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    Guidance Office  
     
    A message to parents/guardians:
     
    Junior and senior high school are very important years in your child’s 
    life and students and we are here to help, particularly when students enter the high school.  I have compiled a list of activities handled through my office in a timeline for your reference as well as commonly asked questions.  I hope that you will find this to be helpful!you might find that you have questions or concerns along the way.  I encourage you to feel free to contact me so that I may assist you.  This can be a very busy and challenging time for many 
     
    - Sarah Dickman

    sdickman      
     Sarah Dickman  Jr/Sr High  sdickman@cpschools.org
     Guidance Counselor    269-467-5212
         
         
    kanderson      
     Keri Anderson  Jr/Sr High  kanderson@cpschools.org
     Secretary    269-467-5212
     Guidance & Attendance    
         
     
     
    ACTIVITIES IN THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT
    SUMMER Complete credit evaluations for incoming seniors.

    LATE AUGUST Parent orientation meetings, schedule changes and enroll and schedule new students.

    SEPTEMBER Class meetings, schedule college representatives to visit our school, begin processing college applications and select and train mentors.

    OCTOBER
    Freshman Social Studies MEAP test and advising and Accuplacer testing for 2nd semester dual enrollment.
    Note: seniors should have a goal to have their college applications in by the 31st.

    NOVEMBER Coordinate the pre-registration process with all sophomores in preparation for the PLAN test in early November.

    DECEMBER Sophomore CTE meetings to decide which CTE program to visit, second semester schedule changes as needed, senior financial aid packets are given out.

    JANUARY
    Financial Aid Night in our library for seniors and their parents, sophomore CTE visits, complete mid-year senior credit evaluations.
    Note: seniors can complete their FAFSA forms after the 1st and must do so online.

    FEBRUARY
    Begin credit audits and meet with students (grades 8-11) to complete/update their 4-year plans for the next school year schedule, including CTE applications for 10th and 11th graders.
    Note: seniors should have their FAFSA forms submitted by March 1st.

    MARCH Complete MME pre-registration with all juniors in preparation for the MME/ACT test the second week in March, MME make-up testing two weeks after as needed.

    APRIL-MAY Monitor Monitor senior grades, get ready for graduation, continue to schedule for the next school year, Accuplacer testing for students enrolling in CTE programs that grant direct credit from Glen Oaks and advising and Accuplacer testing for students who plan to dual enroll in the fall.

    JUNE Check over student schedules to make sure they are complete and plan for the next school year.

    ONGOING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Identify students for Student Assistance Team (SAT) meetings and possible testing for special education services, develop and monitor section 504 plans (for students who qualify), respond to student and parent needs and provide referrals as needed, advertise and process scholarship applications and complete college applications.
     
      
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    What is the process for college applications and when should my son/daughter start?
    Seniors are encouraged to begin applying in September and should set a goal to have all their applications in by October 31st.  There is generally a better chance of getting accepted the earlier they apply. Some colleges will even waive the application fee, which can range from $20-50 for 4-year colleges, for applying early.
     
    Students can complete their college application online or on paper.  Some colleges will waive the application fee for online applications.  In either case, students will fill in information about themselves first.  There will then be a counselor recommendation section at the end of the application where I fill in GPA, class rank etc.  Students should thoroughly complete their part of the application and then give it to me to do my part (if they are applying online there will be a page for them to print and give to me for my part).  They should also give me a check made out to the college for the application fee as well as any letters of recommendations or essay (if required).  I will send the entire application out for them and will also include an official transcript and school profile, which details our grading system.  
     
    Students should consider applying to more than one college to optimize their choices depending on where they are accepted and what financial aid packages are offered to them.
     
    Note: Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can get their application fee waived by requesting that I send a letter with their application verifying that they qualify.
    How does my senior get financial aid?
    All seniors who are college-bound need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1st. The information entered about parent and student income is used by both the federal government and the State of Michigan to determine what your expected family contribution will be toward your child’s education. If there is a gap between what you can contribute and the expected cost of tuition and fees, you will receive information whether your child or you qualify for federal student loans or grants. Again, the state also uses this information to determine if you qualify for need-based state scholarships.
     
    The FAFSA must be completed online. We give a financial aid packet to all seniors in December that will have a worksheet for you to use to get the information on paper before you log on to make the process easier. If you can get your taxes done before you work on the FAFSA that can help a great deal too. You can access the FAFSA form after January 1st.
     
    Throughout the year I post scholarship opportunities in the announcements with a brief description of the eligibility requirements. Students can determine if those opportunities apply to them and stop in for an application. They complete their part of the application and give it to me to send out with a transcript if required.
     
    Students can also search on their own for scholarships. There are a few scholarship search books available in the library for students to check out or students can search the web. Parents should ask their employer if they offer any scholarships. Students should check with the financial aid office of their prospective college to see if they offer specific scholarships for their major.
     
    Note: Please plan to attend our Financial Aid Night hosted in our library every January for a presentation about the FAFSA if you need more information. You may also plan to attend College Goal Sunday, in February, where professionals can help you to complete the FAFSA by the time you leave. Get more information, including what you need to bring with you, at ____.
    How does my child take the ACT or SAT for college admissions?  Which do they take and what do they do if they are unhappy with their score?
    The ACT and SAT are both college admissions tests, which mean that colleges use the scores from these tests as one measure to determine whether or not to accept a student. Scores from these tests are also sometimes used to determine eligibility for certain scholarships. The majority of colleges and universities will accept ACT scores and this is the more widely used assessment. However, students should check with their prospective college/university to see which test they are required to take.
     
    The ACT is now part of the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) assessment that all juniors are required to take in March. However, students are allowed to take the ACT earlier than their junior year or can retake the ACT by registering online here. The ACT test included in the MME is at no charge to the student but taking it early, or juniors/seniors unhappy with their initial ACT score who are retesting, must pay out-of-pocket. The current cost for the ACT plus writing test is $50.50. The writing portion of the ACT is not required but it is recommended since some colleges do require a writing score.Early ACT and retakes of the ACT will be held at a test center, not the high school.
    My son/daughter is interested in CTE. What's available?  And isn't that just for students who don't plan to go to college?
    Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes are hands-on vocational classes that allow students to learn about different career areas while at the same time, getting a chance to apply those skills in real-world applications. While vocational classes used to be geared toward students who were not college-bound, currently many of these classes require the skills necessary for college and the work place. Some programs offer direct or articulated college credit at GlenOaksCommunity College.
     
    Current CTE Programs include:
    (these programs are housed at St. Joseph County high schools or at GlenOaksCommunity College. Students are transported on school buses in the afternoon to attend these programs).
     
    • Agriscience & Natural Resources
    • Automotive Technology
    • Building Trades
    • Computer Aided Design
    • Computer Information Technology
    • Marketing
    • Medical Occupations
    • Robotics 
    Freshmen get an overview of all the different programs and sophomores get to choose a program they wish to visit so that they may meet the teacher and see how the class is run. Interested students must complete an application in the spring before their intended enrollment date either in the fall of their junior or senior year. Seats in these programs are competitive and the ISD looks at the reason students give for wanting to enroll, their career plans, attendance and discipline and academic history to determine placement.
     
    Students receive credit for CTE classes just as they would for CHS classes.
    My son/daughter has failed classes and needs to make up credits.  What do we do?
    The schedule is set up so that students can fail two classes and still have enough credits to graduate on time. When students fail more than two classes they may need to make up credits. They may do this in four ways:
     
    Night School -  Students who were at least 16 at the beginning of the school year can take night classes through our Covered Bridge program, which is an alternative education program housed in our building. The cost for night school is $50 per class. Night school runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-9:30. Students will be placed in an online class that is self-paced to make up the credit. A teacher is present during night school to assist students. Students will not be able to access their online class outside of night school. Students are finished with night school when they complete their credit. There is no longer a seat time requirement.
     
    An application is required and is available in the guidance office. Payment can be make out to Centreville Public Schools and can be turned into the high school office with the application.
     
    Summer School - Our school runs a summer school program in the high school online computer lab for two sessions in the summer. Just as with night school, the cost is $50 per class and the class will be a self-paced computer class that they can only access during summer school hours. However, there is no age requirement for summer school. A teacher will be present to help students with their class. Please read the announcements in May/June to get more information about dates and times. An application is required and will be available in the guidance office.
     
    Partial Covered Bridge Schedule - Students needing to make up credits can also consider a partial schedule in which they are assigned to the Covered Bridge Computer lab during the school day for credit recovery.They will do an online self-paced class and will have access to assistance if needed. There are no age requirements for this option and there is also no charge since the online class is part of their regular school day. Students and parents interested in this option should contact Mrs. Dickman to discuss a schedule change.
     
    Full Covered Bridge Schedule - Students who need to make up several credits may do so by enrolling full-time in Covered Bridge so they can dedicate all their time to online classes.There is no age requirement and no charge for Covered Bridge online classes scheduled during the school day. Covered Bridge students are not required to attend school on Fridays but are welcome to if they let Ms. Juanita Miller know they plan to attend on a Friday.
    What are the new graduation requirements?
    The new graduation requirements begin with the class of 2011 and were set by the state to ensure that all students take rigorous courses to prepare them for work and college. Centreville High School’s graduation requirements are as follows:
     
    4 English credits
    4 Math credits (Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and one math credit in the senior year - Math III, Pre Calculus, Physics or dual enroll math)
    3 Social Studies credits (World History-Geography, US History-Geography and Government/Economics)
    3 Science credits (Physical Science, Biology and Chemistry OR Physics)
    .5 Health credit
    1 Physical Education credit
    1 Fine/Performing Arts credit
    1 Credit Career Prep (including the senior portfolio and exit interview)
       
    Plus elective credits for a total of 26 credits for the class of 2013, 24 for the class of 2014, and 22 credits for the class of 2015 and beyond.
     
    *Note- Beginning with the class of 2016 and beyond, students will also be required to earn at least two credits in a foreign language.
       
    Under the new graduation requirements, students can take the final exam for a course to test out by getting at least an 77%. Students then receive credit for the course but no grade. The test-out window falls during final exam week at the conclusion of each semester as well as published dates before the start of a new school year.
    I feel that my son/daughter needs counseling.  What should I do?
    Due to the nature of working in a school setting, time does not allow me to conduct ongoing counseling sessions. I am happy to provide you with referrals to area counseling agencies and can help you with what you should ask your insurance provider to determine what will be covered. There are also options for parents who do not currently have health insurance.
     
    If you child is set up with a counselor, I will request that you consider signing a release so that I may communicate with the counselor so that I can be a support for the student at school to help reach the goals set by you, the counselor and the student.
     
    If you feel that you need an immediate assessment for your child because they may be at risk of harming themselves or others you can call Community Mental Health at 467-1000 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day crisis line) or you can take them to the nearest emergency room.
    How is my child's schedule determined?
    With my help, students complete an Education Development Plan (EDP), which is sometimes also called a 4-year plan. This document maps out the required classes as well as the elective classes that students wish to take based on their current career goals. Because students change their minds often about possible careers, I meet with students once a year to update the 4-year plan. I keep a copy and the students are given a copy to take home to go over with their parents and obtain a parent/guardian signature. They should then return the signed copy to the guidance office.
     
    After the student requests are entered I generate a master schedule. Some of the elective classes your child chose may not fit in their schedule as required classes are given priority or classes fill up. When this happens, I choose the class available that best meets their needs and career choice. Schedules are then mailed home in August and students and parents have a chance to come in to change schedules before school begins.

     
    Again, please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions!
     
    Sarah Dickman | Jr/Sr High Guidance Counselor | 269-467-5212 | sdickman@cpschools.org