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Counseling News: News from the T.C. Williams Counseling Department
T.C. Williams High School Class of 2020

May 26, 2020

Greetings T.C. Families,

We hope you and your loved ones are doing well.  This week’s newsletter is filled with information and resources for our seniors, the T.C. Williams High School Class of 2020, and their families. 

As our seniors make new plans for how they will celebrate the last month of high school, their resilience, adaptability and optimism are encouraging. This is not the end-of-year that they had imagined, but they are proudly moving forward with style and grace in true Titan spirit!  Please join us in using #TCW2020 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share celebrations, pictures and posts and leave a trail of memories. We look forward to seeing everyone having a good time! 

Take care and be well, Titans!

On behalf of the TCW Department of School Counseling,
Melissa Deak, Director of School Counseling  

Titan Strong.
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Decision Day:  June 1, 2020
What is next for our Class of 2020 graduates? Every senior is encouraged to share their post-high school plans -- be it college, work, military, or gap year!  Seniors can click here to complete the Decision Day form. All videos will be compiled by TC Video Production staff.

Senior Exit Survey & Diplomas: Complete no later than June 12, 2020 

Before they head off into the world, all seniors are required to complete a short exit survey.  This exit survey provides us with important information regarding their immediate plans after high school and the services and opportunities we provided.  Diplomas will be mailed to seniors this year, so we added a place in the survey for students to enter their current mailing address! 

To complete the Senior Exit Survey, students should follow the steps below:
  1.  Login to Naviance through Clever (clever.com/in/alexandria)
  2. Click Log In with Google; enter or choose your ACPS Google username and password
  3. Click the Naviance button on your Clever dashboard
  4. Click About Me in the upper right corner
  5. Click My Surveys / Surveys Not Started / “2020 Senior Exit Survey 2.0”
  6. Complete each of the questions
  7. Click submit
Graduation:  June 13, 2020 
It is time to get excited as we look forward to our first virtual graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 13, at 9:30 a.m. Check out the Class of 2020 Graduation page on the ACPS website for all the details regarding the ceremony, caps and gowns, diplomas and other Class of 2020 events.
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College & Career Planning

The ACPS website now includes a page titled College and Career Planning for Juniors and Seniors During COVID-19. Seniors should make this their first stop for advice on navigating the college and career landscape during this unprecedented time.

Admitted to College: Now What?
The following information is from the presentation that was planned for April.
Paying For College
  • If seniors have not yet received a financial aid award letter, then they should contact the college. 
  • If seniors need help understanding their  financial aid award letters, then they should reach out to their school counselor, or Ms. Morris (stacy.morris@acps.k12.va.us) or an SFA advisor (college@acps.k12.va.us). 
  • Seniors should consider beginning their college journey at a community college. Here is a link to NOVA Financial Aid Assistance.
  • Seniors should continue to complete scholarship applications by checking out Naviance and bit.ly/SFAemail
  • Seniors should ask colleges about their payment plans for each semester’s expenses.
  • As a last resort, research the pros and cons of a Parent PLUS loan.
  • If seniors are going away to school, then they will need to determine how they will  furnish and pay for items they will need in a dorm or apartment (e.g. bedding, towels, toiletries, seasonal clothing, snacks, school supplies). 
Taking Care of Yourself
 
There is nothing more important than taking care of ourselves.  And while this is always true, perhaps it is even more so as we move through the current situation.  Encourage seniors to: 
  • Start or continue a wellness plan that includes eating healthfully, getting physically fit, getting plenty of good rest, and enjoying some self-care time.
  • Connect with others who share their interests and post-secondary plans.
  • Consider how they will adjust to having a roommate or two or three. How will they handle having a roommate with whom they might not be compatible? 
  • Evaluate how they manage their time. What strategies can they try now that may help them in the future?  
  • Research activities that are available for them outside of the classroom. Finding a group of folks they can make healthy connections with once they get to school helps make the transition easier.
  • Accept that change is often hard! Let them know that it is not unusual to feel anxious, down, lonely or overwhelmed at some point during the first semester away from home.  Help them identify the counseling resources at their college. 
  • With many college campuses closed right now, there are still resources for exploring campuses. http://www.ecampustours.com/ provides virtual campus tours of 1300 colleges and universities. Many schools have virtual tours on their own websites.
Managing Academics
 
Success in college means success in the classroom. However, once at college, many students experience greater freedom, more choices and less oversight than they are used to. Now may be a good time to help students learn what resources are available to help them do well academically. Here are a few questions you can pose to your soon-to-be college bound graduate: 
  • Does this school offer more than one appealing option for a major? What courses must you take? What courses really interest you?
  • What academic assistance is available? One-on-one tutoring? Study groups? Writing Center?  Success Centers? 
  • What does academic advising in college look like? When can you connect with your college advisor?
  • What happens if you struggle academically? What might you do to get help?
  • When is the add/drop date for courses?
Follow the T.C. Williams High School Counseling Department:
@TCW_Counseling
@TCW_Counseling
T.C. Counseling Website
T.C. Counseling Website
Follow T.C. Williams High School:
@TCWTitans
@TCWTitans
T.C. on Facebook
T.C. on Facebook
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@TCWTitans
@TCWTitans
T.C. Website
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