Monday, September 27, 2010

OCTOBER 13: College and Career Day

Kimberley Cowell,

A little testing. A little college and career info.
A little chat about the big picture.
On Wednesday, October 13th, we’re devoting an entire morning to college admittance test preparation and career exploration. For seniors, there will also be some work on stress reduction and pondering some bigger questions, such as, “What does it mean to be truly happy?”
Please note: There will be no afternoon classes.

About Attendance: Roll will be taken for all grade levels. Students who are absent must have a parent call in for them if it is a legitimate absence. Students who are not participating in the PSAT, will report to the Library. Some students will report to their Study Skills room if this has been pre-arranged.

What are we doing?
9th graders – EXPLORE
10TH graders – PLAN
11th graders – PSAT
12th graders – Guest speakers; College and career activities

Schedule: 9th, 10th and 11th
8:00 a.m. to approximately Noon (varies due to test instruction time)
Test preparation exams: EXPLORE, PLAN and PSAT
Room assignments will be posted on the SAC and Guidance office walls.

These are the first 2 assessments of ACT’s Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS). Each exam consists of 4 academic achievement tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Additionally, these assessments contain an interest inventory and a needs assessment based on the student’s perceived needs. The content of both tests closely mirrors the ACT and scores correlate with established college/post- secondary readiness benchmarks.

So why not just rely on STAR results?
EXPLORE and PLAN results are far more informative. You, your student, and your child’s guidance counselor will gain a wealth of information. The results are more specific and allow for more focused interventions as needed, better course planning information and a breakdown of how our 9th and 10th graders are doing overall. Very importantly, the results link to college readiness benchmarks. We also need to increase opportunities for our freshmen and sophomores to focus on their interests and explore possible careers. These tests link students with relevant college and scholarship information. We are excited to be able to bring these test preparation exams to Gunn High School.
We have sample score sheets in the Guidance Office. Also, for more information, please see the ACT website: and click on the EPAS link.
Both EXPLORE and PLAN are free to the student.

What is the PSAT?
The PSAT is a test preparation exam for the SAT, the college admissions test sponsored by College Board. The test is designed for 11th graders. The test measures critical reading, math problem-solving, and writing skill development. Results are mailed home, but there is an enhance score report that allows students to review questions, their answers, and correct answers with explanations. The PSAT also provides a start list of colleges and there is a career match component. For more information and sample questions with answers, see their website:
Those students who do well on the test are eligible to enter scholarship competitions sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (

Cost to student: $30. Sign-up in the Student Activities Center. Scholarships are available. See Mrs. Francesconi or your guidance counselor for a Financial Aid form. When completed, please turn it in to Kim Cowell, Guidance Assistant Principal.
10th graders will not be allowed to take the PSAT on October 13th, HOWEVER, there will be many opportunities to take a mock SAT at Gunn High School! The first is September 25 with a feedback session on October 6. (Only $15!) Preparation classes will also run all year. We contract with various companies to provide these opportunities. Please see Mr. Lira in the Academic Center for more information, or go to the Academic Center website for specific days and times. There is a link under “Student” on the Gunn website.
Academic Center:

Senior Activities
8:30 – 12:15 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Fred Luskin
Spangenberg Theater
Dr. Luskin is the Director of the Forgiveness Project at Stanford and he also teaches classes there. He is the author of several books including, Forgive for Good and Stress-free for Good. He was also a Gunn parent. Dr. Luskin will discuss the need to manage stress to be happy and productive, and its effect on one’s mental and physical well-being. He will present some simple strategies for managing stress. He will also talk about goal setting and the nature of true happiness.

Guest Speaker #2: TBA

Session 1 – College and career topics
Session 2 – College and career topics
Each session is 45 minutes long

College and career topics include:
• Help with the college packet
• UC and CSU application information/start in the computer lab
• College essay writing with Felicia Fahey
• Naviance ins and outs with Leighton Lang
• Career panels with professionals from a variety of careers.

Professionals with a variety of educational levels covering the following themes:
o Entrepreneurship
o The Arts
o Education
o Building and Design
o Technology

If you have specific questions regarding the various college preparatory tests, please e-mail the administrator in charge.
PLAN – Tom Jacoubowsky (
EXPLORE – James Lubbe (
PSAT – Wes Cedros (

Please direct questions about the overall day, or about the senior activities, to Kim Cowell (

Kimberley Cowell
Assistant Principal
Guidance Department
Gunn High School

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