Guidance Newsletter 5/26/2020

Dear Students and Families,

We hope you all had a restful, long, Memorial Day weekend. The weekly “Guidance Newsletter” will keep you up to date on the latest information and will be sent out via School Messenger and posted on our website.  While some content will be reiterated from previous weeks, there are plenty of updates as well.

In addition to what is listed below, you are encouraged to visit the WHS Guidance Website for resources. Please check it regularly for updates.

For all students:

During the closure it is important to check your school email regularly. This is especially the case if your school counselor needs to reach you for course selection conflicts. Your timely reply is important so we can do our best to meet your requests.

Registration for VHS courses for the 20/21 school year is now open. Please email your school counselor to discuss your selection and get the necessary paperwork to register.

If you require a work permit during this closure, please email Ms. Burns ( who will help process it.

Some students are considering taking on-line courses during the summer since plans have changed due to the pandemic. The policy per the student handbook is as follows:


Wellesley High School students may take courses outside the high school curriculum, but these courses will not receive Wellesley High School credit nor be listed on the report card or transcript unless they are needed to meet graduation requirements. Courses required for graduation must have the pre-approval of the Department Head, and/or Director of Guidance. A transcript from the original institution for enrichment or enhancement courses may be placed in the student’s folder and forwarded to colleges.


For Seniors:

*** Cumulative Folder: As part of graduation  you will receive your WPS cumulative folder in addition to your cap & gown and yearbook. The records included often are needed so it is important for you to have. In order to receive your folder you must sign a waiver for it. Please log on to this link to do so by May 29th.

*** Check your senior grades June 2nd-4th for accuracy. What is posted in Powerschool will be sent to the college you are attending. Any error should be addressed with the issuing teacher.

**PLEASE make sure you are keeping your Naviance account updated with all the decisions you receive as well as where you decide to attend. Deadline to do so is 5/29!!!. Your final transcript will be sent to the college you indicate in Naviance. Reach out to your School Counselor if you would like to discuss your decision or have trouble updating Naviance. Directions to do so are found here. If you need transcripts sent to those schools you are on the waitlist, you must inform the appropriate Guidance Secretary below:

Ms Dutko ( = Ms Plunkett, Dr Steere, Ms Trask, Ms Sozio, Ms Walendin

Ms Burns ( = Ms Stone, Ms Coughlin, Ms Barrell, Ms Hurley

*** During these last few weeks please make sure you’re checking your Raiders email account regularly. There will be a lot of important information being shared as we don’t want you to miss a thing!***.


***The WHS Technology team would like to congratulate you on your graduation and wish you the very best in your future pursuits! Some housekeeping information for you before you leave WHS:

  • Your @wpsraiders Google account will be deleted as of August 30th, 2020.
  • Please make sure you download your Google Drive files (if needed) as you will not have access to them after the above date.  Follow the steps below:
    • Go to
    • All your Google data is selected – this is the default.  Make sure to click on the Deselect All button
    • Now select Drive from the list
    • Scroll down and select Next Step, 
    • On the screen that follows make sure One Time Archive is selected, then select Create Archive. 
  • If you have given your WPS email ID to college/s and/or other institutions, please make sure you provide them with your personal email ID moving forward.
  • If you have used your WPS email ID to create logins to college/s and/or other institutions, please make sure to update your profile and change the email to your personal email ID.



KOPLIK SCHOLARSHIP:  The State has pushed back the submission deadline from May 1st to June 30th. There is still no guidance on how they will handle those who were planning on using spring testing to submit scores. Please stay tuned!

What to know what college is like? WHS alum, Zane Salameh ’18, and a few of his college mates started a mentoring website for prospective college students, Perisco.  The site pairs high school students with college mentors to help them learn about the ins and outs of college life.  The focus is on the details of transitioning to college that may not be addressed or harder to address in specifics when touring.  This project stems from his and his friends’ own experiences of arriving on their college campuses and being a bit like a ‘deer in the headlights’ for the first few months just trying to digest everything. The service is free to high school students. Questions?  Contact us at:

Considering a GAP Year? Jason Sarouhan of J2Guides  offering free webinars for students interested in looking at the gap year nearly every Wednesday night so feel free to join: They cover the current considerations for one thinking about a gap year, program modifications based on COVID-19 and available resources.


For Juniors: Please make sure you are checking your Canvas – Jr Sem Remote Lrng weekly. We have posted  activities for you to engage in to keep your post-secondary plans moving forward.

Counselors may have additional information on their individual seminar site from earlier this semester that you may find helpful as well.


***This week both SAT & ACT are scheduled to release important information:


For the SAT:

 Registration for fall testing is supposed to open this week.  College Board has still not announced specific dates and times.  They have said that all of the students who have early access to August, September and October (rising seniors without any official SATs on file and students who were registered for the June test) should receive priority access and that information will be sent to them via email.  Keep you eye on your  inbox.  It is unclear how much of an early access window students will have (either several hours or several days).  UPDATE

 Please note that WHS will be a test site for the August, October & November administrations. We  are  tentatively hosting the newly added September 26th date. A final decision will be made shortly. 


For the June ACT:

 ACT has said that they will be notifying students this week about June ACT test site cancellations.  Again, we encourage students to keep watch of their email.  If students are concerned that their test site will be cancelled, but receive no further information, we encourage them to reach out to the test site directly for verification.

  • Please be advised that most area schools are closed and are not hosting the test in June. The ACT website may still be showing they are a site but this has not been updated. In July please note that Framingham will not be a site. Brookline is tentative at this time of writing. If you student registers elsewhere for the July ACT and has accommodations, WHS can not facilitate them for this date due to school being closed for the summer.

At this time, the plan for fall testing registration (starting with the September test) is still scheduled to take place in late July (exact date TBD.)


Colleges recognize that school closures are impacting testing opportunities. As a result, dozens of colleges and universities are going test-optional for the Class of 2021. Go to this site for the updated list.


The May 6th WHS Selective College Parent Evening has been cancelled due to the closure. In lieu of the evening we  videotaped a live discussion with our panelists from UNH, Brandeis University, Woods College at BC, University of Denver and Miami University – Ohio on April 16th. Please also reference the attached powerpoint presentation that was to be presented as well.

Additionally, similar conversations are taking place in other schools. Westboro’s Director of Guidance Ross Wollfson hosted a conversation with several college admissions counselors (BC, UPitt, WPI, Bloomfield College, The College of New Jersey). You can view that webinar here. He recently talked with admissions officers at the MA State Colleges and Universities and the Impact of COVID-19. A list of when certain topics are discussed in this video is here.



Below are steps you can be doing now to support  your post-secondary planning:

  1. **Teacher Recommendations: As part of the admissions process you will need 1-2 teacher recommendations. Students may begin asking teachers on April 27th. You may do so during your teacher’s office hours or via email. Please refer to your Jr Sem Remote Lrng Canvas page for directions on how to do so. **


  1. Student Data Portfolio:  SDPs provide valuable information to your school counselor to support their recommendation writing process. Please take your time and be thoughtful with your answers. The more thorough this is the more helpful to your counselor it is. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn!! This should be submitted to your School Counselor in a timely manner.


  1. College research: Learn about different colleges and which ones might be a good fit. Potentially begin going on campus visits. Given current school closures, check out videos and virtual campus tours. For information about how colleges are accommodating these unusual circumstances, please refer to the NACAC link.

Other resources for exploration include:

Admissions 101

List of college virtual tours


  1. Naviance is our web-based program that WHS utilizes for the post-secondary process. It is an effective platform to build your college list, search colleges and, in the fall, facilitate your applications. Students have their access information which they should share with their parent/guardian.

In January Naviance required many students to update their passwords for increased security. If you are having trouble logging in, it may be because your password needs to be updated. Here are directions to do so.


  1. Parent Feedback Form: Parent’s input can be valuable in the recommendation writing process as well. Please consider completing the attached form and sending it to your student’s school counselor.


  1. School Counselors: As always we are available for consultation in this process. In doing so we expect that students and families are actively engaged in utilizing the resources listed in both the weekly guidance newsletters, as well as on our WHS Guidance and Counseling websites, and our updated Canvas site. We expect that any students requesting meetings be up to date regarding the college process. This includes the student has utilized Naviance and begun adding colleges to their  “Colleges I’m thinking about” list, have completed their Student Data Portfolio (SDP), and have formulated specific questions about their individual process.


Students might also find this Junior Year Calendar/Checklist to be helpful.

Print it out and check things off as you complete them!

The NCAA’s latest update


For Sophomores: Please remember to check your new Canvas – Soph Sem Remote Lrng weekly. New activities are being added weekly.  Individual counselors may have additional information from earlier this semester you will find helpful as well. 


Sophomore seminar is all about self-exploration. We urge our students to begin by building their resume in Naviance. Here is a link to a planning sheet to get started and things to keep in mind for building a stand alone resume. Also, please consider sharing your resume with a peer for peer edits, in addition to your school counselor for feedback.


As part of their Grade 10 Seminar on Canvas, students should complete their “Career Interest Profiler” and “Do What You Are”, also available on Naviance. These assessments prove invaluable when starting the college exploration process (and they are fun to complete and analyze).

Directions on how to access these important surveys can be found here.


MCAS English Language Arts and Mathematics – the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) has cancelled the MCAS Testing for this spring’s administration. Further details will be forthcoming.


For Grade 9: MCAS Physics – The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) has cancelled MCAS Testing for this spring. Further details will be forthcoming.


For AP Students/Parents:  AP Exam  make-up exams being June 1-5. (AP exam schedule). We have compiled the pertinent information given by the College Board, and information was previously emailed to students. If you  are not getting emails from College Board about AP information,  call the student line: 888.225.5427. It will be best to call them as early in the day as possible!


***New guidelines for submission**** Due to the number of submission errors AP/College Board have developed a new process in case you run into an error submitting your answers. For those needing to do a make up exam this protocol will be in place during those administrations.



For Parents:

HRS Community Support Forum: Parenting High School Juniors and Seniors

When: Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning 5/20/2020 Time Frame: 1 hour / 4 weeks Modality: Online video conference Registration: Carly Inkpen, LICSW: Facilitators: Steve Rose, Ph.D. and Carly Inkpen, LICSW

COVID-19 is creating new parenting challenges. It can be hard to know how to best support your teens as their school, college, and social plans are disrupted in unprecedented ways.

Families are grieving the loss of important milestones and rites of passage. Children may be withdrawn, angry, anxious, frustrated, or difficult to connect with. Your teen may feel that their emerging sense of independence is being taken away. The uncertainty of the situation makes it especially difficult to make big decisions about the future.

This HRS Community Support Forum offers the opportunity for parents to discuss these issues, share ideas, and support one another. The 4-week group is facilitated by a psychologist and a social worker and will meet weekly for one hour. You can drop in for one meeting or attend all four – whatever works for you.

We will explore a range of topics and strategize together about how to address group members’ challenges. Possible topics include:

Finding creative ways to celebrate milestones

Grief and the concept of ambiguous loss

Giving teens space vs. pushing them to connect

The importance of validating your child’s feelings of frustration, sadness, and disappointment

How to support your teen in maintaining safe social connections

Should I be worried about my child?

Other subjects that feel relevant to the group

This support group is primarily aimed at parents of high school juniors and seniors who are experiencing disruptions in their graduation and college plans. However, if your child is slightly older or younger and you’re interested in this group, feel free to email us and we can discuss whether the group could be a good fit for you.



For Families:

These times can be challenging for all of us. Some of us may need additional emotional support to manage. If you or someone you know is in need, please consider the following resources:

If this is an emergency that requires immediate attention, please call 911 or head to your local Emergency Room. If you need help, you can also contact:

  • Your primary care physician or outside provider

In Wellesley:

Human Relations Service (HRS) 781-235-4950

Riverside Community Care 800-529-5077

Joyce Saret, our new town social worker, is available to connect you to supports for financial, medical, food needs as well as referrals to outside providers. She can be contacted at 781-489-4354. A Town Support Line has been initiated as well: 781 239 0256


In Boston:

Boston Emergency Service Team (BEST) 800-981-4357

Good Samaritan  Samaritans, Inc. (1-877-870-4673)

The Bridge for Resilient Youth (BRYT) has a comprehensive resource list to consider.

Newton Wellesley Hospital Resiliency Project  parent workshops


Stay well, stay engaged and take care !!!

Jane Barrell     Marissa Coughlin        John Steere    Julie Trask     Cindy Hurley  Janet Sozio     Kristi Stone     Margaret Walendin     Dana Plunkett


Wellesley High School

50 Rice Street • Wellesley Hills • Massachusetts • 02481
Phone 781-446-6290 • Fax 781-446-6308

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Jamie B. Chisum, Principal

Assistant Principals: Marc F. Bender • Andrew E. Kelton • Sarah Matloff
Dana Plunkett, Director of Guidance

Wellesley High School cultivates positive learning experiences and fosters responsibility and integrity so that, upon leaving, our students will continue to contribute to their worlds.

Wellesley Public Schools
Learning • Caring • Innovating

Academic Excellence • Commitment to Community • Respect for Human Differences • Cooperative and Caring Relationships

Guidance Newsletter – SAT & ACT Information
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