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                    cristianoj@merrimack.edu
Salem State                        Jacklyn Jackie Haas              jhaas@salemstate.edu
Suffolk University            Sara Morales                         smorales@suffolk.edu
UNH                                  Kristin Butterfield                Kristen.Butterfield@unh.edu
Harvard                             Meg Brooks-Swift                mbswift@fas.harvard.edu
Northeastern University  Alice Smith                            ali.smith@neu.edu
UMass Lowell              Doug Seed                             Douglas_Seed@uml.edu

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.