Diamond Bar High School
“Serving the students of Diamond Bar since 1982”
Issue #2 – March, 2011 John Terry, Assistant Principal
CLASS OF 2011
Mr. Goode and Mrs. Burns would like you to review the GLC website at least once a month for information pertaining to seniors. Please go to www.dbhs.org and look at the GLC link. They have posted what you need to know about all the upcoming events, deadlines for graduation, financial aid, college admissions and decisions, and more.
Periodically, you receive two important newsletters, “Senior Bulletin” and “For Seniors Only,” from Mr. Ozaki. Read these carefully upon receipt! Tons of useful scholarship information is included. Additional scholarship information may be found at www.fastweb.com.
First Semester Grades and 6 Week Progress Grades
First semester grades have just come out, and if you earned a D or an F in an academic class, you must notify all of the schools you have applied to and let them know about the grade. It doesn’t matter if you end up with a better second semester grade – you must make the schools you applied to aware of that poor grade so they have the information before they make their admission decision. If you dropped an academic class at the semester, you must notify the schools about this change also – you don’t want to surprise them with anything in your final transcript. Schools that accept you have the right to retract that offer of admission if anything on your transcript doesn’t meet their expectations.
If the poor grade is in one of your core subjects, you probably need to make up that grade to remain eligible for college. For example, a D in the first semester of English would have to be made up or you would no longer meet CSU and UC eligibility requirements, regardless of how good your other grades are. See your GLC immediately with any questions.
The six week progress grades are an indicator of how well your son/daughter are doing in their classes. Please contact their teacher immediately if they are in jeopardy of receiving a D or F grade. Second semester grades do count and are reviewed by the colleges. It is extremely important that you keep your second semester GPA at a similar, if not higher, level so you won’t receive a rejection notice in the summer from a college that has given you provisional admission. When a college accepts you in the spring, it is NOT full acceptance until you provide them with a good final transcript.
Several people have received offers of admission from schools already, and unfortunately we’ve received a few rejection letters as well. As we get more acceptances and rejections in the coming weeks, you’re going to hear many of your peers and family members claiming they can pinpoint exactly why you did or did not get into this school or that school. The truth of the matter is that the college admissions process is so complex that we will never really know why one student got into a school and another did not. We could take an educated guess, but ultimately, that’s all it is – a guess – so don’t waste time getting worked up about schools that don’t offer you admission. Your time would be more wisely spent visiting the schools that accepted you, looking at their financial aid packages, and really researching which school is the best fit for you as an individual. Remember – you’re the one going there for the next four years of your life so you should pick a place that suits you.
It’s the second semester of senior year, and the end seems so close, but you must finish strong. People talk about “senioritis” like it’s something cute, but really it’s just another word for irresponsibility. You need to maintain good attendance and behavior and continue to work hard in your classes all the way through the end of the year for several reasons. Your parents have supported you for years and shouldn’t have to spend the last semester of your high school years worrying about whether or not you’ll graduate. The colleges that offer you admission expect you to maintain the same level of performance and finish well. Most importantly, you owe it to yourself to finish strong and move into the next phase of your life with positive momentum.
CSU Placement Testing
Most colleges need to know the level of your English and math before you register for classes. For example, the Cal State colleges require students to take the placement tests ELM and EPT. Refer to the DBHS website under the GLC link for more information.
CLASS OF 2012
It is hard to believe that senior year is right around the corner! All students need to continue to work hard in their classes so that they meet the goals they have set for themselves. Remember this is the last semester of grades that will be used to calculate admissions GPA for college. Information for senior registration will be distributed to your students soon. It is extremely important when registering for senior year that you have checked all graduation requirements and college admissions requirements so that you register for the correct courses.
Six week progress reports were recently mailed home. If you have concerns about grades, please contact your student’s teacher directly so you can get immediate information about the most current progress. Aeries Parent Portal is also a great resource. If your student received a D/F in an A-G required course or a graduation requirement, please have them contact Ms. Auten or Ms. Irving to see if there is a summer school class available for remediation.
It is not too early to be thinking about summer school. It begins June 13, 2011 and ends July 21, 2011. Information will soon be available on the DBHS.org website. Information on tuition courses will be mailed out soon. Any student needing to make up a “D” or “F” has priority registration in late March. General registration will be soon after that either by mail for tuition courses or after school for non-tuition courses (check DBHS.org for dates).
SAT and ACT
Students hoping to attend a four-year university should plan on taking the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. We encourage students to take the test near the end of their junior year in March, May or June and then again at the beginning of their senior year. Registration for the SAT may be completed online at www.collegeboard.com. This website also features great information about financial aid and also a college search feature to help students and parents as they begin looking into possible colleges and universities that they might be interested in attending. Registration for the ACT may be completed online at www.act.org.
College Search Process
A great way to begin narrowing the college choices is by making campus visits if possible. Many students find that spring break and summer vacation are good times to go on campus tours. Most college campuses have regular tours available. The best way to find out is by going on their website. It is very important to start this process now and to narrow down the elements being looked for to have the best college experience. Remember – finding the university and/or career major that is the “best fit” should be the goal.
Paying for College
If you want to begin exploring the financial aid options and get an early start on the process, FAFSA4caster is for you! By using FAFSA4caster, you 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 at www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov
CLASS OF 2013
Final semester one grades were sent out in January. These are the first official grades that will be part of your student’s California State University/CSU and University of California/UC GPA. Your child needs to continue working hard to earn the grades that truly reflect the kind of student he or she is. 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 must make it up in summer school this summer. If your student earned a D in the first semester of a math or foreign language course, a C or better in the second semester would allow him/her to move on to the next level next year in most situations-please check course pre-requisites in the DBHS Course Description Booklet as some Math courses may require a grade of B or better to move on to the next course in the curriculum sequence. Tutoring is available for our students-use the school website to access this information.
If you have questions about how your child can do better in the second semester, please contact his or her teacher directly and please continue to use the very helpful Parent Portal to monitor your student’s academic progress!
California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)
Passing this state mandated exam is a graduation requirement. The first attempt begins in the 10th grade and it can be taken again until successfully passed. All Class of 2013 sophomores have had the opportunity to take this test on March 8th and 9th, 2011.
Extra Curricular / Community Involvement
People often talk to students and parents about the need to be involved in extra-curricular and volunteer activities “for college applications.” It is true that universities are able to see more of who a student is as a result of the activities in which they are involved, but if college admission is the only reason a student participates in any of these activities, he/she is really missing the point.
Students can find so much personal fulfillment through participation in clubs, sports, and volunteer work, and it often helps them to grow and discover new things about themselves. We encourage students to participate in activities they will commit to and truly enjoy rather than simply doing what someone has advised them they “need” to do. There is no DBHS graduation requirement for community service. We suggest each student keep track of their own community service hours and to note the name(s) of the people they report to for this community service. Universities may want to verify community service involvement and it is the student’s responsibility to provide accurate information to the universities including contact names and phone numbers.
Are You Leaving the Country?
If you are a parent or guardian who is leaving the country for a period of time, you MUST contact the registrar’s office to inform the school of who is responsible for your student while you are away. It is not a choice, it’s the law.
If your child comes late to school, he/she MUST sign in at the attendance office. If your child is more than 20 minutes late, a parent/guardian must call to excuse them by brunch time during the next school day. If your child is out for the full day, please call attendance at 909-594-1860 ASAP. If the absence is not cleared after 3 school days, the absence with result in a full day cut/truancy.
If your student plans on attending a 4-year university after high school he/she should begin thinking about what their academic interests are for future college majors and also begin thinking about what they are looking for in their future college experience.
SAT/ACT-Part of the university application process will be supplying SAT and/or ACT Standardized Test scores. We suggest that students begin taking the SAT Reasoning exam during their junior year. The ACT is also a viable option for our students. Use our school website for additional information on the SAT and ACT. During this summer’s GLC Registration appointment, your GLC will review the process for taking the SAT/ACT and preparing for the college search process.
Summer Session 2011
If your student needs to attend summer school, he/she will need to register for the upcoming summer session 2011. Information on this summer’s program will be available on our school website.
CLASS OF 2014
First Semester Grades
By now you’ve had a chance to review your child’s first semester grades. These are the first official grades that will make up your student’s CSU/UC GPA, and your child needs to continue working hard to earn the grades that truly reflect the kind of student he or she is. 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 allow him/her to move on to the next level next year, but we would suggest contacting the GLC about possible tutors for hire.
If you have questions about how your child can do better in the second semester, please contact his or her teacher.
Last month we met with all the freshmen to present information about their futures here at Diamond Bar High School and beyond.
We discussed graduation requirements, UC/CSU admission requirements, extracurricular involvement, and career research tools available via our website. We also gave the students a blank four-year plan to assist them in planning the classes they would like to take during their high school career.
If you haven’t already, please take the time to sit down with your student and go over his or her four-year plan. Your guidance is invaluable in helping them make the best decisions for their futures. If you or your student have any questions about the four-year plan, please have your student come visit his or her GLC.
During the month of March, we’ll be visiting English classes and giving students information about course selection for sophomore year. Parents, please go over this information carefully and have your child see us with any questions before returning the class request card.
Tenth grade is a very crowded 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, he or she must make room in the tenth grade schedule by taking world history or science in summer school this summer.
Parent Portal and Tutoring
Many of you have been actively monitoring your child’s progress in classes via the parent portal and already know what a useful tool this can be. It’s 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.