scores in proper perspective, understanding that this is an exam designed for students in their third year of high school.

College Application Season is here!
In the fall, counselors will be presenting all seniors with the information to continue the formal college and post-high school planning program that began in junior year.  The fall Senior College Night will be held virtually on Thursday, September 24th at 7pm. A link will be provided by email blast. This is an essential program for both students and parents.  Completing applications takes a good deal of dedicated time and energy, so plan ahead; one of our past graduates may have written it best in a message posted to seniors, reading, “Start early! Don’t wait until the last minute or you will be overwhelmed and more stressed than you actually have to be!”

Pay strict attention to deadlines and requirements, and understand that counselors and teachers require a minimum of fifteen(15) school days to process your letters of recommendation and transcripts.  Remember that you have an abundance of resources available to you, from your counselor, to Naviance, to the district’s Guidance & Counseling web page, to college guidebooks; use your resources wisely!

The Dignity Act Reminder
Please remember that The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) was expanded to offer students protections from harassment or discrimination via electronic mediums.  Information can be found on your school’s website, under the school information tab.

Counselors Meet with Freshmen
Counselors will virtually connect with freshmen during the month of October to discuss the high school transition, the role of the high school counselor and support services available.  This is an opportune time for counselors to get to know their new students, gather information, and discuss goal setting and getting involved.

Schedule Change Policy
Please note on your counseling calendar this year’s deadlines for schedule changes. These deadlines affect student transcripts, so please pay close attention. Key components of this policy involve clear deadlines, beyond which students cannot drop a course or change a course level.

College Admissions Representatives Scheduling Fall Visits
A list of college representative visits scheduled for the fall is available on the district’s Naviance Student webpage (scroll to the bottom).  Typically, college visits were done during the school day but to reduce conflicts with the remote schedule, the college meetings will take place either early in the morning (during the two hour delay) or after school hours.   The links for the college visits will become available approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Students, please remember to dress and conduct yourself appropriately as these are formal interactions with college representatives.  The link to Naviance is located on the district Guidance & Counseling web page (, click Departments, Guidance, Naviance Student and choose your user type to log-in.) 

Attention Students with Disabilities

Remember that if you receive testing accommodations on school based exams and wish to receive the same on your standardized tests (PSAT, SAT/Subject Tests/ACT/AP exams), you must be approved for those accommodations through the College Board and ACT.  There is an application that needs to be completed by the student, parent and counselor at least two months in advance of testing.  Completing this application does not guarantee that you will receive accommodations, but allows the College Board or ACT to review whether you are eligible. The College Board application only needs to be completed once during your high school career and the ACT application needs to be filled out for each test.  Please see your counselor if you wish to apply.

Keeping on Top of Your Work
It is the responsibility of each student to complete homework assignments – even when he or she is absent from school.  With a little planning and follow through, students can avoid falling behind.  Bear in mind, as our graduating seniors remind us, one of the single most important keys to academic success is regular student/teacher communication.  

In addition, here are a few pointers for staying on top of homework:

·       Routinely check teacher’s Google classrooms to account for upcoming assignments.

·       Continually check Home Access Center for grades and assignments.

·       Keep communication open with teachers and counselors.

Senior Transcripts Available
Senior high school transcripts will be available on September 15th for seniors and their parents/guardians to review through Home Access Center (HAC). Any college the student applies to will receive this transcript. Transcripts can be accessed under the "Grades" icon in HAC, within the "Transcript" tab. If there are any errors, please notify your counselor as soon as possible, and no later than September 28th. 


September 12th&13th: ACT Test (not offered  in LCSD)

September 15th:          Last day to add a full year and first semester course.

September 15th:          Counselor presentations to 10th graders; PSAT info.

September 16th:          Counselor presentations to 11th graders; PSAT info.

September 17th:          ACT Registration deadline for Oct 10th, 17th, 24th  & 25th test

September 19th:          ACT Test (not offered  in LCSD)

September 24th:          Senior College Information Night @ 7:00 pm (virtual)

September 26th:          SAT Test @ WPHS  (Subject tests not offered on this date.) 

September 28th:          Senior transcript corrections due.

October 1st:                 FAFSA available for Fall 2021 (FAFSA)

October 1st:                 Last day to drop first semester course without annotation.

October 2nd:                 PSAT registration due ($37)

October 3rd:                 SAT and SAT Subject Test @ WPHS

October 7th:                 SAT and SAT Subject Test registration deadline for Nov 7th test

October 8th:                 1Q Interim Reports available in Home Access 

October 10th:               ACT Test (not offered in LCSD)

October 15th:               Transcript request for Early Action/Early Decision applications with 
                                     Nov 1st deadline due to counselor.

October 17th:               ACT Test (not offered in LCSD)

October 17th:               PSAT at WPHS & LHS, 7:45am

October 24 & 25th:      ACT Test (not offered in LCSD)

October 30th:               Last day to drop first semester courses with annotation.

October 30th:               Transcript request for Early Action/Early Decision applications with 
                                     Nov 15th deadline due to counselor.