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High School Counselors Visit 11th & 12th Grade Classrooms

Julie Meyers speaks with 11th grade studentsWith school back in session, Eastchester High School counselors have wasted little time getting the District’s 11th and 12th graders up to speed. 


On Tuesday and Wednesday, counselors visited junior and senior ENL classrooms to outline the next steps the upperclassmen will take in their college application journeys. For 11th graders, focus was placed mainly on the upcoming PSATs, while seniors were asked to take stock of where they were in the college admissions process and begin to think about a drafting a plan for the next few months. 


EHS Counseling Department Chair Heather Reilly said that these early-September counseling visits are important for students, as they help seniors settle in to the homestretch of the recruitment process and give juniors a taste of what will be expected of them this year.


“Heading into the summer, our seniors came up with to-do lists, and it doesn’t really matter how far they got in this process, Tuesday was kind of a reset day that allows them to stop and think, ‘Where am I, where do I want to be, and how can I get there?’” said Reilly. “That’s going to be different for everybody, and that’s OK.” 


After taking stock of where they currently are in the process and re-familiarizing themselves with important dates and deadlines that are fast approaching, the counselors stressed the importance of setting up individual meetings with school personnel to plot out next steps.


“We went over the vocabulary of the application deadlines, like ‘What does regular decision mean? Early action and early decision sound alike, but they’re really quite different,’ so we needed to stop and create a timeline,” she said. “This is really to see where everyone is, so we can help them on an individual basis moving forward.”


On Wednesday, Eastchester juniors met with counselors about the upcoming PSAT, which will be held on Oct. 14. Of particular note, the class of 2025 will be the first cohort to take the digital SAT, so Reilly said it is important to review test-taking strategies that could serve the students well on the exam. 


“We want the students to have an understanding of the role that standardized testing (SAT/ACT) plays in the college application process. We spent time reviewing the content and format of the PSAT as well as discussing the new digital format that is being used," said Reilly. " Our technology department has been on top of it, working all summer planning and preparing to ensure that our students have a positive testing experience.


“Each Spring we offer our students the opportunity to take the PreACT," she added. "The PSAT is offered to the 11th grade each October. This provides our students with exposure to both assessments.”


The counseling department has a number of events planned for students and families in the next few weeks, perhaps none more important than the college fair scheduled for Monday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the EHS gymnasium. 


The college fair will give students and their guardians a chance to gain a greater appreciation for the programs offered at the roughly 80 academic institutions that will be in attendance, something that should help them to make more informed decisions when it comes time to apply to colleges. 


“I think it can really broaden students’ horizons and open them up to meeting with representatives from colleges that maybe they hadn’t heard of before,” said Reilly. “Just because they haven’t heard of a college doesn’t mean it’s not a great school and a perfect fit for them, so it’s a really nice opportunity for families to see that.”