Greetings Parents of the Class of 2017,
As we approach the end of semester one and the holiday break we would like to share a little “Guidance News” with you.
First Semester Grades
December 19, 2014 is the last day of our first semester. These semester-one grades will be placed on your student’s academic transcript. These are the first academic grades on your student’s transcripts which will go towards their 4-year university admission’s Grade Point Average (GPA). Reminder, all four years of a student’s high school academic record will be considered during the admission’s process of 4-year universities. Universities will look at all four years to determine if a student has met the subject requirements for admission. Universities will look at all four years of high for a student’s extracurricular involvement. The GPA used by the universities for admission’s decisions is based on approved academic courses taken during the 10th and 11th grades. Approved academic courses taken during the summer immediately after grade 9 and immediately after grade 11 will also count towards the GPA calculation. Information on admission requirements to the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) campuses as well as information on Private Universities, Community Colleges, Military Opportunities etc. is located in our Student/Parent Info. Handbook on our school website. Go to the Guidance link and then to the Class of 2017 page. This handbook was also given to each student this past summer at our GLC registration meeting.
Students in the Class of 2017 should be reviewing/researching the standardized tests four-year universities require for admission. Most four-year universities will require an SAT Reasoning Test or an ACT w/Writing Test. Students are able to choose which test they take-some students will choose to take both exams as universities will use the highest test scores submitted during the admission’s process. In addition, some universities may require or recommend the SAT Subject Tests. If a university does require an SAT Subject Test they will usually require two Subject Tests to be taken. See the Collegeboard website for further information: www.collegeboard.org.
The Class of 2017 will have two options for the SAT Reasoning Test. Collegeboard who generates the SAT test has revised the SAT Reasoning Test. The current version of the SAT Reasoning test will be available to take through February of 2016. The new version of the SAT will be available to take starting in March, 2016. Our students may choose to try the current version of the SAT and also take the new version of the SAT when it becomes available. Universities will accept both tests for our class and they will continue to use the highest test score submitted via the application process. Sophomores should be starting to research and practice taking the SAT or ACT exams. Students may choose to sign up for practice SATs through our school, or pursue practicing for the tests through private test-preparation programs in the community. Many students will also practice the exams on their own using test-preparation resources checked out at the local public library or purchased at a good bookstore. Students should continue prepping for the exam through the summer months after sophomore year. Junior year is when students in the Class of 2017 should start taking the SAT and ACT exams. We still believe the best preparation for these exams is great effort in their courses here at school, but preparation/practice will instill confidence in our students. In the fall of our junior year-Fall 2015, the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) will be given in October. When the PSAT/NMSQT is taken during a student’s junior year, the student becomes eligible for future scholarship consideration as a National Merit Scholar. Each year, Diamond Bar High School has several students who qualify for this prestigious recognition by scoring in the top 1 ½ % of all junior students taking the exam in the United States. This PSAT, in the Fall of 2015, will be a revised version matching the new version of the SAT. See the following website for additional information on next year’s PSAT: www.deliveringopportunity.org .
As with all things in life, we stress keeping things in perspective and balance. We realize the importance of good grades and good test scores when it comes to university admissions. We also realize the importance of students enjoying high school and taking advantage of opportunities available to them during this special time in their lives. So we stress to our students to do their best, work hard, study hard, play hard. We encourage them to put their best effort towards their studies while balancing extracurricular activities they will enjoy in their daily life. These extracurricular activities will also strengthen their college applications. More importantly, we believe “happy students are good students.”
HIGH SCHOOL PLAN
Please encourage your student, if he or she has not already done so, to complete their 4-year high school plan. This is simply planning what courses the student would like to take from now to graduation.
POST-HIGH SCHOOL PLAN
Four-year universities are just one path students may follow after high school. Many students will pursue 2-year Community Colleges, Trade Schools, Technical Schools, Military and/or Employment. We want our students to “Dream, Plan and Pursue.” DREAM of what they would like to become as an adult-PLAN on how to make this dream a reality-PURSUE the plan and put in the time to make it happen-(DPP). There is not one “perfect” plan or path, every student will have their own individual PLAN to follow!
An excellent post-high school education resource is www.californiacolleges.edu. We introduced this website to our class last spring in a meeting in the theater. It is a free website for students to research careers, colleges etc.
Kevin R. Patterson & Jack Galeener
Grade Level Coordinators
Class of 2017
Diamond Bar High School