Fall Junior Newsletter
Can you believe that about an eighth of the school year is already over? Time flies! Now that you have the rhythm of academics, sports and extracurriculars down again, it is time to explore junior year from a more comprehensive perspective.
As a junior, you will be receiving two newsletters. This is the first newsletter, and the second newsletter will be sent in the second semester. Additionally, there will be many classroom counseling lessons as well as informative emails sent out to students.
Mr. Kelley is your School Counselor for junior and senior year. If you ever have any questions or need any assistance, please reach out via email or stop down in the counseling office, and I will be glad to assist. If for any reason I am not available, you can also reach out to our freshmen/sophomore counselor, Mrs. Moore. Mrs. Moore will also be relaying all counseling related lessons to students at the career center.
Planning The Year
Junior year is an important year for you. Courses become even more difficult than before; you will become more independent, and the focus on careers after high school increases. Each portion of the school year is dedicated to different aspects of your success.
First semester students largely focus on completing their courses. The goal is simple: minimize distractions, learn deeply and get the best grades you possibly can. You may be thinking, isn't that the goal every year? Yes, but there are two main reasons why there is additional emphasis placed on this now. Firstly, information learned during the first part of the year will best help you achieve solid scores on College Entrance Exams (ACT) administered in March. Secondly, for those students planning to go to college, your junior year grades are the last full year grades that colleges see when they consider your admittance.
Career planning is a major component of the second semester. Career planning is intertwined within the registration process as selection of senior year classes should be made with the intention of learning and/or experiencing more in that class/subject as it relates to your future career. Here is a brief outline of what will be included in the second newsletter: career navigation & college locator, college major identifier, CCP information, registering for senior year, letters of recommendation, summer opportunities, scholarships and financial aid information. As you can see, the second semester will be packed with information and resources.
All juniors will be taking the ACT this year. Students at BCHS will take the ACT at BCHS on March 14th. Students at the career center will take the test at the career center. Students at the career center will receive additional ACT instructions and dates from the career center. Juniors will automatically be registered so there is no need to register and/or sign up for the school based ACT. Once you receive your score, you may choose to take it again, or you might be satisfied.
BCHS is setting up an ACT in-person instructor lead review session in February. We will post the information as soon as it is finalized. There is some free ACT test prep on ACT’s website for those that would like to take advantage of that study option. Power Up Prep is another available free resource to help prepare for the ACT. Remember, a big portion of preparing for the ACT occurs in the classroom first semester; teachers are intentional with the content they teach to help you perform well on the ACT. For example, within the next couple of weeks in the English classroom, there will be instruction designed around reading comprehension for the reading section of the ACT.
If you decide to take the ACT before March, or re-take it at a later date, the ACT website is www.ACT.org .The ACT regular fee this year is $63.
If you would like to learn more about what the ACT measures, what benchmark readiness scores are or other ACT based inquiries, click here.
For those who may want to try the SAT, that website is www.collegeboard.org. The SAT regular fee is $55.
“Most colleges do not prefer one test over the other” in regards to the SAT vs ACT. “ Neither the SAT or ACT is harder than the other. Different students tend to do better on one test over the other.” If you would like to read more on this topic, click here.
Bloom-Carroll High School will be hosting the PSAT/NMSQT on Tuesday, October 25th. Registration is open for juniors from September 26th through October 5th on a first come first served basis, since spots are limited.
Cost to register will be $18. Checks are the only payment method accepted and can be made out to Bloom-Carroll Local School District. To register, students can drop off checks at the main office in the high school.
For those who register, there will be a PSAT "pre-administration" session (bubble filling names, address, etc) after the registration period ends. Those who register will receive email notification with additional details.
Quick summary of the benefits of taking the PSAT/NMSQT: Gives students practice for SAT, results break down strengths & weaknesses and can help build a study plan, juniors who perform well will be considered for National Merit Scholarship, results help integrate interest/career and college matches. Lastly, students who register will receive a paper copy of the PSAT student guide to help prepare for the test; anyone can access the student guide electronically by clicking here.
After a couple year covid-hiatus, the notorious Fairfield County College Fair is back and scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm! There are approximately one-hundred colleges expected to be present! Besides each college being represented, there will also be financial aid information sessions held at 6:00pm and 6:30pm.
This is one of the best opportunities for students/families to explore colleges, ask questions, and gather information about post-secondary plans: especially considering all the college exposure in such a short period of time. The Fairfield County College Fair will be held at Ohio University Lancaster. For more information or to save/view the flyer, click College Fair Flyer.
Military/College Rep Visits
College and military representatives will be coming to Bloom-Carroll during lunch periods throughout the year This is a great opportunity for you to meet with, learn and ask questions about pathways you may be interested in. The dates for which recruiter is coming will be posted to students at a later time.
Up to two college visits will be excused each year when the proper paperwork is completed. Of course you can visit as many as you want when you are not scheduled to be in class. In order to be approved for the college visit, you will need to complete the college visit form before your absence. You can acquire the form by visiting the counseling office or by clicking here.
Extracurricular Activities - Leadership
Bloom-Carroll has dozens of clubs and extracurricular activities. Are you involved with any of them? If not, it is highly recommended to get involved. Being involved in extracurricular activities is fun and shows employers/colleges about your character. Additionally, being part of a club gives you the opportunity to gain experience and grow in other areas such as leadership.
News & Updates
Always watch for announcements about college and career information – on the announcements, on the TV’s, on the website and in your email. As juniors, you need to start thinking about a variety of possible career and/or college choices. Remember, we are here to help you and your parents; do not hesitate to ask when you have questions.
As aforementioned, there will be more information on careers in the second semester. In the meantime, The state of Ohio has a website, OhioMeansJobs, that can be used by all ages. Click on “For Students” at the bottom of the home page. It includes the ability to find out who is hiring currently and in the future. You can take interest surveys, explore careers and colleges, etc. Don’t choose a career blindfolded! Know what you are getting into using appropriate and accurate information.
Independence & Advocacy
Now is the time to begin advocating for yourself if you have not been already. What is self advocacy? The ability to support something that you believe in that affects you. In other words, support yourself. For some this may sound easy, but in reality it is a skill that is honed over time. Examples of self-advocacy may include: asking questions when you do not understand, talking to a teacher after class about how you can improve your grade and/or communicating to other students that you need to allocate time for studying.
Junior year is a very important year. The goal of the first semester is to stay focused on your grades by learning the information so you can prepare for the ACT. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Be aware of announcements. Advocate for yourself. Begin exploring careers. You can do this! It is going to be a great year!