Whitewright High School Counselor Page

Home Stretch!

posted May 17, 2017, 7:06 AM by Amy Shaw   [ updated May 17, 2017, 7:06 AM ]

These last 2 weeks are a whirlwind, and we don't want you to miss anything!  Here's a recap:
1. Friday, May 19th at 7:00 is our Academic Award Program.  We give student awards, and seniors receive scholarships and their graduation cords--EXCITING STUFF!  We'll serve cake from 6:30-7:00, so come early if you can.  I've asked seniors to notify me of any scholarship they've received from their college/university so we can be sure to acknowledge it on Friday.  I haven't gotten much response, so parents' help is appreciated with that :)
2. Tuesday, May 23rd is the senior six flags trip.  Students pay $20 toward their ticket and the school pays the remainder.  Students will also need money for meals and drinks while at Six Flags.
3.  Wednesday, May 24th is Senior Picnic  & Baccalaureate.  The local churches are helping organize the event.  We're looking to have games and water activities at the football field, and Mr. Turner is going to grill out for them.  If parents would like to help, we could use homemade cookies, brownies, etc.  Or, if you attend a local church, you might check with them to see how you could help with their part of the activities.  

In the evening of the 24th, we'll meet at First Baptist Church for the Baccalaureate service.  If you're not familiar with that, it is a community church service to honor the graduates.  Students will wear their gowns, and the service is led by the students.  Graduates meet in the church fellowship hall at 6:30 to line up and it begins at 7:00.
4.  Thursday, May 25th is a BIG ONE!  We are going to do a senior walk.  After doing a group photo in cap & gown at 8:30, the seniors will walk the halls of WHS one last time, and then head over to walk through the middle school and elementary school so that the younger ones and their teachers can see them.  We want parents & family members to feel free to come join us.  Probably bring your tissues and definitely a camera!
5.  Friday, May 26th--Senior Breakfast & Graduation!  Senior parents cook & serve breakfast to the seniors at 9:15 before graduation practice.  We need lots of help: groceries & supplies, cooking, serving, & cleaning up.  If you can help in some way, please let me know. 903 815 1181 (texting is best).  
After breakfast, we practice graduation, and then students don't report back for graduation until 7:00p.m.  We give each student 6 reserved seating signs to be placed for family.  Students are welcome to place those following graduation practice.

Generation Texas Decision Day 2017

posted May 2, 2017, 5:52 AM by Amy Shaw

Whitewright High School is celebrating Generation Texas Decision Day on Thursday, May 4th at 10 a.m.!  (GenTX Decision Day is officially May 5th; however, our seniors will be at Grayson College for a county-wide senior day.) Parents and family are invited to join us to watch the seniors publicly declare their intent to pursue post-secondary education this fall.  We encourage everyone to wear their college shirt/color, bring a college pennant (I have some schools but not all), etc.   We look forward to showcasing where the Class of 2017 is headed for the future! 

Local Scholarship Application

posted Mar 14, 2017, 2:36 PM by Amy Shaw

A local organization requested a copy of our local scholarship applications today, and I had to give them what I had... only 12 of our 66 seniors submitted an application :(  Every student should have one of these turned in! Send yours in ASAP so it can go out when the next organization requests applications.  You'll find a copy of the application to the left under "Scholarships," scroll all the way down to the bottom, and the first file listed is the general application (click on the blue arrow to download and you can type right into the form).  You can email this back to me or have it ready to go Monday morning when we return from break.  Don't waste this opportunity!

Senior Update

posted Feb 6, 2017, 12:13 PM by Amy Shaw

It is getting busy!  Seniors are wrapping up college applications, writing essays, and filling out scholarship applications.  A financial aid representative from Collin College reviewed the financial aid process with seniors last week, so anyone who hasn't completed FAFSA (online financial aid application) needs to make that a priority.  I am happy to answer questions and help complete the process.  Students and parents are welcome to use the College & Career Center to work on the FAFSA.  

New scholarship apps are posted weekly.  A new set will go up this afternoon.  Don't forget to check the "Scholarships" tab to the left.  There is a list at the bottom that you can search as well as applications that can be downloaded at the bottom.  The general, booster club, and tractor puller's scholarship apps are there (and on the board in my office) and they are LOCAL (=they are only for WHS seniors!)

There's an opportunity to visit Navarro College on March 9th.  The John Deere program is having an open house that day, and there are other great programs on campus.  If you still have a college day available and you are interested, come see me. 


posted Feb 1, 2017, 1:15 PM by Amy Shaw

Good afternoon, junior parents!  It's time for your child to register for college admission tests! In English today, your child created either an ACT or an SAT (and some had time to create both) account.  These accounts can be used to register for an upcoming test.  I encourage students to take both SAT and ACT, so they can see which test best captures their strengths. Students often take both tests, determine which they liked/did best on, and then do some additional prep work to improve their score.  They were great to work with today, so please have them show you what they've accomplished.  This is what needs to happen next:
1.  Discuss with your student which test to take, when to take, look at registration deadlines, etc. 
2.  Have your student log in to his/her ACT/SAT account and complete registration for a test date.  A credit card is needed for payment or for students who are eligible for the free/reduced lunch program can qualify for a fee waiver by seeing me.  There is an option to test with or without the writing section, and I've encouraged them to all take the writing (some colleges require the writing section for admission).  
3.  Students will need to upload a photo and print a test ticket prior to the test.  We can help with this part at school if needed.  Students need a photo ID to enter the testing site on test day.  Students without a drivers license can get a state issued ID card at the DPS office for a small fee, or if necessary, I can prepare a document to verify a student's identity for testing purposes.
4.  Prepare!  We have an ACT prep class coming to WHS on Saturday, March 4th.  Mr. Chuck Ladd is experienced and prepares students with strategies to maximize their test performance.  Registration forms are forthcoming, but go ahead and mark your calendar for March 4th, 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m.  I have prep books available for students to check out as they are available or they can be ordered easily from amazon or at a bookstore for $20-$30.  

FAFSA & Other Important Senior Info

posted Oct 17, 2016, 8:16 AM by Amy Shaw   [ updated Oct 17, 2016, 10:21 AM ]

Senior Parents, this is an update about what has been going on with your senior students.
1. In the Senior Seminar, students were all given a folder with a current transcript, college day forms, letter of recommendation request forms, senior resume example, and a monthly checklist of "to do" items.  All of these forms are posted under the "General Information & Forms" tab that you'll find in the left column of the screen.
2. I've been meeting individually with students to complete a post secondary planning guide--we review graduation plans, test scores, career plans, and college/military/workforce choices to see where they are in the application process, what needs to happen next, how I can help, etc.  I still have 10 students to go to complete the senior class.
3.  Great news!  The FAFSA has changed this year, and students/parents can now complete the form online with their 2015 tax info instead of having to wait for January and their 2016 tax return to be filed!  This means students will learn their financial aid options/awards earlier this year.  The FAFSA is not difficult to complete, but parents & students often have questions along the way.  We will have a Financial Aid Night for parents & students on Monday, October 24th from 6-8 p.m.  A financial aid advisor from Grayson College will be on hand to first give an overview presentation of all the types of financial aid with a focus on the FAFSA.  (FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it is the key to all financial aid).  The second part of the evening we will have the computer lab open for any student/parent who wants to do the FAFSA on site with the advisor there to answer questions.  Those wanting to complete the FAFSA that evening should come prepared with social security number, address, birthdate, and a copy of the their 2015 income tax return.  If your return is not available, many will be able to link to the IRS website through the FAFSA to obtain the necessary info.  
4.  How you can help your senior: through our senior meetings, I am proud to say that our students are really on top of this!  The majority are working on applications, making plans for visits, asking for letters of recommendation, etc.  They tend to get overwhelmed with deadlines and organization, and that is likely the biggest area you can help.  Right now they should be creating a list of activities, accomplishments, volunteer service, etc a.k.a the senior resume; asking for letters of recommendation; and applying for admission.   


New Scholarships Posted

posted Mar 3, 2016, 12:50 PM by Amy Shaw

Three new local scholarships have been added to the board (or linked below).  All have an April 1st deadline.  Please be working on the General Scholarship App & the Grayson College Scholarship (due when we return from Spring Break).  If you have questions or need help, come see me!

Senior Update

posted Mar 1, 2016, 12:56 PM by Amy Shaw

1.  All seniors who are not in dual credit had the opportunity on Thursday, February 18 to set up an Apply Texas profile and submit an application to Grayson College or Collin College (those who are already dual credit students did not need to reapply).  By this time, you should have received an email from Grayson/Collin stating that they have received your application with additional instructions.  Please check to see that you've received this and see me if not.
2.  If you need help with FAFSA, please ask for help!
3.  The Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship is due this Friday, March 4th.  Don't miss out on this one as they awarded 8 scholarships to WHS students last year. 
4.  The Grayson Scholarship app is due March 15th.  If there is any chance you might attend, please turn this in.  They are very generous to our students!  Completed applications can be turned in to me & I will take them to their office.
5.  Caps & gowns have been ordered from Balfour.  If you forgot to order, see Mrs. Wood in the office for a packet or go to balfour.com

General Scholarship App

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:31 AM by Amy Shaw

The "local" scholarship application is called the General Scholarship Application.  This is the one application that goes to many local churches, community groups, businesses, etc.  It and the Rachel Fulenwider app are now posted on the board, but you'll also find "easy type" versions at the bottom of the scholarship page (see the link to the left).  You can download each one as either a google doc/sheet or as an excel spreadsheet/microsoft word document and type your info directly into the form. Let me know if you need help with these.  These are due on March 16.

Typing into a .pdf & a note about Postmarks

posted Feb 16, 2016, 11:48 AM by Amy Shaw   [ updated Feb 16, 2016, 12:25 PM ]

I'm a little late to the technology party, but I came across something just now that I have to share!  I immediately thought of seniors trying to neatly fill out scholarship applications.  Some .pdf documents are "fillable" so that you type directly into the blanks on the page and then either print or email the nicely printed form; others don't have that feature, so we just print them out and fill them in by hand.  Well, now there is another option!  When you have a .pdf open in Adobe Reader, look for the "Sign" button in the upper right corner.  If you click "Sign," it opens some options.  Choose "Text" and you'll get a box where you can select the font and size.  Then place the cursor where you want to "type" on the .pdf form and begin filling in the form.  Just move the cursor wherever you want to type.  Here's a link to a youtube video...it explains it very simply.

Of course, this is not necessary, but if a student prefers and wants to spend the time, you could scan a scholarship application and turn it into a .pdf file (our copier at school will do this) and then fill it out in this way.  

A word about postmarks...a postmark is a stamp that the post office puts across the postage stamp on a letter to show it has been processed.  It includes the date & location of the post office (it's a circle and some squiggly lines).  In order to meet a "postmark deadline" for a scholarship, your envelope needs to get to the post office before the close of business on the specified day.  I never remember if the post office closes at 4:00 or 4:30, so I always go with "you need to be there before 4:00p.m." I also recommend taking the envelope in and handing it to the person working so you know it will be processed.  If you drop it in the outside mailbox at 3:55p.m., I just don't know if it is picked up or if it waits until the next day.  I'd rather be on the safe side!  (I know parents know this stuff, but students don't have much post office experience and have questions :)

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