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May 2024

[To Junior Students and Families]

Counselor Update: May 1

Junior Next Steps

Class of 2025, we encourage you to review the Junior Next Steps document linked here and be sure you are on track with your college planning process. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with their counselor by the end of the school year to outline their plan for the application process next Fall. Counselor assignments are below:

Whitney McNeilly (A – D) whitneymcneilly@danvers.org

Lacey Pelusi (E – Law) laceypelusi@danvers.org

Amanda Murphy (Lax – Re) amandacmurphy@danvers.org

James Sullivan (Rf – Z) jamessullivan@danvers.org

SAT / ACT Registration

Begin to prepare for the SAT or ACT if you have not already done so, and be sure to sign up for the test date and location you want on the CollegeBoard or ACT website at least a month before the test date. We do not offer the SAT at DHS, only the PSAT. Nearby school districts offer the SAT, always on Saturday mornings. We recommend taking the SAT or ACT 2-3 times, to see if there is improvement. After the third time taking these types of tests, students’ scores tend to level off and not improve further. 

Register for the SAT (Next test date: June 1, 2024)Register for the ACT (Next test date: June 8, 2024 and July 13, 2024)

April 2024

[To Junior Students and Families]

Counselor Update: April 1

College Fair

College fairs are a great way for students to interact with multiple college admissions representatives in one fun event. There is an upcoming college fair in Boston that features hundreds of colleges. We encourage students and families to attend. If students need to miss school for this fair or a future college visit, please remember this can count as an excused absence if this form is completed and returned to Mrs. White.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) invites students, parents, and counselors to explore the college search process at the NACAC National College Fair in Boston held on Thursday, May 2, 2024 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Friday, May 3, 2024 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The fair will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Complete information about the fair, including free student registration, can be found at https://www.nacacattend.org/24Boston

Financial Aid Information

MEFA is the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority® and it is a great resource for families because they provide free and accessible resources. Here is a helpful recent article on their website about need based financial aid.

SAT / ACT Registration

Standardized Testing (SAT, ACT)

Begin to prepare for the SAT or ACT if you have not already done so, and be sure to sign up for the test date and location you want on the CollegeBoard or ACT website at least a month before the test date. Students use their college board account (from when they took the PSATs) to register for an upcoming test. You will need to enter your personal information, upload a photo, and select one of the available locations for your desired test date. We do not offer the SAT at DHS, only the PSAT. Nearby school districts offer the SAT, always on Saturday mornings.

We recommend taking the SAT or ACT 2-3 times, to see if there is improvement. After the third time taking these types of tests, students’ scores tend to level off and not improve further. 

Both the SAT and ACT tests assess students’ math ability, knowledge of grammar and writing conventions, and literacy skills. The SAT is known for being ‘trickier’ in that it includes more challenging texts and word problems, and in many cases the wrong answers are very close to being correct. The ACT, on the other hand, is known for being somewhat more straightforward, but also much more time-constrained, such that many students have to rush and may not be able to finish most sections. The ACT also includes a science section, though this section is really testing data literacy and students’ ability to read charts and graphs. A strong science background is not necessary in order for a student to do well in the science section of the ACT. We recommend students take a practice test to determine which test would be a better fit for them. Both the SAT and ACT provide practice tests online.

As your family continues on the post secondary planning process, please reach out to your child’s counselor with any questions!

Whitney McNeilly (A – D) whitneymcneilly@danvers.org

Lacey Pelusi (E – Law) laceypelusi@danvers.org

Amanda Murphy (Lax – Re) amandacmurphy@danvers.org

James Sullivan (Rf – Z) jamessullivan@danvers.org

[To Senior Students and Families]

Class of 2024 Updates

Scholarships

Thank you to all our seniors for their diligence in applying to our local Danvers scholarships. The time and care you each put into your essays and resumes on Going Merry will not go unnoticed by the committees who carefully review each application. Any student who is selected for a scholarship will receive an invitation to the DHS Scholarship Night via email sometime during the last two weeks of May. 

Financial Aid

For families who have received their financial aid award for college and would like to make an appeal to the college, please review the tips provided by Going Merry, below. 

Article: Exploring Diverse Horizons
Junior Family Night – March 2024

[To Junior Students and Families]

Junior Family Night: March 14, 2024 6pm, DHS Auditorium

We would like to welcome students and their families to join us for Junior Family Night which will be held on March 14 at 6pm in the DHS Auditorium and will feature an overview of the college application process and a college admissions panel featuring multiple admissions representatives from colleges and universities that DHS students often apply to and attend. Please submit your questions ahead of time on this google form and we can ask your questions to the admissions staff during the panel.


Thank you families, for attending Junior Family Night! We had great attendance from our students as well. We would like to hear your feedback about our event on this google form. Attached is the presentation and the next steps document for juniors

As your family continues on the post secondary planning process, please reach out to your child’s counselor with any questions!

Whitney McNeilly (A – D) whitneymcneilly@danvers.org

Lacey Pelusi (E – Law) laceypelusi@danvers.org

Amanda Murphy (Lax – Re) amandacmurphy@danvers.org

James Sullivan (Rf – Z) jamessullivan@danvers.org

March 2024

[To Senior Students and Families]

Grade 12

Danvers Scholarships are open on Going Merry! Applications are due by April 1st, so please plan your time wisely. You may find it helpful to view our Danvers Going Merry Scholarships in a spreadsheet format, attached here. You can make a copy and make notes for your own planning purposes. Our next scholarship support community block is on Monday March 11, in the atrium where students can ask counselors any scholarship questions.

February 2024

[To Junior, Senior Students and Families]

The course selection process is taking place this month and next month. This week teachers are making recommendations about each student’s placement for next year. We encourage families to have discussions at home about the courses teachers recommend and consider what would be a challenging yet manageable schedule. On February 14 all students will spend Community Block entering in their requests on PowerSchool. After February break, School Counselors will meet with all students individually to review their course requests and recommendations by teachers.

GRADE 11 Information


Post secondary planning has begun for the Class of 2025!

Counselors are visiting Community Block classrooms this week to present information on the various options after high school, the college application process and resources, and next steps. 

Junior Family Night: March 14, 2024 6pm, DHS Auditorium

Please join us for Junior Family Night which will be held on March 14 at 6pm in the DHS Auditorium and will feature an overview of the college application process and a college admissions panel featuring multiple admissions representatives from colleges and universities that DHS students often apply to and attend. Please submit your questions ahead of time on this google form and we can ask your questions to the admissions staff during the panel. 

Next Steps:

From February – April, Junior students should be focusing on the following items: 

1. Select rigorous but manageable senior year schedule (February 14 during Community Block is course selection time)

2. Schedule and individual meeting with your School Counselor to discuss your ideas for after high school

3. Begin preparing for and register for the SAT or ACT. See below for more information on standardized testing.

4. Schedule College visits (February and April break are a great time to visit schools!)

Standardized Testing:

You can take either test multiple times, and we recommend twice to see if there is improvement. After 3 or more times taking these types of tests, students’ scores tend to level off and not improve further. 

SATs

Students use their College Board account (from when they took the PSATs) to register for an upcoming test date. You will need to enter your personal information, upload a photo, and select one of the available locations for your desired test date. We do not offer the SAT at DHS, only the PSAT. Nearby school districts offer the SAT, always on Saturday mornings.

ACTs

The ACTs are another standardized test offered to high school students. The major difference between the SAT and ACT is the ACT includes a science section. Fewer students tend to take the ACT but it is no more challenging than the SAT. Colleges do not prefer one or the other so we encourage students to consider the ACT as well.

GRADE 12 Information

Local Danvers Scholarships will open this Friday, February 9th. There are over 100 scholarship providers this year, each offering scholarships to one or more individuals worth $500 – $2,000 on average. Students will attend an assembly in the atrium on Friday to learn about how to create a Going Merry account, request letters of recommendation, and write strong essays. Students will be provided a few minutes to work on their GM accounts and ask questions.
Seniors interested in attending North Shore Community College will have the opportunity to participate in On-the-Spot Admissions on March 1st during Community Block. A North Shore admissions representative will be present to help students create and submit their applications, and provide an offer of admission during that same block. Interested students should sign up here and reminders will be sent.

January 2024

[To Senior Students and Families]

Attention Class of 2024 and Families:

As you may have heard, the FAFSA had planned to open at the end of December. At this time the US Department of Education has released a soft launch of the 24-25 FAFSA form. This means that the form will only be accessible during short periods of time each day while they monitor the site performance and form functionality, so do not panic if you are unable to complete the form right away. 

Please continue to check the FAFSA application website. More information around the Soft Launch can be found here. When more information becomes available we will be sure to share it with students and families.

Happy New Year, 

DHS Guidance Department


Attention Class of 2024! The FAFSA (24-25) is now officially open ….. 

The FAFSA is the free application for federal student aid and is required for students seeking financial aid for college. You can access the FAFSA online:

https://studentaid.gov
December 2023

[To Senior, Junior Students and Families]

Grade 12

Financial Aid Night was held on November 14. If you missed the presentation you can view the powerpoint linked here or view the webinars on MEFA’s website if you prefer. Guest speaker Kevin Fudge’s email address is kevinmfudge@gmail.com. The FAFSA is scheduled to open at some point between December 1st and January 1st – when they announce the official date we will notify families. 

During Community Block on December 15th, The Peterson School will be presenting in the Guidance Conference room about trade school training programs. Additionally, local police officers, firefighters, and EMTs will be sharing about these paths in the atrium on the same day. (Community Block takes place from 10:19am – 10:44am.) These presentations are open to Seniors and any interested Juniors. Students should sign up in the Guidance office.

Grade 11

Counselors will soon be supporting the Class of 2025 with their post secondary planning through individual meetings, classroom visits and a presentation to families. Junior Family Night will be held in February 2024. More details are coming soon.

Additional Information

Sophomores and Juniors took the PSATs in October and by now should have received their scores both on paper and online via their College Board accounts. If they cannot reset their passwords to access their account, they need to contact support either through email, chat, or phone on the College Board website. They will need their account login information again when they sign up for SATs or AP tests.

The guidance department will continue to work with students using the My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP) curriculum with a series of workshops about early career exploration, personality inventories, and researching post-secondary plans. Freshman took the Myers Briggs personality test in October, and Sophomores will take the Holland Code career inventory test in December.

November 2023

[To Senior Students and Families]

Grade 12

  • Students and Families are encouraged to attend our upcoming Financial Aid Night on Tuesday, November 14th at 6pm in the DHS Auditorium. We will hear from guest speaker Kevin Fudge, the Director of Advocacy at American Student Advocacy, about how financial aid for college works and information about the new changes made in the FAFSA this year.
  • Seniors who are applying to colleges should reach out to their school guidance counselor for an appointment at least 10 days before their first deadline. Students are encouraged to complete the basic steps of the college application process beforehand.
  • Early action deadlines are generally November 1 or November 15, and regular decision deadlines are generally December 15 or January 1. Early action is best for students who are ready for an earlier deadline and want to be more competitive in the application process, while regular decision deadlines are good for students who want more time to work on their applications and are going to earn Q1 grades that are stronger than previous years.
  • Make sure your college list consists of an even distribution of safety schools (Colleges you are sure you will be admitted to), target schools (colleges you are most likely to be admitted to), and reach schools (colleges you may not be admitted to but are close). We recommend looking at our state universities for potential safety schools and compare your GPA with other previously admitted students using the Naviance scattergrams.
September / October 2023

[To ALL Students and Families]

SENIORS

  • Senior Families: Tell us your vision for your senior student!
  • Last week the School Guidance Counselors visited senior Community Blocks to share information about the college application process. Students should complete the college application contract, complete all of the basic steps in the presentation, and then make an appointment with their counselor to address individual questions and planning.
  • 50+ college representatives are visiting DHS in the guidance conference room throughout the Fall. Sign up on Naviance (colleges > college visits) and get a pass from Ms. Saggese. 
  • October 4th at 6pm Ipswich High School is hosting a college fair, open to the public.
  • Seniors are invited to attend a Common App Bootcamp during Community Block in the cafeteria on October 10, 12, and/or 13th.
  • October 25th is College Day and students may opt to either take a bus from DHS to one of several colleges in the local area OR plan their own tour at a college of their choice with family. A survey to gauge interest will be sent out by administration.
  • On November 2nd The Peterson School, that provides training for trades, will be hosting an open house from 1pm – 4pm
  • Students and Families, please join us for MEFA Financial Aid Night on November 14th at 6pm in the DHS Auditorium
  • The 24/25 FAFSA is set to open December 1, 2023. We encourage you to fill this out as soon as it opens. This year the FAFSA will be shorter and simpler to fill out than in years past. Read about the changes here.

FRESHMEN/SOPHOMORES/JUNIORS

  • The MyCAP (My Career and Academic Plan) curriculum will be introduced on October 25 to Freshmen students
  • Sophomores and Juniors will take the PSAT on October 25
  • Freshmen received a guidance presentation
  • The Activities Fair sign-ups happened this week.
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