Walter Panas High School

Counseling Newsletter

Counseling Newsletter
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Student Scheduling (2023-24)
Counselors are facilitating course selection in-person during February and March.  Following that, counselors have been reviewing student course selection submissions and ensuring they are appropriately aligned with diploma requirements. The schedule building process will extend through the remainder of the school year as follows:

✔    Counselors review student course requests (Feb/March).
✔    Academic advising for any changes in course levels is communicated between teacher, student, parent and counselor (Feb - April).
✔    Verifications of student course requests are made available through Home Access after April 10th.
✔    The deadline to submit a request to challenge a higher level course is April 24, 2023.
✔    Student schedules are available on Home Access late August with period, teacher and room assignments.

Are You a Well-Rounded Student?

It is advantageous for all students to be involved in clubs, sports, and/or community service.  This not only helps the student’s personal growth but will also enhance the student’s resume, and college application.  Many colleges today are not only looking for academic achievement but also a well-rounded student; a benefit that may make the student eligible for scholarships. Involvement in extracurricular activities and/or community service is an opportunity for a student to expand his/her leadership and communication skills.  A listing of LHS/WPHS clubs is available on the LHS/WPHS websites. Also, volunteer opportunities can be found on the Google School Counseling classroom and/or in the School Counseling office.
Making the Most of a College Fair
Attending a college fair without a plan can be overwhelming.  In order to make a college fair as effective as possible, students must do their homework in advance. Good preparation includes some basic searches to begin to identify what you want out of a college (majors, location, cost, campus life, special interest programs, etc.). The goal is to have specific questions answered by specific college representatives.  Your questions shouldn’t be ones to which you can easily find the answer on a web site.
The Regional College Night will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES in Yorktown Heights, 5:30pm to 8pm.

The Spring Southern Westchester College Fair will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, 6pm-8:30pm.

Seniors – About Those Financial Aid Packages...

• This should go without saying, but unless you’re paying out of pocket for college, be sure to complete the FAFSA, as this will make you eligible for federal subsidized loans, which will almost always offer better interest rates and repayment options than private bank loans.

• Make sure you understand the components and terms of your financial aid award package.  How much of it is grant (“free”) money and how much of it is loans (must be repaid)?  Is the grant money renewable each year if the level of need remains the same?  What grade point average must be maintained for scholarship aid?

• If you plan on taking out a Stafford Student Loan and/or a PLUS loan (for parents), find out how the college administers these programs. They may process these loans directly through the school (Direct Lending) or you may have to obtain the applications through a lending institution. Remember that the maximum amount a student can borrow for the freshman year is $5,500 (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).  Parents can apply for a loan for the cost of education minus the student’s other financial aid.
• A College Work-Study Award is money that must be earned by the student in a part-time job (usually on-campus) during the school year.

•  Financial aid packages from schools with similar costs may be quite different; this is often due to the fact that various schools use different analyses to determine how much families can afford to pay.  It’s essential for this reason to carefully compare the financial information from each college!

Did You Know?
In an article in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, researchers found only two specific study techniques to be highly effective:
1)Practice testing: students testing themselves through flash cards, practice problems or full practice tests on target material in a low-stakes, reduced stress environment.

2)Distributed practice: conducting short practice testing sessions over a longer period of time between school assessments (the opposite of cramming.)  This requires the implementation of a set schedule for students.  Parents can play an important role in encouraging students to create and maintain such a schedule.

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.)


  • February 27th - March 31st:  School Counselor scheduling meetings with students
  • March 1st:     Last day to drop 2nd semester course without transcript notation
  •  March 9th:     3Q Interim Reports available online
  • March 10th:      Registration deadline for April 15th ACT test
  • March 11th:      SAT test
  • March 31st:      Last day to drop a 2nd semester course with transcript drop notation
  • April 3rd – April 7th:   Spring recess
  • April 7th:         Registration deadline for May 6th SAT test
  •  April 10th:     Home Access Center (HAC) open for course review and confirmation
  • April 14th:     End of 3Q marking period
  • April 15th:    ACT test
  • April 24th:    Deadline to submit Academic Advising form (if applicable) and/or course changes, BOCES
  •  April 25th:    Late registration deadline for May 6th SAT test
  • April 25th:     3Q Report Cards available online in Home Access Center (HAC)
  • May 1st:         Universal deposit deadline for colleges
  • May 4th:         Registration deadline for June 3rd SAT test

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, Samantha Sherwood, Asst. Principal, Christian Clarke, 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.