Update for Class 2021 from NSHS Guidance

Message from Newton South Director of Guidance, Dan Rubin.

If you register at the College Guidance Network site, you will receive notices for events and programs.  Click to view programs in September 2020.

August 31, 2020

Dear seniors and families of the Class of 2021 –

We welcome you back to what is undoubtedly the least-traditional senior year in generations. You have already faced disruptions to your expected routines, and now, you enter into the culminating year of your school experience with a blank canvas rather than a detailed road map. We imagine and expect that you are experiencing a wide range of feelings about this. None of you asked for this to be your experience. It’s likely not a stretch to say that few, if any, of you welcome it. Yet this is where we find ourselves, and as your counselors, we are committed to working with you to adapt to the circumstances and support you to have the best year possible. While we recognize that you are all unique individuals with unique plans and needs, the purpose of this communication is to share information about a few topics central to your post-secondary planning that affect the majority of members of the Class of 2021.

  • The Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) has partnered with a newly formed organization called the College Guidance Network to provide free virtual expert post-secondary counseling advice through a series of video releases. The initiative brings former PBS Education content producers together with leading national experts on varied issues relating to applying to college during the time of COVID-19. A detailed schedule of their programming can be found here.
  • As you all know, testing cancellations have disrupted most of the opportunities students have had to sit for SAT and ACT tests. At this time, NPS expects we will be able to conduct fall SAT (at NSHS) and ACT  (at NNHS) testing. We will be working in partnership with the City of Newton Department of Health & Human Services and the Newton Public Schools Facilities Department to make sure we adhere to the latest local guidelines. Should there be a change of circumstances that require us to cancel testing opportunities, we will notify students and families as soon as possible. If you should want to view a recent webinar led by Adam Ingersoll, a nationally known expert and founder of Compass Prep, here is a link to his webinar on the current state of college admissions testing.
  • The joint Newton North/Newton South GPA committee will be finalizing its recommendations in the coming week. Once that recommendation is presented to the high school principals and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, we expect the plan will either be approved or returned to the committee for further revision. In order to create a recommendation to best serve NPS seniors in the context of COVID, the committee surveyed peer school districts locally and nationally as well as over 100 colleges and universities that are the most applied-to schools for NPS seniors. As soon as the final decision is made regarding GPA, this will be communicated to all students and families at both high schools.

In these uncertain times, we know there is a great deal of anxiety for what is to come. We are looking forward to reconnecting with seniors and families to support you all through this process. Students should be on the lookout for communications from their counselors in the coming weeks with opportunities to connect prior to the first day of classes. We are all in this together, and we know that the coming months will bring questions, opportunities, and challenges. Together, we will grow and meet this challenge.


Dan Rubin, NSHS, Director of Guidance
Beth Swederskas, NNHS, Counseling Department Chair