Category Archives: For Sophomores

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 www.collegeboard.org.

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Sophomore Parent Night: This Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7PM

On Tuesday, February 9 from 7 to 8PM, parents and guardians of sophomores are invited to attend 10th Grade Parents’ Night in the Seasholes Auditorium. You will hear information about upcoming sophomore events; course registration; MCAS; standardized testing; and an overview of the transition to junior year, and will have time for Q&A.

Winter Guidance News Specific to Sophomores

Course Selection

Students will be reviewing course options for next year in the coming months. This presents an excellent time to talk with your children about their interests, abilities, talents, and future aspirations. Encourage them to consider the most beneficial selection of courses in light of their future plans. It is important that they create a schedule that ensures their eligibility for the type of higher education/post-secondary path they seek, allows them to explore different academic and elective interests, and keeps in mind the necessity for maintaining a balance in their lives among academic, extracurricular, family, and work obligations.

MCAS Test Dates

Your tenth grade students will have MCAS tests this Spring in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and if they have not previously passed the Intro Physics MCAS as a ninth grader, Science. The first round of MCAS testing is English Language Arts scheduled for the following March test dates:

  • Tuesday, March 22 – ELA Composition Sessions A & B
  • Wednesday, March 23 – ELA Reading Comprehension Sessions 1 & 2
  • Thursday, March 24 – ELA Reading Comprehension Session 3

SAT Subject Tests

Sophomores who have done well in honors courses sometimes consider taking SAT Subject Tests such as Chemistry or World History in June. Each SAT Subject Test is one hour in length (students can take up to three per testing date) and content based. Therefore, it is logical to take subject tests in June, as close to the end of the course as possible. Many of the most highly selective colleges require two or even three SAT Subject Tests scores as part of the application process.

PSAT

If your tenth grader took the PSAT exam in October, he or she should have received their PSAT score by now. Students can access their score by creating an account on www.collegeboard.org using the same email they provided on their PSAT answer sheet. If your child needs assistance in interpreting his or her score, please encourage them to make an appointment with their counselor to review.

PSAT Score Report Update

Dear Parents/Guardians of Sophomores,

A number of sophomores took the PSAT exam in October and in early January students will be able to access scores electronically, via The College Board website. Students will be notified by email when scores are available (on or about January 7th). For your reference, I have attached a PSAT/NMSQT sample score report as well as an interpretive guide as helpful tools for understanding the scores. You can also get additional information from the College Board’s website at www.collegeboard.org.

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.

This year’s new format for score dissemination is a significant change in process. Most significantly, school counselors will not receive copies of student score reports until after students receive theirs. 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. During these meetings students will receive their test booklets to refer back to when going through the score report.

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.

Sincerely,

Dan Rubin/Kathleen Sabet

Director of Guidance & Counseling/College & Career Center Counselor

PSAT Sample Score Report

PSAT Score Report Case Study

 

Semester 2 Expanded Sophomore Campus Access

Dear Newton South Sophomore Families,

During second-semester, sophomores have the option of using different areas of the South campus during their directed study blocks (library, commons rooms, student center, courtyards), with parental and housemaster permission. This expanded access allows eligible sophomores to use other areas of the school or to work with available staff on a variety of projects.

The criteria and guidelines for this opportunity are as follows:

  1. During their directed study blocks, approved sophomores must remain on school grounds.
  2. Sophomores still DO NOT have an open campus, and may not leave school grounds at any time during the school day unless officially dismissed from school.
  3. Students MAY NOT be present in other areas of the school (including corridors) unless under the direct supervision of a staff member.
  4. Housemasters must pre-approve student requests for this program, reserve the right to disallow any requests, and may revoke this privilege at any time. Approval is not based solely on a student’s academic record. A variety of information including student attendance and any prior disciplinary actions will be reviewed prior to granting release.

To Obtain This Privilege:

  • Review the guidelines above and obtain a parent/guardian signature and a daytime phone number on this permission form.
  • Take the signed form to your house office for an approval signature.
  • If necessary, housemasters may call to discuss this with parent/guardians.
  • Sophomore release will begin for all approved students on January 25, 2016.

Completed forms are due to the House Office no later than Friday, January 8, 2016. Late forms will be reviewed after February Break. Questions? See your housemaster for clarification.

Best regards,

Candice Beermann, Vice Principal

PSAT Reminders from Our PSAT Coordinator

Please share this information with your child if (s)he will be taking the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14th:

  1. Please bring your student ID.
  2. You will need several #2 pencils and your own calculator. Calculators will not be provided.  Here is more information about approved calculators.
  3. Unlike the MCAS, College Board tests such as PSAT and SAT are timed tests. You must arrive on time (7:40). This was written incorrectly on the notes you received at registration. Once testing begins, you will not be admitted.
  4. There is no make-up.
  5. The room assignments will be posted in the front lobby of Wheeler House. Please check the lists on the afternoon of Oct.13th or the morning of the exam, Oct. 14th.
  6. Your information packet contains a full length practice exam and there are more available on the College Board website.

Thank you,

Joan Bryant

PSAT Coordinator

joan_bryant@newton.k12.ma.us

Late PSAT Registration Tomorrow, Sept. 22

Late registration for the October 14 PSAT will take place on Tuesday, September 22, in the cafeteria during lunch. Please bring $16 in cash or a check made out to Newton South High School with “PSAT” and student’s FULL name on the MEMO line. Click here for more information about PSAT registration, including accommodations, etc.