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March Counselor's Update


February, is behind us and with the month of March comes Women's History Month and Spring Break during the week of March 18th-22nd. The school year is rapidly progressing and before you know it summer will be here yet again.


Summer opportunities for students 

Paid internship of $15 hour with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Their high school internship program provides students with exposure to career opportunities in the field of transportation by placing them with local public transit agencies in departments such as planning and public works. Students will work up to 40 per week between the months of June and August. Students of all abilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Minority and female applicants are highly desired. Must be 16 years or older to apply. Please view the attached flyer and contact me if you have any questions. 
The Census Bureau is hiring this summer for the 2020 Census. Must be 18 years or older and a US citizen to apply. Jobs pay between $20-22 hour. Click here to apply online.


Financial Aid




The priority deadline for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-20 school year has passed but 12th-grade students can still access and complete the application. All senior students and parents should complete the application regardless of their financial need as it will provide you with valuable information and some scholarships such as the Doyle require a completed FAFSA to receive the award. Completing the FAFSA will take approximately 30 minutes and the prior prior tax year (2017) information is required. You can access the application by clicking here.


The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain conditions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, University grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. You can access the application by clicking here. The application priority deadline was March 2nd but you can still apply.




Transitioning students

Any students and/or parents contemplating or planning on transitioning to a school other than Valley Oaks next year should arrange to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss the plan for doing so. One of the great things about Valley Oaks is that students have the ability to earn variable credits, however, for students transitioning to a comprehensive school, it is important that their credits align with the credits at the new school prior to transitioning.


Scheduling appointments to see me



Each week there are various times blocked off on my calendar for Valley Oaks student and/or parents interested in meeting with me. Please click this link to view and schedule an appointment from the times that are available.


Assessment tests




Test administration on March 9th

Test administration on May 4th

Regular registration deadline for May 4th test on April 5th  


Additional upcoming test dates

Regular registration deadline for June 1st test on May 3rd


Test administration on April 13th

Regular registration deadline for the April 13th test on March 8th


Additional upcoming test dates

Regular registration deadline for the June 8th test on May 3rd

Regular registration deadline for the July 13th test on June 14th





Thousands of scholarships are available all throughout the year with a wide range of eligibility criteria. There are several websites that will help identify possible scholarship opportunities such as Fastweb and Big Future. Here are some scholarships that may not appear on the national website searches. Also attached to this email is a document containing a list of some national scholarships currently available.


SRJC Doyle Scholarship and Doyle Trustee Award

This year marks the first year that the Doyle scholarship does not require a separate application. You must complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application to apply. The Doyle scholarship has a  $1200 award per year and is renewable for a 2nd year.  To qualify for the Doyle scholarship students must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher. The Doyle Trustee award is for students with overall GPA's of 2.00-2.74 and requires an additional 300-500 word essay. Click here to access and submit the scholarship essay.



McDowell Drug Task Force scholarship

For graduating 12th graders with GPA's of 2.0 or higher. Have completed a minimum of 40 hours of community service. Should be enrolled in one of the following fields of education: Health services, Educator, Law Enforcement, Counseling, or Wildlife Management. The application deadline is April 5th. The application is attached to this email.


Cruisin' the Boulevard scholarship

Scholarships are awarded to Petaluma area high schools’ graduating 12th graders, as well as college students continuing in these studies who are pursuing a career in automotive technology/repair/mechanics/engineering, performing arts, videography, film and media industry, and computer sciences. The maximum number a person can be awarded this scholarship is two (2) times. The application deadline is March 15th. The application is attached to this email.


In closing please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Here is another summer opportunity for 11th-grade students. 

The 2019 Sonoma State University Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP) if for 11th graders interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This program provides an opportunity for budding scientists to work on novel research programs with faculty and students from the SSU School of Science and Technology. This year's project fields include astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geology, nursing and physics. Summer interns will receive $1000 research stipends for 4 weeks of research and have the opportunity to be co-authors on presentations and published manuscripts. Student applications include a 2 page letter of interest, transcript, and letter of recommendation from a science teacher. View the attached flyer for more information or contact me if you have any questions.