School Counseling FAQs
- How does my child get “working papers”?
Working papers may be obtained in the school counseling office. Students need to provide documentation of their name and birth date. Documentation may include a birth certificate, passport, etc. The working papers must be completed and signed by the student’s employer, parent, student, and medical doctor before the working papers can be issued.
- When does my child take Driver’s Education?
Driver’s education is part of the 10th grade Health and Physical Education curriculum.
- How is Athletic Eligibility determined?
In order to be eligible to participate in high school athletics, students must meet the following NJSIAA criteria:
- All incoming ninth grade students are automatically eligible for athletic competition during the first semester (fall and winter sports seasons) of ninth grade.
- To be eligible for athletic competition during the first semester (fall and winter sports seasons) in the tenth grade or higher, a student must have earned at least 30 credits.
- To be eligible for athletic competition during the second semester (spring sports season) in the ninth grade or higher, a student must have earned at least 15 credits during the preceding first and second marking periods.
- How does my child select their courses?
Students select their courses with this process completed in January in order for the master schedule to be developed. Final course selections for classified students will be determined at the annual IEP review meeting.
Master scheduling is based on student course requests. Counselors are available to guide students in selecting courses to meet stated goals and career interests as well as graduation requirements. If an elective is unavailable, every effort will be made to honor the student’s alternative choice(s). All students in grades 9-11 are required to take at least 35 credits. Students in grade 12 must take a minimum of 25 credits. Students may not drop a course or change the level of a course without a conference to include the student, parent, teacher, and school counselor.
- When should my child take the PSAT?
It is recommended that students take the PSAT in October of their freshman and sophomore year as practice and again in October of their junior year. Only the junior year scores will be considered for National Merit Scholarship eligibility. Students may take free practice PSAT tests on NAVIANCE (PrepMe PSAT).
- When should my child take the SAT?
It is suggested that students take the SAT I in the spring of their sophomore year and as many times as you can. Review for the SAT by using the free PrepMe SAT on NAVIANCE or The College Board.
- What are the ACT’s?
The ACT exam may be required by certain colleges and universities in addition to or instead of the SAT exam. The ACT exam assesses a student’s general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. Students may take free practice ACT tests on NAVIANCE (PrepMe ACT).
- Does my child need to take the ASVAB exam?
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is not mandatory. However, it is an excellent tool to help a student explore career options.
- What are the Honors Programs entrance requirements?
Honors Courses offer enrichment both in the scope of material presented and in depth of exploration. To be considered for an Honors level course, a student must demonstrate academic excellence in the specific subject as indicated by his/her performance in a Level II course during the preceding year. Academic excellence is defined as a final grade of 85 or higher.
If it becomes evident that a student is unable to achieve at least a “C” average, the placement will be reviewed. If the recommendation is that the student be reassigned to the regular academic program, a conference with the student, parent, teacher and school counselor will be scheduled.
- Students receiving a grade of “F” in two consecutive marking periods will automatically be removed, following a parent conference, and placed in a regular academic course.
- Students receiving a grade of “D” in a marking period will be placed on probation. If the grade is not improved to the required standard by the next marking period, the student may be removed and placed in a regular academic course, following a parent conference.
- Students receiving a final grade of “C” or lower may lose the opportunity to continue in the Honors program within that discipline during the next school year.
- How many credits are required for graduation?
All students are required to have a minimum of 125 credits in order to earn a diploma. Students are also required to successfully pass the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) in language arts literacy and mathematics. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the HSPA is being replaced with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) exam. Additional information will be forthcoming.
Students who fail one or more portions of this assessment, must attend a remedial program until he/she demonstrates mastery of the proficiency.
- If my child does not pass the HSPA, will he/she be able to graduate?
Students are required to successfully pass the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) in language arts literacy and mathematics. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the HSPA is being replaced with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) exam. Additional information will be forthcoming. A student who fails one or more portions of this assessment, must attend a remedial program until he/she demonstrates mastery of the proficiency.
- What is a good way to research colleges and careers?
NAVIANCE is a web-based college and career exploration and test-prep program. The link to NAVIANCE can be found on the NWR website. Students receive login information and parents will also receive an account linked to their child’s account. Students will be able to take a personality type indicator survey as well as a career interest survey. The program provides career exploration and a college search program. The use of “scattergrams” allows students to view recent admission decisions for NWR graduates at various colleges and universities. This tool can assist students in estimating the likelihood of acceptance at prospective schools. An interactive, test-prep program is also available and is a great cost-free tool for students to use in preparation of the PSAT, ACT, and SAT.
NWR offers several college fairs throughout the school year. Check the College and Career website regularly for these dates.
- What if my child is interested in participating in college athletics?
Students interested in participating in college athletics should register with the NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year and speak with their school counselor. Athletes will not be able to participate in College Division I or II programs without NCAA Clearinghouse approval, even if you have been accepted at the school. At the end of your junior year, a transcript will be sent to the Eligibility Center from the school counseling office. Additionally, a student should have their SAT and/or ACT scores forwarded directly to the Eligibility Center (by using Code 9999) whenever they take the SAT or ACT exam. For more information, please visit www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
- How do I send a transcript to a college?
All transcript requests are to be done through NAVIANCE.
- How does my child locate and apply for scholarships?
Applications for many scholarships are available in the college and career office. Scholarship information is found on NAVIANCE. Each year in October, a free financial aid presentation is offered to parents and students that provides a wealth of information.
- Are senior year grades important in the college admissions process?
Colleges will see first semester grades as transcripts are sent out at that time. Many schools will request mid-year reports and/or second semester grades. Final transcripts are sent at the end of senior year to colleges. A student’s decline in grades and/or courses dropped may impact admissions and/or scholarships.
- Do colleges look at freshman grades?
Colleges do look at freshman grades which factor into a student’s GPA (grade point average). The GPA plays a significant part in class ranking which is started in 9th grade. It is essential that students and parents understand weighted grades and their impact on class ranking. Many colleges base their acceptance criteria on class ranking and scholarship can be affected by this ranking. Many auto insurance companies will give lower rates for a student’s auto insurance when he/she starts to drive if documentation of a B average is provided to the company.
- Can my child receive college credit for high school courses?
Through Option II, students may be eligible to receive college credit. Interested students should speak with their school counselor for further information. Students need to complete an application by October 31 of the junior year to be considered for this option.
- How do I access my child’s grades?
All students grades are available on Infinite Campus. This may be accessed through the NWR website.
- If my child fails a subject, what are the options to remediate this course?
Students have the option of private tutoring or online courses to receive credit for a subject that is failed. Before registering for any of these options, prior approval must be received from the Director of Student Personnel Services.
- What is I&RS?
The Intervention and Referral Services Team uses a proactive approach to create resources and implement action plans for students struggling with academic, social, or emotional challenges. If you have concerns regarding your child, please contact your child’s school counselor for a pre-referral conference. Further information about I&RS may be found on NWR’s website.
- What is SAC?
Students and parents may access the services of the Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) for any social or emotional issues that go beyond the ability of the family to address. These types of issues may include drug and alcohol abuse, grief over personal loss, self-esteem/self-image issues, and/or interpersonal concerns. The SAC provides individual and group counseling services and makes referrals to community agencies when appropriate. The SAC also works on providing preventative strategies to help the entire school community address social issues.