RJSHS Guidance Home Page

           RJSHS Guidance Department          
1 Corliss Heights
Richford, Vermont 05476
802.848.7416 (p) / 802.848.3201 (f)

  • Allison Witherspoon, Director of Guidance  x221-awitherspoon@richfordk12.net
  • Jane Lariviere, Guidance Assistant  x220-jlariviere@richfordk12.net
  • Lisa Greco, Student Assistance Counselor x160-lgreco@richfordk12.net
  • Emma Hardy, RN, School Nurse, x245-ehardy@richfordk12.net
  • Justin Philie, NCSS  School Clinician  x222  
  • Liam Danaher,  VSAC Counselor x220                                                                                
  • Amy Dunnavant, School Psychologist  x222

The RJSHS Guidance Department provides academic, social/emotional, and career development support to all students in grades 6-12.  


 Student Events/Guidance News 
(in chronological order)

National Summer Transportation Institute
2017 Summer Camp Dates:
Residential: July 16-21  |  Randolph Center Campus
Day-camp: August 7-11  |  Williston Campus

The National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) is a fun, interactive, FREE residential program held on a college campus in Vermont for students in high school and this summer we will also of a day-camp for middle school students.

The program provides students with hands-on exploration of future careers in transportation through awareness of the complex transportation system we’ve come to rely on. Interactive labs, field trips and guest speakers will engage the students as they explore the diversity of the transportation industry. The NSTI is sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and funded through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Experience this incredible opportunity by:
 Visiting mass transit systems: Ferries, planes, buses, trains, and more;
 Exploring energy and the environment: alternative fuels, eco-friendly transportation;
 Connecting how Math, Science, and English relate to transportation careers;
 Learning about transportation safety;
 Studying how bridges are designed and made.
Program Overview:
 Extensive field trips to sites throughout  Vermont;
 On-campus living and learning experience;
 Qualified instructors and counselors oversee all aspects of curriculum and campus life;
 Group and independent exploration and learning.

10th and 11th graders-Want to take a college course this summer and earn high school and college credit for FREE. Classes start at the end of May, so there is still time to register. Check out the Community College of Vermont course offerings.

9th-12th graders-Interested in taking a FREE class at CCV that prepares you for college and career readiness? Introduction to College Studies is being offered this summer at CCV in St. Albans. Allison Witherspoon will be the instructor. While
there is no college credit offered for this course, students will receive high school elective credit. See guidance for details.

Also, UVM is offering some exciting pre-college opportunities for high school students:
Dual Enrollment classes (online and on campus):
UVM Summer Academy-Health and Medicine Program (Dual Enrollment vouchers can be applied):

MedQuest 2017-This is a four day program for 10th and 11th graders who are interested in exploring careers in health care.  The program is held on the UVM campus.  There are three different sessions/topics from which to choose.  There is a cost associated with MedQuest, but scholarships are available.  Applications and additional details are available by clicking here.   Applications are due by March 1, 2017.  Visit the guidance office if you have any questions or visita link to the application.

A DAY IN THE LIFE at Franklin County Home Health
This is a 1 day shadow experience at FCHH for
students in grades 10-12
who are interested in a career in healthcare. 

Shadow day is To Be Determined.
Applications are due March 2017.

Vermont Law Cadet Training Program - The purpose of the Cadet Training Program is to help young people gain knowledge regarding training and responsibilities of Law Enforcement Officers.  This is a 5 day program beginning Sunday, June 18, 2017 and it's held at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford.  This is sponsored by and paid for by the American Legion. 
Please see guidance for more information.  
Application deadline is April 15th.

The Governor's Institute of Vermont (GIV) Winter Weekends-GIV Winter Weekends are immersion institutes that are filled with learning and fun for students in grades 9-12.  Students explore, laugh, perform, build, improvise....the list goes on.  This year, the various institutes from which to choose include: 

  Institutes are being held on Feb 10-12, 2017 and again on Feb 24-26, 2017.  Registration for Winter Weekend begins on Dec 10, 2016.  All registration and scholarship applications need to be received by January 16, 2017.  Winter weekend is affordable and sliding fees are available to students/families who need them.  For more information about the various Winter Weekend institutes and an application, click here.

Girls in grades 9-12 can apply to shadow a female legislator at our state's capitol. You would spend 6 days between January and June at the state capitol and learn first hand how our government works. 
For more detailed information, please see Guidance. 
Application deadline is October 31st.

VSAC "Paying for College" Night - This workshop will assist parents in learning about the financial aid part of college.  
Topics will include: how to pay for college, what sort of aid is available, what forms need to be completed and how to
compare college costs.
It will be held on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
at 6:00 pm in the school's library.

AMERICAN LEGION ORATORICAL CONTEST - This contest is for a well-prepared, talented student in grades 9-12. The student must speak for 8-10 minutes on some aspect of the US Constitution as it relates to the responsibilities of citizens.
Competition begins in the local school and a contest is held at your local American Legion Post in January 2017. Winners then go on to the state level (earning $1,000) and possible the national level (earning up to $18,000).
For more information, please see Guidance.
Application must be postmarked by November 30, 2016.

A CHEERLEADING CAMP is being offered at Enosburg High School during the week of August 1st.  It will be for students in grades 5-8 from noon-2 pm.  For more information and an application, please stop by the Guidance Office.

Interested in engineering, mechanics, logistics, planes, trains, and automobiles?  There will be a FREE two week residential summer camp at Champlain College put on by the National Summer Transportation Institute.  This opportunity is for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.  See guidance for details, and/or refer to the following web site for more information:


Interested in going to college, but not sure how to make it happen?  Imagine College is a FREE summer college prep program on Champlain College's campus (but you don't have to want to attend that school) for four days in July.  This program is for any current high school student, or soon-to-be high school graduate,  and is intended for first-generation college bound students.  See guidance for more details and check out the link below.


You are once again cordially invited to attend a weekend of writing workshops, craft sessions, and open mic at the Champlain College Young Writers' Conference, May 27-29. Now in our sixteenth year, our doors are open to high school students who wish to share their passion for story, drama, and song with their writerly brothers and sisters—and with celebrated New England authors. We offer three days of readings, improv, Moth storytelling, poetry slams, literary jazz/blues fusion, and extended friendship on the hillside campus of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.

OUR 2016 KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AWARD-WINNING POET AND ESSAYIST ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT, is the author of Claiming KinThe Forces of PlentyThe Lotus FlowersTwo TreesKyrieShadow of HeavenMessenger: New and Selected Poems, and Headwaters. A former Vermont State Poet, Ellen’s work has appeared in The American Poetry ReviewThe New YorkerThe AtlanticThe New England Review, and elsewhere. She designed and directed the nation's first low-residency MFA Writing Program, served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2015 received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “genius grant.”

The postmark DEADLINE OF FEBRUARY 22 is fast approaching and the blue lights are flashing. If you have a tale to spin, or a story to share, please download an application (or brochure) from our website: http://www.champlain.edu/write


College Visits
*College visits are for juniors and seniors at RHS

Dual Enrollment/Early College  
Gain college credit while you are still in high school!  Below are dual enrollment/Early College opportunities.  See Mrs. Witherspoon if you are interested!
CCV Intro to College Studies-Take this free course and receive a voucher to take a FREE college class at any Vermont State College.  You must use your voucher by the summer after you graduate from high school.  This class is offered each semester.
University of Vermont-Take a free class at UVM, either online, or in the classroom.  Recommendation is required for participation. 
Johnson State College-Early College Program/JUMP START Program-The Early College Program allows seniors to spend their final year of high school on Johnson's campus taking college classes and earning up to 30 college credits, tuition-free.  Students receive dual enrollment credit.  They complete their senior year of high school AND first year in college at the same time!!  The Jump Start Program allows juniors and seniors to take up to two college classes on Johnson State College's campus tuition-free. 

Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC)

As of the 2013-14 school year, we are a partner school with Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC).  VTVLC offers online courses taught by certified Vermont teachers.  There are many reasons why students may take a VTVLC course: to minimize scheduling conflicts, to offer variety in their schedule (VTVLC offers courses that we do not), for enrichment purposes, or perhaps for credit recovery.  If you are interested in learning more about VTVLC, feel free to contact the guidance office and/or visit their web site.  Click the following links for additional information: VTVLC web site, current online courses, student log in page.   

RJSHS Graduation Requirements
  • English-4 credits
  • Math -  3 credits
  • Science- 3 credits
  • Social Studies - 4 credits
  • Consumer Economics-.5 credit
  • Physical Education-1.5 credits
  • Fine Art-1 credit
  • Practical Art-1 credit
  • Computer Literacy or Computer Science -1 credit
  • Health - .5 credit
  • Electives-5 credits
Total-24.5 credits


SAT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines-click here

Register for the SAT-click here

*Subject tests will be offered during each of these test dates.  Test subjects vary.  Be sure to have your scores sent to your colleges.  Many colleges will only accept standardized tests scores directly from Collegeboard.    

ACT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines-click here

Register for the ACT-click here

*Be sure to have your scores sent to your colleges.  Many colleges will only accept standardized test scores directly from ACT.   

Senior Scholarship Opportunities 
Click here for scholarship list.  Scholarships are listed in the order of their due date. 
*Get your applications in early!  Be sure to proof read your essays and ask for letters of recommendation well in advance!! 

Important Forms
Senior Information Sheet (complete this form so teachers can write you letters of recommendation)
College Visit Form (complete this form when you visit a college for an excused absence)

Community Service Learning Project

High School students are required to have 30 hours of community service to graduate from RJSHS!  Be sure to give Jane Lariviere your community service proposal application before starting your hours.  Click here for community service paperwork! 
New this year..... any senior who has not completed at least 15 hours of  documented service by December 20th, will have their senior privileges suspended.

Senior Reminders

1.  Register for the fall SAT and/or ACT.
2.  Know your college application deadlines!
3.  Start to ask teachers, counselor, coaches, etc for letters of recommendation.  Give them plenty of notice!
4. Start completing your college applications.
5.  Continue to research and visit colleges. 
6. Begin to draft your college essay, and consult with your teachers.  This needs to be your best work.
7.  Start to review the scholarship list (see above)
8.  Mark your calendars for the Financial Aid Night on November 7th.
9.  Attend the Franklin County Career Expo in the spring.

Junior Reminders

1. Begin searching for colleges
2.  Attend college fairs/open houses
3.  Prepare for the SAT-take the PSAT and meet with Mrs. Witherspoon in December to go over your results.  Study, study, study!
4.  Prepare for the ACT-look over your PLAN results and study accordingly
5.  Be sure that you are taking a rigorous high school schedule.  Remember, colleges want to see that you have challenged yourself.
6.  Attend VSAC's Paying for College Night in the fall of your junior year.  This workshop will be held in your school's library.
7.  In the spring, register for College Pathways through VSAC.  This is a free day-long conference for 11th grade students and their parents/guardians.  This conference is about the college application and financial aid process.  More information will be available on this event as the time approaches. 
8.  Register for the spring SAT and ACT.
9.  Attend the Franklin County Career Expo in the spring.

Freshmen/Sophomore Reminders

1.   Talk with your teachers and guidance counselor about the classes that you should be taking based on your interests and future career goals.  Also, set up a time to meet with your guidance counselor  to develop a four year plan and discuss credits.
2.  Take advantage of extra-curricular activities that are available to you (i.e. shadow day, career conference, sports, SADD, OVX)
3.  Sophomores, take the PLAN (the practice ACT).  This will get you ready to take the ACT when you are a junior.
4.  Visit the VSAC website and set up an account with Vermont Guidance Central.  Learn about careers and take skill, interest, and value inventories.   This is a great resource!!
 Online Resources for Students/Parents/Guardians
Common Application-The Common Application is an online application that many colleges use.  You complete one application that is sent all of your schools (provided that all of your schools participate in Common App).  For students who are applying to college using the Common Application, it is a 3-part process per school.  You have to submit your payment (or waiver info), supplement, and main application for each school.  Submitting just one of those things does not send your entire application.  You can always check with Mrs. Witherspoon to see if your entire application has been sent. 
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation-VSAC  is a scholarship, financial aid, college, and career resource for Vermont students and families. 

Collegeboard-This web site is very useful for both students and parents/guardians.  Not only is this where students go to register for the SAT, but this web site provides a college search, career/major search, financial aid and scholarship information, and much more.

Financial Aid Resources

Visit the VSAC web site for financial aid information and applications

Liam Danaher, our VSAC Outreach Counselor, is available to meet with students and families regarding financial aid and interpreting financial aid award letters. Call our guidance office to set up an appointment.  848-7416 x220 

Roadmap to College

Click here for the VSAC Roadmap to College

Vermont Colleges


 Summer Camps

Middle and High School Students and Families-Camp Knock Knock is a Weekend Bereavement Camp for families. It is held at YMCA Camp Abnaki in North Hero, VT from June 2-June 4.

Middle and High School Students-There are summer camp opportunities on the Vermont Technical College campuses (Williston and Randolph) for students in middle and high school:
-Rosie’s Girls STEM Leadership Camps: June 19-23 or July 10-14
(overnight camps for girls entering 9th-10th grades. Randolph campus).
-Coder Camp for Girls: July 17-21 (day camp for girls entering 8th-10th grades. Williston campus.)
-Aero Camp: July 24-28 (day camp for boys and girls ages 12-18. Williston campus).
See link for specific details on each of the summer camps.

8th -11th Graders-Dental Career Exploration Camp at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME.-Aug 5th-Aug 7th. This FREE opportunity is for rising 9th-11th graders who are interested in a career in dental medicine (i.e. dental hygiene, general dentistry, or dental lab technician)? Applications due by July 3rd. See Guidance for more info.