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Counseling Newsletter

Counseling Newsletter November/December 2020

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Mental Health Flyer

College Information Night for Juniors

On December 3rd at 7pm, the Guidance department will host a virtual informational night to discuss the college admissions process.  The intent of this presentation is to demystify the college admissions process and help students and parents prioritize needs and next steps.  This is an evening that can benefit students and parents of all grade levels, and one that juniors and parents should absolutely attend.  This is an important piece for parents in particular to hear prior to junior/parent conferences that will begin in January.  Lastly, the panel presentation will include college admissions representatives from Binghamton University (SUNY), Central Connecticut State University, University of Rochester, Sarah Lawrence College and Boston College.  A link to join the meeting will be eblasted home to parents.

Application Notes for Seniors

For all applications, it is essential that students indicate on their transcript request form whether or not they have applied through the Common App.  This will ensure the proper electronic routing of student transcripts. Seniors can also track applications through their Naviance accounts via the “College I’m Applying To” link and see whether application materials have been submitted and received.

Senior College Deadlines Approach

November 30th is an important date for seniors with a January 1st college application deadline to submit requests for transcripts and letters of recommendation. Students must provide counselors and teachers with at least fifteen working days to submit school information.  It is truly in the student’s best interest to give counselors and teachers writing their letters as much time as possible, so that they can craft a strong letter. In the event that a student makes a last minute decision to apply, in most cases the student may submit the application, and have supplemental materials follow after the deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm this with the college and to let your counselor know that you applied!

Sophomores/Juniors Planning and PSAT Testing Update

In early Fall, counselors shared information about the PSAT with the 10th and 11th grade students.  The PSAT was administered on October 17th at both LHS and WPHS.  During December/January counselors will be sharing a series of videos with Juniors to introduce them to the college admissions process. The videos will cover topics such as exploring careers, testing calendars, and college research. Counselors will also address transitional plans for students considering going directly into the workforce or the military.  

The PSAT scores will be provided to students online, early December, via an access code delivered to the student’s e-mail account.  If students did not provide e-mail accounts, codes will be available in Guidance.  A notification will be sent when these are available.  The PSAT should provide a context for what work needs to be done in order to prepare for the SAT or ACT, as well as a base score range to use in considering potential colleges.

9th Graders Meet with Counselors

In November, all 9th grade students will meet with their school counselor. In this meeting counselors will explain their role in each student’s high school experience and how they can best be utilized as a positive resource over the course of the next four years. Counselors will speak to students regarding school involvement, career and personal interests and graduation requirements.  Counselors are typically a first point of contact with both students and parents on school-related matters.  The 9th grade meetings will take place virtually and students will be notified of their meeting date through their school email address.

“ACT” Mental Health and Wellness Program Scheduled

During November and December, school counselors and pupil personnel staff will be collaborating to promote mental health awareness and wellness. Information regarding the ACT steps as well as related school and community resources is being included in this mailing as a resource for all grades. Please contact your child’s counselor if you would like to discuss these topics further. 

Naviance Student 

Naviance Student is a mobile-responsive site that employs intuitive tools that personalize and simplify the college and career planning process and is accessible on a tablet and smartphone.  This is a program that every student and parent will need to utilize.  The Guidance department mailed home a letter to Juniors with the student’s access codes to allow them to register with Naviance.  Should you require assistance with this, please contact the Guidance department.

The link can be found on the district’s Guidance website at→ Departments→ Guidance →  Naviance Student.

Students with Testing Accommodations

Students with existing testing accommodations must submit an application to receive such accommodations on any standardized testing (PSAT, SAT, ACT or AP exams.)  Please contact your counselor to apply.  Completing these forms does not guarantee that you will receive accommodations, but allows the College Board and/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.  Special Education testing must be current (within the past five years for the SAT, and three years for the ACT.)


Note: These are College Board deadlines.

January 22nd for the March 13th SAT

January 15th for May AP exams

March 19th for the May 8th SAT and Subject Tests

April 16th for the June 5th SAT and Subject Tests

ACT:  Refer to late registration deadlines.

First Quarter Coming to a Close

At this point it is important for all students to review progress and determine what is necessary for continued success or improvement.  Setting goals, keeping organized and prioritizing are just a few of the important keys to academic success.  For more information on how you can better tap in to your abilities, consult with your teachers and counselor

Good Luck to Our Senior Early Applicants!

We wish all our seniors who applied through Early Action or Early Decision plans the best of luck.  Decision notifications from these applications will generally arrive home by December 15th.   Be sure to let your counselor know the results of all of your admissions decisions!  

Panther News

Class of 2021 Valedictorian:  Vaishali Miriyagalla
Class of 2021 Salutatorian:    Emily Attinger 

  • November 5th:           Registration deadline for December 5th SAT & Subject Tests (not offered in-district)
  • November 6th:           Registration deadline for December 12th ACT (not offered in-district)
  • November 6th:            End of first quarter marking period
  • November 7th:           SAT & Subject Tests
  • November 16th-         “ACT” Mental Health and Wellness Program mid - December
  • November 17th:         Report cards available in Home Access Center
  • November 24th:         Last day to drop full year courses without annotation
  • November 24th:         Last day for course level changes
  • November 30th:        Deadline for senior college transcript requests for January 1st college application deadlines (schools are closed December 23-January 3)
  • December 3rd:          Virtual Junior College Information Night, 7pm
  • December 5th:          SAT & Subject Tests (not offered in-district)
  • December 11th:        2Q Interim Reports available in Home Access Center
  • December 12th:        ACT Test (not offered in-district).
  • December 22nd:       Last day to drop full year courses with annotation

WALTER PANAS HIGH SCHOOL, 300 Croton Avenue, Cortlandt Manor, NY  10567
PH:  (914) 739-2823 (press 3, Guidance), FAX: (914) 739-3545
ADMINISTRATION:  Joseph Spero, Principal, Donna Bolner, Asst. Principal, Marlene Gracia, Asst. Principal
COUNSELING OFFICE:  Nadia Potter, District Director of Guidance and Counseling
SCHOOL COUNSELORS:  Chelsea Aversano, Dale Chappelle, Laurainne Mosca, Sonia Recuppio, Brandon Thomas
SUPPORT STAFF:  Mary Ellen Brown, Kathy Giordano, Carole Henkin, Kathy Zadra, College and Career Ctr.