Friday, November 13, 2015

Guidance Breakfast on Stress and Anxiety

The Guidance Department at Burlington High School will be hosting a Parent Breakfast on Wednesday 11/18, from 8:30-9:30 AM in the BHS Guidance College and Career Center. The purpose of this breakfast is to give parents of Burlington High School students the opportunity to have an open dialogue around stress and anxiety with the school psychologist, Ms. Elizabeth MacKay and the school social worker, Ms. Christine Conceison. Stress and Anxiety impacts all students in a variety of ways. The breakfast is aimed at providing insight into stress and anxiety in adolescents and effective coping strategies.  We look forward to seeing you! Please RSVP at by calling 781-270-1780.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"New" SAT Breakfast

The SAT continues to be the most popular standardized test taken by BHS students. Although the ACT has recently gained in popularity, most BHS students prepare for, and take the SAT's.

The SAT format will change in March of 2016. The BHS Guidance Department and KAPLAN Test Prep recently hosted a Guidance Breakfast covering all the changes to the upcoming SAT's. Please follow the below link to view the highlights of this breakfast. As always please contact the Guidance Office with any questions.

LINK TO Highlights from the "New" SAT Breakfast

Friday, October 23, 2015

New SAT Breakfast on 10/29 at 8:30AM

The Guidance Department at Burlington High School and KAPLAN Test Prep will co-host a breakfast to explain the New SAT, which will be offered beginning in March, 2016. This breakfast will be held on Thursday October 29th at 8:30 a.m. in the Guidance College and Career Center at Burlington High School. Although this new SAT impacts the Class of 2017, attending this breakfast is open to any other interested parent. Please join us for this informative event on October 29th. If you plan to attend please call 781-270-1780 to confirm your attendance. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

College Fair

On Tuesday October 27th from 6:30 -8:30 p.m., a college fair will be held at the Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. The Burlington High School Guidance Department co-sponsors the event with many other Middlesex League High Schools. Usually over two-hundred colleges will attend. A college fair can be a very overwhelming experience for parents and students. The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) has developed some very helpful tips that when attending a college fair. We also recommend bringing a pre-determined list of colleges. Make it a priority to visit the schools on your list, then time permitting check out some others. Please remember you are not obligated to stay the whole time, many students spend about an hour at the event.  

If you will be attending the Reading Cooperative College Fair on Tuesday, October 27 at Shriner's Auditorium, there will be a text-messaging registration system available for you to use. Instead of filling out paper contact cards by hand for every school you’re interested in, you can save time by providing your information via text message to colleges of your choice.
Here’s what you need to do:

1.     Text  #BurlingtonHS to 424-888-7537. You will get prompted to fill out your basic contact information via text.
2.     At the fair, you will receive a list of colleges and their texting codes. When you find a school you like, text the code to the number, and your information will get sent electronically to that school.

Below is the most up to date list of colleges attending:

Colleges attending as of October 20, 2015
Albertus Magnus College
American International College
Anna Maria College
Assumption College
Bay Path College
Bay State College
Benjamin Franklin Institute
Berklee College of Music
Boston Architectural College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Bridgewater State University
Bryant University
Burlington College
Castleton State College
Champlain College
Clarkson University
Colby-Sawyer College
College of Mount St. Vincent
College of New Jersey
College of the Holy Cross
College of Saint Rose
Columbia College-Chicago
Curry College
Daniel Webster College
Dean College
Dickinson College
Eastern Nazarene College
Elms College
Emmanuel College
Endicott College
Fairfield University
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Fisher College
Fitchburg State University
Framingham State University
Franklin Pierce University
Hamilton College
Hampshire College
Hartwick College
Harvard College
High Point University
Hofstra University
Husson University
Iona College
Ithaca College
ITT Technical Institute
Johnson and Wales University
Johnson State College
Keene State College
Lasell College
Lawrence Memorial/RC Nursing & Med. Radiography
LeMoyne College
Lesley University
Lincoln Technical Institute
Lyndon State College
Lynn University
Manhattan College
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Merrimack College
Middlesex Community College
Mitchell College
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Ida College
National Aviation Academy
Nazareth College
New England College
New England Hair Academy
New England School of Photography
Newbury College
Nichols College
North Shore Community College
Northern Essex Community College
Norwich University
Pennsylvania State University
Personal Financial Management Plus
Pine Manor College
Plymouth State University
Providence College
Purdue University
Quinnipiac University
Reading Cooperative Bank
Reading Scholarship Foundation
Rivier College
Roanoke College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rutgers University
Sacred Heart University
Saint Anselm College
Saint Joseph's College - Maine
Saint Leo University
Saint Michael's College
Salem State University
Salve Regina University
Savannah College of Art & Design
Siena College
Simmons College
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern Vermont College
Springfield College
Stonehill College
Stonybrook University
Suffolk University
Susquehanna University
Temple University
Thomas College
Trinity College-CT.
United States Air Force 
United States Army Recruiting Station
United States Army National Guard
United States Marine Recruiting Office
United States Navy Recruiting Office
Unity College
Universal Technical Institute
University at Albany 
University at Buffalo
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Hartford
University of Limerick
University of Maine-Farmington
University of Maine-Orono
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
University of New England
University of New Haven
University of Rhode Island
University of Saint Joseph's
University of Scranton
University of Southern Maine
University of Tampa
University of Vermont
Utica College 
Villanova University
Wagner College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Western New England University
Westfield State College
Wheaton College 
Wheelock College
Worcester State University

Monday, October 19, 2015

Social Media Readiness for College and Career

Alan Katzman from Social Assurity presented to students on 9/28/15. His message was clear in that social media can play a big role in the college and career selection process. Below are some highlights from the event:

  • Most teens don’t think about how their social media activities will impact their future academic and career goals. Usually just focused on communicating with friends.
  • Everything you post is permanent--even Snapchat and YikYak. Part of Digital Footprint. Some is harder to find than others, but all is discoverable. Anonymity is a myth.
  • People who have never met you will make decisions about you based on what they see.
  • GPA and test scores are not enough to distinguish students for admission to highly competitive colleges.
  • Percent of admissions officers who visited an applicant’s social media page continues to go up every year. 44% in 2016 as compared to 24% in 2011 (projected 57 in 2018). They are not looking to find bad information. They are looking to find out more about the applicant.
  • Idea of “social proof” is to confirm idea about someone by seeing that social media profile matches hypothesis. Important to present yourself as you want to be seen.
  • 93% of employers look at social media before hiring. Lots of companies even hire directly from social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Worst kind of posts for perception would be “I hate my teacher” or being cruel to other students.
  • Don’t recommend keeping social media “private” or trying to use an alias account during college admission. They will find you, so be authentic. If you can’t be found on Facebook, it might be a red flag.
  • Get their attention the right way--to get noticed and get engaged.
  • Demonstrate your passion and commitment. Tell your story.
  • LinkedIn profile shows up at the top of Google searches and is a great way to demonstrate interest. Allows you to find communities of people who went to the schools you are interested in. Can put Activity List on LinkedIn. Not just for people in the business world.
  • “Demonstrated interest” (whether they think you’ll attend if accepted) is an extremely important factor in admissions and is another thing colleges may look for on social media.

Friday, October 16, 2015

An Evening with Admissions Expert Mark Montgomery on 10/22 at 6:30

On Thursday October 22nd at 6:30 P.M. in the Burlington High School Auditorium Mark Montgomery, a national college admissions expert, offers his advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and pain of applying to college. Most people take a haphazard approach to visiting schools, examining statistics, consulting rankings, and comparing campus amenities as they consider which colleges might be the right fit. Similarly, during the application process, students seldom think strategically as they fill out forms, write essays, plan for interviews, and communicate with admissions offices.

But the investment in higher education is huge: hundreds of thousands of dollars, huge student loans, and at least four years of hard work. Shouldn’t the process be less scattershot and more systematic? Why is it so hard to be rational in this process?
Filled with good humor, a healthy dose of reality, and concrete examples of real students who avoided these mistakes, the presentation addresses these crucial questions and more:

• How do you calculate “return on investment” in higher education?
• What is the right way to shop for colleges?
• What are the 12 factors in the admission process?
• What are the “hidden” parts of the Common Application?
• Why is it so important to start early in this process?
• How can you develop a personal strategy for success?
• How do you preserve sanity in your household?

Dr. Mark Montgomery earned his BA at Dartmouth College and his Masters and Doctorate at Tufts University. He has been an instructor at Harvard and a consultant at Yale. He specializes in demystifying the ways in which colleges recruit and admit students. His views and advice have appeared in US News & World Report, Money, USA Today, Forbes, The Apple Daily (Hong Kong), The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Denver Post. He also writes a popular blog on university admission at
Montgomery Educational Consulting is a full service educational firm that assists students and their families as they select and apply to the best and most appropriate universities. With offices in New Jersey, Hong Kong, and Colorado, Mark works one-on-one with students to guide them in their choices in secondary school, to articulate which educational environments lead to academic success, and identify how personal and family needs, preferences, and ambitions can be combined to help them pick the right universities—and get in.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

College Topics for Senior Parents

The Guidance Department will host a breakfast called “College Topics for Senior Parents”. The purpose of this breakfast is so the counseling staff can give a very brief overview of important tasks associated with the college selection and application process. This event is geared for parents that missed the Senior College Planning Night on 10/1/15. Please join us for this informative event on October 21st at 8:30 AM in the BHS Guidance College and Career CenterParent's MUST RSVP by calling 781-270-1780.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Senior College Planning Night

Senior Parents and Seniors are reminded that College Planning Night will be held on Thursday October 6, 2016 at 6:30 in the Burlington High School Auditorium. The evening will cover a variety of topics in regard to the college selection and application process. The entire guidance staff will be at this event and we look forward to seeing you.

If you cannot make the event, it will be televised on BCAT. The showtimes will be posted soon.

Friday, September 25, 2015

College Essay Day

The below post was written by Ms. Emily Minty  from the BHS Guidance Department

On September 25, 2015, all seniors attended a presentation by a panel of college admission representatives on the topic of the college essay. This event is coordinated and sponsored by the National Honor Society and the National Honor Society Advisors, Abby Abbot and Alex Allaire.

Merrimack College           James Cristiano          
Salem State                        Jacklyn Jackie Haas    
Suffolk University            Sara Morales               
UNH                                  Kristin Butterfield      
Harvard                             Meg Brooks-Swift      
Northeastern University  Alice Smith                  
UMass Lowell              Doug Seed                   

Why an essay?
Only piece that comes directly from you, where you get to speak directly.
Convey who you are as a person and what you would bring to campus community.
Can give admissions rep material to advocate for you in committee.
Puts everything else into context.

  • Draft, proofread, revise.
  • Have one to two people look it over for you.
  • Common app topics on how you overcame a problem could be way to share how you’ve changed and overcome.
  • Feel connected to what you’re writing.
  • Write about something that isn’t otherwise obvious in your application.
  • Be authentic.
  • Focus in on one small moment instead of the big picture.
  • Pay attention to the question that you’re answering.
  • Whatever you’re writing about, focus on how it impacted you.

  • You don’t need the “perfect” topic. A mundane topic can still be a great essay.
  • Let someone else write it for you or lose your voice in the process.
  • Write all about someone else or sports event and not enough about you.
  • Accidentally mention the wrong college name.
  • Write outside your comfort zone or overdo it.
  • Cliche topics: athletic injuries, don’t google “best college essays”, personal tragedies--make sure to focus on how these things affected you and how you’ve overcome.

  • UMass Lowell-- Essay is only a focus if they’re on the fence based on GPA and test scores. Rec. letter from one teacher (about who you are as a student). 1-4 total.
  • Salem-- Admission decision is purely based on grades and test scores. Do not require essay or recommendation letters. Recommend if need to share special circumstances. DO require it for Summer Bridge Academy, Honors program (emphasize time management skills)
  • Harvard-- Essay is the chance to separate yourself. Encouraged to take advantage of optional supplemental essay too. Essay gets read by many people and goes to committees and is often read multiple times by same person. Also require SAT Subject Tests. Alumni interview is arranged after you apply.
  • UNH-- Doesn’t offer interviews, but does offer one-on-one appointments with admission counselors. Rec. letter from guidance counselor only.
  • Merrimack--Since SATs are not required, essay is  especially important. Extracurricular involvement is extremely important.
  • Northeastern-- Holistic review of application, including essay. Looks at Extracurricular activities very closely. Require only one recommendation. Only send others if new information.
  • Suffolk--Look at all pieces to see how student fits into community. Test scores will never be the reason that someone does or doesn’t get in, although there are certain majors that you need a minimum score for.

  • Transcript is always the most important part of the application; to see if student is prepared to be successful in college.
  • With extra-curricular activities, important that it’s clear that you had a real passion for things as opposed to just adding as many as you can. Does not only include school-affiliated activities.
  • Recommendations from outside people can be interesting.
  • Since requirements vary, make sure that you check with each college about their preferences and requirements.

Freshman Parent Breakfast

The Burlington High School Guidance Department will be hosting a breakfast for all parents of freshman students on Thursday, October 1st in the BHS Guidance Conference Room from 8:30 to 9:30 am. The Guidance Department at BHS has recognized that it often takes a full year for students and parents to understand and access the numerous programs, resources, and committed staff we have at Burlington High School. Our goal is to expedite this process for you by discussing topics important for the transition to high school. Please join the Guidance Department for this informative and open dialogue. Parents must RSVP by calling 781-270-1780.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Social Assurity

Please mark your calendar. The Burlington High School Guidance Department will be hosting a breakfast for parents of juniors and seniors on Monday September 28th at 8:30 am in the Burlington High School Guidance College and Career Center. Alan Katzman from Social Assurity will be presenting.

The new reality is that “social media has completely changed the college application and job recruiting process. Alan’s presentation, “Elevating Your Child’s Social Media & Digital Presence for Better College & Career Opportunities” will help parents understand how to leverage social media tools proactively and purposefully.  

We respectfully ask that any parent who plans on attending to please RSVP by calling 781-270-1780.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Career Breakfast

This year, we are initiating a career exploration program at BHS. One of our first activities will be a career breakfast on December 10th, which will allow juniors and seniors to meet in small groups with professionals in different occupations. The goal of this event is to give students an opportunity to learn more about the realities of jobs they are interested in, and to find out about the training required for those occupations. We are reaching out for community help with this project. We would love to have parents and/or community members serve as speakers for this event, and spend some time talking to students about what you do. If you are interested in participating, please let us know by completing this form:

We thank you for your support of our students and your work to help them discover who and what they want to be after graduation. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PSAT on 10/14

Burlington High School will be a national testing center for the administration of the PSAT Exam and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. For the several years 90% or more Burlington High School seniors take the SAT exam. The PSAT is an excellent opportunity to prepare and gain an understanding of the SAT exam. Juniors are also eligible for a National Merit Scholarship depending on the score.

All sophomores will take the PSAT free of charge, however juniors MUST register and pay a fee of $25.00. The Guidance department highly recommends juniors take the exam again this year. Especially since this is a newly redesigned exam.  Registration materials are being mailed on Friday 9/11/15, and students will also receive information in homeroom. We ask that Juniors register ASAP so they may pick up a PSAT study guide which provides valuable testing information. Sophomores will receive a study guide in homeroom.

The SAT will be re-redesigned beginning in the spring of 2016. This will impact students in the class of 2017 and beyond. The 2015 PSAT has also been redesigned. Click here to see the changes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

BHS Guidance Events

The Guidance Department is happy to announce a full schedule of BHS Guidance Events for the 2015/2016 school year (links can be found on the right hand side of this blog). In addition to ALL the BHS Guidance Events, we have the schedule for the Guidance Parent Breakfast Series. Based on parental feedback the Guidance Department has identified a variety of topics to cover throughout the school year for any interested parent.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Free SAT or PSAT Option for BHS Students

Burlington High School students can take either a free practice SAT or PSAT test at BHS on Saturday 9/19 beginning at 9AM. In order to take either of these free tests students MUST register (registration information below).

As a reminder BHS will offer the PSAT/NMSQT exam on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 for all sophomores and registered juniors. Seniors that want one more chance to take a free practice test OR a senior that has NEVER taken an SAT exam should strongly consider registering for this free opportunity. The SAT exam will be offered at BHS on 10/3, 11/7 and 12/5.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Burlington Guidance Parent Council

The Guidance Department is in the planning stages of starting a Guidance Parent Council. The purpose of this council is so the guidance department can meet with parents and/or students to discuss how Guidance Services function, get parental feedback on guidance services and possibly implement or review current guidance services. The dates and times still need to be finalized, but meetings will start in mid-September and held after 2:00 on Thursdays or Fridays. Any interested parents or students please contact Joe Attubato, Guidance Director at

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bay Path University

As many know we share a campus with Bay Path University. Bay Path is offering a Fall business course called “Dynamics of Management” available to juniors and seniors. Students can take one less course during the school day and receive college credit. We have been offering this course for the past several years and the benefit here is students leave BHS with 3 college credits. Click here for an application. The application also lists the specific class dates and times.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

College Admissions and Accreditation Status

The Burlington High School Guidance Department called many colleges and universities and asked if they consider any NEASC accreditation status beyond membership and if so, would this status have a negative impact on college admissions or financial aid. We were told by the colleges and universities that responded that our status as a candidate school under our NEASC membership would not have an impact on BHS students in terms of admissions or financial aid. Several colleges and universities reinforced that academic rigor, GPA and SAT scores are taken into consideration when selecting applicants and the school profile is used in aiding the selection process

Great Schedule Options for BHS Juniors and Seniors

We are excited to inform students of a few opportunities available at Burlington High School for the 2015/2016 school year. Each summer the Guidance Department meets with many students in order to choose available alternate elective courses.  We believe students and parents should strongly consider some of the available options. Below are the highlights and details for each unique option. Please don’t hesitate to call the Guidance Office with specific questions.

As many know we share a campus with Bay Path College. Bay Path is offering a Fall business course called “Dynamics of Management” available to juniors and seniors. Students can take one less course during the school day and receive college credit. We have been offering this course for the past several years and the benefit here is students leave BHS with 3 college credits. Click here for an application. The application also lists the specific class dates and times.

Additionally for juniors and seniors, many students take advantage of the VHS program or E2020. Both Programs offer many unique and interesting courses NOT offered at BHS. We have had students take courses such as Criminology, Contemporary Irish literature, Screenwriting, Forensic Science and Pre-Veterinary courses. In order to take a VHS course students should complete a VHS application by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2016/2017 Student Schedules

Schedules will be mailed out on July 7th. Please remember that all students must carry six academic courses each semester plus physical education and/or health. The one exception to this is if a junior or senior is enrolled in two or more AP courses. As a reminder the scheduled mailed on July 7th will only include the course name. A follow-up schedule will be mailed out in early August which includes teacher name and classroom number.

If there is an error or omission in the schedule you need to make arrangements to correct the problem. If your schedule reads “Please Schedule an Appointment with Guidance” then your schedule is invalid and it is imperative that you call to schedule an appointment. There are several options available:
*   Beginning Monday July 11th and continuing through July 21st, then again August 8th to August 25th, Mr. Joseph Attubato, Support Services Coordinator, and several Guidance Counselors will be available (by appointment only) Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Please call Mrs. Patty Lewis at 781-270-1780 to schedule an appointment.
*   Guidance Counselors will be available during the week of August 22nd through August 25th from 8 A.M. to 12 Noon. During this week, students will be helped on a first come first served basis.

If you did not get placed into your first choice elective please feel free to call the Guidance Office and ask to have your name added to the wait-list. You are encouraged to correct any problems in your course schedule as early as possible.  Doing so will ensure a smooth opening of school for you. Also, please be advised that specific teacher requests cannot be honored.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kaplan Test Prep

Once again KAPLAN will be offering SAT and ACT test prep courses this summer and fall to BHS students. Information will be mailed this week, but we wanted to post the schedule for students/parents that wanted to get an early jump on test prep registration. Registration must be completed as soon as possible. Burlington students only pay $265, which is a reduced price. To register please call 1-800-KAP-TEST or follow the links below.


KAPLAN test prep also offers free on-line SAT and ACT test prep for class of 2018 and free on-line PSAT Prep for Class of 2019. Click here for more details on the free on-line  registration process. Please feel free to contact the Guidance Office if you encounter any issues with the registration process.