Category Archives: For Sophomores

PSAT Registration

Dear Parents and Guardians of 10th & 11th graders –

Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year. We hope you had a restful summer and that your children are excited for a great year ahead. Believe it or not, it is time for us to register students for the PSAT exam that will be offered at Newton South on Saturday, October 13th. The PSAT is offered just once a year, in October.

All 11th graders who intend to pursue a 4 year college/university path are encouraged to take the PSAT as a practice experience for subsequent college entrance exams. Additionally, some sophomores may choose to take the PSAT as well to have a low-stakes entry into college standardized tests.

Please visit the PSAT registration page on the Newton South website for more details about the exam and how your child can register to take it.


Dan Rubin

Director of Guidance

Black Light Bash for Sophomores is on Sat., April 7 from 7:30 to 10:30PM

The Black Light Bash for Newton South sophomores will be held this Saturday, April 7th from 7:30 to 10:30 in the NSHS Student Center. Tickets are on sale all this week during lunch for $25. Students should dress casually and wear white.  This event is only open to Newton South sophomores.  Newton South staff will be checking bags at the door and will also conduct random breathalyzer tests.  Please remind your daughter/son that they can not re-enter the bash once they leave.

Reminder: Sophomore Parent Coffee is Tomorrow at 7:45 AM

Please join us for the  sophomore parent/guardian coffee tomorrow,  Tuesday, January 23, at 7:45AM in the Newton South Faculty Dining Room.  Members of the guidance staff, House Deans and class advisers will join us to share information and answer questions. Refreshments will be served. Please feel free to come for whatever time fits your schedule.

Newton South College Planning Guide is Online

Did you know that Newton South has a College Planning Guide?  At Newton South, we understand that students take different paths after they graduate. While the majority of Newton South graduates pursue some form of post-high school education, the Counseling Department has designed this Guide to be relevant to all Newton South students and families contemplating college and other educational or vocational options. To access the online version of the guide, click here.  Hard copies of the guide are also available in the College and Career Center for $10.


Reminder: Sophomore Parent Coffee Tomorrow, Oct. 11 at 8AM

The first sophomore parent coffee will be held tomorrow, Wednesday October 11, from 8 to 9:30AM at the home of Margie Ross Decter and Adam Decter, 20 Vine St., Chestnut Hill.

This is a chance to visit with other parents, and to talk about questions and issues that are on your mind.  Feel free to come late or leave early as your schedule allows.

SouthFest Urgently Needs Volunteers! Please Sign Up!

Thanks to all the parents who have volunteered so far to help at SouthFest or made a donation to support this great event. We have great food, entertainment and decorations.   But we need YOU to make SouthFest safe and successful!   We don’t allow senior parents to volunteer at the event, so we depend on non-senior parents to pay it forward  by volunteering, knowing that other parents will take a turn to ensure your kids’ fun and safety when it is their turn for SouthFest. And though it takes place late at night, it’s a lot of fun to meet other parents and spend time with the seniors at SouthFest.   SouthFest takes place on Tuesday June 6 from 11:45 PM to 3:00AM.  We are urgently in need of chaperones and casino volunteers, primarily for the late shift, 1:00 to 3:00AM (though we still have few early spots).  We could also  use a few volunteers for the clean up crew after the party.  Please click here to volunteer for a shift at SouthFest.

We are also still in the midst of raising funds for SouthFest. We are just about half way to our goal, but still  need a lot of help from the community to get us the rest of the way. Please consider making a donation to support this great event.  Click here to donate online or find out how to donate by check.


Reminder: Sophomore Parent/Guardian Coffee Tomorrow, Jan. 24 at 7:45 AM

Please join us tomorrow morning for the Sophomore Parent/Guardian Coffee at 7:45 AM in the Newton South Faculty Dining Room. Members of the guidance staff, House Dean Marc Banks and class advisers will join us to share information and answer questions. Refreshments will be served. Please feel free to come for whatever time fits your schedule.

Correction: Sophomore Parent Group at Newton North

In yesterday’s PTSO newsletter, we included an announcement about a discussion group for sophomore parents/guardians which begins tomorrow at Newton North.  Due to a miscommunication, we advertised this as open to Newton South parents.  The group is in fact geared toward the parents/guardians of Newton North students and we included the announcement in error.   We apologize for any confusion.

PSAT Score Update

Dear Parents/Guardians of Sophomores,

A number of sophomores took the PSAT exam in October and beginning Monday, December 12th students will be able to access scores electronically, via The College Board website. For your reference, I have attached a PSAT/NMSQT sample score report as well as a link to The College Board’s Understanding Your PSAT Scores website as helpful tools for understanding the scores. You can also get additional information from the College Board’s website at

As you likely know, the PSAT is a practice exam, and scores do not count towards college admissions, nor are they sent to any colleges. Please note that the PSAT score report refers to a “College and Career Readiness Benchmark” and it is possible that your son/daughter’s score may not reach the maximum level. Please do not worry about the benchmark since the PSAT is normed for juniors and this year’s scores serve as a data point for future testing opportunities. Sophomores can take the PSAT again in the fall of junior year and then may take the official SAT or ACT in the spring of their junior year. We feel it is important for students to meet individually with their counselors, who will explain the score reports and have a meaningful conversation about future testing options. Therefore, we ask that students schedule meetings with their counselors soon after they get their scores.

The Newton South Guidance Department is committed to providing appropriate advice and personal support regarding college admission testing and eventual post-secondary planning. We hope to stand as a united front with parents/guardians to help students reduce unnecessary pressure related to the PSAT and other similar events and activities.

If you have any questions, please contact your son/daughter’s school counselor.


Dan Rubin/Kathleen Sabet

Director of Guidance & Counseling/College & Career Center Counselor

Sample PSAT Score Report

Understanding Your PSAT Score Report

Fall Guidance News Specific to Sophomores

PSAT Update

Many sophomores took the PSAT/NMSQT on October 15th. In late-December or January, students will receive their scores, their test booklets and all of the correct answers. Through The College Board’s partnership with Khan Academy, students will be able to link their College Board account to Khan Academy to create a fee, personalized study plan to help prepare for the SAT. In upcoming guidance seminars, counselors will preview what students can expect when they receive their scores.

Sophomore Guidance Seminar

During the second term, counselors will conduct their first Sophomore Guidance Seminar of the year. The primary focus will be to introduce Naviance, our web-based platform that is used for post-secondary research and planning. Students will be able to access a suite of personality and interest inventories, as well as a wealth of career-related information. Of particular interest is the Road Trip Nation video archive.

College Board Testing for LD students

As you may be aware, students with current documented disabilities may be eligible for extended time on the SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject Tests and AP tests. The guidelines from the College Board are as follows:

Center testing is available for students who normally receive up to 50 percent extended time for school-based tests and who can use a regular type or large type booklet and machine scorable or large-block answer sheet. This testing is done on the national test dates at test centers. Eligible students are allowed 50% additional time on each section of the SAT Reasoning test and on each SAT Subject Test.

School testing is available primarily for students who normally receive more than 50 percent extended time for school-based tests of who have other accommodations including, but not limited to, a word processor or reader. This testing must be completed in school, in the days following national center-based testing.

In order to apply for extended time the students must have and IEP or 504 plan AND use extended time on regular school tests. An appeals process must be used when there is no plan on file or when extended time is not used on school tests.

Extended time testing requires an additional application verifying a student’s disability which is signed by the student and completed by the guidance counselor or special educator. Consult the counselor to see if the student is registered for testing accommodations.