Return to Headlines

October Counselor's Update


First off, apologies for not sending this out last week. I was waiting on final confirmation on some of the information. In the future I will send out sooner and if any information changes or needs to be added I will send that information out separately.
I am pleased to say that an overwhelming majority of students at Valley Oaks are off to a very good start to the school year. Students are consistently meeting their ILP hours, and doing very well in concurrently enrolled classes at Casa Grande, Petaluma High and Santa Rosa Junior College. My goal is to assist students in reaching their goals. With that being said here is some important information of events occurring or beginning in October. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns
Scheduling an appointment to meet school counselor 
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.
Junior and Senior meetings
All Junior and Senior students should schedule an appointment to meet with me by October 26th. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the current plan for high school and upcoming steps for the future. I cover a lot of information so these appointments generally take 45-60 minutes. When using the link below to schedule please select 2 appointment slots back to back.
College Night/ Financial Aid 
This years Petaluma City Schools Alternative Education College Night is on Wednesday, November 14th from 6-8pm in Building 2 at Valley Oaks. College representatives from Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State will present information and answer questions regarding admissions and the process of enrollment. All junior and senior students as well as their parents or guardians are encouraged to attend.
Assessment tests
If you are considering a 4 year college or are unsure, take the next steps in post high school planning. PSAT testing will occur on Saturday October 13th at both Casa Grande and Petaluma High schools. Valley Oaks students can take the test at either site. The PSAT is junior level test that some sophomores elect to take as well in preparation for the SAT. It is also the National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test so if junior students score at very high level there is an additional benefit.Students can sign up in the Finance office at PHS or the counseling office at CGHS. The cost is cash or check $20 at PHS and $25 at CGHS. Reserve your spot as soon as possible.
Test administration on Nov. 3rd
Regular registration deadline for Dec 1st test on Nov. 2nd
Test administration on Oct. 27th
Regular registration deadline for December 8th test on Nov. 2nd
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.
Doyle scholarship
Many of you are familiar with the Doyle scholarship, but starting with the Class of 2019 the process has been streamlined and there is no longer a separate application required. To apply students must complete the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application. The scholarship is for seniors planning on attending SRJC post high school. Students must have an unweighted GPA of 2.0 or above to qualify and the award amount is $1200. Students with GPA's between 2.00-2.74 will be required to submit a personal statement essay at a later time. The application priority deadline is March 2nd 2019. 
VFW scholarship
Are you interested in winning up to $30,000? If so you should enter the VFW's Voice of Democracy scholarship. This years theme is Why My Vote MattersTo enter students must record a 3-5 minute essay on a audio CD or flash-drive in response to the theme. This is a national scholarship but begin by competing at the local Post level.There are multiple awards available. Please contact me for more details or assistance. The application deadline is October 25th. 
College applications
California State Universities (CSU)
For students applying to any of the 23 CSU campuses the application is now available to complete and submit. This is the first year of a new application and website so it is recommended that students do not wait until the November 30th deadline to submit. The application fee is $55 per application and students can apply for a fee waiver. You can access the application by clicking here.
University of California (UC)
For students applying to any of the 9 UC campuses the application is now available to complete. The submissions period is from November 1st - 30th. The application fee is $70 per application and students can apply for a fee waiver. You can access the application by clicking here.
Financial Aid
Seniors can now access and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for the 2018-19 school year. All senior students and parents should complete an 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 or CADAA to receive the award. Completing the applications will take approximately 30 minutes and the prior prior tax year (2017) information is required. Students should only qualify for/complete one application. Students who were born in the US should likely complete the FAFSA application. Students born outside of the US should likely complete the CADAA. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding which application you should complete.
The application priority deadline is March 2nd. I will provide more information about local application workshops as they are scheduled and as I receive the information.  --