General High School Planning Guide

This list is designed to help you plan your four years of high school.  During your high school career, you will need to decide on what kind of post-secondary options you will embark on, such as going on to college, enlisting in the military or entering the work force.

Freshman Students:
Check with your counselor and be certain the requirements for graduation are understood.
Be certain classes are properly sequenced and that prerequisites will be met.
Complete a tentative four-year plan for courses in grades 9 through 12. This should be done on the basis of a chosen educational pathway. This may be done during a freshman conference with student and chosen with input from parents.

  • Participate in Career Exploration activities, researching some careers of possible interest.

  • You should also create a personal file and keep a record of such items:
            copies of report cards
            a list of rewards and honors you receive, keep track of the dates
            a list of school and community clubs and organizations you join; include dates,
                responsibilities and activities
            a list of your jobs for the year/summer, and personal contacts made through these jobs
            a list of community service/volunteer work you perform
    Continuously update this file!!!  This will be a time saver when you begin to apply to colleges and need to write scholarship and college admissions essays.

  • Participate in academic or personal enrichment programs.

  • Obtain information necessary in preparation for 10th grade course selection/registration.

  • Obtain summer school information if there are failed requirements.

Sophomore Students:

Review and alter as necessary the courses listed on the four-year plan.

  • Select a tentative occupational goal.  Think about what interests you? What do you do well?

  • Obtain educational and/or career planning information necessary in preparation for 11th grade course selection/registration.

  • Obtain summer school information if there are failed requirements.  

College-Bound Sophomores:
Enroll in at least four academic courses which are appropriate to your career goal. For example, a college major in engineering usually requires four years of college prep math and science.

  • Review your 9th and 10th grade class selections with your counselor making sure that you have
    taken, and are taking appropriate classes for entry into college. Remember, the more selective the college, the more rigorous are the required academics.

  • Challenge yourself by doing the best that you can.

  • Take the PLAN Test in the Fall.

  • Attend "PLAN Test Score Interpretation Workshop" presented by Counseling Department and use results to prepare for the ACT.

  • Update your personal file with materials and information at the end of each semester.

  • Expand your involvement in volunteer work and out-of-school activities.

  • Continue to visit colleges and universities whenever possible.

  • Begin Internet, career center or library search of college costs, scholarships and possible financial
    aid available for college. There are various links pages from the Guidance Department’s home page.

  • Receive educational and/or career planning information necessary as preparation for 11th grade registration.

  • Receive summer school information if there are failed requirements

All Junior Students
Review and alter as necessary the courses listed on the four-year plan.

  • Check to make sure that you are keeping up with the graduation  requirements.

  • Further define occupational/career goals.

  • Obtain educational and/or career planning information necessary in preparation for 12th grade course selection/registration.

  • Consult with your counselor when you have made any changes in your plans and goals. A change in course selections may be necessary.

  • Take the ASVAB when offered by the military recruiters.  This does not obligate you to enlist in the military. The ASVAB can help you examine possible career choices.

  • Obtain summer school information if there are failed requirements. 

College-Bound Juniors:
Begin process of selecting a college. Discuss with counselor, and talk with adults currently working in your chosen professional area.

  • Sign up in late September or early October to take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic
    Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).

  • Begin to develop a financial-aid support notebook.

  • Begin nomination process if applying for military academies.

  • Register for the May or June SAT I or ACT college entrance tests, particularly if you are planning to apply for out-of-state college and/or early admission/decision. (Not usually expected to be taken as a Junior, the test should be taken again in Senior year).  

Vocational/Trade School/Job Training Juniors:
Begin process of selecting site of further training. Discuss with counselor, and talk with adults currently working in your chosen occupational area, investigate trade union apprenticeships.

  • Meet with recruiters if you are planning to enter or are considering military enlistment.

All Senior Students
Review your four-year plan and make appropriate changes in your schedule.

  • Start watching for postings of the scholarships that are available in the Guidance Department.
    Scholarship applications will begin arriving in August. Announcments will also be made as to when the Guidance Office has received a scholarship.

  • Organize and prepare your financial support notebook for the FAFSA deadline.

  • Fill out FAFSA and return before February.  The earlier you apply for federal aid, the more likely you will receive aid, if you are eligible.

  • Check your graduation status and make sure you are not deficient in any areas.  Check to make sure you have enough credits to graduate!!

  • Meet with school counselors if unsure of your college, vocational or work choices.

  • Order graduation announcements, cap and gown.

College Bound Seniors
Take the ACT or SAT 1 in the fall or winter.  Study to improve scores.  There are links available to Internet sites located on the Guidance Department’s Testing Tips page.

  • Make campus visits.

  • Begin submitting your college applications in October or early November.  It is not necessary to wait for your test scores.  An updated/final transcript with test scores will be sent  from the Guidance Office to colleges upon graduation or when needing to update your college admission application.

  • Begin applying for scholarships at the local, state, and national levels as soon as possible. Check frequently in the Guidance Office for scholarship applications.

Vocational/Trade School/Job Training Seniors
Apply to training sites as early as possible.

  • Double check apprenticeship programs