Diamond Bar High School
“Serving the students of Diamond Bar since 1982”
Issue #3 – May, 2013
John Terry, Assistant Principal
CLASS OF 2013
Seniors – Stay Focused On School!!
Please encourage your students to keep working hard in the classroom. A failed class at the end of the semester could cost them graduation, and a drop in past performance could cost them admission to the college of their choice. Universities have the right to rescind offers of admission if a senior’s grades go down.
Please help your student get to school on time every day. Attendance is directly related to a student’s performance in the classroom and your child needs to be in each class in order to do his/her best. Please do not write notes excusing morning absences due to “over-sleeping” as the state of California does not recognize failure to wake up as an excuse for missing school.
As seniors begin receiving notification of acceptance and unfortunately, denial letters from the colleges to which they applied, be sure to talk to your child so you’re there to congratulate and console. The college admissions process is so complex that no one really knows exactly why a particular student is accepted or denied. Why dwell on any conjecture. Get excited with your child about where he or she is going to be attending school next fall!
College To-Do Items
Regardless of where your student decides to continue his/her education, it is critical that students follow through and complete any and all applications/paperwork for their chosen college. For example, most universities will need to be notified of your acceptance decision no later than May 1st via the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). It is the student’s responsibility to meet all deadlines and to be in regular contact with their college. Entrance/Placement exams, housing information, class scheduling, financial aid will all be important topics for your student.
Financial Aid For College
Students need to monitor their financial-aid status. Submit any requested documents in a timely manner. Once you know where you will be attending college, students should contact the financial aid office at that college and confirm your financial-aid status.
Seniors will need to send a final transcript to the campus that they will attend in the fall. This will be done online this year. Students must go to parchment.com and follow the steps required to send the final transcript. Once the student has chosen the campus, he/she can go on the site and make the request. The transcript will however, not be sent until at least 2-3 weeks after graduation.
Graduation will be held on Thursday, May 30th at 6:30 p.m. in Holmes Memorial Stadium on Elfelt Field. Detailed information about senior-week activities and graduation activities will be sent home in the next few days.
CLASS OF 2014
SAT / ACT SIGN UPS
If you plan to attend a four-year college, you should be registering for and taking the SAT. We encourage students to take the test near the end of the junior year, in March, May, or June, and then again at the beginning of senior year. The CSU/UC will just take a student’s best score, so we definitely recommend taking the SAT Reasoning Test at least twice. Students need to register themselves for the SAT online at www.collegeboard.org. The ACT with writing can also work for the UC/CSU so we also recommend trying this test to better your chances of a score you’re proud of. Students interested in taking the ACT should go to www.act.org.
Taking the test at least twice, trying both the SAT and the ACT with writing, and preparing with an SAT book or class are all good ways to improve your score, but don’t drive yourself crazy looking for a certain number that someone has said you need. Do all of the above to give yourself the best odds, take the test, and then move on, knowing you did all you could to put yourself in the best position possible.
CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM
Students who have not passed the CAHSEE will be given the exam again on May 14th and 15th. We will also offer tutoring for the math and English sections from mid-April to early May. Students will be notified as to the exact dates and time of the tutoring.
COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS
A great way to begin narrowing your college choices is by making campus visits. Many students find that summer vacation is a perfect time to go on campus tours. Most colleges have regular tours available – look for tours on the websites of the schools which interest you.
Students should be using the College Search information included in the Junior Student/Parent information Handbook distributed during last year’s summer registration meeting. It is very important to start this process now in order to find the school that is the best fit for you. You can also look at sites like www.collegeboard.org or www.petersons.com to get an idea of how selective the schools you’re considering are. For example, it’s good for you to know that the average freshman who got into San Diego State last year had a 3.6 GPA, a 500 SAT Reading score, and a 520 SAT Math score. While these are only averages, they can help you have an idea of your chances of getting into different universities.
PAYING FOR COLLEGE
If you want to begin exploring your financial aid options and get an early start on the financial aid process, FAFSA4caster is for you! By using FAFSA4caster, you and your family will receive an early estimate of eligibility for Federal Student Aid. This process will educate you on the various types of financial aid available. Check it out. www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov.
SENIOR YEAR COURSE SELECTION
As we told all of our juniors earlier, choose classes that will make your senior year rigorous but realistic. No one headed for college should select an “easy” schedule that doesn’t make them competitive, but students should also be wary of biting off more than they can chew. Give yourself a challenging course load that you can handle. Once we make your senior schedule, it is difficult to make changes, and changing your senior schedule once your senior year begins could harm the university admission’s process.
We have talked to several students about missing graduation requirements or CSU/UC admission requirements so you should know which classes you need to take in senior year. If you have any confusion about course selection, please see your GLC.
GRADES FOR JUNIORS
Final grades for second semester are coming soon and we want you to finish strong! Parents, monitor Parent Portal and talk with your child about her assignments over these last few weeks to help her have a strong finish and earn the best grades possible.
Remember that four-year-colleges and universities are expecting “C” grades or better in college prep classes. You must make up any grade that is lower than a “C”. (Some colleges will accept lower than a “C” in the first semester of certain courses. See your GLC).
Any “F” grade in a graduation requirement such as English or American History will have to be repeated during summer school. A “D” grade in English or American History will earn graduation credit, but will not count towards college requirements and will have to be repeated during summer school if you are university bound. If you finish 2nd semester with a D or an F, it is YOUR responsibility to get yourself signed up for summer school on the first day – Monday, June 10th!
Many parents have asked about PSAT scores from the October, 2012 administration of the test. They have been available for pick-up in the Guidance Office since December. Please pick-up your PSAT scores as soon as possible and share them with your parents.
CLASS OF 2015
Final grades for second semester are coming soon (May 30th). You recently received the 12 week progress report for your child so you have a good idea of his/her current grades. Please monitor Parent Portal regularly and talk with your child about his assignments over these last few weeks to help him/her have a strong finish and earn the best grades possible.
If your child earned an F in English or World History in any of his first three semesters of high school, they should already be signed up for summer school. If they do not attend, or if they fail summer school, they will not be considered on track for graduation. If your child earns an F in second semester English or World History this year, bring them to the first day of summer school and add them to a class. If they earn a D, they will earn graduation credit, but they would need to make up the class in summer school for CSU/UC admission.
If your child earns a D or an F in biology, chemistry, or math, he will need to either sign up for a tuition summer school class or plan on repeating that class during his junior year. There is still room in summer school at the Mt. SAC referral program to repeat a D/F grade in English, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, and History. See you GLC as soon as possible for the referral, the deadline to sign up is slowly approaching.
Extracurricular/Community Service Involvement
Several people have probably advised your child to get involved in extracurricular activities or community service because it “looks good for college,” but we recommend encouraging your child to get involved in these activities for other, intrinsic reasons. It’s good for your child to pursue his passions, to learn more about the world around him, to experience something different, to build confidence, to gain compassion for those less fortunate. While participation and leadership in extracurricular activities and community service are positive factors in college applications, it is only because they provide insight into the type of person your child is and the range of experiences that have supplemented his education.
Junior Year Course Selection
Many students are making a transition in eleventh grade to more difficult classes. That’s a good positive direction but please remind your child to take these more challenging courses very seriously. Several students like the idea of taking many AP classes, but they don’t like the idea of doing all the work these classes require and can make the mistake of cheating or plagiarizing. Please discuss the upcoming year with your child and make sure he is ready to work hard and meet the challenge. While the strength of schedule is important, grade point average is still the most important.
CLASS OF 2016
Freshman year is quickly coming to a close. May 30, 2013 is the last day of the school year. Please check the DBHS.org website for the Finals schedule. We have two minimum days during the last week of school and they are on May 29 and May 30, 2013.
First Semester Grades
By now you have had a chance to review your child’s first semester grades. These are the first official grades that will make up your student’s high school transcript, and your child needs to continue working hard to earn the grades that truly reflect the kind of student he or she is. The 12 week progress report has gone out as well. This is a reflection of how your student will end this spring semester. Please continue to talk with your student about pushing through in these final weeks. We have free tutoring Mon-Thurs from 3:00-4:30 in room 232. If your child earned an F in a class required for graduation, he or she needs to plan on making it up in summer school this summer. If your child earned a D in a class required for CSU/UC admissions, he or she should make it up in summer school this summer. If your student earned a D in the first semester of math or foreign language, a C or better in the second semester would validate the overall grade and allow him/her to move on to the next level. If you would still like to possibly add a summer school course, come to the campus on the first morning of summer school and go to the theater. They will have waiting lists and if there is room, your child may add the class. The first day of summer school is June 10th at 7:30am.
Parent Portal and Tutoring
Many of you have been actively monitoring your child’s progress in classes via the Aeries parent portal and already know what a useful tool this can be. It is a great way to have informed conversations with your child about class assignments and overall performance. If you have trouble getting started, please contact your child’s GLC and we will help you. If your child needs a private tutor for any subject, please have your student see his or her GLC for names and phone numbers of students available for hire.
Sophomore Registration Cards
All of the sophomore year schedules have been submitted. The GLCs have input all course requests. The electives and some upper level courses cannot be guaranteed for sophomore students. Seniors and Juniors have priority for some of these courses. During the GLC registration appointment, the schedule will be evaluated for accuracy. The sophomore year is a very intense and academically challenging year, with most students taking a full load of five academic classes – English, math, science, world history, foreign language – and one period of P.E. If your child hopes to take something as an elective in sophomore year, for example, orchestra or art, he or she must make room in the tenth grade schedule by taking world history or science in summer school this summer.
GLC Registration Appointment
The lottery for the GLC registration appointments for the class of 2016 is Thursday, May 16, 2013 after school in the amphitheater. Registration will begin Monday, July 15, 2013 and ends Friday, August 9, 2013. Please make sure your child knows of any planned vacations or conflicts and does not choose that date for registration. Some families may be out of town the entire four weeks of registration. In this case, have your child take the appointment given to them and have them let their GLC know that they will be gone. The first day of the 2013-2014 school year is Monday, August 19, 2013.
Please continue to make sure that attendance office is being contacted if your child is out ill or absent for any reason. The attendance office needs to receive a call from you even if your child was only out for one period. Failure to call the Attendance office may result in consequences for your student. The attendance office direct line is 909-594-1860.