BROCKTON HIGH SCHOOL
GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT NEWSLETTER
DECEMBER 2017

Green Guidance Staff:
Kathleen Anderson, Kethlyn Cajuste, Kimberly DaCosta, David Rea, M. Teresa Mascarenhas and Alison Ortiz


IMPORTANT DATES

December:

2 - SAT Test

7 - 1/2 Day (11:00 am dismissal)

9 - ACT Test

22 - 1/2 Day (11:00 am dismissal)

25 - January 1- No School (Christmas Break)


January

12 - Feb. ACT registration deadline

15 - No School (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

26 - Semester 1/Term 2 Ends


February:

1 - 1/2 Day (11:00 am dismissal)

5 and 6 - Biology MCAS retest 

10 - ACT Test

19-23 - No School (Winter Break)



SENIORS: FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP TIMELINE

If you need money for college, here are some helpful tips, but remember that there is no need to be intimidated by the prospect of applying for financial aid. Millions of families apply for aid successfully each year.


Here are some dates to help you stay on track. REMEMBER: When you are applying for aid time is money!


December

  • You should have already applied for your FSA ID, through fafsa.ed.gov.
  • You should have your FAFSA completed, which opened on October 1.
  • If you applied Early Action to schools, you should have your FAFSA completed.

January

  • Once all your college applications are completed, you should start researching national scholarships (fastweb.com is one of the best national sites).
  • Local scholarships are available in each guidance office in a binder.

March

  • BHS local scholarships will be available online for application (most deadline dates are April 1).
  • Make certain you correct any necessary information that FAFSA requests.

April

  • Review financial aid Award Letters
  • Apply for Federal Stafford Loans, as needed
  • Apply for private loans, as need needed

NOTE:

An excellent community resource is ASA (American Student Assistance), also known as Talent Search, located in the Access Center in the Azure IRC. Their telephone number at BHS is 508-894-4214.



PROS AND CONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE BY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Teenagers spend a great deal of their time on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and Reddit). Conversing with friends is mostly online instead of in person. It is all about broadcasting one’s life online with friends, as well as strangers. There are, however, positives and negatives to social media. Check out some of the pros and cons to being connected to the many social media sites:


Positives:

Keeping in touch, saving time and money, connecting with friends, boosting communication, building relationships, education, encouraging community participation and improving self- confi dence.


Negatives:

Going on social media is very addictive, for it triggers sadness and less well-being, comparing oneself to others, is mentally unhealthy and more friends on social media does not mean one is more social or that they are real/true friends.


It is important to assess your social media usage and ask if you need to make a change that will be healthier for you. You may want to ask yourself why you use social media? How much of your time is preoccupied by going online? Is it getting in the way of doing all the tasks you need to do including homework? How do you feel when you are on social media?


Like most things in life, moderation is key when it comes to social media. Studies have found that Facebook users felt a boost in psychological well-being when they took a break from logging in. Directly talking to friends and family is critical to feel real personal connections with others.



JUNIOR CORNER: SAT PREPARATION

As you think about life after high school and what colleges you may want to apply to, the SAT is one aspect you must plan for. SATs may be taken in August, October, November, December, March, May and June and registration is via the collegeboard.org site.


Juniors should plan to take the SAT once in the spring of their junior year and two times in the fall of their senior year. Taking the test three times allows students to get more practice with the test and, hopefully, see their test results improve. There are, however, resources to help with test preparation which we highly recommend:

  • Let’s Get Ready (letsgetready.org)
  • Bridgewater State University SAT Preparation Workshop (www.bridgew.edu/sat-preparation-workshops)
  • Khan Academy SAT Prep (www.khanacademy.org/sat)
  • Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com/college/free-sat-practice-test)
  • Brockton High School SAT Preparation (priority is given to athletes)- Spring 2018 TBA
  • Please see your guidance office for more information.

FRESHMAN… THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, BUT YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR GRADES

Term 1 grades have closed and you may be wondering how to improve your grades. It’s never too late to work harder or show yourself that you are capable. The guidance department recommends making a few small changes gradually. Start with small steps such as doing all of your homework, practice good organizational techniques and being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Homework must be completed regularly—it’s not optional.
  2. Meet with your teachers afterschool to make a plan.
  3. There is free peer tutoring afterschool in the AIRC and also in B122 with the PACT.
  4. Use IC gradebook to stay on top of your attendance, behavior, and current grades.
  5. Try using weekly progress reports available in your guidance office.
  6. Make a schedule and use an agenda book to make sure you fit everything in.
  7. Touch base with your guidance counselor to make a plan specific to your needs.
  8. Swing by guidance for information about special opportunities, clubs, and athletic registrations.
  9. Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.
  10. Always make room for some fun and relaxation!

WAYS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES

Exercise! Participating in sports, going for a walk, and practicing yoga are some examples of exercise that will help to alleviate stress and have positive effects!

Get some sun! Trying to spend some time outdoors like going for a brisk walk, keeping shades up, and sitting near windows during class are a few ways to keep sunlight in your life during the winter months. Sunlight provides us with Vitamin D which helps to improve mood!

Take your vitamins! A good multi-vitamin helps to keep your body balanced so that you will feel more energized each day.

Eat a healthy diet! Avoid refined and processed foods (white flour and sugar) because they can zap your energy levels and affect your mood.

Get social support! Rely on your family, friends, classmates, teachers, mentors and counselors for an occasional pick-me-up or words of encouragement.

Don’t oversleep! It can be easy to take multiple naps during the day when it is dark and dreary outside. Avoid this habit and be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. An occasional nap can be helpful but staying up during the night and sleeping during the day interrupts the natural sleep cycle and can affect your mood.

Be thankful for all the positive moments and people in your life!