Counseling News for February 2015


During February and March students will go through the process of selecting classes for the 2015-2016 school year.  The timeline is as follows:

February 24                        Class meetings for distribution of course selection sheets.

February 27                        Elective Course Preview Day

February 28 - March 8          Online student class registration (through the Parent Portal)

March 2                              Future Hillmen Night for incoming 8th Graders 6pm in Auditorium

March 9-13                          Students meet with counselors one-on-one to verify schedules

March 16                             8th Grade course registration in PHS Cafeteria 3:30-5:30

Course Preview Day – Friday, February 27   During Course Preview Day, students will be given the opportunity to explore four separate elective classes which they may be interested in taking next year.  Elective class teachers will share the course outline, projects required, and teacher expectations.  By attending these individual sessions, students are able to make better informed decisions on what classes they want to take for the next school year.  Making good choices is even more important to all students as classes are full and options for schedule changes are extremely limited.  In addition, we no longer make class schedule changes after the term begins unless there is an error or the student is not qualified for the class.

Online Class Registration for 2015-2016   Beginning February 28, current 9th-11th graders will be able to register for their 2015-16 school year classes online through the Parent Portal.  All students must be able to access the Parent Portal in order to select classes. If you have questions about getting on the Parent Portal call the counseling office. The online registration will be open for 9 days only, February 28, - March 8.  Online registration instructions and course selection worksheets will be distributed to students at the February 24th class meetings.  Course descriptions can be found on the Placer High website in the counseling section under Course Catalog (Posted mid-February).  Parents and students are encouraged to visit the Parent Portal home page and click on the Online Registration Tutorial on the right side of the page.  These two tutorials demonstrate 1) how to review your student’s transcript so they know which classes are still needed for graduation, and 2) how to actually choose specific classes online.  Students will also meet with a counselor one-on-one to review their classes March 9-13.

California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)   All public high school students in the state of California must pass the CAHSEE to earn a diploma.  All PHS sophomores will take the test for the first time on March 17th (English-Language Arts) and March 18th (Math).  It is very important that all sophomore students are well-rested and prepared to take this very important test.  We strive to have all our students pass the CAHSEE on their first attempt.  Those who do not pass will have to wait until their junior year to try again.

College Scholarships and Financial Aid   The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the Financial Aid Form to apply for federal, state and specific college campus-based financial aid.  This includes grants (free money), loans (parent and/or student loans that must be paid back) and work study programs. The form consists primarily of financial information that must be filled out by parents and students. The application is done online at .  Since funds are limited at many colleges, early submission of the FAFSA can maximize chances of receiving financial aid.  The FAFSA should be completed no later than March 1, but again the earlier the better.  The State of California funds the Cal Grant program which can be used at colleges and universities in the state.  By filling out the FAFSA your student will automatically be reviewed for Cal Grant eligibility by the California Student Aid Commission.  Other scholarship opportunities are ongoing and can be found in the Placer High Scholarship Bulletin which is available on the Placer counseling website.

District Scholarship Bulletin is accessible through the Counseling Page at the Placer High website. It lists some national and many local and even site specific scholarships to help seniors pay for college next year.  It is updated daily as new scholarships get posted. Make a plan to check it weekly for the months of Feb-April as this is the high season for scholarship applications.  Contact Mrs. Chamberlin if you have further questions.

Sierra College   Seniors who plan on attending Sierra College next fall should be applying at this time.  Go to the Placer High website, select the Counseling page, then select (from the left side margin) “Applying to Sierra College”.  This will take you through the process step-by-step with live links to Sierra College.  After you have applied, received your MySierra account and completed online orientation, then you are ready for the assessment process.  Take the “Quick Survey” to help determine which assessments you need.  If you are still unsure check with your counselor to see which assessments you need to take.  We will be administering the Sierra College assessment tests in the PHS Library on Monday, March 2rd.  Students must have already applied to Sierra, have a Sierra ID number and have completed the online orientation to test.  Sign up for testing at Ms. Smith’s desk in the counseling office beginning February 2. The testing will be limited to 25 students.   The tests will begin promptly at 1:45 and will last up to two hours depending on the number of tests.  If this date is not suitable, students can make appointments to take tests at the Sierra College Assessment Center.   Remember that students must have completed the application process before making an assessment appointment.

College-bound Juniors   Students who plan on attending a four-year college upon graduation from Placer High School should take the SAT or ACT at this time.  See the schedules below.  There are several testing dates and the tests can be taken as many times as you want.  It is highly recommended that all testing be completed by June and not left for the fall.  Also, the upcoming Spring Break is a great time to visit prospective college campuses.  Plan ahead!  Application period for the CSU system begins October 1st and the UC system on November 1st.  Subject tests are no longer required for the UC system.  For private and out-of-state colleges, check out their requirements and dates online.

State Seal of Biliteracy Placer Union High School District has approved and adopted the State Seal of Biliteracy for students who have demonstrated mastery in a second language. The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by California in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one or more languages by high school graduation.  California is the first state in the nation to honor high school seniors who demonstrate proficiency in multiple languages by affixing the State Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma or transcripts.  It validates, certifies and encourages students to pursue and attain high level mastery in multiple languages.  To view the requirements visit the counseling website and select Seal of Biliteracy.



2015 SAT Test  Dates

Test Date

Tests Offered

Regular Registration Closes

Late Registration Closes

March 14, 2015

SAT only

Feb. 13

March 3

May 2, 2015

SAT and Subject Tests

April 6

April 21

June 6, 2015

SAT and Subject Tests

May 8

May 27

Register at:

2015 ACT Test Dates

Test Date

Registration Ends

Late Registration Time Frame

Feb. 7, 2015

Jan. 9

Jan. 10 - 16

April 18, 2015

March 13

March 14 - 27

June 13, 2015

May 8

         May 9 - 22

Register at: