Counselor Corner Archive

COUNSELOR CORNERS FOR PPACS HIGH SCHOOL 2014-Present

8/16/17

Dear Students and Families,

(1) Here is a new Community Service opportunity for you. Remember that you will need 30 hours to graduate.
(2) Also, please be thinking of two teachers who could write Letters of Recommendation for you. You may ask them by email now, if you have not asked them already. If the teacher agrees to write a letter for you, you may fill out the “Request for Teacher Recommendation” form that I sent to you earlier this summer and email it to them. (If you do not have that, you may send the teachers a regular email answering these four questions: (1) What were your favorite aspects of his/her class? (2) What were your strengths as a student in his/her class? (3) Name and describe 3 assignments from the class that were your best. (4) What do you want your College Admissions Officer to know about you and your abilities in the class?) You should also send the teacher your resumé. Lastly, just go to your Naviance account and indicate which two teachers you have asked. I will automatically write a letter for you ~ you don’t need to ask.
Thank you, Mrs. Thomas
“”Hello Fellow Cook-Off Volunteers,
We are delighted to invite you to August Cook-Off.  August’s Cook-Off will take place on Sunday August 20, 2017.
Date: Sunday August 20,2017
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Location: St. Barnabas Mission, 6006 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia
Transportation both ways will be provided between Trinity Memorial Church (2212 Spruce Street Philadelphia) and St. Barnabas.  Should you need a ride, please email me by Thursday August 17, so that we can arrange either a carpool or taxi, which will leave the church at 12:30 pm.
Parking is available nearby to St. Barnabas, especially on Edgewood Street.  If you wish to take advantage of public transportation, please use the Number 15 trolley.
We look forward to seeing you on the 20th!
Warmly,
Nancy
Nancy DeLaura | Manager of Volunteer Programs
Episcopal Community Services
225. S. 3rd St | Philadelphia, PA 19106

Past emails

2/8/2017

Dear High School Students and Parents,

It’s never too early to think and learn about the the college application process.  Please consider taking advantage of one of the following opportunities/events.

  • Registering for “How to Apply to College” a Coursera Course.  This FREE online course is offered by the University of Pennsylvania, and taught by the Dean of Students and President of UPenn.  The course begins on February 13, 2017.
  • Attend Title 1 Meeting: The College Application Process from A-Z
    • Students and parents from 9-11th are invited to join the PPACS college counselors for an in-depth presentation and discussion about the college application process from start to finish. No prior registration necessary.
    • Where: PPACS Vine: 1600 Vine Street

Tuesday, March 14th: 6-7pm

Tuesday, March 21st: 8-9am

TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED:

9-12th grade College Planning Calendar

College Entrance Exams: The difference between the SAT/ACT?

Choosing a College: Goodness of Fit

Paying for College: Intro to Financial Aid

_

1/20/2017

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians of the class of 2018,

****Please read this email carefully as it contains important information for the graduating class of 2018****

SAT/ACT College Entrance Exams

All College-bound students should plan to take the ACT/SAT at least once by the end of their Junior year. We recommend that students sit for both exams, and then choose one – or both – to take a 2nd or even 3rd time.

SAT: The next test administration is March 11th, the deadline to sign up is February 10th.

ACT: The next test administration is April 8th, the deadline to sign up is March 3rd.

Visit this link for important registration, study and exam information:

SAT/ACT Information

*Fee waivers are available in the school counselor’s office before and after school for students who receive free or reduced lunch, from Ms. Thomas (501), Ms. Freemer (602), or Ms. Iannuzzelli (601).

**NOTE: Our School Code for Test Registration is 393231 (CEEB Code)

1/15/2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Nobody likes unpleasant surprises on their report card!

As 1st semester ends and we prepare to begin 2nd semester, please make sure you are utilizing Powerschool and monitoring your students grades and attendance daily.  If you haven’t yet signed up, please email HS Counselor Kristin Iannuzzelli for your individualized direction form.  (kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org)

You and your student also have access to his/her semester 2 schedule through Powerschool.  We encourage you to review the schedule, as well as the PPACS graduation requirements, to ensure that your student is rostered for the correct classes.

You can view the graduation requirements here: http://www.stringtheoryschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-High-School-Graduation-Requirements-2.pdf

Your student may request a change of classes by filling out the “Schedule Change Request Form” on the Lyceum course, through iTunes University.

Let’s all come together to help our students finish this semester strong!

High School Counselors

12/6/2016

Wondering how much college costs and how you are going to pay for it?

Most colleges and universities use a specific formula to determine the amount of federal, state, and need-based institutional aid a particular student qualifies for.

This means that the net cost for 2 students going to the same college may vary widely, depending on family income.

Naviance has now made a net cost estimator available in your student’s Naviance Family Connections account.

  1. Log onto Naviance
  2. Select the colleges tab
  3. On the left hand side, enter the name of your desired college to go to their profile page
  4. Once there, select your family income from the drop down menu for an estimate of your net cost.  (this includes Room, Board, Books, And Travel expenses)
  5. Use the Financial Aid Cheat Sheet to help you understand your available need-based funds through FAFSA and PHEAA.

http://www.stringtheoryschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CollegeFinancialAidCheatsheet.pdf

11/15/16

Dear Students and Parents,

It’s never too soon to start accumulating your community service graduation requirement!

Like most high schools in Philadelphia, we at PPACS believe volunteering is a great way for students to give back to the community, while building their resumes and developing a sense of civic responsibility.  All PPACS students must complete 30 hours of community service at an approved non-profit in order to graduate.

Volunteer work for high school students can be a life-changing experience, one that allows teens to expand their horizons and foster meaningful relationships. Please review the links and suggestions below, and start volunteering now!

For each volunteer experience, students must complete a “Community Service Verification Form” due as part of the graduation packet.

https://www.teenlife.com/category/volunteer/volunteer-philadelphia/

http://cap4kids.org/philadelphia/parent-handouts/teen-resources/volunteer-and-job-opportunities/

http://www.gridphilly.com/grid-magazine/2015/3/26/30-places-to-volunteer-in-philadelphia.html

10/14/16

Dear Parents and Students,

It’s never too early to start thinking about college!  The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is holding their annual National College Fair at the Philadelphia Convention Center on Sunday, November 8th.  This excellent College Fair is free and open to all high school students in Philadelphia.   Students are strongly encouraged to attend and learn more about a diverse range of colleges and universities in the area and beyond.

Location:

Pennsylvania Convention Center

1101 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

215/418-470

Fair Hours:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

For more information visit:

http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/fallncf/pages/philadelphia.aspx

To register online visit:

https://www.gotomyncf.com/Registration/EventSelectForState?stateName=pennsylvania

5/10/2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The summer is almost here, and do you know how your student plans on spending her/his 10 free weeks?  Summer enrichment – volunteering, attending summer camp, or a working summer job – is an excellent way for youth to develop life experience, maturity and responsibility during what may be an otherwise unsupervised time period.

We have worked hard to compile summer opportunities, many of them free, on our Guidance Resources Website.

http://stringtheoryschools.com/vine-st-campus/summer-enrichment/

Feel free to share other student opportunities by emailing kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org, and check back regularly as we continue to add to our “Summer Enrichment” page.

May 3/2016

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians of the class of 2017,

Please read this email carefully as it contains important information for the graduating class of 2017.

SAT/ACT

All College-bound students should plan to take the ACT, SAT, or both at least once by the end of their Junior year.

We recommend that students sit for both exams, and then choose one – or both – to take a 2nd or even 3rd time.  May 6 is the deadline to sign up for the June 11th ACT.  May 11th is the deadline to register for the June 4th SAT.

Visit this link for important registration and exam information.

SAT/ACT INFORMATION

*Fee waivers are available in the guidance office before and after school for students who receive free or reduced lunch, from Ms. Thomas or Ms. Iannuzzelli.

**NOTE: Our School Code for Registration is 393231

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Visit the link to our Graduation Center to view graduation requirements and information.  Students must have earned a total of 26.5 credits in the required areas by June 2017.  Make sure your student is on track today!

GRADUATION CENTER

*Note that the community service requirement has been changed to 30 hours and NO written essay.  (previously 25 hours and 5 page essay)

NAVIANCE

This week directions and registration codes to register for a Naviance Family Connection Parent Account will be emailed to all all parents/guardians of the class of 2017. Naviance is the tool with which your student will be researching and applying to colleges. You can monitor your student’s college applications, transcript and recommendation requests, and much much more!

Please explore this “College and Career Readiness Software” and reach out with any questions.  Naviance provides a toll-free number for parents and students with questions.  Visit the link to learn more.  Naviance Info

*Note that we will have a parent workshop in the Fall to further explain Naviance.

All 11th graders have existing accounts and can access them through Naviance Family Connection.

Username: School Email address minus “stringtheoryschools.org”  (ex. kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org = kiannuzzelli)

Password: stringtheory

STH GUIDANCE WEBSITE

Make sure to visit the String Theory Guidance Webpage regularly for information on SAT/ACT, Graduation Center, Summer and School Year Opportunities, Scholarship and Financial Aid information, AND MORE!

4/20/2016

Last Friday, all PPACS high school students attended our 2nd Annual College Fair.  Students gathered resources, and mingled and chatted with representatives from over 30 college and universities from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Our students parents, and representatives had a wonderful time, and our students made us proud with  their impressive level of knowledge, engagement, and maturity.

Good Work STH Students!

4/7/2016

Dear High School Parents and Guardians,

Let’s Get Excited for College!

String Theory is excited to announce that we will have over 30 colleges and universities represented at our 2nd Annual College Fair on Friday, April 15th, 2016.  All PPACS high school students, 9-11th grade, will be attending throughout the school day, from 11:00am-4:00pm.

Parents and guardians of 11th graders are also invited to join us on Friday, April 15th at their convenience to gather resources, and speak to college representatives.

Don’t forget to keep checking our Guidance/College Calendar for more important college related events coming up, like the Free FAFSA workshop on April 20th.

And keep checking our general PPACS High School Guidance Page for information on college, graduation requirements, summer and school year programs, credit recovery, PSAT/ACT/SAT and more!

Email Kristin Iannuzzelli, HS Guidance Counselor, with any questions. kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org

3/30/2016

Dear Parents and Students,

As you know, String Theory High School students must make up failed coursework before returning for the 2016/17 school year.  As we move closer to the end of the year,  you may be asking yourself where to go for credit recovery over the summer.

Please visit the sites below to explore your options for credit recovery over the summer.   The cost and start dates of credit recovery for a full-credit course vary by program.  Explore and find a course that fits for you. Keep in mind that the courses must be for a full credit (1), and be completed over the summer, before the start of the new school year.

(A reminder that String Theory students may complete a total of 2 courses over the summer with credit recovery)

ONLINE CREDIT RECOVERY OPTION:

Educere – Vine Street Campus Approved Summer School Courses

IN-CLASS, ON-SITE CREDIT RECOVERY OPTION:

Delaware Valley High School

1311 Chancellor Street

Philadelphia, PA, 19107-5468

215-732-5060

Delaware Valley High School Registration

3/15/2016

The Spring is almost here, and your college-bound Juniors should be starting to sign up for their first round of the ACT/SAT, or both!

Many students and parents have reached out with questions about which test/s they should take, and when they should sit for the exam.

We are excited to announce the premier of the GUIDANCE RESOURCES section on our school website. At this time you can visit this webpage to:

Learn all about the differences between ACT and SAT

See test dates and registration deadlines

Access free study materials

Determine if you qualify for a free SAT and ACT fee waiver

And much much more!

(Link:http://stringtheoryschools.com/vine-st-campus/about/counselor/)

__________________________________________

In addition, keep checking back as we update our webpage with valuable information on the following topics:

PSAT Information

SAT/ACT Information

College Corner

Naviance

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

Graduation Center

Working Papers

Mental Health Information and Resources

Guidance News and Counselor Corner Archive

Meet/Contact the Counselors

(Link: http://stringtheoryschools.com/vine-st-campus/about/counselor/)

3/3/2016

Dear Parents/Guardians

We are excited to announce the premier of the GUIDANCE RESOURCES section on our school website. At this time you can visit this webpage to learn valuable information on the following topics:

PSAT Information

SAT/ACT Information

College Corner

Naviance

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

Graduation Center

Working Papers

Mental Health Information and Resources

Guidance News and Counselor Corner Archive

Meet/Contact the Counselors

(Link:http://stringtheoryschools.com/vine-st-campus/about/counselor/)

The website is a work in progress, so please keep checking back regularly for updates.

02/05/2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are happy to provide a long anticipated update on the Keystone Exams and how they will affect you and your student in the future.

What’s going on?

On February 3rd, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 880 into law which delays the graduation requirement associated with the state’s end-of-course tests, known as the Keystone Exams, for two years, until the 2018-19 school year.

What this means for you and your student:

  1. If your student will graduate BEFORE 2019, she/he must take the Algebra, Biology, and Literature exam at least once.  After that, regardless of your score, you will not take the exam again.  You are also no longer responsible for the Project Based Assessment.
  1. If your student will graduate IN or AFTER 2019, she/he must take the Algebra, Biology, and Literature exam at least once.  After that, we will determine the next steps based on the most recent decisions by the state legislature.  As of now, all 2019 (and after) graduates will be required to take and score proficient on the exam.

Thank you for your patience as we adapt our policies and procedures in accordance with state regulation, and to best serve our students and families.

Sincerely,
The HS Counselor

01/15/2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Nobody likes unpleasant surprises on their report card!

As 1st semester ends and we prepare to begin 2nd semester, please make sure you are utilizing MMS Parent portal and monitoring your students grades and attendance regularly.  If you haven’t yet signed up, see the directions below and email Ms. Iannuzzelli with any questions. (kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org)

What is MMS Parent Portal?

MMS Parent Portal is an online tool that allows you to view all of your student’s assignments, grades, and attendance in real time.

Why is MMS Parent Portal Important?

As a parent, you are your student’s greatest advocate, and an important part of her/his academic team!  Parent Portal allows you to recognize academic issues early on, and work together with teachers and counselors to provide support and early interventions for your student.  You can also monitor student tardies and attendance daily.

You may also view the most recent transcript, and report cards on MMS Parent Portal.

Setting Up Your MMS Account

Go to: https://www.mms669.org/MMSGB/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fMMSGB%2fparent%2fSite%2faccount.aspx

Click on “Create Account” to create your account and follow the steps below.

1. Enter your First and Last Name exactly as you input it in the Emergency Contact Form.

2. Create Login Name, such as your first and last name (e.g., JohnSmith).

3. Enter the Student’s School District assigned identification#:

If you have more than one child, enter one and you will be able to add others later.

4. Click the Create Account button.

5. An email will be sent to the email you provided the school with your username and temporary password. The email is titled “Parental Access for” followed by the Internet address of the school’s website. Open it to retrieve your Username and Temporary Password. Return to the parent login screen. Enter your Username and Password and click on Login.

6. The first time you login with your temporary password, you must change your password.

7. Enter your Old Password.

8. Enter your New Password (up to 20 alpha/numeric characters).

9. Enter your New Password again to confirm it.

10. Click on Change Password.

You will now have access to the MMS Parent Portal. Once your login is validated, the complete on-line HELP system is available to you. To access that HELP, simply click on the question mark “?”. Located in the top right corner.

FORGOT PASSWORD:

Use the “Forgot Password ” link on the parent login page. You are asked to enter either your Username or Email Address. Additionally, you must provide your ParentFirst and Last Name exactly as it is on file at the school. Once you submit the requested information, you will be notified that an email was sent to you containing a new temporary password for accessing the MMS Parent Portal system. Check your email account for a message title that begins with “Parent Access for” and then the address of the website is listed. You are asked to change that temporary password when you next login to the MMS Parent Portal system.

12/13/15:

Dear Parents and Students,

PSAT Score Reports are have arrived!

When and how will I get my student’s PSAT Scores?

Students received a PSAT Access Code that allows them to access their scores.  The code was sent to whatever email your student filled out in the information section of the PSAT.

Directions to Access PSAT Scores:

  1. Make a new College Board account, or log onto your existing College Board Account. (collegeboard.org)
  2. Click “Add Scores” if you do not see your scores immediately
  3. Enter your Access Code

What if I my student can’t remember or didn’t provide an email address?
All 10th and 11th graders should have received a label with their PSAT Access Codes.  9th graders will receive their label by the end of this week.

The school will also receive and distribute and give you your paper score report when they arrive at a later date.

What is the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 score report good for?

Think of PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 score reports as roadmaps. They show what you’re doing well, and what you should work on to get ready for the SAT — and for college!  Take them seriously, review them together, and make a plan to study for the SAT.

(Reminder: Students should take the SAT for the first time in the Spring of 11th grade)

Happy Testing!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The Redesigned SAT or the ACT?

Whether to take the Redesigned SAT or the ACT, or both, is a personal choice.  While colleges and universities accept scores from either exam, there are some important key differences.

Here are just a few differences to consider:

The SAT

  • measures literacy and writing skills, and assesses how well a student analyze and solves problems.
  • tends to be more popular along costal states, with students often opting to take both the SAT and the ACT
  • scores are determined by “scale,” which means by comparing how well you did with other students who take the test in the United States.

 The ACT

  • assesses knowledge of subjects taught in high school.
  • is more popular across the continental U.S., with a higher overall number of test takers than the SAT
  • Scores are based on number of correct answers, regardless of how well other students in the United States have done.

The counseling department at STH encourages students and parents to research the advantages and disadvantages of each test before making a final decision.  Browse the articles below to help educate and guide you in your decision making.

http://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-act

http://mathsp.com/2015/10/14/act-vs-redesigned-sat-which-test-is-right-for-you/

http://www.businessinsider.com/sat-tutor-says-dont-take-the-new-sat-2015-3

11/24:

Dear Parents and Students,

PSAT Score Reports are coming soon! The CollegeBoard will release the scores of the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 in mid-to-late December.

When and how will I get my PSAT Scores?

In mid-to-late December, students will receive an email with an access code to view their online score report.  The email will be sent to whichever email address the student provided in their demographic information on the PSAT answer booklet.

What if I didn’t provide an email address?
The school administration will receive student scores about a day before students do and can provide students with their access code if they didn’t provide an email address when taking the test.

The school will also receive and distribute 1 give you your paper score report.

What is the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 score report good for?

Think of PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 score reports as roadmaps. They show what you’re doing well, and what you should work on to get ready for the SAT — and for college!  Take them seriously, review them together, and make a plan to study for the SAT.

(Reminder: Students should take the SAT for the first time in the Spring of 11th grade)

Happy Testing!

11/19/2015

This week, all Juniors at Performing Arts High School participated (or will participate) in an assembly about the SAT and the ACT.
Effective this March 2016, the Redesigned SAT will replace the current version of the SAT.

The new version includes some dramatic changes that are designed to be more straightforward, and focus on skills and content that matter most for college readiness, such as an emphasis on reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Other significant changes are:

  • Optional writing section
  • No Penalty for wrong answers
  • 4 answer choices instead of 5
  • More familiar vocabulary

All of these changes should make the Redesigned SAT the version most relevant to student success, to date.  In preparation, the CollegeBoard has partnered with Khan Academy to provide an abundance of online and study resources.  Students can access the free resources by registering for a free account at:  www.deliveringopportunity.org

All high school students and their parents can benefit from viewing the slideshow, and beginning to prepare for the SAT early.  The slideshow is available here:

10/17

Would you like to learn how to utilize technology to communicate effectively with your student’s teachers and increase his or her likelihood of academic success?  If so, please join Middle School Counselor Natalie MeCaughey and High School Counselor, Kristin Iannuzzelli on November 12th at 6pm for a short workshop on using technology to support your students and improve student success.

Ms. MeCaughey and Miss Iannuzzelli will share helpful tips and tricks to getting the most out of a variety of digital communication platforms, such as email, MMS Parent Portal, and iTunes U.  They will work with parents and guardians to make sure everyone is connected to and comfortable using these tools. In addition, the counselors will lead a thoughtful discussion about cyber citizenship, and the important issues such as digital safety and monitoring of electronics at home.

When: Thurs, November 12, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Where: PPACS Vine Street Campus, 1st floor Cafe

What: How Can Parents Use Technology to Enhance Student Success

10/21/15

On Tuesday, eight 10th and 11th grade school students attended the 9th annual Anti-Defamation Leagues Youth Leadership Conference: Exploring Diversity, Challenging Hate. Students were recommended by their teachers and recognized for being strong students and leaders in the school.

During this exciting day of workshops and speakers, our students met with other student leaders from all over South Eastern Pennsylvania to discuss the value of diversity and learn strategies for challenging bigotry and bullying.  Students participated in tolerance building workshops and activities and heard from powerful, inspirational speakers.

Our students made us proud and brought back lots of idea to make String Theory High the best a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students!

10/14/15

Dear Parents and Students,

It’s never too early to start thinking about college!  The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is holding their annual National College Fair at the Philadelphia Convention Center on Sunday, November 8th.  This excellent College Fair is free and open to all high school students in Philadelphia.   Students are strongly encouraged to attend and learn more about a diverse range of colleges and universities in the area and beyond.

What: NACAC Philadelphia National College Fair

When: Sunday, November 8, 2015.  11:00am-3:00pm

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall D

For more information visit:

http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/FallNCF/Pages/Philadelphia.aspx

To register online visit:

http://www.gotomyncf.com/Registration/EventSelectForState?stateName=All

9/22/15

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome back to String Theory High School for another exciting school year!  We are excited to announce that this October, all students in grades 9-11 will be taking the PSAT on-site at 1600 Vine Street, free of charge.  You may be asking yourself how this test applies to you and your student.  The PSAT (Preliminary Standardized Aptitude Test) is an excellent preparatory test and indicator for how well a student will do on the SAT. (Standardized Aptitude Test) *The SAT is the most commonly sat for college entrance exam on the east coast

9th Grade: Students taking the PSAT 8/9 gain important familiarity and information about the structure of the exam.

10th Grade: Students taking the PSAT 10 gain more familiarity, and test their knowledge with their last chance to take the test without consequence.

11th Grade: Students taking PSAT/NMSQT the are automatically screened for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.

Please check out the link below important information and helpful tips for the PSAT, and remind your student to check the “Everything High School Guidance” course regularly.  Guardians with access to iTunes University (though iPhone or iPad), can sign up with course code: CKB-JWL-ZXB

Check out this link below to learn more about the PSAT

https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10

COUNSELOR CORNERS FOR PPACS HIGH SCHOOL 2014/2015

5/19/2015

Dear Parents and Students,

As you know, String Theory High School students must make up failed coursework before returning for the 2015/16 school year.  As we close out the end of the year,  you may be asking yourself where to go for credit recovery over the summer.  Luckily, there are many options, both online and within the city of Philadelphia.

Please visit the sites below to explore your options for credit recovery over the summer.   The cost and start dates of credit recovery for a full-credit course vary by program.  Explore andfind a course that fits for you.

(A reminder that String Theory students may complete a total of 2 courses over the summer with credit recovery)

ONLINE OPTIONS:

EDUCERE – Online Credit Recovery

https://www.educere.net/

K12 – Online Credit Recovery

http://ww2.k12.com/mod/home/

ON-SITE CLASSROOM OPTIONS:

Delaware Valley High School

1311 Chancellor Street

Philadelphia, PA, 19107-5468

215-732-5060

http://delvalhigh.com/summer-school/2213434

Best of Luck!

_______________________________________

Career Day was a HUGE success.  Over 25 professionals came out to share about their field and their personal stories with our students.

Check out some of the pictures below of the professionals presenting:

04/13/2015

How to Obtain Working Papers 

All students under the age of 18 years old and still in high school will need to obtain a work permit from the City of Philadelphia in order to be able to work legally in the city.

You can pick up an “Application for Work Permit” from the guidance office, or print it out directly from the school district’s website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/cte/working-papers

The completed application must be brought with an approved form of identification to the School District of Philadelphia Education Center at 440 North Broad St, Phila, PA during working paper hours, on Wednesday, between 3-5pm.

Please note: Parents must sign the form, but do not need to accompany the minor to obtain their work permit.

4/7/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Beginning this week and for the remainder of the school year, all 9th and 10th graders will be participating in a Naviance Lessons series during their advisory period.  This mini-course is segmented into educational and engaging lessons that will  teach your student about careers and colleges of interest, and assist them in long-term academic and professional goal setting.

Please encourage your student to take these lessons seriously and to share what they have learned with you. It is important that students understand the connection of the Naviance Lessons to their future both during and after high school.  Naviance will is an excellent resource for both students and families when it comes to researching and applying to post-secondary institutions.

Directions for Access to the Naviance Lessons

  1. Enter the “Everything High School Guidance Course” (enroll code: CKB-JWL-ZXB)
  2. Click “Posts”
  3. Click “NAVIANCE Advisory Lessons from the Topic Section
  4. Explore Week 1’s Lesson: Strengths Explorer Activity”
  • This activity includes a worksheet and a guided video tutorial

3/24,2015

Dear HS  Parents and Guardians,

String Theory is excited to announce that to date we will have over 20 colleges and universities represented at our 1st Annual College Fair.  All high school parents and guardians are welcome to join us on Friday, April 17th from 2-3:30pm, to network, gather resources, and speak to college representatives.

In addition to the college fair, each day for the week of April 13-17th, all 9th and 10th graders will participate in information sessions and Q&A’s from a diverse group of local colleges and universities. (including Drexel University, La Salle University, Temple University, California University of Pennsylvania, and University of the Arts)

In the spirit of getting excited for college, throughout the week, teachers will incorporate college-related lessons and projects into all subject areas, and students will get a chance to hear about the college experiences of their teachers and administrators.

Please email Kristin Iannuzzelli, HS Guidance Counselor, with any questions. kiannuzzelli@stringtheoryschools.org

Let’s Get Excited for College!

03/10/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

String Theory High School is excited to announce that on May 1st, 2015, we will be hosting our first-ever annual Career Day!   We have identified and invited over 20 accomplished professional in a wide variety of fields; including Psychology, Event Planning, Law Enforcement, Mechanical Engineering, Professional Dance – and more – to join us for this exciting event!

As educators, we believe deeply in the importance of strong adult role models.  We believe that our students will be better prepared to make educated choices about their own futures if they are exposed to the diversity of careers and life opportunities that exist outside of high school.

Our Career Day guests will share their personal stories and professional experiences in the classroom, and in doing so; inspire, educate, and make a lasting impact on the students at STH.

Space is limited, but if you would like to recommend a professional for participation in this or next year’s Career Day, please email Kristin Iannuzzelli, HS Guidance Counselor, at kiannuzzelli@gmail.com with the name and contact information of the individual.

Thank You.

02/17

Dear Parents and Guardians,

String Theory HS is excited to announce that your student and family now has access to Naviance: Family Connection.

What is Naviance? 

Naviance is a cutting edge, comprehensive college and career readiness solution for high schools.  This software helps students identify their strengths and align their interests to post-secondary goals.

Learn more about Naviance here: http://www.naviance.com/college-and-career-readiness-platform

What is Naviance Family Connection?

Family Connection is a customizable planning portal for students and families including self-discovery assessments, goal-setting, college research tools, course planning, career exploration resources, and individual learning plans.  All students and guardians have access to a student’s account 24/7.

What are some of the exciting tools and features my student has access to?

  1. Career Interest and Strength Inventories
  • Naviance includes a number of questionnaires designed to help your students understand their strengths and connect their interests and abilities to potential careers

2. Careers Database

  • Using the results of the inventories, students can explore a database with thousands of careers.  They are encouraged to use the results of their inventories to enhance their research.

3. College SuperMatch

  • Students can search colleges by a number of criteria including: GPA, Test Scores, Location, Majors,  and Cost to identify schools that are a good fit for them.  This activity also helps students gain a realistic understanding of important concepts, like school standards and cost, and helps students connect the work they are doing in the here-and-now to their educational future goals.

This Sounds Great, How do I Get Connected? 

Students and parents can sign in starting on Wednesday, February 25th, and begin to explore Naviance: Family Connection today!

Beginning in the 4th marking period, all 9th and 10th grade students will be learning about Naviance through a series of mini-lessons taught during their advisory period.

Website: https://connection.naviance.com/family-connection/auth/login/?hsid=stringts

Username: email – “@stringtheory.org” (ex. ksmith17@stringtheory.org = ksmith17)

Password: stringtheory

Change your password immediately.  Have fun and stay tuned for more information!

02/10/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Electronics, the internet, and social media occupy a large amount of most high school students time.  Being “plugged in” has become a common and unavoidable element of modern lives.  However, over reliance on social media and electronics to communicate with others has been shown to have the opposite effect, making a person feel lonely and disconnected.

While experts disagree on the ideal amount of time teens and adults should spend on electronics daily, no one disputes that “screen time” is not a substitution for face-to-face interaction.  String Theory students use their iPads heavily for school and homework.  Therefore, it is especially important that they learn to monitor their use of electronics for non-academic purposes.

If you’re worried that you or your teen is spending too much time on electronics and not enough with face-to-face social interaction, consider the following suggestions to encourage healthy electronics habits in your household:

  1. Keep a “Media Journal”:  create a simple chart and jot down what electronics you use, and when and for how long you use it.  Most people do not have an accurate understanding of how much time they spend “plugged in.”  Use the information you collect to inform your future habits.
  1. Create a “Healthy Electronics Diet”:  work together as a family to determine how much time to spend on media every day, and to make sure that good choices are being made about what media to take in.

3.  Minimize Electronics Distraction:  be mindful to turn off computers and televisions when they are not in use.  Place unused iPads and cell phones out of sight.

4. Institute “Media-Free” Meals: Place a basket or container outside of the dining room/kitchen, and ask each member of the family to leave their phone or iPad before joining the table.

Read more suggestions on how to “unplug” your family here:  http://www.awakeparent.com/Shelly/12-easy-ways-to-help-kids-unplug/

02/04/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,
String Theory High School is excited to announce the upcoming College Spirit Week,a week-long event designed to get students thinking about and excited to go to college!

From April 13-17th, STH 9th and 10th graders will participate in information sessions and Q&A’s from a diverse group of local colleges and universities, including Drexel University, La Salle University, Temple University, California University of Pennsylvania, and University of the Arts.

Throughout the week, teachers will incorporate college-related lessons and projects into all subject areas, and students will get a chance to hear about the college experiences of their teachers and administrators.  College Spirit Week will culminate on Friday, April 17th, with an afternoon college fair, where students will have the opportunity to network with college representatives, and learn more about a variety of career and educational pathways.

01/20/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Do you own a business that hires teens, or know of someone who does?

Having a part-time or summer job can be a valuable and integrity-building experience for high school students.  Through working, young people learn responsibility, discipline, and how to manage money.  Unfortunately, many organizations do not hire teenagers, so finding a job can be a challenge, even for the most motivated student.  Networking and word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective ways to identify and obtain work for youth and adults, alike.

Let’s help each other!  Do you own a business that hires teens, or know of someone who does?  STHS is putting together a job-resource page to match hardworking students to part-time and summer jobs.  All jobs must pay minimum wage, and recommendations will be provided by teachers and administration.

Please fill out this easy public online form and help our students find jobs!

http://goo.gl/forms/PY8MzhGvcI

Thanks for your help and Happy Job Hunting!

01/14/2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week, students throughout Pennsylvania are heading to school to take the Keystone Exams.  This multi-day exam measures the content knowledge of students across the state in Algebra, Biology, and Literature.

Although important, standardized testing can feel tedious, exhausting, and overwhelming for many students.  While your student may not be able to “fake” their knowledge of a content area, there are many things he/she can do to help themselves feel calm, prepared, and get their highest score on these state mandated exams.

Share the standardized test taking tips below with your student:

  1. Practice practice practice: the more you practice, the more familiar you will be with the test format, and the less likely you are to panic when you take the test for real.
  1. Get a full night’s sleep the night before the test.  A well-rested mind functions much better than a sleep-deprived one!
  1. Eat a good breakfast the morning of the tests.  Avoid sugary and carbohydrate -high foods, in exchange for high protein foods like eggs, protein bars, etc.  Protein is considered “brain food” and will help you stay focused.
  1. Wear comfortable clothing.  Avoid distracting jewelry or other accessories.
  1. Visit the bathroom 15-30 min before the start of the test. Avoid drinking beverages for an hour before the test begins.  It is very difficult to concentrate with a full bladder!
  1. Don’t panic!  If you begin to feel anxious, take deep, slow breaths
  1. Pace yourself.  If possible, answer the easiest questions first.  If you get stuck on a question, move on to avoid losing valuable time.  Return to difficult questions towards the end of the exam.
  1. Double check your work.  If you have extra time at the end of an exam, go back and make sure your answers are correct.  Good test takers use all of the allowed time to double-check their work.

(*Keep in mind that these tips are helpful for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and any other standardized test out there!)

12/26/2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Is your student struggling in various subjects or receiving grades that are below their potential?  While students have trouble with academic success for a variety of reasons, oftentimes they lack basic time-management and study skills.  Without these skills, your daughter or son may find themselves burned out, distracted, while completing their assigned work.

Share the following time management and study tips with your student to help facilitate his or her academic success!

TIME MANAGEMENT AND STUDY TIPS

  1. Choose a study environment that is quiet and free from distraction.  Leave your phone and any unnecessary electronics outside of the area.
  1. Pick a start time for homework and stick to it.  Set an alarm to remind you.  (ex. 5/5:30pm)
  1. Begin with the most challenging assignments. Set an alarm for 30-60 min time segments, or work until fatigue but not past it! (At your freshest, you will be able to focus better on the work find challenging and would most like to avoid)
  1. Alternate challenging assignments with less challenging work.  When your alarm sounds, or you feel fatigued, switch assignments. (This will help you continue to feel free and focused)
  1. Take 5-15 min breaks between assignments or every 30-60 min segments.  Choose an activity that is pleasurable but that you will be disciplined enough to stop after a short period of time. (In other words, if you tend to get sucked into Instagram or FB for hours at a time, choose a different activity!)

Happy Studying!

12/19/2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Does your teen appear tired, moody, and more withdrawn during the cold, dark winter months?  While many of us experience some symptoms of “The Winter Blues,”  there is a more serious and debilitating disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that affects approximately 6% of children and teenagers. Interestingly, studies show that people born in the spring or summer months may be at a higher risk for developing SAD.

What is SAD?

During the colder and darker days of the year, a lack of exposure to sunlight causes the brain to release less melatonin and seratonin.  These important chemicals regulate sleep and mood, and a deficit can cause a person to feel lethargic, depressed, and distracted.  For some people, this drop in brain chemicals can cause significant changes in mood and behavior.

Treating and preventing SAD and the Winter Blues.

Spend as much time outside and in natural sunlight as possible.

Each foods rich in Vitamin D, such as milk products and orange juice.

Establish a healthy sleep schedule.

Engage in endorphin releasing physical activity

Consider taking supplements such as Vitamin D or Melatonin

Seek the advice of a trained mental health professional, and inquire about how Light or Talk therapy may be used to treat symptoms of SAD.

Read more about the Signs of SAD in Teens here:

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/sad.html

12/12/2014:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Ever wonder why you can’t get you teenager to go to bed early, even though they are impossible to get out of bed in the morning and seem constantly tired?  Did you know that during adolescence, teens experience a shift in their sleep cycles that make it difficult to fall asleep before 11pm in the evening?  It may also come as a surprise that studies show that adolescents function best with 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is a huge barrier to learning!  Sleep deprived students tend to have difficulty concentrating in class, and lower GPA’s and standardized test scores.  Late bedtimes and early school start times mean that it’s incredibly important that you and your your student develop healthy bedtime routines and sleep habits.

Check out the article below for more information and suggestions to help your teen develop healthy sleeping habits:

http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/sleep-in-adolescents

Good Luck and Sweet Dreams!